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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I'm new here and am a happy owner of a beautiful toy poodle puppy (now 5 months old!). I have a few questions about my puppy’s colour.

When we got him he was a dark apricot (or light red) colour. We knew he’d fade over time, but we’ve started seeing darker fur grow at the base of his coat. A single strand has multiple colours (light apricot to cream to darker apricot) - can anyone explain what this means and what colour he’ll eventually be?

I’ve attached a photo so you can see the layered colour in his fur :) We love him all the same, but very curious as to what colour he’ll end up!
475916
 

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Hi and Welcome!

I don't know too much about poodle coat color genetics but growing in darker is pretty much the reverse of the usual result, which is fading.

Is it only down the spine? I'm finding a few hits on a search. It seems that this has been seen in some red/apricots (maybe other colors too?) but the descriptions indicate that the darker fur is still red/apricot.

It may just be the lighting but I'm not seeing red/apricot.

Injuries or irritation to the skin can also cause fur to change color but that's a rather large area to be an injury.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge will drop by.
 

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Hi, congratulations on your puppy! I've never seen a colour like that before, he looks... blonde? I can't help with your query but would love to see more pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks! It must be the lighting since he does look a lot darker in real life and in other photos.
The darker roots can be seen consistently across his whole body (not just spine). We expected him to fade in colour so this darker colour that’s coming out is very interesting (looks closer to his colour at 9 weeks, see first photo attached here).

Here’s some more photos of him over time (from 9 weeks to this week).
 

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I'm guessing it's his coat changing to adult coat.
While my dog is black, he similarly had faded cottony ends while the base was darker and a bit kinked.
I had done minimal trimming at that age, just fft, and I bet your pup hasn't been trimmed either?
 

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Could it be lighter due to the sun?

Basil's coat had an ombre effect as a puppy that I attribute to the sun.

This picture is from the day I took her puppy coat off, at 8-1/2 months. From her withers (shoulder blade) to her butt is her "new" coat closer to the root.

475929
 

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Are you absolutely sure this pup is 100% poodle? The coat (hair not fur) texture and color and the shape of this cute baby's eyes make me wonder. What you are seeing could be the start of coat change and you should start trimming early to help your pup accept this important aspect of poodley life.
 
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We haven’t trimmed him yet. At 5 months do you think he’s too you g for his coat to be changing already?
Mine's a miniature but at almost 5m coat change was clearly in progress. I found a different photo than the one I usually put up for an example and looking closely, I can see what might be a similar situation in Remo's fur. I didn't part it to the skin to confirm the fur was truly darker, as you have, but it appears to be. He's not apricot but has gone from the orange you see to a creamy sunshine color as an adult :).

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Do you have pictures where we can see all of your dog ? Standing, sitting, face close-up ? I agree it doesn’t look like a poodle coat, and this color pattern is not found in poodles. Could It be a poodle mix ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you have pictures where we can see all of your dog ? Standing, sitting, face close-up ? I agree it doesn’t look like a poodle coat, and this color pattern is not found in poodles. Could It be a poodle mix ?
I’m not sure why my photos aren’t appearing! Here’s some additional photos of him now vs at a few weeks old. We got him from a reputable breeder so are confident he’s a toy poodle but open for suggestions on what mix he could be if you think it’s a bit different to normal :confused:

Dog Water dog Toy Carnivore Dog breed Plant Dog Water dog Tree Carnivore Brown Dog Carnivore Dog breed Fawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here’s more photos of him a few weeks ago (before grooming) so you can see his natural coat better. Obviously we love him regardless but now we’re curious if he’s purebred or not

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Water dog Companion dog Furniture Comfort Dog Felidae Carnivore

And here’s a photo when he’s wet!
Water Dog Purple Watch Carnivore
 

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Thank you ! He does look like a poodle but the dog from the first pictures look like a different dog ! I have no idea what’s happening to his coat, it’s highly unusual. Did you ask the breeder ?
 

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I’m sure you have a pure poodle puppy and it’s colour is sable. Adorable little puppy. Puppies often change colour as they mature.
 

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Hi! I'm new here and am a happy owner of a beautiful toy poodle puppy (now 5 months old!). I have a few questions about my puppy’s colour.

When we got him he was a dark apricot (or light red) colour. We knew he’d fade over time, but we’ve started seeing darker fur grow at the base of his coat. A single strand has multiple colours (light apricot to cream to darker apricot) - can anyone explain what this means and what colour he’ll eventually be?

I’ve attached a photo so you can see the layered colour in his fur :) We love him all the same, but very curious as to what colour he’ll end up!
View attachment 475916
Hi! My 17 weeks old mini poodle also has very similar changes with his fur. For a second I thought it was his skin color and had heart attacks. I was wondering how your puppy is doing now? I am quite worried to be honest🙏🏻
 

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Hi! My 17 weeks old mini poodle also has very similar changes with his fur. For a second I thought it was his skin color and had heart attacks. I was wondering how your puppy is doing now? I am quite worried to be honest🙏🏻
Hi and Welcome!

Since Poodlelover20 hasn't responded yet, I'll see what I can help with.

This info will apply to purebred poodles. If there should happen to be a mix of breeds then both/all of the breeds involved would need to be researched for genetics of their colors as well.

The first thing to know is that the genetics of poodle coat color is rather complicated.

Almost every color will change some or change dramatically. Usually the change is from darker to lighter and can start happening very young or it can start after a year or two and will likely be less dramatic. Occasionally the change will be from darker to lighter, but not often.

