Australian Labradoodle - Coats and Colors
As revised 2007 [Angela Rutland-Manners with consideration ]

The Australian Labradoodle comes in a rainbow of colors.

BLACK - SILVER -  BROWN  (CAFE OR CHOCOLATE) -  VARYING SHADES OF CREAM -   GOLD -
(Also called APRICOT)  - CARAMEL - BLUE - RED - PARCHMENT - LAVENDER-SABLE-PHANTOM-PARTI AND PIED
 

Pigment

There are two colors of pigment in the Australian Labradoodle.

Raven, Blue, Silver, Red, Gold and Sable must have Black pigment.

All shades of Brown, and all shades of Caramel must have rose [Liver] pigment.

A note about pigment. 

Pigment is the color of the nose and the skin lining around the eyes, lip rims, and on the pads of a dog's paws.  The 'rose' pigment found in the dilute colors is not a lack of pigment, but is a definite color.  This means that there is no predisposition to sunburning or cancer in the rose pigmented Australian Labradoodle ASD (authentic Aust. Labradoodle).

                                           
 

           

  Click on the thumbnail photos to see  enlargements of  rose pigmented  Australian Labradoodles.  These blonde beauties are no more susceptible to sunburn or skin cancer than the darkest black pigmented dog.

There are 3 groups of colors that belong to the Australian Labradoodle.

SHADED: is the the group that have a blend of tones to make the color you see. Silver, Apricot Cream, Cafe` , Lavender, Gold , Parchment, Phantom and Sable are included in this group.

SOLID: is the group that are an even solid color all over. [sun bleaching is not penalized and not grouped into the Shaded section] Raven [Black] Chocolate,  Caramel Ice, Chalk, Red are included in this group.

ABSTRACT:  is the group that have two or Multiple colours. These include Agouti, Phantom, Sable, Parti, and Pied.

 

Colors as Puppies and Adults

Chocolate

Chocolate  starts off in puppies as a rich dark chocolate brown.   Weather and age tips the coat with bronze/gold highlights.  Pigment (nose, eye & mouth rims and foot pads) must be rose  [liver] colored.  During these early days of breed development, Chocolates and Cafes like other rich colors, can have a sprinkling of  silver through them as they mature.  Purity of color has taken a back seat  during the infant stages of breed development as other more important traits have been fixed in the breed such as allergy friendliness, health aspects and temperament.    This color belongs to the Solid group. Belongs to the Rare color group.

Cafe`

A true Cafe is a delicate beautiful shade the color of an Iced Milk Coffee. Pigment must be Rose  and eyes hazel honey or brown.  When the coat is parted, you can see that Cafe is evenly colored from the roots all the way to the tips of the coat ends, with silver fibers evenly sprinkled throughout the coat. Ears, feet, tail and face will have darker shading.

This color belongs to the Shaded group.

Silver

Silvers are fascinating and stunning.  Born Black, the first signs of Silver start around the eyes looking like a pair of spectacles.  As it spreads on the face, silver also appears on the hocks (back knees) and center of the tail.  It then travels up the four legs, and begins silvering  from the roots outwards all over the body.  Silvers can go through stages of smoky blue  and many are a shimmering platinum silver at full maturity. Silvers must have black pigment.  Eyes should 'match' the coat toning and must never have a staring or harsh expression. Pigment must be Black. This color belongs to the shaded group.

 Gold

When baby puppies, it takes a practiced eye to tell the difference between a Gold  and a Red , as these colors can either fade, or deepen with maturity. They are a package of delightful surprises as some who fade, can return to an even more vibrant richer color when the adult coat comes through.  Pigment is always black and eyes are shades of brown.  The Gold dog will have slightly darker ears and the featherings will be of a lighter shade to the rest of the body. The Gold is in the Shaded group

Creams

 

Creams range through a variety of shades.  Pigment is Black and eyes are shades of Hazel to brown.   A correct coated Cream does not need bathing like other light colored breeds of dog.  The genuine Australian Labradoodle's coat sheds dirt and mud all by itself.  Left to dry naturally, all traces of dirt completely disappears leaving no staining or smell behind.  It is just another amazing feature of the genuine Australian Labradoodle ASD, one which is not shared by copies of the breed. All Shades of cream belong to the Shaded group.

RAVEN [Black]

Black is the most stunning of all colors and is the most under appreciated color of  the Australian Labradoodle, possibly because they do not photograph as well as the lighter colors.  Countless times, when visitors to the Center see the Blacks in real life, many have changed their preference to a Black.  There is something magical about the way the light catches the glossy black waves and ringlets as the dogs move about. Depending on the colors in their ancestry,   pigment must be black and eyes dark brown to a gentle black brilliance. Raven belongs to the Solid Group.

Caramel

Caramel Cream

Caramel Ice

There are 3 Caramel colors and all have one common denominator - they must have rose pigment.

Caramels are the equivalent to red through to a rich gold. Belongs to the Solid group. Belongs to the Rare color group.

Caramel Creams are a pale Gold through all shades of cream. Belongs to the Shaded group.

Caramel Ice are Chalk in color. Slight coloration through the topline is acceptable. Ears must be pure Chalk. Belongs to the Solid group.

Caramel dogs are also well loved for their Ghost eye color. That starts as a clear bluish green and changes with maturity to a clear hazel often with a slight green tone.

Red

 

Just as there are different shades of red with red haired humans so it is with dogs.  The basic difference between a Red and a Caramel is the color of their pigment (nose, lip and eye rims and paw pads).  Reds have Black pigment and dark brown eyes.  Caramels have rose pigment and honey to hazel eyes. Belongs to the Solid Group. Belongs to the Rare color group.

