Does a Labradoodle’s Hair Color Change?

There’s a lot of discussion about the color of a Labradoodle’s fur coat changing color. Labradoodles are incredibly popular hybrid dog breeds and are easily among the most popular dogs on the planet.

Bred with a Poodle and a Labrador as parents, pet owners get the best of both breeds in one dog. The Poodle’s intelligence and the companionship and loyalty of a Labrador. It doesn’t get much better.

One of the surprises that come, however with Labradoodle puppies is their fur coat. Will it be curly, will it be silky, longer, shorter? Much will depend on the dominant genes of the two parent dogs, or which generation of Labradoodle your puppy is. 

Generally speaking, Labradoodle coats will change as your dog matures. These changes can affect the texture, the color, or how dark or light a color is. Depending on the coat type, grooming can be more or less complicated.

Does a Labradoodle’s Hair Color Change

Kinds of Labradoodle Coats

When it comes to Labradoodles, one thing is certain, there are numerous coat colors and textures. Their coats do tend to change over time as they continue to mature. The coat colors can even influence the cost of a Labradoodle puppy.

The genetic line of any Labradoodle puppy will determine the coat color and textures, but often the final result will not be apparent until adulthood. The prior litters of the parent dogs can give some indication, but surprises are not unheard of.

Coat Textures and Genetics

The generation of your Labradoodle puppy can influence which type of coat type your puppy will end up having. F1 Labradoodles are first-generation puppies of a Poodle and Labrador Retriever. F1B indicates that the puppy has a parent that is a Labradoodle and a parent that is a Poodle.  

An F3B will indicate a third-generation Labradoodle. When comparing two litters of F1 and F1B puppies, coats will vary in appearance and texture. Grooming will be a consequence of the coat type.

1.) Hair-like Straight Texture

Labradoodle Hair-like Straight Texture

This type of fur coat resembles human hair rather than fur. It is generally straight and can be scruffy looking. It also has a tendency to shed.

2.) Fleece Coat

A fleece coat is the most common type of fur coat associated with a Labradoodle and it is probably the easiest to groom. 

Fleece Coat Labradoodle

The type of coat sheds much less and will require weekly brushing to keep it in tip-top shape. Coarse hair known as kemp around the eyes is characteristic of puppies with a fleece coat.

Fleece coats can appear curly or feature a slight wave. Labradoodles with this type of coat are very popular with allergy sufferers because these dogs shed considerably less. This coat type is sometimes called a “shaggy”.

3.) Curly or Wool

Wool-coated Labradoodle

A wool-coated Labradoodle is usually called a “Curly” and is the most common coat texture after a Shaggy. Dogs with this kind of coat tend to resemble the Poodle more than the Labrador, but how curly is curly will depend totally on the pup’s genetics.

Labradoodles classified as F1Bs will usually have this type of coat. These coats are easy to groom. Requiring only weekly brushing, they are considered hypoallergenic.

Labradoodle Fur Coat Colors

Indeed, the fur coat color of a Labradoodle can change, and quite drastically as they mature, depending once again, on genetics.

There is any number of colors to suit all tastes, but they can and most probably will change over time with few exceptions.

Popular Labradoodle fur coat colors include:

      • Black
      • Chalk White
      • Chocolate
      • Cream
      • Golden, sometimes called Apricot
      • Parchment
      • Part, Abstract, Phantom
      • Red

Losing the Puppy Fur

Your Labradoodle puppy will be born with a soft attractive coat in a specific shade, but usually somewhere between six months and one year old, the coat will change.

Of course, there are puppies that change before six months as well as some that change after one year.

What happens during this change is that the puppy loses its puppy fur coat, much like losing baby teeth. This is not the same as normal shedding, it is a complete coat change.

When the change begins, pet parents will notice an important increase in shedding. During the transition period, all coat types will shed, even curly fur coats. Your pup is losing its baby fur to permit adult fur growth to take its place.

Brushing your Labradoodle puppy more often, if not daily will help you survive this period by removing old fur and preventing matting from taking place.

When the transition period is completed, you’ll notice your pooch has different coat colors and textures. The type of fur coat will not specifically change.

A curly coat will remain curly but there may be subtle texture changes such as curly coat becoming even curlier. The color will change.

See also: Are Male or Female Labradoodles Better?

Continuing Changes in Labradoodle Coat Color

When your Labradoodle is no longer a puppy but an adult, fur coat textures it is improbable that fur coat textures will change further. However, the coat color is another matter.

Coat colors can continue changing through adulthood to becoming a senior. Alterations in color will to some extent depend on the original coat color at the time of birth.

1.) Black

The Black Labradoodle that is born black will most likely remain black, however, they may be some slight variations in coat color such as a silver hue or undercoat. Some pups even show a slightly blue hue at birth that may re-emerge at a later age.

2.) Chocolate and Parchment 

A Chocolate Labradoodle may initially be mistaken for a black Labradoodle because of how dark the brown tint is, however with age, this color will fade somewhat, and browner hues will emerge.

The Labradoodle classified as Parchment is born brown and then begins to fade during aging. In adulthood, its coat may resemble more of a milk chocolate hue or even what is often described as a smoky lavender tint.

3.) Cream and Chalk White 

The cream-colored or white Labradoodle is the least likely fur coat to change color. Because these are very pale colors, they usually remain unaltered during aging.

4.) Golden, sometimes called Apricot

The Golden labradoodle is subject to lightening or darkening with aging. The color should remain the same, but the color intensity will alter, usually tending to fade with age.

5.) Part, Abstract, Phantom

This is not a color classification but a combination of various shades. “Parti” Labradoodles feature more than one color and the colors will change as they mature.

6.) Red

This is a rare color for a Labradoodle fur coat. While it can be mesmerizing at birth, it is unfortunately destined to fade. While it usually will remain some shade of red, there is no guarantee.

Other Labradoodle Fur Coat Color Considerations

There are also some other factors that you will want to keep in mind when reflecting on a Labradoodle’s coat color. 

Climate may play a role in fur color shades. Labradoodles that live in sunny warm climates and spend sufficient time outdoors may experience some lightening of their fur color due to continuous sun exposition.

Grooming, specifically, clipping can make a difference. A Labradoodle will be judged to be a true color when the entire coat, topcoat, and undercoat, are the same color throughout.

When you take your Labradoodle to the groomer for a clipping, the dog may appear to have changed color simply because the undercoat varies in hue from the tip of the fur. When the tip is removed, the undercoat appears, and the dog looks like it has changed its coat color.

Final Considerations

Labradoodles will experience changes in coat texture and color, with the most significant change occurring with the shedding of the puppy fur coat. With aging, and in some cases due to environmental factors the color of your beloved Labradoodle’s fur coat will change.

Colors like white, cream, or black may experience little or no change, while other colors will fade and lighten as your dog reaches maturity even altering the appearance of your Labradoodle.

You most likely have not chosen your Labradoodle puppy for mere reasons of fur color. It’s more probable that you have selected your pup for a personality trait, an expression, vivacity, playfulness, or similar.

Nonetheless, if color is important to you, check out any previous litters of your pup’s parent dogs to get an idea of later fur coat developments.

Regardless, of any fur coat color changes, you won’t love your Labradoodle any less.

Susan R Elliston

I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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