Do Goldendoodles Get Lighter Or Darker?

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    When people imagine their perfect Goldendoodle, they often have a particular color in mind. Whether this is red, golden brown, or black, everyone has their own preference. But, a question on many people’s minds, is do Goldendoodles become lighter or darker with age? 

    The coat color of a Goldendoodle is mainly dictated by the parents. Although most dogs’ coats change appearance as the get older, Poodles are well-renowned for having fur that changes in color with age. Therefore, your dog’s genetic makeup will determine how much lighter or darker your Goldendoodle will get.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t always as simple as it sounds.

    Do Goldendoodles

    Our guide will take an in-depth look at the different changes in color for both Golden Retrievers and Poodles, and how this has an effect on whether Goldendoodles get lighter or darker with age.

    We’ll also look to answer some of the frequently asked questions to provide you with further important information. 

    Colors Of A Goldendoodle

    As I’m sure you’re already aware, Goldendoodles come in a wide assortment of colors, depending on the colors of the Golden Retriever and Poodle that they were bred from. Golden Retrievers generally exhibit a wide range of golden and cream hues, while the color range of Poodles is far more diverse. 

    Poodles can be multicolored, white, solid black, silver, brown, apricot, grey, red, and many more not so normal colors. Therefore, the genetic influence for the color of a Goldendoodle is almost entirely determined by the Poodle parent. 

    The Golden Retriever parent provides some influence in how light or dark a puppy can be, however in terms of the variety of color, it’s only varying shades of gold that they contribute. 

    The majority of Goldendoodles come in either black, cream, red, or brown. It’s also worth noting that some breeders often label different colors for a variety of mini Goldendoodles, however this isn’t generally recognized as a breed standard. 

    In litters of Goldendoodle pups, it’s possible to have a combination of different colors and different coat types.

    The best way of predicting what color a litter is going to be is to look at the parents. For example, a cream-colored Poodle will only ever create cream-colored pups, while black Poodles are almost certain to produce black litters. 

    When studying the different colors of Goldendoodle puppies, many people are curious how their color changes over time, and whether it’s possible for them to become lighter or darker as they age.

    To properly answer this question, it’s essential to take a detailed look at how both parent-breeds develop with age. 

    Golden Retriever Changes In Color

    As we’ll go on to explain a little later, Golden Retrievers don’t experience anywhere near as drastic a color change as Poodles do, but they still change color a little as they grow older. 

    When they’re born, the majority of Golden Retrievers are very light in color. They look almost white, but do have dark ears. It’s these ears which provide an indication to how dark a Golden Retriever will get as they age.

    Golden Retriever puppies typically spend the first year of their life getting gradually darker – to the color of the tips of their ears. So, while a light-colored Retriever with light ears won’t become too much darker, a light-colored pooch with dark ears is likely to turn a deep golden, almost red color. 

    If a cream-colored Golden Retriever is bred with a similarly-colored Poodle, your Goldendoodle may go through the same process of darkening, although this isn’t as likely.

    Therefore, if you want to get a more accurate idea of how your puppy will look when they’ve properly matured, it’s essential to ask about past litters. 

    Poodle Changes In Color

    As mentioned previously, the Poodle genetics for fur type and color are dominant in the vast majority of Doodle breeds. This is why it’s important to pay particular attention to the appearance and behavior of the Poodle parent’s coat, when considering a Poodle hybrid. 

    Poodles are well-renowned for having fur that typically goes through changes in color with age.

    Most experience a process known as “clearing”. This is where darker Poodles become lighter with age. For example, if you have a black Poodle, it may end up developing into a blue or grey color as it grows older. 

    It’s also not uncommon for Poodles to retain color in some areas while getting lighter in others. This partial color holding usually occurs in thicker areas such as the ears. 

    Furthermore, in some cases, it’s possible for a Poodle to completely maintain their color and never experience a clearing process. This is most common for pure black Poodles and white Poodles. Most other colors tend to experience some form of clearing or fading as the dog matures. 

    With such a wide range of potential color variation, you’ll need a breeder with a considerable amount of knowledge and experience to know exactly what colors to expect. 

    The “clearing” process is entirely normal and can also be inherited by Goldendoodle puppies due to the fact that Poodle genes are the dominant influence on fur color.

