How do I tell what coat my Labradoodle puppy will have? Adult Labradoodle coats generally fall into three categories: hair coats, fleece coats, and wool coats. But, all of these are quite different to puppy coats! In most cases, you won’t be able to predict your Doodle puppy’s adult coat by looking at their puppy coat, but some breeders may be good at doing so after several generations of puppies. The best way to predict your Labradoodle puppy’s adult coat is to look at their parents. The less variation between the parents’ coats, the easier it is to predict your puppy’s future fur.
Adult Labradoodle Coat Types
There are three main types of adult Labradoodle coat, and they are quite easy to tell apart from one another. However, this coat type will only reveal itself after your Doodle has shed their puppy coat. Here are the three types of coat that your puppy could have:
- Hair coat – straight hair, double layered, moderate to high shedding. This is the most like the purebred Labrador Retriever.
- Fleece coat – wavy fur, either double or single layered, low to moderate shedding. This coat feels like angora wool.
- Wool coat – tightly curled or corded, single layer, low shedding. This coat is the most like the purebred Poodle.
These coat types look quite different from one another when your Labradoodle is an adult. But, as puppies, Doodles with these different coat types can look quite similar. So, what does a Labradoodle puppy coat look like?
The Labradoodle Puppy Coat
Labradoodles of all coat types look very similar when they are puppies. A Labradoodle puppy coat is always single layered, very soft to the touch, and often has a slight wave or curl. This puppy coat will start to shed from around 6 months of age. But, the amount of time it takes for a puppy to fully shed this coat and expose their adult coat can vary. For some, the full process can take as long as a year and a half! But, only when this puppy coat sheds will it become obvious what fur type your Labradoodle has.
Can You Tell What Coat a Labradoodle Puppy Will Have?
Many Labradoodle breeders will tell you they can predict a Labradoodle puppy’s adult coat accurately when they are still a puppy. And, some breeders may be able to do so. But, in reality, it is very hard to do, especially if your puppy is a first generation mix (i.e. one Lab parent and one Poodle parent). This is because the puppy can inherit any mix of traits from their parents, and Poodles have very different fur to Labradors.
If your Labradoodle puppy is a second or third generation, or if they have been backcrossed to a Poodle, their adult coat may be slightly easier to predict. The more similar the coats of the two parent dogs are, the less potential variation your puppy’s coat will tend to have.
How Do I Tell What Coat My Labradoodle Puppy Will Have?
There are plenty of tips available from breeders when trying to determine the adult coat of your Labradoodle puppy. Some suggest examining the fur around your puppy’s muzzle. The curlier this fur is, the more Poodle-like they suggest the adult coat will be. Others may state that you can make the same assumptions by looking at the whole coat – the wavier this is, the curlier the adult coat will be. But, you must remember that your puppy will shed this coat to allow their adult fur to grow in. And all Labradoodle puppies can look very similar in those early months, as puppy coats are very different to the three potential adult coats.
The best way to predict what coat your Labradoodle puppy may grow up to have is to observe the parent dogs. The more similar their coats are, the easier it will be to predict the type of coat your puppy will have. For instance, if your pup is the product of two wool-coat Labradoodles, it’s likely the puppy will have a wool coat too. However, if your puppy’s Labradoodle parents both have hair coats, the puppy often inherits the same straight double layered fur.
What if the Parents Are Different?
It’s easier to predict a Labradoodle puppy’s adult coat when it has similar parents. But, if the parents are quite different, such as with a first generation Labradoodle, things can be a little harder. This is because puppies can inherit any mix of genes and traits from their parents. So, even within a single litter, first generation Labradoodle puppies can look very different from one another. In these cases, you will often have to wait till your puppy is a little older to see exactly which traits they will express.
If you are searching for a specific type of Labradoodle coat, it is usually best to choose later generation puppies. For instance, people with allergies often seek the wool coat Labradoodle, as the curly fur catches shedding dander and can help to reduce dog allergy symptoms.
How Do I Tell What Coat My Labradoodle Will Have? A Summary
It’s very difficult to predict a Labradoodle puppy’s adult coat. Some experienced breeders may be able to accurately predict it from a young age. But, in most cases, you will be best off looking at the parent dogs. If they have similar coats, your puppy will likely grow up to look that way too. But, if their coats are very different, it’s a bit of a genetic lottery!
Do you have any tips for predicting a Labradoodle puppy’s coat? Or, have you ever been surprised at the way a Doodle’s adult coat has turned out? We would love to hear your experiences with the Labradoodle coat in the comments!
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References and Resources
- Ali, M. (et al), ‘Genetic Analysis of the Modern Australian Labradoodle Dog Breed Reveals an Excess of the Poodle Genome’, Plos Genetics (2020)
- Vredegoor, D. (et al), ‘Can F 1 Levels in Hair and Homes of Different Dog Breeds: Lack of Evidence to Describe Any Dog Breed as Hypoallergenic’, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)
- Lockey, R. ‘The Myth of Hypoallergenic Dogs (and Cats)’, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)
- Sponenberg, D. & Rothschild, M. ‘Genetics of Coat Color and Hair Texture’, The Genetics of the Dog (2001)