My dog is changing color!

This one is mostly for those of you who, like me, have poodle mixes – or doodles, as the internet has decided to call them. You may notice as your puppy grows that they seem to be changing color. What’s up with that?!

Don’t worry, this is totally normal.

Doodles are called as such because of their poodle parent. Athena and Nike both have a poodle dad! However, Athena’s mom was a giant schnauzer and Nike’s mom was a golden retriever. It does not matter which parent is the poodle, though; mom or dad can be the poodle, and that makes a doodle.

Most importantly, poodles have what is sometimes called a lightening gene. This means that poodles will change color as they age, usually becoming lighter. Considering that all doodles have a poodle parent, this gene is often passed on to them as well! No matter what color your puppy is, the odds are, it will get lighter; this process is called clearing.

In fact, the only way to get some colors of poodle – or doodle – are with black puppies! For example, silver dogs always start out with black fur. Similarly, patterning such as phantom or merle normally doesn’t appear right away. Nike has changed color a lot since he came home!

Some puppies hold. This means their color, or parts of their color, don’t change. Otherwise, we would not have any black poodles or doodles! Athena did not change color at all; she is all black.

If you do notice your puppy changing color, know that their color will not really be set in until they have their adult coat. This usually starts coming in at around 6 months, but it’s unique to every dog. As your puppy grows, it may happen that they get lighter and darker and lighter again! Some dogs aren’t their “true color” until they are three years old.

So, in conclusion, your doodle puppy will probably change color. Thank their poodle genes, and take lots of pictures to document their hair color journey!

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