The brown and white Labradoodle is gorgeous, friendly dog with an active nature and a seriously cool coat. Today we are going to look at how you get that gorgeous color combination. And find out whether a parti brown and white Labradoodle puppy is the right dog for you!
Parti Brown and White Labradoodle
This pattern can be an even spread of brown and white, known as parti, which is found on many of their Standard Poodle ancestors. But they can also be more brown, or more white, or even have fun patterns!
Breeders may describe Labradoodle puppies with brown and white coats differently. And interestingly, the exact shades of their fur can change as puppies grow older. Once you have laid eyes on a brown and white Labradoodle you won’t soon forget it.
The brown and white Labradoodle coat color is rather rare and studying the genetics behind this color pattern might make your head spin a little at first. But learning about this topic will also make you appreciate your beautifully unique Labradoodle even more! So let’s take a look at all the different brown and white Labradoodle coat types.
What is a Brown and White Labradoodle?
The brown and white Labradoodle is a hybrid or crossbred dog breed that carries genes from both the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle dog breeds. In the case of Australian Labradoodles, Cocker Spaniels and several other dog breeds can also have a genetic influence.
When the brown and white markings are fairly even, this coat color pattern is called “parti.” When one color dominates or a third color or pattern is added, the coat type label will change based on how each color shows up.
Brown and White Labradoodle Pattern Types
Most brown and white Labradoodles will be classified as parti-colored, or approximately 50 percent brown with 50 percent white. But, there are several other ways that brown and white might show up in your Labradoodle’s coat.
Here, keep in mind that different Labradoodle breeders may use different terminology to describe what is essentially the same coat coloration. And not all Labradoodle breeders will break down the color percentages in as much detail as what you are about to read here. But for your general knowledge, these are the main terms you can expect to run across as you research the brown and white Labradoodle coat.
True parti, also just called parti, refers to a brown and white Labradoodle with a bi-color coat where each color is represented in generally equal parts.
A phantom brown and white Labradoodle coat starts with a single solid brown color base and then shows clearly defined markings in some or all of the following areas:
- Above each eye
- On each side of the muzzle
- In a bowtie formation across the chin and chest
- On all four legs
- On all four feet
The white portions of the coat must also be less than 50 percent of the total coat color. Not all Labradoodle breeders agree about what a true phantom coat looks like.
In some cases, a breeder may call a phantom coat one where only brown and black colors are present. In this case, a coat where white is also present would be called a Phantom Parti. To make naming matters even less clear-cut, the tri-color coat that some breeders will call a Phantom Parti other breeders will call a Tri-color, Multi-color or Multi-pattern coat.
An abstract brown and white Labradoodle will have brown predominating in the coat and the remainder (less than 50 percent of the coat) white. There is no uniform specification as to where the white markings must occur.
An extreme parti brown and white Labradoodle will have white as the dominant coat color. With accents of brown that can be located anywhere but are often located on the face or ears. Not all breeders use the term extreme parti to describe this coat color distribution – sometimes the term “mismarks” is used instead.
Mismarks refers to a coat color where the white markings are present, but do not conform to any of the other coat color patterns that have already been mentioned.
White mismarks can occur with any base coat color, including brown. While mismarks in general are fairly common. However, two types of mismarks are sufficiently rare to be worth singling out for mention: Irish Spotting and Tuxedo.
The first of these rare mismarks is called Irish spotting. Irish spotting mismarks appear as spots on the chest and/or face. The amount of white can be pronounced or minimal.
An even rarer and more prized mismark is the tuxedo. As you are probably already imagining, the tuxedo mismark is a pronounced patch of white that appears on the chest.
It then snakes up and around the back of the neck just like a tuxedo vest. Tuxedo mismarks often include white patches on the paws and face as well.
A multi-pattern, multi-color or tri-color (also called phantom parti) coat will include a base color, a second color and white. In the case of a multi-pattern brown and white Labradoodle, what this would look like is a base coat color of brown with a secondary lighter brown color (the phantom part) and then white mismarks (the tri or multi color part).
Last but not least, there is the multi-pattern sable coat color pattern. Here, the Labradoodle will have everything we just described in the previous section about the multi-pattern coat color plus the sable coat pattern.
The sable coat pattern, in case you are not familiar, causes the tips of each hair to turn black. Sable is a coat pattern that tends to emerge over time and can sometimes cause the coat to strikingly change color as the Labradoodle grows up.
Brown and White Labradoodle Genetics
Now you know that a brown and white Labradoodle coat can look quite different depending on the amount of each color the coat contains.
One brown and white Labradoodle may be categorized as a true parti coat while another brown and white Labradoodle may have white mismarks, an extreme parti or even an abstract coat color pattern. However, there is one fact that all of these different bi-color, multi-color or color/pattern coats have in common.
