About Goldendoodle Dog Coat Colors and Patterns
Color or pattern can often be the first thing we notice about a dog. There’s no denying that color is striking and eye-catching. Color, however, is one of the least important things you should consider when looking for a puppy. While we understand that everyone has certain aesthetic preference, breeding for specific colors as a primary goal is a highly dangerous breeding practice. Breeding for color causes breeders to overlook more important qualities, such as heath, temperament, and structure. The genetic pool for dogs is limited. It is very difficult to find dogs that meet important, ethical breeding requirements (health, temperament, structure) that ALSO are perfect producers of popular colors and patterns. It can and does happen, but it’s an added bonus, not a primary goal for a good breeder.
We do not breed for color (or size) as a primary goal. We try to meet the aesthetic preferences of our families whenever possible, but will not sacrifice the quality of our dogs for fashion. We do not charge extra when we happen to have popular colors or patterns, as the value of our puppies is in their temperament, health, structure, and the work we do to raise them. When possible and when all other things are equal, we will choose popular colors and sizes, but we will NEVER make that selection over our main goals of health, structure, and temperament.
These are living, breathing individuals, not a car you can have custom ordered to impress your neighbors. Therefore, if you absolutely must have the latest and greatest in color or pattern above all other concerns, please look for a different breeder.
Color refers to the solid base color of a dog’s coat.
CREAM, APRICOT, AND RED are variants of the same color. Most dogs, whether cream, apricot, or red, can expected to have their color fade as they mature.
BLACK Goldendoodles have, in our opinion, the shiniest and silkiest of all coats. Jet black Goldendoodles appear and feel much like crushed velvet. Most, but not all, black Goldendoodle puppies clear to Silver or Blue as adults (please see the section on “Silvering” below).
CHOCOLATE is a variation of the black gene. Chocolate Goldendoodles are born a dark chocolate color and, like Black, clear to Cafe au Lait or Silver Beige as adults please see the section on “Silvering” below).
SILVERING can occur on both chocolate and black dogs. When silvering occurs on a black dog, the color is called either Silver or Blue. Those puppies are born BLACK or DARK CHOCOLATE and “clear” to their beautiful silver/blue color over their first two years. When silvering occurs on a chocolate dog, the color is called cafe au lait or silver beige. Those puppies are born a dark chocolate and “clear” to their beautiful cafe/silver beige color over their first two years. The silvering process starts between the paw pads and on the muzzle of puppies as early as 6-8 weeks of age (this is when it’s called “silver” or “silver beige”) or 12 weeks of age (this is when it’s called “blue” or “cafe au lait”) The genes for silvering have not yet been isolated, so it’s a little more challenging for us to predict silvering since there is no genetic testing.
Goldendoodle Color Patterns
Pattern refers to an additional color pattern that overlays the dog’s base color.
PARTI patterning has at least 50% white. It is also know as “piebald” and is similar to the paint patterning seen in horses.
TUXEDO patterning is a form of parti patterning where the white is concentrated on the chest and legs, giving the impression that the dog is “wearing a tuxedo.”
ABSTRACT patterning has small touches of white, usually on the chest, face, and paws.
CLASSIC MERLE patterning includes either blue or chocolate ticking/patchwork. If you purchase a merle dog, be SURE that the breeder performs genetic testing on BOTH parents. If a merle dog is bred to another dog that carries a merle gene, puppies can be born either deaf or blind or both. A dog can carry the merle gene without looking merle, so it is imperative that genetic tests are performed. Merle patterning can only appear on black or chocolate-based dogs. A Cream or red dog can carry the gene, but the patterning will not be seen. We often refer to Classic Merle as “Cookies and Cream.”
SABLE give a coat darker tips on the hairs, with lighter color closer to the skin. Sable can appear on any base color.
SEAL is pretty much a genetic mystery! Seal makes black dogs appear brownish while the nose remains black (Brown/Chocolate dogs otherwise always have brown noses). It appears seemingly out of nowhere and hasn’t yet been associated with a particular gene. Seal only occurs on Black dogs.