Do Black Labradoodles Change Color? Do They Turn Gray?

The Labradoodle is a popular Doodle dog breed. He is a big, silly, and usually cheerful dog that is a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. He comes in a variety of colors, the most common of which is black. Many owners report that their black labradoodle began to turn grey between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

So,  Do Black Labradoodles Change Color? Black Labradoodles are known for changing color as they age. The rich coat colors of black Labradoodles sometimes fade due to the hereditary features of Poodles in Labradoodles. As mature dogs, they may develop lighter colors or even a unique color due to fading. 

To know all about coat colors when it comes to Labradoodles, continue reading this article.

Do Black Labradoodles Change Color?

Black Labradoodles change color; they are notable for changing color as they become mature. Typically, the genetic characteristics of Poodles in Labradoodles cause the rich coat colors of black Labradoodles to fade. Fading may have them grow in lighter hues or even a distinct color as adult dogs. 

black labradoodle to show how do black labradoodles change color

Many Labradoodles change color as they grow older, and some even later. When they shed their puppy fur and mature into their adult coat, it might seem darker or lighter. If your Labradoodle carries the dilute gene, genetics may also play a role.

The color of a dog’s coat is controlled by genetics, and numerous genes are involved. Genes are found in pairs, with each parent contributing one gene. Some genes will be dominant, while others will be recessive in this mix. The color of the dog is determined by the mix of the two.

The “B” and “E” genes are the main genetic pairs involved.

The black or chocolate coat color is determined by the “B” gene, whereas the yellow coat color is determined by the “E” gene.

If either parent has a dominant “B” gene, the offspring will have a black coat. The coat will be chocolate if two recessive “b” (“bb”) genes are inherited.

The “E” gene, on the other hand, will only result in a yellow hue if both parents have recessive “e” (“ee”) alleles.

The Melanophilin (MPH) gene, also known as the “D” gene. When a puppy gets two recessive “d” (“dd”) genes, it will have a dilute coat. A puppy can be born dilute from two non-dilute parents if the recessive gene is carried by the parent as a “Dd” or non-dilute.

A dilute coat does not lessen your puppy’s coat’s basic color; instead, it disperses the color throughout the hair shaft, making the coat appear lighter overall. A charcoal coat will seem black, a chocolate coat will appear silvery, and a yellow coat will appear pale gold or champagne.

The Colors of Labradoodles Coats 

The many wonderful shades of Labradoodles

The Labradoodle is available in a wide range of colors. This is because of the numerous combinations that may be produced when a Labrador and a Poodle are mated together. Because there are so many possibilities, there will be a Labradoodle hue to fit every future owner. Regardless matter the hue of your Labradoodle, it will be a devoted and loving friend.

Black, cream, and gold are the most common hues. Apricot and caramel are included in the term “golden.” With the exception of the cream color, which may have a reddish-colored nose, Labradoodles of these hues will generally have a black pigment on their nose.

In most Labradoodle litters, there will be a black-coated puppy.

Out of the Labradoodle’s uncommon hues or patterns,  Red is the rarest of all the colors. To be considered as a real red Labradoodle, they must have a black pigmented nose. Rarer designs include abstract and phantom, in which the coat is a combination of colors (with white making up less than half of the coat). 

Phantom is a two-color design with a base color and a secondary color that is the traditional phantom design. 

Markings on the forehead, beneath the chin, on the sides of the nose, and on the chest will be the secondary color. While phantom Labradoodles are uncommon, the most prevalent color combination is black and gold.

Do Black Labradoodles Turn gray? 

Black Labradoodles can turn grey as they mature, due to the dilute gene they can inherit from one of their parents, even if the parents never showed them; some black Labradoodles turn grey within the first grey, especially after they shed their puppy coat.

Within the first year, a black Labradoodle puppy may appear to grow greyer. If this is true, the dog was very certainly never “genetically black” in the first place.

Dogs have a “dilute gene” that actually dilutes the color of the dog. Without being expressed, this dilute gene can be handed on. That implies that even if two parents don’t appear to have a “diluted” hue, their children can.

When pups are born, they are usually black and gradually brighten during the first year of their lives. This may appear to be your black Labradoodle going grey, but he was always a grey Labradoodle who appeared darker as a puppy.

Why Do Labradoodles Change Color?

Labradoodles start to change colors around 6 weeks after birth and as they mature into adult dogs, their color is prone to changing or fading. The presence of Poodle DNA in Labradoodles usually causes the rich coat colors observed in Labradoodle puppies to fade. Adult coats can fade to be many shades lighter or even a different hue as they age.

Labradoodles change color due to the following reasons:


Female canines turn gray earlier than males, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science.

Health Problems 

Hypothyroidism is a rare condition that can make your Goldendoodle gray. An underactive thyroid gland leads to this disease. The gray will be reversed if you receive treatment for this disease from your veterinarian. 

 Gray hair can be caused by various diseases of the liver and kidneys, but it is extremely rare. If you suspect a health problem, always see your veterinarian. 


 If your dog doesn’t seem big enough to start turning gray, you may want to know that genetics can play a role when your dog’s coat turns white. Even healthy dogs can have a genetic predisposition to premature graying. Even puppies can have gray fur, which can start to turn silver as they age. 

This is known as “grading graying”, and it is caused by a dominant gene, which particularly affects long-haired breeds. Dogs carrying this gene are commonly found in poodles, bearded collies, and some sheepdog breeds. Since the gene is dominant, it can also be found in hybrids. 

