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Do Goldendoodles Get Lighter Or Darker?

Do Goldendoodles Get Lighter Or Darker?
Goldendoodle Puppy

Goldendoodle Puppy

When imagining your perfect Goldendoodle, you might have a color in mind. You might have your heart set on a red Goldendoodle but are wondering how genetics will affect coat color. Goldendoodles range in a variety of colors depending on what color the parents are, especially the Poodle parent. You could find yourself asking, ” Do Goldendoodles get lighter or darker with age?” Well, the answer to that can be a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. Today we will be answering your question and giving a short genetics lesson with it. 

Goldendoodle Colors

  • Goldendoodles can come in a variety of colors depending on what color the parents were. Golden Retrievers are typically a wide range of cream and golden hues. Poodles, on the other hand, can be multicolored, solid black, white, apricot, silver, brown, red, grey or blue, and many other not so standard colors.
  • The genetic factor for color almost entirely relies upon the Poodle parent of what colors a litter will produce. This is because the Poodle parent has more of a variety of color it can contribute. The Golden Retriever parent has some say in how dark or light a puppy can be, but it can not provide anything other than varying shades of gold.
  • Goldendoodles most commonly come in cream, black, red, or brown. Some breeders have labeled different colors for varying mini Goldendoodles, though it is not widely recognized as a breed standard. They can have spots of other colors or markings, but it is rare. In litters, it is also possible to have a mixture of different colored pups and varied coat types. Looking at the parents is always a good predictor of what color litters they will produce.
  • A cream-colored Poodle will only produce cream-colored pups, and black Poodles are most likely to produce black litters. Though it is not rare to have a litter with half of the puppies being black and the other half apricot or golden.
  • When looking at the colors of these pups, you may wonder how their color changes in time. Is it possible for them to get lighter or darker as they age? To answer that question, we need to pay special attention to how both parent-breeds age over time.

Poodle Color Changes

  • Goldendoodle Puppy

    Goldendoodle Puppy

    Goldendoodles were bred because of their great Golden Retriever personalities, and their great hypoallergenic Poodle hair. The Poodle genetics for fur type is powerful in all Doodle breeds, which makes it dominant in most mixes. So when looking at a Poodle hybrid, you will want to pay special attention to how the Poodle parent’s coat behaves and looks.

  • Poodles are known to have fur that changes color with age. By the time a Poodle is three years old, it will finally have his final adult fur color. Poodles go through a process called clearing where darker Poodles will become lighter as they age. A black Poodle puppy may end up more of a blue or grey color. It is also possible for a Poodle to hold color in certain areas while it gets lighter in others. This partial color holding especially happens in thicker areas like the ears.
  • In some cases, a Poodle will keep it’s color altogether and never enter a clearing process. This holding can be true for white Poodles and pure black Poodles. Most other colors go through a fading or clearing process as the Poodle matures. With so many color variations, you will need to have a very knowledgable breeder to know what colors to expect of a Poodle.
  • This process is normal and is usually expected of the breed. This “clearing” can also be passed down to Goldendoodle puppies since the Poodle genes are the dominant factor in fur color. If you have your heart set on a Goldendoodle of a specific color, talk with your breeder. A reputable breeder will be able to show you past litters with the parents and how they cleared over time. They will also be able to tell what pups will clear as they get older.

Golden Retriever Color Changes

  • Golden Retrievers do not go through nearly as drastic of a color change as Poodles do, but they do still change as they get older. Most Golden Retrievers are born very light in color. They appear to be almost white and have darker ears. His ears can predict the key to how dark a Golden Retriever will get.
  • In Golden Retriever puppies, they will spend the first year of their life getting darker. They will typically get as dark as the tips of their ears. So a light-colored Golden with light ears won’t get too much darker. While a light-colored Golden Retriever with dark ears can turn a deep golden to almost red color. It isn’t uncommon that litters produce different assortments of Golden colors and shades. So one puppy might be cream, and another could be dark golden.
  • When a cream Golden Retriever is bred with a cream or apricot Poodle, your Goldendoodle could go through the same process of darkening, though it is not as common. It is essential to ask about past litters and how they darkened to get a better idea of how your puppy will look when he or she has matured.

Do Goldendoodles Get Lighter Or Darker?

  • Goldendoodle Puppy

    Goldendoodle Puppy

    Since Goldendoodles are a mixed breed, it is harder to determine for sure what to expect of their genetics. Since one parent is known to lighten and the other to get darker; it is harder to say for sure how your Goldendoodle will look when fully matured.

  • Goldendoodles typically take after their Poodle lineage and get lighter as they age. A black puppy could turn silver or blue in color, and some who are born golden can turn cream-colored. A properly bread Goldendoodle will never get darker in color because the Golden Retriever genetics are recessive for fur. If you have chosen a Goldendoodle for its specific color, it almost always will fade as it gets older.
  • This genetic hybrid becomes even more complicated when you have multiple generations of Goldendoodles being bred together. When you breed two Goldendoodles together, you will still have Goldendoodle puppies. But, it becomes even harder to determine what coat types and colors you will get. That is because you have two sets of Golden Retriever lineage and two sets of Poodle lineage. These litters almost always are unpredictable.
  • As with all mixed breeds, it is hard to determine what genes they will get from each parent. If you are set on getting a Goldendoodle of a specific color, there are some things you can do to help. But this still can not guarantee that your puppy will not change color.

Go to a Reputable Breeder

  • A good breeder will know precisely what pair to breed to give you the colors you desire. They will have extensive knowledge of genetics to be able to tell you the exact color of your puppy and what sort of clearing to expect. They will also have all the information needed about both parents to show you what to expect.

Look at the Poodle parent 

  • If going through a breeder and you are wanting a darker colored Goldendoodle, ask to see the Poodle parent. You could even ask to see pictures of it as a puppy to get a better idea of how its fur has cleared over the years. Typically a deep black Poodle will produce black puppies that will not clear. The same holds true for chocolate or brown Goldendoodles. 

Ask about past litters

  • When a Goldendoodle litter has produced several colors, ask to see what past litters have looked like. If possible, ask to see pictures of these litters when matured. Some breeders do keep track of their pups to make sure that they don’t end up in a shelter. Some owners like to send pictures of their adult dogs back to the breeder for reference. So, chances are they might have comparison pictures ready. 

Look at the Golden Retriever coat color

  • Though unlikely that your Goldendoodle will darken, looking at how light or dark the Golden Retriever parent is can give you a good idea if your Goldendoodle will stay darker. If both parents are darker, your pup will likely remain dark. If the Golden Retriever is a cream color and the Poodle is dark, your Goldendoodle will likely experience coat clearing. 

Refrain from litters from two Goldendoodles

  • As mentioned above, these litters are just too unpredictable. You could end up with a Goldendoodle that gets darker in color rather than lighter. 


  • All Goldendoodles of all colors are great loving dogs that are people-pleasing. The color of your Goldendoodle will not change how much they will love you and your family. No matter what color you get, or what color your Goldendoodle turns into, you will love the great addition to your family.
  • Fur color and genetics can be a tricky subject to explain. We hope that we have answered all of your questions and put your mind to rest about choosing the perfect color of Goldendoodle.

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