Goldendoodles are quickly becoming one of America’s darlings when it comes to dog breeds, even if they aren’t quite officially recognized yet. Even though all Goldendoodles are adorable, there’s nothing like a red Goldendoodle. But is that gorgeous coat a phase, or will it stick around?
A red Goldendoodle’s coat will typically fade from a vibrant red to a copper, cinnamon-like red, or even a dark gold with a red hue. Because the red fur is a recessive trait, it is rare for a red Goldendoodle to maintain a deep red color in adulthood.
In this article, we’ll discuss red Goldendoodles’ red coats. If their coats fade, why they fade, the science behind their coat’s coloring, and if they can keep their gorgeous red coats throughout their entire lives are all questions we will answer.
Do Red Goldendoodles Fade?
It isn’t impossible to find a red Goldendoodle puppy, but a red Goldendoodle that will keep the same color as its puppy coat is few and far between. While almost all red Goldendoodles fade over time, not all will indeed fade. It’s also true that red Goldendoodles will fade in varying degrees from dog to dog.
Even the most vibrant red coats are prone to fading as a Goldendoodle reaches adulthood. The fading/lightening process is very gradual. Owners will notice it as sprinklings of white hair in their dogs’ coats when they’re about 5 months old. You will love the results of this fading process, even if you wanted a red Goldendoodle.
Usually, this lightening process doesn’t get rid of the red completely. In adulthood, a red Goldendoodle will have a gorgeous, coppery, cinnamon-red coat. Additionally, some red Goldendoodle owners notice that while their dog’s body lightens to this cinnamon-toned red, their ears and tail maintain the dark red from puppyhood.
While red Goldendoodles can keep a red coat their whole lives, their owners shouldn’t expect it. This can happen based on the genetics of the dog, but maintaining this color is extremely rare. The red fur color is a recessive gene, like in people, making red a much less common color than the typical golds, creams, and apricots that usually characterize the fun-loving Goldendoodle.
Why Does the Red Color Fade?
Like human babies’ peachy, soft skin, Goldendoodle puppies have a puppy coat which they lose as they grow up. This super-soft puppy coat is replaced by a thicker, denser coat that often holds a different color than the puppy coat. A change in the production of melanin, a pigment that controls skin and hair color, is what causes the color change.
There are two different types of melanin that affect the color of a dog’s coat. Eumelanin, which produces black, and phaeomelanin, which, while it is a red pigment, defaults to gold colors. All possible coat colors (gold, yellow, white, black, brown, and more) are products of the combination of eumelanin and phaeomelanin.
This combination also determines the color of a dog’s nose and eyes and whether they have any specific color patterns like merle. Yet, even with all this information, it’s still difficult to predict exactly what a dog’s coat will do. The biggest factor of this, though, is your dog’s genetics.
A Goldendoodle’s genes control everything about the coloring process. Your dog’s genetics will determine how much eumelanin and phaeomelanin are produced, and where. In some spots, it may even determine to produce no pigment at all. This is how those cool patterns, like merle, parti, brindle, and phantom occur.
To figure out whether your Goldendoodle’s red coat will fade, pay special attention to the way its Poodle parent’s coat behaves. Poodles have a wide variety of coat colors and tend to lighten over time, while Golden Retrievers’ coats tend to darken over time. Goldendoodles almost always have more Poodle genes than Golden Retriever, so checking how those genes behaved in the Poodle parent will help you to be more sure of how your red Goldendoodle’s coat will behave.
Keep in mind that the exact way your dog’s parents’ coats behaved may not be how your dog’s coat will behave. The parents may have had hidden genes that are now showing up in your dog, though they didn’t show up in the parent. Whatever happens with your red Goldendoodle’s color, remember that they’re still beautiful and their coloring is what makes them unique.
Typical Goldendoodle Colors
Goldendoodles come in a variety of colors, like any dog, and there are so many color possibilities. Not only do they have access to the classic Golden Retriever colors like gold, cream, and light yellow, they can also sport blacks, browns, reds, and fun color combinations like merles, sables, and more.
The most popular color combinations and patterns found in Goldendoodles are merle, parti, phantom, and brindle. For a Goldendoodle’s coat to qualify as “parti”, it must be at least 50% white, usually with very specific teddy-bear-like markings. Merle Goldendoodles, like merle Aussies, have some spots where their solid color doesn’t come through as well, creating random splotches in their coat.
The phantom pattern has very specific markings on the chest, legs, and face that are lighter than their dominant color. The brindle pattern appears as it does on other dog breeds, in stripes that tend to vary in color and size.
That said, not all colors are created equal, especially when dealing with Goldendoodle coats. True to their name, Goldendoodles most often appear with a light or dark golden coat. The lighter Goldendoodles are popular. And while we see many brown and red Goldendoodle puppies on social media, they’re not half as prevalent as they’re cracked up to be. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to find a red Goldendoodle.
When looking for a Goldendoodle puppy of a specific color, remember that the color will eventually darken or lighten, based on the parents’ genes. While their color will eventually change with time, it adds to their uniqueness and character. Red Goldendoodles are no exception.
Goldendoodles are a marvelous and beautiful dog breed. With so many different possible color combinations, there is a Goldendoodle for everyone.