This all depends on the color family and not only the parents, but also the generations behind them. Dominant genes, recessive genes, fading genes, dilute genes...it's often like a game of 52 pickup unless you're working with a quality, conscientious breeder who knows the lines of their poodles and those of the poodle they breed with. Those breeders can predict pretty well what they'll end up with. There are still the occasional surprises for them too :).

On a different note, it has been observed by some members that if their poodle sustains an injury of some kind to their skin, not necessarily large or serious, the hair can start growing in a different color, usually the color born with, but will eventually return to the color prior to the injury.

There are also some skin conditions which can cause changes, but these are generally cosmetic changes and won't affect overall health.

Asking your vet if they think this warrants a visit is not a bad idea but it's almost surely nothing to be concerned over.

For more detail about the genetics behind the poodle colors, see below:

Poodle Color Inheritance

There are a lot of opportunities in color mixing, but it requires a solid knowledge about the mechanisms of heredity. You can avoid color related risks by breeding only the same color poodles, but in the long run bigger gene pools will help reduce the problems of e.g. inheritable diseases. By using color mixing, we can maintain a healthy base of recessive colored poodles (white, apricot, brown, red). Until the year 2006 color mixing with poodles was subject to license in Finland.

Let’s start with the basic terminology:

Genotype: Describes the dog’s heredity.

Dominant: The ruling attribute in the phenotype. E.g. black color in a poodle.

Recessive: Yielding attribute, that appears when there is no dominant gene present. In other words, the recessive attribute shows, when the dog has two recessive elements. E.g. apricot color in a poodle.

Genes: Inheritable attributes that are located in the chromosomes. Dogs have 39 pairs that make 78 chromosomes. Half of these come from the male and the other half from the female, because gametes have only 39 chromosomes.

Inheritance could simply be described with the following example:
A black female poodle’s genotype is Bb (B = black, b = brown, black being the dominant and brown being the recessive gene)
If this poodle is paired with a black male poodle, could their puppy be a brown one? Well, it depends on the male’s genotype:
If the male is BB: possible puppy variations are BB or Bb, meaning only black puppies.
If the male is Bb: possible puppy variations are BB, Bb and bb, the last option being a brown puppy.
Recessive genes bring complications to breeding, because they can be hidden against the odds for multiple generations. Even if your black poodle has black parents and grandparents, you can’t be sure if the recessive gene will pop out in the brood eventually.
The color of the dog is determined by 11 gene pairs that are not connected to each other. Mixing colors is not as simple as in the previous example, because we need to add more variables.

Let’s make a bit more complicated example:
B (black pigment)
b (brown pigment)
E (color in the whole dog)
e (color only in the muzzle)

Now let’s assume that we are breeding two dogs:
Apricot BBee (Apricot poodle, that has black pigment only in its muzzle)

Brown bbEE (Poodle that has brown everywhere)
Now if the puppy would be BbEe, it will be a completely black poodle with the recessive attributes from its parents.

This means that we need to take into account a lot of different things in breeding, not just the color. Many breeders don’t want to try color mixing, because you can’t never really remove the risk of unwanted combinations completely (especially when you take into account the so called modifying genes!). But breeding the same recessive colored poodles with each other will eventually lead to the diminution of the gene pool, not to mention the loss of other wanted attributes (e.g. health issues with the eyes, muzzles or hips). Controlled color mixing could be the only way to get a healthier base.
One of the most interesting poodle colors is red, that was accepted as an independent color as late as 2007. The color is still a somewhat mystery, but it’s assumed to be originated from red cockers. It’s believed to be caused by a separate gene called the “Rufus” gene. Red is dominant to apricot, so two red poodles can have apricot puppies, but not the other way around.

There is a lot of complicated stuff behind color mixing, but it has become more popular than ever. Recessive colored poodles are becoming more common, so breeders are nowadays required to know a lot about inheritance mechanisms. Things are luckily becoming easier, as you can now purchase a DNA test for your poodle.

One of the companies that offer DNA testing is VetGen, which has developed a chart about poodle color mixing:
If your dog is black the possible genotypes are: BBEE, BBEe, BbEE, BbEe.
If your dog is brown, the possible genotypes are: bbEE, bbEe.
If your dog is cream, white, apricot or red with a black nose, possible genotypes are: BBee, Bbee.
If your dog is cream, white, apricot or red with a brown nose, your dog's genotype is bbee.
In the picture below cream represents cream, white, apricot and red.


1-4 Black 5-7 Cream, White, Apricot, Red 8-9 Brown
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Simplifying Coat color

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It can be difficult to understand the genetics behind coat color in poodles . This visual chart simplifies the often daunting task.
Please not , this chart is based on homozygous ( non-carrier), reference is made to the basic colors , it does not take into account the pigmentation except for the crosses with the color brown. Also it does not specify the % of given possibilities

HOW TO USE THE TABLE

Select a poodle from the left column that represents the color of one of the dogs being bred , and then select a poodle from the top column that represents the color of the other dog being bred , follow the two till they meet and this will give you probable colors of the puppies produced .
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Here's a link to the site the above info is from

Genetics behind Coat Color - Nova's Standard Poodles (weebly.com)

Here's a link to a layman's read of the genetics of poodle coat colors:

COLOR BREEDING IN POODLES (tripod.com)
(from this page you can select specific color families to the the left for even more info.)
 
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