One of the traits that many prospective Cavapoo owners are choosiest about is color.
While most gravitate toward bright colors and color combinations like red, white, cream, gold, apricot, chestnut, Blenheim (red and white), and tri-colored (mottled black, white, and tan), others prefer darker hues. (Cavapoo Color Guide)
But just how dark do these adorable designer dogs get? Can Cavapoos be black, for instance?
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Can Cavapoos Be Black?
Cavapoos can indeed be black. In fact, black is a fairly sought-after color among Cavapoo enthusiasts, though red, gold, apricot, and tri-colored coats are the winners in terms of overall popularity.
Black Cavapoos will sometimes have white streaks or patches on their snouts and underbellies, or tinges of reddish-brown around their faces, chests, and lower limbs. More often, they’ll be black from head to paw.
Black hair in Cavapoos is typically accompanied by black lips, noses, and other features. That means if you get a black Cavapoo, the chances are good that it will be black all over.
Far from looking fierce or aggressive, black Cavapoos have an air of sweetness and innocence about them that complements their teddy bear-like appearance perfectly.
How Common Are Black Cavapoos?
Both parent species mated to produce Cavapoos—the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle—have the genes for black hair encoded in their DNA. However, since it’s statistically rare for dogs of the former breed to have primarily black coats, black is also considered a comparatively rare color for Cavapoos.
Even so, you have a much greater chance of encountering a black Cavapoo than a black Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The simple reason for this is that both parents possess genes for black hair (it’s a particularly dominant trait in Poodles, a large percentage of which are all or partially black). As such, these genes are more available for selection and more likely to be drawn in the genetic lottery that determines the color of their offspring.
It’s not at all unusual to see Cavapoos with black hair or markings, and you should have no trouble finding one to adopt if that’s the color you have your heart set on.
Black Coat vs. Black Markings
Cavapoos aren’t always exclusively one color. While there are plenty of solid-colored specimens out there, dogs of this breed frequently display multiple colors, often a primary shade with markings of a secondary color or combination of colors. This variegated pigment pattern is best exemplified in tri-colored and Blenheim Cavapoos.
You may therefore have a slightly more difficult time tracking down a Cavapoo with all-black hair than one with traces of black mingled throughout its coat. And, owing to the relative rarity of this color scheme, you may be asked to pay a little extra if you do.
It’s also worth noting that even if you manage to find a Cavapoo that’s entirely black, its coat will likely fade to a charcoal, iron-gray, or gray-blue tint as it gets older. This fading happens because of a genetic quirk on the Poodle side that causes hair pigment to break down and become lighter over time.
Red, apricot, and gold Cavapoos are less likely to fade with age than darker colored ones (especially if their Poodle parent was red), which is another reason that they’re so coveted.
How Much Do Black Cavapoos Cost?
Although black Cavapoos are less common, they tend to be more affordable than their multicolored counterparts.
Exact prices will, of course, vary depending on where you get your pup, how experienced the breeder is, and what the designer dog market is like in your neck of the woods. On average, though, all-black Cavapoos are sold for roughly $600-700 less than cream, tan, and bi-colored Cavapoos and as much as $1,500 less than apricot, red, Blenheim, or tri-colored Cavapoos.
Do Black Cavapoos Behave Differently?
You may have heard that black dogs are prone to undesirable behaviors, such as growling, biting, aggression, territoriality, or general unfriendliness. Some people even believe that they bring bad luck or herald misfortune. These sorts of beliefs have become so widespread that they’ve resulted in a tragic phenomenon known as “black dog syndrome,” which is when black dogs are passed over for adoption in favor of light-colored dogs.
The truth is that there’s absolutely no connection between the color of a dog’s coat and its natural temperament. Black dogs are just as sweet, playful, loyal, and affectionate as dogs of any other color—and just as deserving of warm, loving homes.
For far too long, black dogs have suffered a bad rap due to the way they’ve historically been portrayed in superstitious folklore and various forms of entertainment. As dog lovers, it’s our responsibility to help dispel these harmful myths and make sure that black Cavapoos (and black dogs of all breeds) receive the attention and care they need.