20 Goldendoodle Colors & Markings (With Pictures!)

Two Goldendoodles in different colors side by side

If you are a dog lover, you are probably well-acquainted with the charms of a Goldendoodle – but how familiar are you with the different Goldendoodle colors?

The appearance of Goldendoodle is a delightful mix of its two parent breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. Aside from its teddy bear-like demeanor, it also comes in varying shades ranging from cream to black.

If you want to learn more about the colors found in a Goldendoodle, you have come to the right place! Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about Goldendoodle colors.

How Many Goldendoodle Colors Are There?

Goldendoodle exploring outdoors

Unlike purebred dogs, designer breeds such as the Goldendoodle do not have standard colors set by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Thus, there is a wide range of possible colors developed by Goldendoodle breeders.

To date, there are 12 known Goldendoodle colors. This number does not include the different types of Goldendoodle patterns, which will be further explained in this article.

To help you keep track, here are the 12 Goldendoodle colors:

  • White
  • Cream
  • Apricot 
  • Red
  • Champagne
  • Gray
  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Silver Beige 
  • Tan
  • Chocolate
  • Black

These colors have been developed through years of multi-generational breeding. The advancement of DNA technology for dog breeding has made this wide range of colors possible. 

For a quick lesson on Goldendoodle colors, you can check out this Youtube video:

Goldendoodle Colors! 🐶 Brown, Apricot, Red, Cream, Black, Parti, Sable, Merle, Grey, Phantom, Tan 🐶

12 Goldendoodle Colors

There are different kinds of Goldendoodles aside from the popular apricot or cream variants. Keep reading for a more in-depth explanation of each Goldendoodle color, complete with pictures!

1. White

White Goldendoodle

Generally speaking, white Goldendoodles have spots of cream or beige throughout their coat, making them somewhat dual-toned. It is very rare for a Goldendoodle to be completely white, similar to white Poodles. 

This is because their white color mainly comes from Poodles since there are no white Golden Retrievers. Thus, white Goldendoodles can look very similar to light cream or tan Goldendoodles. 

It can be quite difficult to produce a white Goldendoodle since white is a recessive color. Thus, breeders often resort to multi-generational breeding to produce this color, making it quite pricey.

2. Cream

Cream Goldendoodle

Cream is one of the most common and most popular colors found in a Goldendoodle. Because of their lightness, cream-colored Goldendoodles are often mistaken for white or champagne.

However, a cream Goldendoodle maintains a consistent cream shade, especially around its eyes, mouth, and nose. This differs from white Goldendoodles, which often have darker-colored tips around these areas.

Cream Goldendoodles also vary from each other greatly, meaning that no two will look exactly the same. Some have lighter features, while others may have darker noses, eyes, and even toenails. 

Because of this wide variation of appearances, cream Goldendoodles are also popularly used for breeding dogs with multi-colored coats or patterns. 

3. Apricot 

Apricot Goldendoodle

Apricot is one of the most popular and sought-after Goldendoodle colors because it gives a Goldendoodle an iconic teddy bear-like appearance, especially with the right haircut and grooming.

Although apricot Goldendoodles usually present a darker red shade during puppyhood, this is one of the colors that significantly lighten or fade over time. 

Thus, most apricot Goldendoodles can be mistaken as red or tan, depending on the Goldendoodle’s age. 

To differentiate these colors, apricot is a golden brown shade, while tan is a lighter shade similar to cream or champagne. Red usually appears like a rusty, deeper reddish-brown.

Apricot Goldendoodles all have dark features, including eyes, noses, and paw pads. This color is also recognized as one of the official Poodle colors, so it is quite common to produce apricot Goldendoodles. 

4. Red

Red Goldendoodle

As mentioned earlier, red Goldendoodles have a mahogany, rust-tinted reddish brown color. It will be darkest during puppyhood and will likely fade and lighten as the Goldendoodle grows older.

Red is usually produced by mixing red or darker-colored Poodles with a Golden Retriever. This creates the rich, bright shade of red that makes these Goldendoodles look similar to teddy bears.

Red Goldendoodles are also significant for breeding Goldendoodles of red variations, such as cream and apricot. Thus, these Goldendoodles are one the most common and in-demand Goldendoodle colors.

As a Poodle breeder and enthusiast, I have had a lot of inquiries asking if I also breed red Goldendoodles. The good thing is that a close friend of mine focuses on breeding different shades of red Goldendoodles, both F1 and F1B.

