A spotted Labradoodle is not a very common sight. But, it is possible to get Labradoodles with parti coloring – that is where at least 50 percent of their body is white, and the rest has spots or blotches of color. Thanks to the genetics of the Lab, it’s also possible to get Labradoodles with spots of white on their chest, paws, or other places.
If you’ve managed to find a Labradoodle with Dalmatian style spots, or even merle-coloring and spots, it’s likely that your Doodle mix contains more than just the Labrador and Poodle breeds. So, make sure you’re choosing reputable, honest breeders, even if your heart is set on a spotted Labradoodle puppy.
Can Labradoodles Have Spots?
Like any other dog breed, coat color comes down to genetics in Labradoodles. The American Labradoodle comes from two purebred parents – the Poodle and the Labrador Retriever. But, the Australian Labradoodle can have a genetic influence from up to 6 different breeds on top of this, including English and American Cocker Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Curly Coated Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Poodles.
American Labradoodles tend to have the same coloring as their purebred Lab and Poodle parents. More often than not, this Doodle will have a solid-colored coat. But, it’s possible to find parti American Labradoodles. These dogs have at least 50 percent of their coat as white, but will have spots, blotches, or patches of another color throughout. So, a parti Labradoodle can also be seen as a spotted Labradoodle, depending on the pattern of its coloring.
Since the Australian Labradoodle has a potentially larger genetic pool, their coloring can be quite varied. The Cocker Spaniel breed can have spotted fur, so there’s a chance this pattern could be passed on to a Labradoodle puppy!
What Do Spotted Labradoodles Look Like?
The most common spotting pattern in Labradoodles is the parti coat color. These spotted Labradoodles will have two colors on their coat – white and something else. At least half of their coat will be white, forming the base of their pattern. But, the other color will appear in spots or blotches, dispersed randomly over their body. Some may have lots of color on their head, and only a few spots elsewhere, and others may have more color on their torso than the rest of their bodies.
Other than their coat color, spotted Labradoodles will look similar to any other Labradoodle. Of course, there will be some variation, especially depending on the generation of your puppy. But, they can have hair coats, fleece coats, or wool coats. And, they will likely grow to be a large dog – most often falling somewhere between the sizes of their parents.
Can Labradoodles Have Spots Like Dalmatians?
The exact pattern of a parti-Labradoodle’s coloring will vary from one dog to the next. It’s entirely possible for a spotted Labradoodle to have spots like a Dalmatian, but it would be very uncommon. If you see a litter of Labradoodles with Dalmatian spots, it’s worth checking to see if any other breed was used in the mix. Mixed breed dogs are becoming much more popular. So, it’s entirely possible that some breeders will mis-sell their dogs as Labradoodles with “rare” colors to try and make a better profit, when in fact they aren’t Labradoodles at all.
The most accurate way of testing a dog’s lineage is to get a DNA test, but this isn’t possible until you have already committed to the dog. So, it’s also worth doing as much research as possible before choosing a breeder. Choosing a reputable, honest breeder is the best way to get the healthiest puppy of the breed you’re after.
Can Labradoodles Have Merle Spots?
Like the above, spotted Labradoodles with merle patterning are not common at all. Neither Labradors nor Poodles have merle patterns. So, if you find a Labradoodle with a merle coat, the genes for this will be from a different breed’s influence altogether. For instance, you may be looking at an Aussiedoodle.
Are Spotted Labradoodles Rare?
It’s not that hard to find parti Labradoodles. But, it might be harder to find a parti Labradoodle with the spotted pattern you’re seeking. This is because parti coloring can express itself in any number of ways. Puppies could have splodges of color, flecks of color, or even stripes of color in their fur! And, a puppy’s pattern might change slightly as it grows. So, even if you find a parti spotted Labradoodle puppy with beautiful spots, they may shift in size, shape, and dispersal a little once your pup has shed their early puppy coat.
Many breeders will specialize in various colors. But, your chances of finding a spotted Labradoodle puppy may also vary depending on which colors and patterns are in high demand near you. For instance, shades like apricot and red are very popular in Labradoodle puppies. So, you may be more likely to find these puppies than parti Labradoodles. Demand and popularity are more likely to make these dogs seem “uncommon”.
However, it’s also important to be wary about sellers marketing their spotted Labradoodles as “rare” or “special”. Doing so can be a sign that a breeder is looking to get the best profit possible, rather than selling puppies based on their health and temperament. Finding a reputable breeder is just as important as finding a puppy with the coat pattern you love.
Where Can I Find Spotted Labradoodle Puppies?
Since Labradoodles aren’t officially recognised with most kennel clubs, you won’t be able to find breeders through the AKC or Kennel Club resources near you. Instead, you may need to seek out Labradoodle breed associations, or simply search for individual breeders. Labradoodles are trending at the moment, so there are a lot of bad breeders to be wary of, including puppy farms, pet stores, and backyard breeders.
When you find a breeder, make sure to ask lots of questions and expect plenty in return. See evidence of health testing in person, and get a good look at where the puppies and mother dog are being kept. If they don’t seem healthy, loved, or cared for, it’s a good idea to look elsewhere. Similarly, if the breeder is doing no socialization, and won’t show you health test results, look elsewhere.
For a better chance at finding spotted Labradoodle puppies, search for parti Puppies, and let reputable breeders know the sort of pattern you’re hoping to find. Most would be more than happy to reserve puppies that seem to have more of a spotted pattern for you once a litter has arrived.
Have You Seen a Spotted Labradoodle Before?
Or do you have a spotted Labradoodle at home? We would love to hear about them, and love to hear what they look like! Let us know all about your spotted Doodles 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)
- Kaelin, C. & Barsch, G. ‘Genetics of Pigmentation in Dogs and Cats’, Annual Review of Animal Biosciences (2013)
- Cadieu, E. (et al), ‘Coat Variation in the Domestic Dog is Governed by Variants in Three Genes’, Science (2009)
- Saif, R. (et al), ‘Dog Coat Color Genetics: A Review’, Advancements in Life Sciences (2020)