Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone! I bought a Standard Poodle puppy when he was 8 weeks old. When he was little he looked completely dark black with a tiny white patch on his chest.
Now at 6 months old his black coat is scattered with little white hairs and his coat looks dark brown in the sun (especially around his muzzle).
I love him and his colors and have no problem with this change, but I was wondering if it could be health related or if it鈥檚 normal to see that kind of coat change and if there is a specific name for a poodle like that?
I鈥檝e attached four pics, one is when he was a baby, one is his muzzle in the sun, and one is his little white hairs scattered throughout his black coat, and one is the sides of his ears turning grey.
Thanks Everyone 馃槉
68560692-5F29-478D-8397-D0803BC3E873.png
3E3D1BC7-138F-4BC3-A622-83A60235C887.png
86E910EF-3641-4514-9BDD-8EF3FA0681E4.png
6406D5FE-A16F-4F8A-A9E5-D930DE7FE425.png
 

Registered
Joined
1,682 Posts
Hello and welcome! I hope you're enjoying the adventure with your 6 month old pup!

To agree with Twyla, the coloring is totally normal and nothing to be concerned about. It's not unusual for black poodles to be peppered with a few white hairs, and while the brown could mean a few things, they're all totally normal things (e.g. too much sun, brown carrier).
 

Registered
Joined
762 Posts
I need this conversation too. Normie is a red (for the moment, at least) and has the white wiry hairs too. I've been assuming based on their color that he would lighten up when he goes through coat change, perhaps even becoming a cream.

So my questions are - are guard hairs always white? Do they indicate a color change or just a coat change from baby fluff to adult coat?
 

Super Moderator
Joined
5,244 Posts
He could be blue:

Blue Standard Poodle

This color is genetically black. It carries a copy of the fading gene. Blue poodle puppies are born black and turn blue by three years of age. A true blue can be identified by 8 weeks of age, there will be a faint but noticeable difference between the muzzle hair and the topknot color.

This poodle color takes the longest time to clear.

Puppies at a young age will have brown highlights showing they are a blue not black puppy. There is a variety of shading in this color with the ideal being a dark color metal gray. There are varying shades of blue as in any color. It is also very common for a true blue to get a grey ring along the edges of their ears.

Blue poodles should have black points and dark brown eyes.



Otherwise, I believe he's what's called a "bad black," which is a rather rude name for a perfectly nice poodle colour. :)
 

Registered
Joined
1,562 Posts
Poodle hair is complicated. I will answer based on my current understanding. Ideally, a black poodle should have very few white hairs. But most black poodles have at least some white hair scattered throughout. Black dogs with many white hairs are just referred to as a "bad black." The same white hairs can show up on any color of poodle. Lots of white hair can be an indication of a dog being blue rather than black, though I'm not sure it's always accompanied by the white hairs. If your dog starts to take on a lighter gray hue as it ages then it's likely a blue. If it's just black hair with white scattered... probably bad black.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
3,367 Posts
A lot of PF members here have poodles that were jet black as pups, that gradually became salt & pepper, often with hints of brown, in the first 18 months to 2 years and increases over time. This happened to my "black" poodle too, and I was not a happy camper that the breeder didn't warn me this would happen. I bought her 3 years ago, but knew very little about poodle color genetics; now I would have known instantly there was no way that the black pups in the litter would remain black since the sire was white and the dam a weird color of black-bluish color.

While I prefer she had remained jet black, her personality is divine and I'd buy her again even if I knew then that this would happen. Btw, I tried dyeing her black using Opaws dye on Amazon, but their hair grows so fast I found it not worth the enormous effort. If I ever dye her again, I'd try a fun color like pink or blue and probably screw that up, lol, but it would be just for fun.

I do believe that many breeders know their black puppies will fade in color, but don't tell the buyers. The fading is common in US toy poodles; I don't know about the standards or minis. Many pedigrees will list the parents and ancestors as black, but in early adulthood they gradually transition "dilute blacks", or as some laypeople call "bad black" (a term I also don't care for). The born blue poodle is identifiable as blue or dark steel gray at birth.

Read more on this poodle page of Dr. Sheila Schmultz: Some Coat Colors of Poodles Studied using DNA Testing. Her main page is here and all pretty dense reading if you don't have a background in genetics, but do-able if you really want to learn about it. She's retired now but helped create some of the DNA tests used today.

In some countries in Europe, they frown on black poodles mating with any other colors to avoid this "fading". Whites also fade; a pup with light apricot or cream coloring will generally fade to ice white after a year which happened to my white toy poodle. Same with many of the deep red puppies who will have a lighter shade of red as they get older.

