The champagne Labradoodle has a very pale yellow coat, which is very hard to find.
That’s because to make this exact shade your puppy needs to inherit the recessive dilute color gene from both parents.
Labradoodle coats are also notorious for changing color as they get older.
This means that a champagne Labradoodle puppy’s coat may darken or lighten to a completely new shade as an adult.
As this color becomes more popular, finding a puppy through reputable breeders becomes more important.
Champagne Labradoodle – Quick Links
The Champagne Labradoodle is a stunning sight to behold. We will cover every aspect of this wonderful shade listed below:
In this article, gain an in-depth understanding of the genetics involved in breeding the very rare champagne Labradoodle.
You can click the links above to jump straight to a section that interests you, or keep reading for the complete guide!
What is a Champagne Labradoodle?
The Labradoodle is a mixed breed dog that combines the popular Labrador Retriever with the lovable Standard Poodle.
A champagne Labradoodle is simply one of these mixed breed dogs with a very pale yellow coat.
The term ‘champagne’ refers to the color of your dog’s coat.
So, you can expect a champagne Labradoodle to have similar needs, temperament, and health issues to any other Labradoodle puppy.
Are Champagne Labradoodles Rare?
The champagne Labradoodle coat color does not fit neatly inside one of the four Labradoodle coat color blocks: black, chocolate (brown), caramel and red.
Nor is it always easy to find this coat color as you are sorting through Labradoodle breeders.
There are two reasons for this:
- Champagne is not a common coat color
- Different breeders choose different words to describe the same coat colors!
Some very specific genetic maneuvering needs to occur before a pup pops out with a champagne coat!
Plus, one breeder may call a Labradoodle coat ‘champagne’ and another breeder might label the same coat ‘light blonde’.
You might struggle to find a champagne Labradoodle puppy.
But, it’s still important to prioritise the health of your dog when looking.
Champagne Labradoodle Genetics
For general genetic purposes, a champagne coat color can fall into two of the four recognized coat color blocks: red and chocolate.
All Labradoodles get their coat coloration from two color pigments: eumelanin and phaeomelanin.
Eumelanin is the color pigment that controls the black color spectrum.
It influences the black and chocolate (brown) color blocks.
Phaeomelanin is the color pigment that controls the yellow color spectrum.
This pigment influences the red and caramel color blocks.
Phaeomelanin only influences canine coat color, but eumelanin can influence coat color and also eye, nose, skin and nail color.
What this means is that both eumelanin and phaeomelanin may be involved in breeding a champagne-coated Labradoodle.
But, if there are only two coat color pigments, black and yellow, how on earth do dogs get such a diverse array of coat colors?
How it all Works
The answer to the previous question lurks in the murky genetic waters of the canine coat color genome.
Researchers are still busy studying and decoding this topic.
The simplest explanation is that a multitude of genes can impact how basic black and yellow show up in a dog’s coat.
Whenever a basic color gets lighter, this is called “dilute.”
A dilute coat color is caused by a mutation, or change, in a color-coding gene called MLPH.
MLPH is responsible for coding for, or sending instructions for, the production of a key color protein called melanophilin.
Melanophilin, in turn, is responsible for influencing cells called melanocytes.
Melanocytes provide transportation for melanosomes, which produce melanin in the form of eumelanin and phaeomelanin.
Labradoodle puppies need to inherit this dilute gene from both parents in order to show the dilute coat.
The Different Shades of Champagne Labradoodles
To increase the challenge of breeding a true champagne Labradoodle even further, Labradoodles as a dog breed are notorious for coat color changes throughout life.
Often, not always, due to colors fading.
Just because a young Labradoodle puppy is champagne colored does not mean the coat will stay champagne.
For example, a puppyhood champagne color may darken to a lighter golden color or lighten to a true chalk.
Champagne itself can also be treated as a coat color or as a coat color spectrum.
For instance, you may see Labradoodle breeders referring to dogs as “light champagne” or “dark champagne.”
As we said earlier, breeders may refer to this coloring differently.
So, it may help to see puppies in person if you’re looking for a specific coat color.
Just remember that puppies can change color – so don’t be too disappointed if your champagne doodle puppy changes a little as they grow up.
Lilac vs Champagne Labradoodle
In classical canine coat color genetics, dilute eumelanin (brown for our purposes here) is typically called lilac or isabella.
In contrast, dilute phaeomelanin (yellow) is typically called champagne.
Both lilac and champagne Labradoodle puppies must have a dilute gene from both parents – these genes just act on different pigments.
Labradoodles are a hybrid (or, more accurately, crossbred) dog breed.
As such, Labradoodles are not currently recognized by any of the reigning purebred dog breed associations.
