How likely is it for red/apricot poodles to fade with time? Is there a difference between Red poodles who fade and who don't?
Also, is there any way to prevent fading (i.e. nutrition, shampoo without harmful ingredient etc.) or is it genetic?
It's all genetic. The only way to avoid it is to buy from a breeder who pays careful attention to the pedigrees and makes sure that there isn't any fading colors in the past generations. But even then, the dog is more likely than not going to fade with age.
I know sometimes there's a few breeders who focus more with establishing the darker colors. Meaning they focus only on breeding dark reds or the dark chocolate browns. I feel they search more for the darker genetics in their dogs to help ensure a darker color pup, but of course there's never a guarantee that a pup won't fade.
Pretty much, yes, reds will fade. Here's an excerpt from Arpeggio Poodles website that explains:
I have yet to find any red color articles. Most likely because to the fact that red is a more recent addition to the poodle colors. However you can gain a lot of information from reading the apricot articles and applying that to red. In those apricot color articles you can see the beginnings of the red color.
The red color sprang from the apricot. However is shades darker in color than apricot. Just because a dog may have reddish ears does not make it a red. I am seeing more and more apricot and even cream poodles being called reds today.
A red poodle should be Irish setter red to dark mahogany all over. Having some variation on color on the body is permissible as long as its not spotting or sabled (these may still be reds but are displaying the patterns of parti colored dogs).
A red should never have lighter patches of apricot intermixed in the red. This would be the red apricot color.
The breed standard says that liver noses are permissible in reds however not preferred. As reds are being bred more and more with better quality and conformation in mind we should be breeding away from the liver noses and toward the gorgeous dark inky black pigment that makes them so stunning. There are several ways to avoid getting liver colored noses.
1) Breed only to a dark red with correct pigment.
2) Avoid at all costs the red pedigree with brown in it. Breeding red to brown with cause liver pointed noses
3) You can occasionally throw in a black dog to keep the pigment dark. Now you want to make sure that there are no other colors in the pedigree of that black dog other than black, and or red and apricot. If the black has brown behind it you will want to avoid that black as it may accomplish the exact opposite of what you wish to achieve.
The above suggestions also will help to deepen your red color. To achieve nice dark reds with less chance of fading over the years you will want to avoid breeding to any dog with silver, blue, or white in the lines at all cost. These colors carry the fading gene and will increase the probability of the dog fading. When breeding some reds and apricots you may expect to get creams occasionally. That can come with the territory. However for the most part I would avoid cream as much as possible when trying to produce darker reds. Remember that red IS considered a fading color. That is just the nature of this color. In 99% of cases you will have reds that fade over time as they mature. The object of course being to breed darker reds that will keep their color as they get older.
You can also get puppies in some lines of red that will be born apricot or an almost orange color that will latter mature and darken into reds. Some of these pups will hold their color longer and not fade as badly.
many of the old time red breeders would look for an orange puppy and hold that one back for their breeding program due to this reason.
Our Mystique has been a great example of the color holding pretty well. It was only this past year at 7 years of age that she has started to loose a bit of her color and grizzle out. She is, however, still a dark red."
More than likely most reds fade. If the parents are older than 3 and are still holding a dark red color then you have better chances.
Right now the thought is there are two genes responible for color fading. Intesity (I locus) and grey (G) .Grey cannot be tested but if there are White, creams, apricots, silvers, cafe, silver beige,blues in the pedigree it’s good bet to assume they will fade. Hopefully there will be test that can test for grey soon.
Thank you all very much for all these useful information. I am still on the lookout of a red toy/mini breeder. While doing my research I came to know they tend to fade and this is the place where I came to for your inputs. Thanks again.