 Kemp Hair 

 When Kemp hairs appear, they are usually found in the undercoat of the Goldendoodle. 

 It is possible that the white hairs of the coat are “kemp” hairs, which are coarser than the normal white hairs. Because of the hollow middle and thin outer shell, the hair is extremely brittle and breaks easily. 

 Kemp’s hair appears around the eyes and along the spine in older Labradoodles, but it is also found in puppies that are four or five months old. 

Stress or Anxiety 

Impulsive and anxious dogs tend to turn gray faster than non-aggressive, more comfortable dogs. 

Although the cause is uncertain, it is conceivable that stress causes the body to stop making pigments in the same way as before. 


Age is one of the most common causes of pet discoloration. This is extremely similar to the aging process we see in humans. Dogs, on the other hand, don’t tend to turn gray all over their coats as humans do. The muzzle and face will be the grayest areas. In dogs, gray usually begins with the appearance of salt and pepper. 

Natural gray dogs can also show signs of aging, although these changes may be more difficult for you to detect. The texture of a dog’s coat changes with age, so you may notice that a dog’s coat texture is different from what it used to be. Gray canines may also begin to turn white instead of gray as they age. 


 It is a disorder that causes your dog’s coat to turn white in some cases. Vitiligo is a rare skin condition that causes loss of pigmentation in areas of the skin and hair. Although the exact cause of vitiligo is uncertain, many scientists believe it to be a genetic condition. Vitiligo, on the other hand, is clearly caused by a problem with the dog’s melanin-producing cells. 

Vitiligo affects every dog ​​in its own way. Some dogs lose pigment all over the body, while others are only affected in specific areas. Skin pigmentation can also spread rapidly during the first few months after the onset of the disease. Fortunately, the symptoms of vitiligo are completely painless. 

Do Labradoodles’ eyes change color? 

Your Labradoodle puppy’s eyes will be closed when they are born, and they will not open until they are around two weeks old. Their eyes will most likely be a hazy blue tint when they do.

Because of the concentration of melanin in their eyes, your puppy’s eyes will darken as they develop. This procedure will begin in around three weeks. Brown is the most prevalent eye color in dogs, and their color will have totally transitioned by 3 or 4 months.

While you won’t notice a complete metamorphosis if your dog has blue eyes, the hue or brightness of the eyes may alter.

Can Black Labradoodles turn brown? 

Black Labradoodles can not turn brown, they can turn grey, especially when they shed their puppy coat, owing to the dilute gene they can receive from one of their parents, the dilute gene causes their coat to become lighter yet maintaining the same black to gold genetic ratio.

Black Labradoodles can appear a bit brown on summer days due to sun exposure which can act like bleach in some ways; yet in winter days, your doodle will return to their deep black hue.

You can use dog fur products that contain sun protection factors to prevent that from happening and protect your dog’s skin as well

All puppies are born with genetic pairs that determine coat color; The major genetic pairs implicated are the “B” and “E” genes.

The “B” gene is responsible for the black or chocolate coat color, whereas the “E” gene is responsible for the yellow coat color.

The puppy will have a black coat if either parent possesses the dominant “B” gene. If two recessive “b” genes (“bb”) are inherited, the coat will be chocolate.

Only if both parents have recessive “e” (“ee”) alleles will the “E” gene produce a yellow color.

The above genetic pairs don’t change, yet dilute with “D” gene. When a puppy gets two recessive “d” (“dd”) genes, it will have a dilute coat; so a black labradoodle will become grey and a brown one will become golden 

Are Black Labradoodles rare?

The most popular colors are black, cream, and gold. The adjective “golden” encompasses apricot and caramel. Labradoodles of these colors, with the exception of the cream color, which may have a reddish-colored nose, will have a black pigment on their nose.

There will be a black-coated puppy in almost every Labradoodle litter.

Red is the most uncommon of all the Labradoodle’s unique tints or patterns. They must have a black pigmented nose to be called a true red Labradoodle. Abstract and phantom coats, in which the coat is a mixture of colors, are rarer designs (with white making up less than half of the coat).

At the end of the day, all Labradoodles are magnificent dogs regardless of the color of their coats. They should be treated with the love they deserve and need. If you have a Labradoodle, you should consider yourself a lucky person, because there is quite nothing similar to their unconditional love in the world.

Aim to enjoy every moment with them, and make your time with them as memorable as possible. You can start by learning how to make your bond with your Labradoodle stronger here.

Before you jump into the related question section, you may want to find out how high maintenance your Labradoodle is in this post.

Related Questions 

Why is my labradoodle turning grey? 

Your labradoodle is turning grey due to a dilute gene that they inherit from one of their parents. black Labradoodles can turn grey as they mature, even if their parents never showed it; some black Labradoodles turn grey within the first grey, especially after they shed their puppy coat.

What is the rarest Labradoodles color? 

The rarest labradoodle color is Red, it is the most uncommon of all the Labradoodle’s unique tints or patterns. They must have a black pigmented nose to be called a true red Labradoodle; following red, pure white Labradoodles follow.

Why is my black labradoodle turning brown? 

Your black labradoodle is turning brown or red due to exposure to the sun. Due to limited sun exposure during the winter months, most dogs’ coats will darken again. Many professional dog grooming products contain sunscreen for fur, which will protect fur from damaging sun rays.

Helpful Resources 

Why Your Pup is Going Prematurely Gray (and What You Can Do About It)

Do Goldendoodles coats change color

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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