    Therefore, if you have a particular Goldendoodle color in mind, communicate with your breeder as they’ll be able to show you previous litters with the various parents, and explain how the colors of the puppies cleared with age. 

    Do Goldendoodles Get Lighter Or Darker? 

    Now to the big question, what about Goldendoodles? Do they get lighter or darker with age?

    Unfortunately, since Goldendoodles are a mixed breed, it’s difficult to know exactly what to anticipate of their genetics.

    With one parent known to get darker with age and the other likely to lighten, saying for sure how your pooch’s fur will look when fully grown is near-on impossible. 

    Nevertheless, you can still get a good idea due to the fact Goldendoodles usually take after their Poodle lineage – meaning they get lighter as they grow older. As such, a black puppy may turn blue or silver, and some puppies who are born a shade of gold can change into a cream color. 

    If you get yourself a properly bred Goldendoodle, there’s no chance they’ll become darker as they age due to the fact that the genetics for Golden Retrievers are recessive for fur. 

    When you have a number of generations of Goldendoodles bred together, things get even more complicated.

    You’ll still have Goldendoodle puppies when you breed Goldendoodles with one another, but it becomes even more challenging to determine what colors and coat types you’ll get. 

    These litters are always the most unpredictable, with two sets of Poodle lineage and two sets of Golden Retriever lineage. 

    As is the case with all mixed breeds, it’s hard to predict what genes they’ll get from each parent. If you’ve got your heart set on a Goldendoodle of a particular color, there are a few things you can do to help, although this still doesn’t assure that your puppy won’t change color as they grow older. 

    Below we’ve listed some of these helpful considerations for predicting color – all of which have been mentioned already –  and explained them in a little more detail. 

    Ask To See Poodle Parent

    If you go through a breeder and want a dark-colored Goldendoodle, it’s a good idea to request to see the Poodle parent. What’s more, you could even go one step further and request to see photos of it as a puppy to get a clearer idea of how it’s fur evolved and “cleared” over time. 

    Find A Well-Respected Breeder 

    A reputable and well-informed breeder will know exactly what pair to breed to provide you with the colors you want.

    They’ll have a thorough knowledge of genetics to be able to tell you what sort of clearing to expect, as well as all the information about both parents. 

    Enquire About Previous Litters 

    If a Goldendoodle litter has created a variety of different colors, it’s worth asking to see what previous litters have looked like. If possible, you can also enquire about seeing pictures of these litters when they’ve matured.

    A number of owners often like to send photos back to the breeder for reference, so there’s every chance that they’ll have these comparison pictures on hand. 

    Look At The Coat Color Of Golden Retriever

    Although it’s unlikely that your pooch will get any darker, taking a look at the coat color of the Golden Retriever parent can provide you with a solid idea of whether your Goldendoodle will remain dark in color.  

    For example, if both parents have a darker coat of fur, your puppy will likely remain dark in nature. In contrast, if the Golden Retriever is cream-colored and the Poodle is on the darker side, it’s highly likely that your Goldendoodle will experience some clearing. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Is The Most Popular Goldendoodle Color? 

    Of all the different colored Goldendoodles, the most popular is apricot, closely followed by red and cream. Since these colors are highly in-demand, it’s reasonable to expect that they’ll be a bit more expensive than their counterparts. 

    How Do You Tell If A Goldendoodle Puppy Will Have Furnishings? 

    The most effective way to tell whether or not your Goldendoodle puppy is furnished is to get a genetic test. If they have furnishings, they’ll possess the IC Locus gene. Without genetic testing, the best way to identify an improper coat is to check if it’s flat or straight. 

    How Do You Tell If A Goldendoodle Will Be Curly? 

    To help understand the coat type of your Goldendoodle, there are a few signs to look out for. A curly coat will eventually stop growing if left to its own devices. The curls are typically dense, making it difficult to visually gauge their length. The hair will also be shorter around the face in most cases. 

    What Is The Rarest Goldendoodle Color? 

    One of the rarest types of Goldendoodle is the black variety. This is mainly due to a recessive gene found in a Poodle or Golden Retriever. Furthermore, both parents must possess the gene to pass it on to their offspring, making it one of the rarest coats. 


    Whilst you can try and predict whether your Goldendoodles coat will lighten or darken based on its lineage, it is always advisable to see the parents and request images of previous litters for a more accurate color prediction.

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