Are Chocolate Labradoodles Rare? Do Their Coats Change?

Labradoodles are growing in popularity for several reasons, and their color is one of them. Chocolate Labradoodles are the second most popular color for this dog breed, making them easy to find from breeders around the country. 

are chocolate labradoodles rare
Are chocolate Labradoodles rare?

Since these dogs are a cross between Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, you may wonder if chocolate Labradoodles are rare and if they will stay chocolate-colored their entire life. The color-changing coat is a common question for pet owners who have a Labradoodle or want to bring one home. 

The Many Colors of a Labradoodle 

chocolate labradoodle

There are endless color options for this breed of dog due to their genetic lines. Although the coat color of the parents can indicate what their offspring will look like, it isn’t always the case. 

Depending on the breeding lines, some recessive genes can come out in a second or third generation. This element can make puppies have an entirely different color than their parents.  

When examining the many colors available for Labradoodles, you need to understand where they come from. 

Labrador Retriever Colors 

Labrador Retrievers come in three distinct colors. These are: 

  • Yellow
  • Chocolate
  • Black 

Although chocolate brown is a popular color for this breed, it is rare because of the genetic makeup needed to produce brown offspring. 

cocolate labrador retriever
A chocolate Labrador Retriever having its coat brushed

Poodle Colors 

Poodles have a more vast array of colors. You can find them in eleven different hues, including: 

  • Black
  • White 
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Silver Beige 
  • Grey
  • Cream 
  • Apricot 
  • Cafe Au Lait
  • Red 

There is also the possibility of finding Poodles that have a combination of colors. This mixture makes their genetics even more exciting when it comes to breeding. 

Brown Poodles are quite common for pet owners, but both parents need to carry the same recessive brown gene to have this color of offspring. 

chocolate Poodle puppy in grass
A miniature Chocolate Poodle puppy playing on the grass in the garden.

Labradoodle Colors 

Labradoodles will carry their color genetics from each parent, giving them many options for this cross-breed. Typically, you will find Labradoodles in 11 different colors, including: 

  • Black
  • White
  • Chocolate
  • Cream 
  • Apricot/Caramel/Gold
  • Blue/Silver 
  • Red 
  • Parti Color 
  • Parchment 
  • Phantom 
  • Abstract

The most common Labradoodle colors include black, cream, and gold. The three rarest colors for this breed include phantom, abstract, and red. 

A rare Phantom Labradoodle coat.
A rare Phantom Labradoodle coat. Photo courtesy of Labradoodles by Cucciolini in Ontario.

Chocolate Labradoodles are common in many households. Their color can be even throughout their coat, even as they age, or they may have a combination of light and dark hues mixed. Most chocolate Labradoodles may appear to be almost black at birth but fade to a deep chocolate brown. 

a medium chocolate labradoodle
A chocolate medium Labradoodle enjoying a park visit

Do Labradoodles Coats Change Color? 

The answer is most likely, for anyone wanting to know if a Labradoodle’s coat will change color. This feature comes from the parent’s genetics. 

A Labrador puppy’s coat color can slightly change as it matures. Some of its baby hair will fall out, and the new coat will grow in, having a somewhat different hue. Older dogs will tend to lighten in color due to aging, usually around age five and up. 

Poodle puppies are notorious for clearing their color as they grow. So no matter which color a poodle is at birth, typically, you will not know the final hue until the dog has reached about two years of age. 

Color Clearing 

Since Labradoodles contain these clearing elements from their parents, you can expect your beloved pet to have a coat color that will lighten until around two years or so. Once your pup turns three, its color should be stable and should not change much more, if at all. 

chocolate Labradoodle puppy siblings
The two chocolate Labradoodle puppy siblings looks up to their owner. (Image: Instagram/@milo.the.chocolate.labradoodle)


As with many dog breeds, the chocolate Labradoodle’s color may slightly fade as they age. Once your pet reaches five years old or more, you may notice a bit of lighter coloring around the face, chin, or other areas. This lightening of the color is typical for Labradoodles. 

a cute labradoodle sleeping on a couch
A cute Labradoodle takes a sleep on the couch

Environmental Factors 

When you have a chocolate Labradoodle, you may notice that their coat will change color at different times of the year. This altering can be from environmental factors that affect the hair, causing it to fade or change color. 

