Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Is there any way to forecast what a doodle will look like as an adult? Let’s find out!
Few dog breeds have the level of variability of the Poodles and Doodles. For example, no one asks what a black lab will look like as an adult…its self-explanatory!
The wide variety of color, coat and size variety among Doodles makes them an incredibly exciting breed to own but can also leave soon-to-be owners scratching their heads on how to find exactly what sort of Doodle they are looking for.
Many owners come to us with a picture they found on google or a description of their friend’s dog, but they have no idea how to go about finding a pup that will look like what they are envisioning.
Doodle Coat Colors When They're Born vs Adulthood
This is the trickiest of the categories. Goldendoodles for example are available in a variety of stunning coat shades and patterns ranging from solid apricot and beige to solid chocolate, phantoms, merle, partis, sables and combinations of these colors. In general, pups with dark features will have brown eyes, while champagne and chocolate will have hazel eyes.
Did you know that the color variety seen in Doodles primarily comes from the Poodle side of the genetics? Most people do not realize that any color can be achieved among any of the breeds of doodles (for example merle is not just limited to Aussiedoodles, but can be achieved in Goldendoodles, Labradoodles or Bernedoodles).
Remember that when choosing a pup it is of critical importance to choose your breed FIRST not the color. Spend time researching which doodle breed is right for you based on their temperament characteristics, breed history, etc. and then work to find a breeder that produces that breed in the color you prefer.
Another concept worth noting is that while the Poodles come in a huge color variety, they also carry a “fading gene.” Without getting into an overly complicated explanation of genetics, this means that, yes, your puppy may lighten or even completely change colors by the time they'er an adult! This is especially true for black/silver, red, and sable Doodles/Poodles.
For instance, many Black Doodles may become a beautiful silver hue in their adulthood. Not every Black Doodle will fade to silver but Silver Doodles will almost always start off black before fading. Meanwhile, your Red Goldendoodle will likely lighten to more of a copper tone over time. Sable is one of the more interesting colors and make for a truly exciting color-changing experience with your pup! Sable poodles are born black or brown before lightening with age.
To help you understand what your dood will look like as an adult, you can ask your breeder for guidance. If the set of parents has had a litter before, this is the easiest way to gauge what your pup may look like as an adult. However, even if it is a set of first time parents, a breeder can likely help you based on knowing the parents’ color genetics. For example, if a puppy is black, but comes from a silver parent, he/she will slowly fade to silver just like her mom or dad.
For most Doodle pups (outside of the silver and sable colors), the fading will be subtle and overall your pup will look similar to how he did as a pup. Furthermore, while your pup’s color may fade over time, his overall coat pattern will stay the same—i.e. he/she will keep phantom, parti or merle markings even if they become a bit lighter over time.
Understanding that your Doodle pup can be a bit of a chameleon is important as color should be only one factor in the equation of selection your new family member. Since it is subject to change, selecting your new family member on more permanent qualities such as temperament and size can be important.
Doodle Coat Types: Wavy & Curly
Your breeder should be able to help you identify a wavy versus curly coat from a young age. Again, looking at both parent dogs and/or past litters can help. Keep in mind some of the differing in appearance of Doodles is the result of grooming/hair cut differences. So for example, even a curly Doodle can have a rounder/soft face depending on the length of his/her fur.
What Are the Different Doodle Body Structures & Sizes?
Doodle body types differ quite dramatically as well. Take the Goldendoodle for example. The Golden Retriever has a thicker, blockier body type whereas the Standard Poodle as an elegant, tall, slender figure. The pups can take after either type of body structure. Adding the Miniature Poodle in for the smaller Doodle sizes can also play a role in structure.
For example, two twenty lb. Doodles may both be considered “miniature” but can have two vastly different heights depending on the length of their legs, overall body structure and other factors. Keep this in mind if having a dog under a certain height is important to you, and/or you want a particularly athletic dog. Returning to our previous example, Standard Poodles make excellent long distance running partners, whereas Golden Retrievers are fairly athletic, but their heavier build makes them less suitable for longer distances.
The size of your Doodle puppy will be an average of its parent’s sizes and is based on weight rather than height. At JLDD, our Medium Goldendoodles are in the 30-45 lbs. range. Note that a full unclipped coat can make a Doodle appear larger.
Once You See Your Doodle Puppy, You'll Know What They'll Look Like As An Adult
In conclusion, the variability in looks of the Doodle is exciting, but can be daunting for owners just starting out on their search. Find a breeder who is willing to take the time to explain these various factors to you.
Even among the same breed (i.e. Goldendoodle), there can be a huge variation in color, structure, and size. A reputable breeder should be willing to take the time to help pinpoint which specific litter will produce puppies that most closely align with your preferences as an owner. (Learn more about Goldendoodles vs Sheepadoodles vs Bernedoodles.)
Jenna the JLDD Team