But, the Labradoodle is generally acknowledged to be the founding hybrid dog breed.
So, the mix is sufficiently well established to have formed their own independent associations to standardize breeding practices.
This is an important step on the way to recognition as a new purebred dog breed.
Are Dilute Colors Recognised?
Earlier here we mentioned that different Labradoodle breed associations, such as the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association and the Australian Labradoodle Association of America, maintain slightly different descriptions for the recognized coat colors.
You won’t find any mention of lilac as a coat color in either association.
Champagne as a coat color is also notably absent.
This does not in any way mean the two Labradoodle coat colors do not exist.
It simply points to a difference in descriptive terms from one breeder association to the next.
A difference which is very common for any evolving dog breed that is still developing a set breed standard.
Champagne Labradoodle Temperament
If you’re keen to bring home one of these pale puppies, first you must make sure that their temperament will suit your home.
Champagne Labradoodles will be much like any other shade of this mix.
But, as a mixed breed, their temperament can be quite unpredictable, even among puppies of the same litter.
Hybrid dogs can inherit any blend of genes from their parents – so some will be more similar to your typical Lab, whilst others are more like the Poodle breed.
This applies to their temperament, as well as their looks.
Generally, Labradoodles are large, energetic dogs with high social needs and plenty of intelligence.
Daily exercise, play sessions and training are a must.
Although both parent breeds are generally known to be friendly and affectionate, Labradoodle puppies must be socialized well to get this best personality.
This breed doesn’t do well when left alone for too long.
They are eager to please and usually very food motivated, so will respond best to positive reward training.
Champagne Labradoodle Health
Some studies have identified that the dilute coat color gene is linked to certain health issues.
The main one being color dilution alopecia (CDA).
Symptoms of this problem include hair loss and skin inflammation. Hair may also be dull with poor regrowth.
On top of this issue, champagne Labradoodles can be prone to the same health problems as any other Labradoodle.
Some of these include:
- Bloat (common in large breeds)
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- von Willebrand’s disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
Choosing a reputable breeder is a great first step to reducing the risk of these health issues.
Finding a Champagne Labradoodle Puppy
As you are researching the champagne Labradoodle and seeking a Labradoodle breeder who breeds for this rare coat color, there are two main things to remember.
- A healthy Labradoodle puppy is worth its weight in the finest champagne.
- Champagne by any other descriptive name is still champagne.
The popularity of Labradoodles today has opened the door for unethical breeding.
Low quality puppy mill breeders and backyard breeders to produce dogs of uncertain lineage and sub-standard health.
It is vital to seek out a reputable, responsible Labradoodle breeder who performs genetic tests on parent dogs and only pairs healthy dogs.
Choosing a healthy Labradoodle puppy above all else will save you a lifetime’s worth of heartache and a mountain of veterinary bills, no matter what their color.
Deciphering Different Descriptions
We have all had the experience of looking at a color and realizing that not everybody we know uses the same terminology to describe that color.
Your breeder may call the champagne coat color:
- Light blonde
- Dark blonde
- Light caramel
- Light gold
- Ash blonde….
But at some level, it doesn’t really matter what your breeder calls it.
Currently, Labradoodles (American or Australian) are not eligible to compete in purebred dog shows anyway.
So if you want to rename your dog’s coat color as champagne because that is what the color looks like to you, there is no one who will stop you!
Your Champagne Labradoodle
Champagne Labradoodles have a dilute gene that makes their already pale coat fade to a paint yellow.
Are you searching for or caring for a champagne Labradoodle? How would you describe the champagne Labradoodle coat color?
Share your insights in the comments!
References and Resources
- Buzhardt, L. ‘Genetics Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs’, VCA Hospitals (2021)
- Lewis, L. ‘Labradoodle Coat Colors’, Australian Labradoodle Association (2021)
- Coopshaw, K. ‘Labradoodle Coat Colors’, Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (2020)
- Chappell, J. ‘Two Different Types of Pigment’, Dog Coat Colour Genetics
- Roussi, H. ‘Labradoodle/Goldendoodle/North American Retriever Color Genetics’, Westwood Labradoodles (2021)
- Gestes, T. ‘The 14 Different Australian Labradoodle Coat Colors’, Archview Labradoodles (2021)
- Hicks, C. ‘Our Colors’, Prize Doodles (2021)
- Animal Genetics Staff, ‘Dilute Coat Color D-Locus and New D2-Locus’, Animal Genetics (2021)
- Ute, P. (et al), ‘Polymorphisms within the Canine MLPH Gene are Associated with Dilute Coat Color in Dogs’, BMC Genetics (2005)
- Kim, J. (et al), ‘Color-Dilution Alopecia in Dogs’, Journal of Veterinary Science (2005)