Some dogs will have lighter hair in the hot summer months from being outdoors with harsh UV rays. In addition, if your Labradoodle swims in water that uses chemical treatments, like swimming pools, these additives can also affect the hair color. 

Some owners will use pet sunscreen to help protect their four-legged friends while out in the hot sun. However, it is imperative that you use unique formulas made for animals that do not contain harsh chemicals that could harm your dog. 

Using low-quality pet shampoo products with harsh ingredients can cause your Labradoodle’s coat color to change. It is essential to use grooming products that will not harm your dog’s fur or skin to avoid future problems and keep them looking great. 

Some pet shampoos will have color enhancers to help keep your dog’s coat looking vibrant throughout their life. These products can be an excellent tool for helping your pet stay clean and look great. 

Labradoodle went to groomer
A chocolate Labradoodle just went to his groomer. (Image: Instagram/@milo.the.chocolate.labradoodle)

The Infamous Labradoodle Coat 

One of the reasons why this cross-breed is so popular is their soft, luscious coat of hair. In addition, some pet owners with allergies find that Labradoodles are terrific companions that they can own without issues. 

There are three distinct coat types which you will find with Labradoodles. These options include: 

  • Wool 
  • Fleece
  • Straight Hair
labradoodle looks up at camera
This Apricot Mini Labradoodle is looking up at the camera, because he thinks he might get a treat (he did).

Wool/Curly Coat

Labradoodles who sport the wool coat are the dogs with those killer curls. Their hair can be more coarse or soft, depending on the parent’s heritage. This coat is the least-shedding type of the three and will produce virtually no animal dander. 

Wool coats will need a regular grooming routine to avoid matting since it can be a common problem. 


The fleece coat on a Labradoodle will look more wavy than curly. They may appear shaggy with their long hair but are a terrific variable between curly and straight hair. A Labradoodle with a fleece coat may have a softer feel, but it depends entirely on the parent’s genetics. 

Fleece coats still require regular grooming, but they can cause some problems for allergy sufferers with the dander they produce. 

Straight Hair 

On the other end of the spectrum is the straight hair coat. Labradoodles with straight hair get this characteristic from the Labrador Retriever parent rather than the Poodle side. Often, this straight coat looks scruffy, especially if the hair grows out too long. 

The coat is easy to maintain, but it can shed almost as much as another dog breed, making it not ideal for pet owners with allergies. 

Are Chocolate Labradoodles Expensive? 

Since chocolate Labradoodles are a standard color of this breed, will they still be expensive? The price of your new pup will depend on the breeder, the parent’s genetic lines, and other factors. 

You should expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 up to $3,500 or more for your new Labradoodle puppy. Typically, rare colors will cost more, so your chocolate Labradoodle may fall on the lower end of this pricing scale. 

labradoodle in raincoat
My Miniature Labradoodle Max wearing a stylish rain coat

How To Take Care of Your Chocolate Labradoodle’s Coat

Proper grooming is vital for the health of your pet and to keep their coat looking great year-round. However, how you take care of its coat will depend on the hair type since there will be varying methods for wool, fleece, and straight hair dogs. 

If you are unsure of how to groom your chocolate Labradoodle, talk to your local pet groomer. Often, pet owners prefer to take their beloved dog in for complete grooming rather than attempt this process at home on their own. 

For pet owners who want to groom their Labradoodle at home, there are many terrific resources online, including Youtube videos, to choose from that will take you through each step. With proper grooming habits, you can keep your chocolate Labradoodle from getting matted or suffering from skin conditions. 

Chocolate Labradoodles are a terrific breed to have as a pet. This color is relatively easy to find at a breeder and makes a great companion for any home. 

With proper grooming, you can keep your dog’s coat healthy and looking great. Remember that it will lose some color until age two, but it should remain stable after then. You can expect your brown four-legged friend to have the same brown color as they age, as long as you avoid harsh grooming products and harmful UV rays. 

labrador vs labradoodle
Comparing a Labradoodle vs Labrador to see which breed is best (for your family)