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What is it that causes a red/apricot puppy to fade? Can we know which puppies will fade and which won’t? We know that the fading gene has not been found, so the only way we know how it works is by observation. Observation has made it pretty clear how this fading gene works in blacks and browns. But what about the red/apricot/cream/white poodles? I’ve heard people say that the same fading gene will cause a red or apricot puppy to fade in the same way. But I’m not sure that is true.

My Cammie had a black mother and a blue father, so she carries either one fading gene or none, certainly not two. Yet she faded a lot, going from an apricot color with nice dark ears as a puppy to a light cream as an adult (see photos of Cammie below).

Cammie was bred to a silver sire. Four of the puppies were born cream — all quite a bit lighter than Cammie was when she was a puppy. They didn’t fade much because they were all cream (two of them were very light cream) when they were born. They all inherited a fading gene from their silver dad. Any ideas about whether this might have anything to do with the fact that they were born lighter than their mom?

I’d love to hear from the experts like Arreau and FarleysD (and others). Also interested in hearing from any of you who have red/apricot/cream/white poodles and can trace their pedigree back to black-spectrum or brown-spectrum poodles. What color were your puppy’s parents, and how did your puppy fade or not fade?

And another question: Are apricot-colored puppies with dark ears more or less likely to fade than puppies that are the same apricot color all over?
 

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Given how dramatically Noelle faded I am curious about this, too. Noelle as a puppy looks nothing like Noelle as an adult. People ask me if I got a new dog.
 

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Given how dramatically Noelle faded I am curious about this, too. Noelle as a puppy looks nothing like Noelle as an adult. People ask me if I got a new dog.
Wow. That's a lot of fading! Do you know anything about the color of her parents or grandparents?
 

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Fading does occur in many red and Apricot poodles. On the other hand I have had several puppies darken as well. We have a joke among my group of poodle friends, lovingly known as "the family" sometimes referred to as "fusion," about how many weimaraner puppies are in the litter. Weimaraner puppies are the puppies born in a litter that have an odd silverish cast to their color. These puppies are the ones that tend to darken in color. My old girl Dona was born a medium apricot puppy with the silverish cast. By the time she was ready to be shown, she was a medium red. Both Shiloh and Ivy were born practically white, again with the silverish cast and they both deepened to a medium apricot, and in the case of Shiloh almost red. Natalie Lasanen from Vancouver had a puppy recently finished in NY, that as a puppy was apricot and when I saw him at PCA he was a medium red.

My puppies that holds color are the ones born even, ears, face, and body are the same even shade of apricot or red. My puppies that have darker ears are the ones that tend to fade.

All this being said, it is a trend, not a fact set in stone.

I also believe that different lines will have different scenarios. I do also believe that the different varieties of poodles have different modes of inheritance. Toys are different then miniatures and are different from standards.
 
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