Each is actually quite rare. So rare, in fact, that it is often said no two brown and white Labradoodle coats will ever look exactly alike. It’s impossible to predict exactly how puppies will turn out before they are born, because they can inherit any mix of genes from their two parent breeds.
All dogs have two basic pigments: black and red (eumelanin and pheomelanin). Different genes will act on these pigments to produce every dog pattern and color we see in breeds today, including the lovely brown and white coat pattern.
Will a Brown and White Puppy Change Color?
Labradoodle coat colors can change quite dramatically from puppyhood through young adulthood. Sometimes this happens more than once as the puppy grows up.
Not surprisingly, this trait can make it challenging for even an experienced and genetically savvy Labradoodle breeder to accurately predict exactly what each puppy will grow up to look like. The most common coat color change is a lightening of the base coat color.
A commonly cited secondary change is the development of highlights when the coat is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet light (sunlight). For example, a Labradoodle may be born with a very dark brown coat. As the dog grows up, white patches begin to appear. At the same time, the dark brown base color begins to progressively lighten. Before you know it, you are looking at a brown and white Labradoodle!
Brown and White Labradoodle Temperament
Like their coat color, the temperament traits that Labradoodle puppies will inherit from their parents is impossible to predict. Luckily, the Lab and Poodle parent breeds are relatively similar, so we have a general idea of what you can expect.
Brown and white Labradoodle puppies will be just as friendly, energetic, and intelligent as any other color. But, take a look at the specific dogs being bred to see how your puppy might turn out.
As long as you socialize and train your doodle pup from a young age, they will be friendly, affectionate, and loyal to you. This breed is best trained with positive reward methods, as they are eager to please and most often very food-motivated.
They do best in active families with plenty of time to spend with them. If left alone for too long, or too often, they can develop separation anxiety. And, if not exercised properly, they can display destructive behaviors like barking, digging, and more.
Brown and White Labradoodle Health
Brown and white Labradoodles can be prone to the same health issues as their parent breeds. So, owners should be aware of the following issues:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Canine bloat
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- von Willebrand’s Disease
- Sebaceous Adenitis
- And more
The Labrador parents’ breeder should be happy to provide good hip and elbow certificates, a PRA clear certificate and a recent eye test. The Poodle parents’ breeder should show you a clear test for von Willebrand’s and sebaceous adenitis.
Choosing a reputable breeder and keeping your dog healthy with the right amounts of food and exercise, paired with regular veterinary trips, will ensure you have the healthiest Labradoodle possible. But how should you go about finding a reputable breeder?
Finding a Brown and White Labradoodle Puppy
Finding a brown and white Labradoodle puppy that will keep the same coloring as an adult is almost impossible to predict. A puppy with a coat that you love at 8 weeks could look completely different at 2 years old. And one that you didn’t like so much when they were younger could be exactly what you want at 2 years old.
Coat color is important to a lot of people, but ultimately, the health of your dog is going to be more important in the long run. Choosing a reliable, reputable breeder can help you minimise the health risks that your puppy will have.
Make sure you only choose a breeder that health tests parent dogs, and see health certificates in person. Always avoid backyard breeders, pet stores, and puppy mills. Even if their upfront prices are cheaper, the puppies will usually face more behavioral and health issues in the future, which can be costly in the long run.
What about Rescue?
Adopting an older brown and white Labradoodle is another great option if you aren’t fussed about getting a puppy. Not only will most older Labradoodles have some basic training, but it’s less likely that their coats will change significantly over the years. So, if you find a brown and white Labradoodle in a shelter that you love the look of, it’s much more likely that they’ll stay that way!
As Labradoodles become more popular, it’s more likely that you’ll find them in rescue centers, and this is often a cheaper option than a puppy from a breeder. If you can’t find a Labradoodle in a general rescue, take a look at rescues dedicated to the two parent breeds.
Do You Love the Brown and White Labradoodle?
Knowing more about the brown and white Labradoodle coat may not make you love your dog any more than you already do, but it can certainly help you develop a deeper appreciation for your dog’s amazing uniqueness.
Do you own a brown and white Labradoodle or aspire to? Let us know in the comments!
References and Resources
- Lewis, L. ‘Labradoodle Coat Colours’, Australian Labradoodle Association (2021)
- Coopshaw, K. ‘Labradoodle Coat Colors’, Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (2020)
- Buzhardt, L. ‘Genetics Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs’, VCA Hospitals (2021)
- Megoulas, P. ‘Explanation of Parti Genes’, Briar Ridge Puppies (2021)
- Attaway, J. ‘Complete Guide to Labradoodle Colors’, Lakewood Labradoodles (2021)
- Lauderdale, L. ‘Labradoodle Coat and Color Guide’, Lauderdoodles (2017)
- Kaelin, C. & Barsh, G. ‘Genetics of Pigmentation in Dogs and Cats’, Annual Review of Animal Biosciences (2013)