A caramel Labradoodle has a wavy or curly coat the golden brown color of caramel candy! They vary from pale cream to red in shade, and usually have brown noses. Caramel Labradoodles are sometimes referred to as ice, cream or red Labradoodles. Some caramel Labradoodle puppies’ coats will change color, graying over time, but others will remain caramel colored into adulthood. Many will have white chests, paws or faces too. Today we’ll share where the caramel color comes from, how to find a puppy with a caramel coat and whether this coat color has any impact on your puppy’s other characteristics.
- What are caramel Labradoodles?
- Labrador and Poodle coat colors
- Caramel Labradoodle genetics
- Labradoodle coat colors
- Caramel Labradoodle puppies
What determines Labradoodle coat color and just how many variations of color and pattern are there? If your preferred color is caramel, can you choose between solid or markings and dark or light? You may have heard that Labradoodle puppies have dark coats that fade as they grow older. Is this true for caramel Labradoodle puppies too? We’ll tell you all you need to know about caramel Labradoodles. Let’s start with the basics first.
What is a Caramel Labradoodle?
With their adorable looks and delightful personalities, it’s no wonder that Labradoodles are a desirable choice for dog owners. You’ll see lots of caramel-colored Labradoodles out there, as it’s a popular coat color for this breed mix. One of the many charms of the Labradoodle is its soft, wavy coat. Labradoodle breed standards outline the variations in coat length and texture, but there are no “official” coat colors for the Doodle. Almost anything goes when it comes to Labradoodle coat color, but some are more common than others, like caramel.
Caramel is a popular Labradoodle coat color that refers to the color of caramel candy. When you think of a piece of caramel (a candy made by cooking sugar), you’re probably envisioning a golden-brown color. Of course, not all caramels look the same. Some are dark and some are light. The same is true of caramel Labradoodles!
Labradoodle breeders and breed experts report that caramel Doodles have brown nose leather and coat shades that range from very light to very dark. A Labradoodle described as caramel may very well be the traditional golden brown, but you may also see dogs described as ice, cream, or red caramel.
The caramel color group is distinct from other Labradoodle color groups like chocolate and apricot, even though variations in shade can make them look somewhat similar. Labradoodles can also be partially caramel in color. You’ll often see them with a mixture of caramel and a lot of white (parti) or caramel with a little bit of white (mismark or abstract).
Labrador Coat Color
The Labrador Retriever is one of the Labradoodle’s parent breeds. Most Labrador fans know that there are 3 official coat colors for the breed.
A Lab can be solid yellow, black, or chocolate. The breed standard allows for some variation in shade in yellow and chocolate Labs. Yellow Labs may range from “fox red” to light cream. Chocolate Labs can be light or dark brown.
Poodle Coat Color
The Labradoodle’s other parent breed, the Poodle, has much more variation in coat color and pattern than the Labrador Retriever.
According to the breed standard, Poodles can be varying shades of black, white, blue, gray, silver, brown, café au lait, apricot, and cream. Parti-colored Poodles do exist, but they fall outside the official breed standard.
Caramel Labradoodle Coat Color Genetics
As you can imagine, the variety of parent breed coat color combinations can lead to all sorts of colors in the Labradoodle. A breeder can specialize in a particular type of Labradoodle coat color, like caramel, by selectively breeding dogs with that desired coat color.
Coat color genetics can be complicated, but the basic principle is that 2 primary pigments (black and red) make up all dog coat colors. There are 8 different genes that determine all the aspects of canine coat color and pattern…from caramel Labradoodles to spotted Dalmatians to black and tan German Shepherds.
Breeders can manipulate these genes via selective breeding to create dogs with a desired color, although of course there can always be unexpected surprises! Labradoodle breeders will tell you that nose leather color is key to coat color. As we mentioned earlier, caramel Labradoodles have brown (also called “liver”) noses. The other Labradoodle nose color is black. Labradoodles labelled as caramel will always have brown noses, not black ones. If you see a brownish Labradoodle with a black nose, it will be either red, apricot, or cream, depending on the shade.
Labradoodle Coat Color
Besides the different shades of caramel, which can range from light golden to rich red, the other established Labradoodle colors are chalk, cream, gold, red, black, silver, blue, chocolate, café, lavender, and parchment.
Labradoodle coat patterns (which in some cases can contain caramel color) include parti, phantom, abstract/mismatch, sable, brindle, and multi.
A caramel Labradoodle can have a solid coat with that classic caramel candy color, but there are also plenty of variations in caramel coloring as well as coat markings to choose from.
Caramel Labradoodle Puppies
It’s not unusual for the texture and color of a Labradoodle puppy’s coat to change as it grows into adulthood. All dogs are different, so some may keep their original color, and some may get darker, but it is true that a Labradoodle puppy’s dark coat color may get lighter over time.
This lightning is not unique to Labradoodles. In fact, the Poodle (one of the Doodle’s 2 parent breeds) is also known to have a coat that fades over time.
Coat color changes, like color itself, are also due to genetics. There is a gene that is often called the progressive greying gene or the Poodle fading gene that causes coat color to lighten in Poodles. This greying gene can be inherited in some Labradoodles. There is also a different gene that causes dilute (pale) coat color in dogs, but the color will be light at the start and will not fade gradually.
Choosing a Caramel Labradoodle Puppy
Will your next dog be a caramel Labradoodle? It’s fine to have coat color preferences, but when choosing a breeder be sure to look beyond appearances. It’s just as important to find a quality breeder who raises their dogs in a good environment and tests for known inherited health conditions in the Labradoodle.
Avoid getting your puppy from a pet store or online ad, as many of these dogs come from commercial breeding operations known as puppy mills. This will ensure that your caramel Labradoodle will be a happy and healthy companion.
More Labradoodle Colors
References and Further Reading
- What Color is that Australian Labradoodle? Hale’s Australian Labradoodles.
- Complete Guide to Labradoodle Colors. Lakewood Labradoodles.
- Labradoodle Coat Colours. Australian Labradoodle Association, Inc.
- Williams and Buzhardt. Genetics Basics: Coat Color Genetics in Dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals.
- Health Testing & Paw Reward Program. Australian Labradoodle Association of America.