She has validated that there is indeed a high demand for this color, not just because of its striking hue. Breeders themselves want to be able to produce this color since it is a gateway to other possible color combinations for this Poodle hybrid.

5. Champagne

Champagne Goldendoodle
Image credit: prince.champs / Instagram

Although champagne is a well-loved color among Goldendoodle lovers, this is one of the rarest colors found in this designer breed. 

Champagne Goldendoodles are born with darker, golden coats that clear into white with pale yellow hues. This color is produced by the presence of a recessive gene, which is diluted to create the champagne tint.

Champagne can be mistaken for other similar Goldendoodle colors, such as tan or pale apricot. However, champagne-colored Goldendoodles often appear lighter and closer to white, with a shiny, pale yellow tinge.

6. Gray

Gray Goldendoodle
Image credit: bodhi.and.dalai.doods / Instagram

Gray is one of the most peculiar Goldendoodle colors, especially in terms of how it presents. Most gray Goldendoodles are born with extremely dark-colored coats that often get mistaken as black or chocolate.

At around six weeks, their coat will begin to lighten and show gray coloration. Gradually, this will turn into a predominantly gray or rustic silver coat. 

However, some areas around the face and ears can retain a darker shade, giving these Goldendoodles a dual-toned coat. 

Gray is one of the rarest Goldendoodle colors and can only be achieved through multigenerational breeding. Some gray Goldendoodles are a mix of a Poodle and an Australian Shepherd.

7. Blue

Blue Goldendoodle
Image credit: oodlesodoodlespuppies / Instagram

Blue Goldendoodles are not actually blue; they have dark steel coats that are tinged with blue, which is best seen in the sunlight. It is also common for them to have both dark and light patches.

This is why it is easy to mistake a blue Goldendoodle for gray or silver. These puppies are also born with a black coat that lightens into a bluish hue in the first few years of their lives.

Some blue Goldendoodles may even continue the color-clearing process well beyond adulthood, stripping away any traces of their blue tints. 

To achieve this color, multiple generations of Goldendoodles must be bred. In other words, it is quite difficult to produce blue Goldendoodles – which is why it is one of the rarest Goldendoodle colors. 

8. Silver

Silver Goldendoodle
Image credit: a_dude_named_arlo / Instagram

Similar to gray and blue Goldendoodles, silver Goldendoodle puppies are born with a dark-colored, almost black coat that lightens as they age – usually beginning at six to ten weeks of age. 

Once mature, these pups sport a shiny, slate-hued coat that looks very similar to the gray hairs of aged men and women. Although this can look similar to gray, silver Goldendoodles are usually lighter in color. 

Just like gray Goldendoodles, however, silver ones will have varying light and dark patches of fur throughout their coat.

9. Silver Beige 

Silver beige Goldendoodle
Image credit: frenchiethedoodle / Instagram

Silver beige is quite similar to the regular silver Goldendoodle color. Instead of being born with a dark black coat, however, silver beige Goldendoodles are born with a rich, dark brown color.

Just like other Goldendoodle colors, this will lighten or fade at six to ten weeks. This color usually presents like a light cafe au lait shade, tinged with silver throughout the entirety of the coat. 

There are also some instances where silver beige Goldendoodles clear into a much lighter, silver-like color. However, they still maintain warm tones compared to regular silver Goldendoodles. 

One peculiar feature of the silver-beige Goldendoodle is its dark tips, similar to sable Goldendoodles. However, these tips are not as black compared to true sables. 

10. Tan

Tan Goldendoodle

Tan is one of the trickiest colors, given its proximity to other shades like cream and apricot. Tan Goldendoodles receive their colors from their Golden Retriever parent, often mixed with a cream or apricot Poodle.

A feature that distinguishes tan Goldendoodles from other similar-looking Goldendoodle colors is its subtle, multi-colored coat. These pups exhibit faint color differences like white, cream, and apricot in one coat.

Although tan Goldendoodles are not nearly as in-demand as apricot or cream Goldendoodles, these pups still hold an adorable, teddy bear-like charm. 

11. Chocolate (Brown)

Chocolate Goldendoodle

Chocolate, more generally referred to as brown, is one of the most common and easily bred Goldendoodle colors. Their rich, walnut-like shade comes from the dominant brown genes of their Poodle parents. 

However, this color often carries a recessive gene that turns brown into shades of black or silver. This is how silver beige Goldendoodles come to be.

For plain brown Goldendoodles, this may present as a subtle silvering of its coat, especially once it reaches adulthood. It may also present as a complete clearing into a lighter brown shade like cafe au lait. 