Lavender

Rare color.  Puppies are born looking like Cafe and Parchment,  it takes a practiced eye to pick which Cafe puppy will develop into a Lavender.  Like the Parchment they will show 30-50% of their color buy the age of 6 months, by 12 months a clear iridescent looking mauve Tone will be seen evenly through the body coat, the first mauve signs will show on the front of the legs and the lower hind legs. The skin will have more Blue tone than grey. Eyes are honey or medium to dark hazel. Pigment must be rose. Belongs to the shaded group. Belongs to the Rare color group.

Blue

Not all Blues 'look' blue.  When they are born they are 'almost' black but with a slightly smoky appearance which is difficult to see unless in a good natural light. There are ways to tell which 'Blacks' are really Blue for an experienced breeder.  Some adult Blues look Black all the time, but are genetically Blue (useful to know for breeders).  Others will develop a Smokey thunder sky blue at some times of the year and become almost Black at others. It is easy to distinguish a Black from even the darkest Bleu, by parting there coat and looking at there skin, If it is a Blue dog it will look almost like a purplish colour, If it is a Black dog the skin will have a grey whitish color.  Pigment must be either Black or bluish Black as an adult. Eyes are a soft brown to Dark Brown.Belongs to the Solid Group.

Parchment

  

  

Parchment is a rare color which is mentioned in a two hundred year old Poodle Handbook.  It became extinct but has re-surfaced in the Australian Labradoodle.  Parchments begins life as a Cafe` and the dusky cream begins at the roots and grows out until the whole dog is an even very delicate Latte` color all over.  Pigment is Rose and eyes can be hazel or honey colored. Parchment belongs to the shaded group.
Phantom

Phantom photos courtesy of Sunsethills Australian Labradoodles SA

Phantoms are very pretty and no two are ever alike. Usually a dark base color with silver and cream shading down or across the chest and up the legs, Ideally should have tan/Cream eyebrows and beauty spots and patch under the tail. Phantoms can also be seen with red, gold, silver base colour . Phantoms can also carry the agouti striping and sable patterning as well. Belongs to the Abstract group.
Parti
    
 

Pretty Parti.. Come in any color with white on the face. They can also have white on the chest, tummy and toes.  Belongs to the Abstract group.

 

Pied
           
 

Pied can also come in any colour with an ideal maximum of 50% of there body patched in white.

 Belongs to the Abstract group.

COAT TYPES

There are Fleece coats - and then there are Fleece coats!

Beautiful Correct Fleece Coat -every strand the same. If shaved, it will not bunch into tight curls but will grow back its lovely loose Staples.

Poor Quality Fleece Coat On a closer look you will find a % of hair through the whole body.

 

Wool

 

 

Spiral Fleece

The  Wool coat will matt very easily as it is a mix of two coats. Wool coats are now improving in leaps and bounds. The new successor is called a Spiral Fleece, In time to come with more breed development the wool coat will become a thing of the past.

This used to be called a curly fleece, it has the luxuriance of the fleece with a slight wool "feel" and is more dense than the fleece. It is now breeding more reliably and has been given its own identity the   "Spiral Fleece" this superb coat has all the benefits of the wool coat without the care problems.

Kemp fibres in a Wool Coat

Kemp fibres in a Fleece Coat

 

Kemp is a coarse micron fiber which is a chalky white in color.  It appears in goats with poor quality fleece, and in sheep with poor quality wool.  Kemp occurred in the Labradoodle during the coat mutation of the Poodle.  Kemp is brittle so will break and appear to shed.  It is uncommon nowadays to find it in the latest generations of the ASD Australian Labradoodle.  Kemp is not present in the coats of puppies, but develops as the dog matures.

 

 

                    SPIRAL  FLEECE                                      WAVY FLEECE

The correct Fleece Coat, whether Curly or Wavy, will ripple and flow when the dog runs.  The Wool Coat will stay put when the dog is in movement.

   

 

Flat Coat

Occasionally a Flatcoat will appear in a litter.  They have a distinct look and are quite beautiful but they do shed in varying degrees.

WHAT IS CONFORMATION ?

 

Conformation  describes the anatomy of the animal.  Conformation is 'form to function'.  Breed Standards go into a lot of detail about the required  conformation  for every breed whether it be dog, horse or other animal.  This is not done just for the 'look' of the animal, but to ensure that they continue to be bred in such a way that they remain suitable for the purpose for which they were originally developed.  Trotting dogs have different conformation to galloping dogs.  Dogs who hunt and run with their noses to the ground have different conformational structure than dogs who don't, and so on.

In four legged animals all impulsion (movement) begins at the hind end.  But there needs to be balance between hindquarters and forequarters and a strong connecting back in between.  If the hind legs reach far forward in a deep stride but the shoulder angulation is too upright to allow a long enough stride in front for the hind legs to come underneath them, then the impulsion is interfered with, the stride becomes uneven and stress is placed on various parts of the dog's anatomy.

A racehorse needs a tuck up in the flank to allow its hindquarters to come well underneath it for galloping.  But a draught horse who needs slow pulling power, does not have this tuck up in the flank.  Similarly, a galloping dog has a tuck up in the flank whereas a trotting dog doesn't as the mechanics of its movement are different.

When we talk about 'balance' in the structure of the dog, what we mean, is that the angulation of bone and therefore the connecting tissues of muscles, ligaments and tendons, needs to have the same angles in front as it has behind.  This ensures an effortless flowing movement which puts the least strain on the anatomy.