Cockapoo colors depend on the colors of the dogs that produced the pups and include several standard colors and rare colors that can crop up unexpectedly. Regardless of the Cockapoo colors, their coats can be curly or straight and any length.
One of the great things about having a Cockapoo as a pet is the hypoallergenic coats that don’t usually trigger allergy reactions in most people.
They also usually inherit the lack of shedding from their Poodle side, making Cockapoo ownership less work-intense than owning several other breeds. I love all Doodles, so I think all colors are beautiful, but some catch the eye more than others.
The Most Common Cockapoo Colors
The Cockapoo colors that you’ll usually see involve a mix of solid color coats and multi-colored ones.
The standard solid colors are:
- Chocolate brown
Color mixes include merle coats, phantom Cockapoos, and various parti-colored coats.
Many people call cream coats champagne and tan coats golden. However, apricot is one of the most common colors and the classic orangish-beige color. Chocolate Cockapoos have dark brown coats, while beige and brown dogs have lighter shades of brown, and black ones have solid black fur.
The other standard Cockapoo colors involve a blend of coat colors with a striking appearance.
Parti-colored Cockapoos are also sometimes called bi or tri-colored. Cockapoo colors on a parti-colored Cockapoo usually appear in threes, with one dominant coat color and two other colors covering a lot of the fur.
The extra colors aren’t in small, specific places. They’ll also cover a considerable amount of the dog. In some cases, the dog will have two pronounced colors instead of three, but a combination of three Cockapoo colors is more common.
Parti-colored dogs can have white, cream, or apricot as the dominant coat and aren’t limited to dark base colors. Most Cockapoo colors with specific names are also considered parti-colored or tri-colored dogs.
Dogs with merle coats have multi-colored, dappled patterns in their fur that are beautiful, but the merle gene can bring several devastating health issues with it.
Merle Cockapoos are striking but the rarest color because of how difficult it is to breed a merle puppy without developing health problems.
Only one parent dog can be merle. Two merle Cockapoos bred together, known as a double merle, will produce a dog born blind or deaf. Even in litters with one merle parent, only one-quarter of the litter will be merle, and it’s often not that much.
Other mixed breeds like my favorite Labradoodles will have more merle pups with this kind of breeding, but they remain rare in Cockapoos.
In most cases, merle coats in Cockapoos create a swirling pattern that contains up to three colors. For example, Cockapoos can be blue merles, with blueish swirls and patches in dark fur, or red merles with reddish patches in light fur.
Phantom Cockapoos typically have red, chocolate, or nearly black fur as their base fur color. Lighter hair appears in specific places like their tail, chin, eyebrows, paws, chest, neck, and legs.
Lighter fur might hide beneath darker shades, so you might not be able to see all of it without moving the top hairs out of the way in certain places.
The colors will go down the chest and legs. If the color patches only appear above the shoulders, the dog has a parti-colored coat instead.
The color markings on a phantom Cockapoo resemble the light patches on a Doberman Pinscher.
Solid color Cockapoos with a white patch on the chest are known as Tuxedo Cockapoos because the color pattern resembles a tuxedo and vest. These dogs usually have dark or red fur with no other colors besides white.
These dogs have white hairs mixed with another dark color to create a pretty coat and a faded appearance. Blue roans have white and black fur at birth and can have a bluish-gray color as they age.
This shade is one of the mixed Cockapoo colors that gives a striking appearance and doesn’t fall exactly into the other mix categories. I think sable coats are some of the prettiest on dogs.
Sable Cockapoos have a dominant color with their fur tips in different colors. The most common look is a reddish coat with tips in darker shades.
There’s usually a much more noticeable distinction between the colors when they’re puppies because the colors fade as they age and blend better.
How Cockapoo Colors Happen?
It’s easier for breeders to create specific Cockapoo colors if they breed a purebred Cocker Spaniel with a purebred Poodle. The parents’ coats determine the litter’s likelihood of particular coat colors.
If the Cockapoo comes from two Cockapoos, it’s much harder to predict the coat colors that will result. But, of course, it’s easier if both Cockapoos came from purebred dogs. Recessive genes can still create an unexpectedly multi-colored litter, though.
Some Cockapoos come from Cockapoos a few generations away from the purebred parents, and some are the result of breeding with a Cockapoo and a purebred Poodle or Cocker Spaniel. Those litters make it almost impossible to predict Cockapoo colors with much accuracy.
Good breeders get pretty close to the desired result, but nature can play tricks on us and create a litter of puppies with surprising colors and patterns.
Poodle and Cocker Spaniel Colors
The color of a Cockapoo depends entirely on the dominant and recessive genes for fur color that the parents pass on to it.
Poodles can have the standard colors of:
- Silver beige
- Cafe Au lait
Cocker Spaniels come in several shades. They’re not limited to solid color coats like Poodles. Only six of the Cocker Spaniel colors are solid color coats. The rest are parti-colored.
The standard and parti-colored coats include:
- White and liver
- Liver and tan
- Tan and black
- Black and white
- Black, white, and tan
- Liver, white, and tan
- Orange and white
Cocker Spaniels frequently have roan coats, including:
- Blue roan
- Blue roan and tan
- Tan and liver roan
- Orange and roan
- Lemon roan
- Liver roan
- Red roan
Breeders who want a Cockapoo of a specific color have to choose the parents carefully according to their coat colors. The genetics involved can help them raise the odds of particular colors in the litter, but they can’t guarantee specific outcomes.
If a breeder guarantees a dog’s color, that might be a red flag that they run a puppy mill and know the correct colors will appear because of the volume of puppies they have.
Choosing Your Cockapoo’s Color
One important thing to keep in mind about telling the breeder what color you want is that Cockapoo colors can fade as they age. The puppy with a reddish or apricot coat can end up cream or nearly white as it ages.
Black Cockapoos can end up more sable with highlights or a chocolate brown by the time they’re a year old.
Cockapoo Colors Fading
Most dogs start to lose some pigment in their fur as they age, the same way we get gray hair when we get older. But Cockapoo colors often begin to fade when they’re about six months old. Why does this happen?
Poodles carry a gene known as the fading gene that causes fur color to fade. Some will fade more than others, but when it’s passed on to a Cockapoo, that dog’s fur will fade as a Poodle does.
The color change can be dramatic between six months and three years and often continues throughout the dog’s life.
If you want a specific color and shade and nothing else will do, you should probably adopt a Cockapoo that’s at least a few shades darker than your ideal color because it will probably fade to that shade within a few years.
Final Thoughts on Cockapoo Colors
While some colors like merle or roan are more eye-catching than others, I like all Cockapoo colors, and I hope you do, too! Your breeder should give you the general odds but not necessarily guarantee a particular coat if you want a specific color.
The chances of the Cockapoo colors you want appearing in a litter are greater if the parents are purebred, and the pups will be known as F1 Cockapoos, but even then, surprises happen.
I hope you find the dog you want, and even if it’s not the perfect color you imagined, I hope it has a sweet and loving nature.