Poodles are renowned for their keen intelligence and loyal disposition, but what the breed is perhaps best known for is its luxurious, curly fur. While black is the most common Poodle color, chocolate varieties are also popular among dog owners.
Some Poodle owners are surprised to find that their puppy’s chocolate coat starts to change color as it ages. Most of the time, Poodles don’t stay the exact same color their whole life. The color and even pattern of a young chocolate Poodle’s coat can be entirely different in maturity.
If you’re looking for a chocolate Poodle, then you’re in luck—this breed is usually easy to find or request from breeders. Here, I’m going to discuss how rare chocolate Poodles are and how you can expect to see their coats change with time.
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What Colors do Poodles Come in?
Poodles come in a wide variety of colors based on their genetic makeup. The color of a pup’s parents can play a strong role in their offspring’s appearance, but hidden recessive genes can make puppies look entirely different from Mom and Dad. The most common poodle colors include:
- Silver Beige
- Cafe Au Lait
The gene for brown fur is recessive in Poodles, meaning that a puppy must receive a copy from each parent for the color to show. Otherwise, offspring will display the dominant color, which is often black.
Some Poodles may end up inheriting a variety of colors thanks to their genetic background. Some poodles come in spotted or merled varieties, while others are patterned or tricolored.
The most common poodle colors include black, chocolate, and white, while the three rarest colors include apricot, red, and cream. The rarer the color, the harder it is to find a breeder with available puppies, making chocolate a good choice for dog owners who want a more immediate placement.
Can a Chocolate Poodle’s Coat Change Color?
Most Poodle owners will probably notice that their puppy’s soft, shiny, and vibrant coat gets replaced over time with coarser, duller fur. This is a completely natural process that happens in plenty of show breeds, and it should be no cause for concern.
Most Poodles grow lighter in color with time, including chocolate varieties. It usually takes around two to three years for a puppy’s adult color to fully emerge. Even then, they may grow lighter or grayer as they mature.
Whether your Poodle is chocolate, gray, or any color in between, you’re likely to see color changes in its coat at some point. There are a couple of reasons why a poodle’s coat might change color after puppyhood.
(Learn about why black Poodles fade)
One of the main reasons chocolate poodles lighten, or “clear,” as they grow older is thanks to genetics. If a puppy’s parents have fur that clears, they likely will too. Chocolate poodles often clear from a deep brown to a light, almost white gold.
Just like us, dogs can start to sprout gray hairs with age. Brown coloration may fade to gray or white in mature poodles, especially around the nose, chin, and eyes. Hair may also grow more coarse or wiry with time.
While fur changes are most often completely natural in poodles, environmental damage can lead to color shifts in some cases. Excessive exposure to UV radiation is a common cause of lightening in poodle fur.
It’s important to protect your dog against the sun during walks using protective gear such as hats, goggles, shirts, and bodysuits. You can also find specialized pet sunscreens to protect skin and fur.
Harsh shampoos may lead to both color and texture changes in your poodle’s fur. It’s important to always opt for products that use safe, natural ingredients. Try to steer clear of anything with toxic components, such as mineral oils, parabens, polysorbates, and more.
Poodle Coat Types
Poodles are world-renowned for their elaborate, fluffy coats. Many people groom Poodle coats into styles such as the continental clip or the cupcake cut. There are three main types of coat styles owners can work with.
When most people picture Poodles, the first thing that comes to mind is their magnificent curly coat. Most mature poodle show breeds should have tight, even curls if they have a pure bloodline.
Curly coats require regular, careful grooming sessions to prevent tangles and matting. It’s also important to keep ears clear of excess hair to avoid infections. Dogs with hairy ears are more likely to catch dirt and debris in their ear canal, paving the way for blockages and worse.
While show poodles must have tight curls, most standard varieties and poodle mixes have wavy fur. Wavy hair is often softer and more manageable than curly hair, making it a popular choice amongst dog owners looking for a low-maintenance grooming schedule.
If you allow your poodle’s coat to mat in a safe, natural fashion, you can fashion corded fur for your dog. Hair will form into small ropes around the head, ears, and body.
However, keep in mind that a corded coat requires even more maintenance than curls. You must work to keep the hair clean from dirt, debris, and oils by carefully squeezing shampoo into the coat instead of scrubbing it. It’s also important to keep the skin underneath moisturized.
Are Chocolate Poodles Expensive?
As one of the most common colors of poodle, chocolate varieties tend to be on the cheaper end of the scale when it comes to price.
You can expect to pay around $600 to $1000 for a chocolate poodle puppy, while rarer varieties such as apricot can run as high as $2000 for a dog.
Taking Care of Your Chocolate Poodle’s Coat
Proper grooming is important to keep your poodle happy and healthy. It prevents knotting and matting that may lead to more serious issues such as sores and infections down the line.
How you care for your poodle will depend on its coat type and whether it has curly, wavy, or corded fur. It’s a good idea to do some research ahead of time online to ensure that you’re taking the right approach. When in doubt, ask your groomer for home care tips between visits.