This other page by Arpeggio Poodles, Blue vs Black, is very interesting, as is the entire site on colors with essays by various people (some are a bit dated, but still interesting).

The black that fades to blue (or creme that transitions to ice white) can have it's color re-categorized on it's AKC registration for a small fee if you want to be bothered with that.
 

Registered
Joined
6,925 Posts
The born blue poodle is identifiable as blue or dark steel gray at birth.
That is often the case, but not always.

Your boy might just be turning blue, by the looks of his ears. When bad black, the dog remains black but has a lot of white hair. When turning blue, the black color fades and becomes a light to dark grey, not because of white hair scattered everywhere, but because hair of a new color have grown and replaced the old black hair.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
3,367 Posts
That is often the case, but not always. Your boy might just be turning blue...When bad black, the dog remains black but has a lot of white hair. When turning blue, the black color fades and becomes a light to dark grey, not because of white hair scattered everywhere, but because hair of a new color have grown and replaced the old black hair.
That's true too. The light and white hairs can look light gray depending on the light, and mixed in with the black, giving that salt & pepper look.

A lot of PF members have poodles that were jet black... that gradually became salt & pepper, often with hints of brown... in early adulthood they gradually transition "dilute blacks", or as some laypeople call "bad black"... The born blue poodle is identifiable as blue or dark steel gray at birth.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. The "born blue" poodles and "dilute blacks" is how the geneticist Dr. Schmultz describes these categories of blue poodles.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
1,498 Posts
That's true too. The light and white hairs can look light gray depending on the light, and mixed in with the black, giving that salt & pepper look.



Sorry if I wasn't clear. The "born blue" poodles and "dilute blacks" is how the geneticist Dr. Schmultz describes these categories of blue poodles.
Born blue is extremely rare in poodles. Probably for the best, as the gene is associated with alopecia. Most blue or silver poodles start out black and clear to a lighter color. My boy Galen currently has mouse grey patches over his whiskers and circles around his eyes. He also has a few lighter streaks coming in around his ears.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
1,498 Posts
Do you have a pic of the circles? I love Peggy's eye circles and haven't seen any poodles with those same markings. She's had them since about 3 months old.
This is a low light picture, so the camera did a bit of correction. The grey isn't quite as noticeable in person, and I definitely have not been adding purple rinse to his bath water. You can get the general idea, however.
468719
 

Super Moderator
Joined
5,244 Posts
This is a low light picture, so the camera did a bit of correction. The grey isn't quite as noticeable in person, and I definitely have not been adding purple rinse to his bath water. You can get the general idea, however.
View attachment 468719
Oh wow! Soooo cute! If he's still got this unique colouring, you need to dress him up as an adorable donkey for Halloween
 

Registered
Joined
578 Posts
My blue female started out as yours is. Her mother was blue and dad was cream, so although the breeder did not think she would get this light, I registered her as a blue assuming she would fade some. She was a black puppy with a rusty color to her fur out in the sunlight and a lighter color around her muzzle. You can see from my signature pic how light she is now. It can take up to 4 years for blues to reach the final color.
 

Premium Member
Joined
6,551 Posts
This is a low light picture, so the camera did a bit of correction. The grey isn't quite as noticeable in person, and I definitely have not been adding purple rinse to his bath water. You can get the general idea, however.
View attachment 468719
That's how my Beatrice started clearing to Cafe au lait , faux phantom is what they call it
Bea.jpg
 

Registered
Joined
1,043 Posts
Poodle colours are fascinating.

Annie started having white hairs when she went through coat change. There was one particular clump on her back with 6 white hairs, and a few other hairs scattered, plenty of white hairs in her toes.I find it fascinating that that 6 hair clump has now disappeared, as have most of the other white hairs except for the silvery hairs on the bottoms of her feet. I keep idly wondering if she will turn blue - I thought I detected some grey on her ears and she always looked brownish in the sun. Need to put her next to a "real" black poodle to see if she had faded at all. Her mom is a bad black, her dad is white.
 

Registered
Joined
1,545 Posts
Most blue poodles are registered as black because most dogs are registered with AKC when they are very young. I am presently in the process of changing Zoe's AKC registration to state that she is blue - and it sure isn't an easy process! Zoe is now 3 years old and is definitely blue, not black.

And, yes, it is not at all unusual for a black dog to have white hairs in the coat. There has been so much mixing of colors that it's pretty hard to find a black poodle that is inky black and stays that way. After all, color is much less important than most other breeding considerations. A black dog that is not pure black all over is called a "bad black".
 

Premium Member
Joined
6,551 Posts
Wow, she looks so different now. Her white front made her look like she was wearing suit jacket.
Thanks Cowpony, I used to refer to Beatrice's white as her creme filling
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top