My dog Max’s best friend is a Cavapoo with a rich red coat with a white chest patch.
As a Cavapoo lover myself, I’ve often wondered about the genetics that occurs to create so many different Cavapoo colors.
This mix of a toy Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel inherits good (and bad) traits from both breeds, which can lead to some very different and fun coats.
The coat possibilities are so widespread that you may not even realize two Cavapoos are the same breed! Both the Spaniel and the Poodle have several color genes themselves, so of course, those possibilities only increase when the two are bred.
If you’re considering getting yourself and your family a Cavapoo, you should consider the possible Cavapoo colors that we’ll discuss in our coat color guide.
Cavapoo Coat Colors
With black, white, tan, and ruby from one side and apricot, blue, brown, grey, silver from the other side, along with a few other shades we didn’t mention, that leaves a host of coat color options for your Cavapoo pups.
See more dog videos on the OodleLife YouTube channel
Black is a color that appears in both Spaniels and Poodles, so there’s a good chance your Cavapoo puppy could be entirely black. Some black Cavapoos also sport white patches on their chest and underbelly, but for the most part, they don’t have any other color to them.
Although black is a common color in the parents’ DNA, it’s typically a recessive gene from the Poodle and is therefore considered rare for the Cavapoo breed. Even two black Cavapoos bred together doesn’t guarantee a black puppy.
Tan Coats / Gold Coats
One of the more common coats your Cavapoo may have is solid tan. While we say solid, this coat frequently comes with splashes of white, apricot, or black mixed in. These gorgeous pups usually draw their color from the Spaniel side of their lineage, as this breed can boast black and tan colors.
Additionally, the tan pigments can stem from the Poodle side if you have a cream or apricot-colored Poodle.
Regardless of where their color comes from, the pooches have a beautiful shade and can look extra adorable with a tuft of white on their nose or paws.
Cream color Cavapoo dogs of course show up mud, dirt and muck much easier than other coats. Even swimming will get sand and salt water caught (and don’t forget about salt slush when you take your Cavapoo into the snow).
Red Coat Cavapoo
A red-coated Cavapoo has many possibilities within its category, with various shades possible from red to strawberry blonde and every shade in between.
A red coat is pretty common among this mixed breed due to the popular ruby Spaniel. When mixed with an apricot Poodle, chances are you’ll get a red Cavapoo.
Like many of the other colors on this list, a red Cavapoo will often have splashes of white throughout its coat. You may see white on its face or paws, and some may even have spots on their backs or legs.
A chocolate coat is a classic appearance for any dog breed. The word chocolate may take your mind straight to the popular chocolate Lab, which has a solid dark-brown color throughout its coat.
Chocolate Cavapoos have the same type of coloring on their much smaller bodies.
While most chocolate-colored Cavapoos will be all dark-brown on their whole coat, some of them may also sport patches of white on their chest, forehead, or toes.
Chocolate is a recessive gene, so it’s rarer than some of the more common colors like red or apricot. If you want to breed a chocolate-colored puppy, your best chance is with a brown or black Poodle as one of the parents.
Even then, the litter’s outcome is not guaranteed.
A white coat on a Cavapoo puppy is the result of a white Poodle. That being said, it’s extremely rare that a Cavapoo will turn out 100 percent white.
Most white Cavapoos will have other colors mixed in, with white being the majority color. You may see spots of red, black, tan, or apricot in your dog’s coat.
These spots of color may be minimal at best, but I wouldn’t put all your money down on a puppy turning out completely white.
Apricot-coated Cavapoos can look very similar to those with a tan coat, but they have more of a peachy hue to them. This color arrives from a combination of golden and peach tones and is often seen with white patches on the face, on the chest, and the paws.
The result: non-stop cuteness.
You can expect an apricot coat when you have a ruby-color Spaniel in the mix. However, you can also get an apricot puppy when one of the parents is an apricot Poodle. While one or two pups may inherit this gene, it’s highly unlikely to get a full litter with this coloring.
While many Cavapoos have mainly one of the colors listed above, there are some that will have a mixture of two different colors. The most common combinations include:
- Black and white
- Red and white
- Tan and white
- Apricot and white
This list certainly is not exhaustive, and you may very well see a number of other combinations. Usually, though, a bi-colored Cavapoo will be white plus one other color.
Two-tone combinations happen due to the Spaniel side of the breeding. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be two-toned, and that gene can be passed along to its puppies.
Bi-colored coats are both interesting and beautiful, as you can spot different colors across the coat from the eyebrows and cheeks to the ears, tail, and belly.
Even more interesting than a two-toned puppy is a three-toned puppy! Some Cavapoos have coats that mix three different colors together to a tri-toned presentation. These colorful coats are beautiful and usually boast some combination of black. White, red, apricot, and tan.
The general appearance of a tri-colored Cavapoo will be patchy and patternless. A pup may be mostly black with splashes and spots of white and tan. It all depends on the DNA of its parents and the lineage before them.
A previous version of this article contained the incorrect information that the only way to breed a tri-colored Cavapoo is to have both parents have multi-colored coats.
Cavapoos can have a phenotype (outward appearance) and still carry multi-color genes. So it is feasible to have a multi-colored parent and a single coat colored parent and have puppies that are tricolor.
How crazy are genetics! If you would like to learn more about dog genetics, consider
- Ordering professional grade DNA testing (no affiliation with this brand but well regarded)
- Learn the basics of dog genetics from VCA Hospitals
- This overview from Embark DNA (another DNA testing group) explains lots of the terms
- Talk to local breeders or join breed-specific breeder groups on Facebook – the wealth of knowledge and experience you can find is unparalleled!
Tricolor Cavapoos will be amongst the most expensive type of Cavapoo you can get.
Do you want to learn more about Cavapoos and their coat colors? Continue below for some commonly asked questions and their answers.
Will a Cavapoo’s coat change as they grow?
For the most part, you can expect the color of your Cavapoo puppy’s coat to stay the same as they get older. However, some of the colors may fade or change slightly. Though their colors will likely stay the same during their lifetime, some darker colors can lighten with age.
Most Cavapoo dog Breeders say that you should expect some fade or lightening as your Cavapoo or Mini Cavapoo ages. A reputable breeder will be up front with you about coat expectations. Dodgy breeders or a puppy mill might make overly “perfect” promises that you should be mindful of.
The perfect puppy is a healthy puppy – coat color is a nice bonus.
How should I care for my Cavapoo’s coat?
Cavapoos inherit a hypoallergenic coat from the Poodle side of their DNA. Their coats are fluffy, curly, and soft, and they don’t shed much. This is the same as many other poodle mix hybrid dog breeds. Expect similar shedding to F1b Goldendoodle or Cockapoo.
However, your adult dog’s coat will trap loose hair under the surface, so it’s important that you brush it out frequently. Because of its curly texture, your Cavapoo can get mats that are hard to get out. Brushing often can prevent this from happening. A quality clipper can allow DIY grooming that can limit the impact of matts.
Likewise, the curly texture easily traps things like dirt, twigs, leaves, and other debris, so regular baths are also a good idea. Given that the tiny Cavapoo can still manage a fairly lengthy walk – you will often need to clean away outdoor dirt and debris.