Understanding Poodle Colors

There is lots of information that is available on Poodle colors and what causes the variations that you frequently see across the poodle breed. So whether you want to learn more about the different colors you can choose from or have an interest in becoming a breeder, the best thing for you to do is read as much as you can on poodle coloring as well as other elements like color changing, mis-marking, parti-colors and more.

Solid Poodle Colors

Looking at the solid colors that poodles come in is a great place to start. There are many poodles sold today in solid colors, with black being one of the more common colors. You will find the following solid colors for poodles:


Both apricot and red are the newest and most interesting Poodle colors of the breed. Any apricot may produce a red, and there are some apricot poodles that might end up being such a light color that they almost look to be a cream color. However, with an apricot, the hair will have a noticeable red tint to it.

In order to be a genuine apricot poodle, some spots or point on their skin will need to be black. From a breed or show standpoint, it is still acceptable to have a liver point, however in the United States this is not preferred.


Any true black poodle has a dark deep black color. The dog’s coat won’t have any blue whatsoever, and the dog will also not have any silver tinting, or any guard hairs that are white or silver. When the dog is shaved,its face is still that same deep black. Also a true black doesn’t ever clear or fade with age. Black poodles have black points and dark brown eyes.


Blue poodles are a diluted or faded black. When a blue poodle is born they are also black and then as the pup grows it lightens up. Usually this will occur throughout the dog’s first year, however it is a change that may take place up to two years old, depending on the individual dog. This results in many blue poodles being registered as black initially.

With a blue poodle’s outer coat, you will usually find that it is nice and dark like a black poodle. However, there is a mixture of colors at the root of the hair. Here the coloring level will vary depending on how old the dog is. For example, usually a middle age dog will be brown. A true blue poodle always has dark brown eyes and black points.


A brown poodle has a rich deep color that is never confused with the cafe au lait lighter coloring. Pure brown poodles will possess liver points along with dark amber eyes. The BB gene creates the brown and the body does not have any black pigment, including the eyes and nose.

Cafe Au Lait

This is a light, shiny tan for Poodle colors that at times is confused for a beige silver dog. It is fairly common for dogs to be born with a brown color and clear up into a cafe au lait color. This variation of dog has liver points as well as dark amber eyes.


Generally these poodles have black points. If the dog’s nose isn’t black then you will know that the color is different from cafe au lait or silver beige. The CCH gene causes a brown poodle to turn cream.


Numerous poodles born gray are able to stay gray. However, it is fairly common for a poodle who is born black to end up turning gray at around 4 or 5 years old.


In 1980 this became an official color for the breed. There aren’t that many breeders who work to breed apricot red poodles. The dog needs to have black points to be a genuine red. Liver points are acceptable still, however in the United States they are usually not preferred.


Actually a true silver poodle is born black and then by the time it is two years old will clear to silver. However, a true silver is easy to spot at about six weeks old after their face and paws clear. Then over the next one to two years the rest of their coat continues to develop. A silver has black points and dark brown eyes,. The silver allele V gene causes this diluted gray color.

Silver Beige

This poodle color is a diluted brown. A true silver beige dog is always born brown. When they get to about six weeks old, their paws and face will appear to be silver beige in color and then the full coat change usually occurs by the time the dog is two years old. A silver beige poodle will have liver points and dark amber eyes.


There are many stunning, pure white poodles. However, there are some breeders who might call a dog that is white or a beige with a hint of white as being white. Usually small black spotting amount will be acceptable, however there should not be any ticking visible inside of the white. The coat can be made to appear a bit dirty by the separate gene called the ticking gene.

What Causes Color Changes To Occur?

When you have a poodle puppy who is a solid color, you need to be aware of the fact that there are several different variables that may impact what the coat of the dog is going to look like when it becomes an adult. When a puppy retains the same color of coat, this is called holding. However, there are also many poodles that do end up clearing. What that means is that the color of the dog’s coat will fade or lighten into a different color. The lightening doesn’t take place evenly always over the whole coat. Instead, some color may hold over the dog’s thicker guard hairs as well as over the ears of the poodle.

It is fairly common for an owner to get confused if their poodle starts taking on a color that is completely different as they grow older. For instance, initially many blue poodle puppies are considered to be black. Any reputable breeder will be able to tell the difference and given you the right determination so that you know the true color of your poodle. If the puppy’s parents have parti within their bloodline, then there may be other colors that appear during that time that the coat is clearing over the first few years.

When discussing poodle colors, another thing that you need to be aware of is that the skin color on a dog may change as well. The major reason why a poodle could end up with their skin changing color will be due to being exposed to the sun. Usually that is something that will occur on the belly area of a dog. For example, it is fairly common for a dog who has a punk belly to develop dark spots on its stomach. Owners need to be concerned if darker spots occur that are raised over the skin. If that happens, then it is very important that you contact your veterinarian in order to rule out any kind of illness. This should be done right away as soon as this becomes noticeable.

If you are researching poodle colors and wanting to find a dog that is a true color, speak with a reputable breeder within your local area to help you with pinpointing the ideal color you want for your new poodle.

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