12. Black

Black Goldendoodle

Some people may be surprised that black Goldendoodles exist, as it is among the rarest Goldendoodle colors. This is because both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle parent must pass on a recessive black gene.

True black Goldendoodles are completely black, including their eyes, eye rims, noses, and paw pads. Similar to gray or silver Goldendoodles, however, their coat colors may evolve with age.

Black Goldendoodles may gain a silver or blue tinge as it matures, but their features will remain a pure, inky black. 

8 Goldendoodle Markings

While Goldendoodles can come in solid colors, there are also plenty of Goldendoodle color combinations, patterns, and markings that you may not be aware of. 

Thanks to research and responsible breeding, Goldendoodle lovers can enjoy all kinds of Goldendoodles, depending on their liking.

Read about the different Goldendoodle markings below: 

1. Merle

Merle Goldendoodle

Merle is a pattern described as having mottled patches of color scattered throughout the coat. There are two different types of merle patterns for Goldendoodles, namely classic and watercolor. 

Classic merle Goldendoodles usually sport chocolate or blue patches or tickings against a slightly lighter base coat.

This is also true for the rare watercolor merle, but this pattern is more distinct since the Goldendoodle’s base coat lightens significantly as it grows older. 

The merle pattern is produced with the aid of the merle gene, which overrides the solid color of a Goldendoodle. To get a merle Goldendoodle, it must have one merle parent and non-merle parent. 

It is important that two merle dogs should never be bred together, as the merle gene has been associated with blindness, deafness, and other health ailments.

Thus, although merle Goldendoodles are quite popular, they are difficult to come by. Usually, breeders produce a merle Goldendoodle by crossing a Poodle with an Australian Shepherd or a Border Collie.

It is still possible to get a merle Goldendoodle by breeding two Goldendoodles, but it is not as common of a practice. As such, most merle ‘Goldendoodles’ are actually Aussiedoodles or Bordoodles. 

2. Parti

Parti Goldendoodle

In simple terms, parti Goldendoodles have dual-colored coats. This color combination usually consists of white and another Goldendoodle color, with a color distribution that is more or less equal.

The parti pattern comes from the recessive parti gene. Thus, a parti Goldendoodle must have two parti dogs as parents. In other words, these Goldendoodles are only possible through multigenerational breeding.

Unsurprisingly, this makes parti Goldendoodles quite rare and expensive compared to other Goldendoodle markings.

3. Abstract

Abstract Goldendoodle

Also referred to as mismark or chrome, abstract markings are considered the opposite of a parti. An abstract Goldendoodle must have a predominantly solid-colored base coat with white markings. 

These white markings must appear in less than fifty percent of the Goldendoodle’s coat – usually found on their face, chest, paws, or legs without any specific pattern.

Abstract Goldendoodles are made when a Goldendoodle puppy inherits one copy of the recessive parti gene, which results in a similar yet different variation of a dual-toned coat.

4. Sable

Sable Goldendoodle

Although the base coat of a sable Goldendoodle is usually tan or cream, these pups are born looking like black or chocolate Goldendoodle puppies. 

As they mature, this color will gradually fade and lighten, especially within areas close to the skin. However, the tips of a sable Goldendoodle’s fur will remain black or brown, giving them their signature look.

Aside from the tips, sable Goldendoodles also sport darker patches of color around their faces and ears. 

5. Phantom

Phantom Goldendoodle
Image credit: charliethephantom_doodle / Instagram

Phantom Goldendoodles are similar to parti or abstract Goldendoodles in that their coats have two different colors. However, phantom markings require very specific color locations, unlike other dual-toned patterns.

To be considered a phantom, the Goldendoodle must have a primary color that dominates the coat and a secondary color marking the areas around the eyes, nose, and feet.

Unlike other markings that take weeks and months to develop, a phantom Goldendoodle can be immediately identified upon birth. This is one of the rarest Goldendoodle markings, which is why it is quite in demand. 

6. Tuxedo

Tuxedo Goldendoodle
Image credit: thedood_cash / Instagram

The tuxedo Goldendoodle is named for its peculiar white markings across the dog’s belly, chest, muzzle, and hindleg areas, giving the illusion of a tuxedo. 

Thus, the tuxedo pattern is quite similar to phantom Goldendoodles in that there are specifically-colored locations across the coat. Tuxedo Goldendoodles can also come in an array of colors other than white.

Although black and white is one of the most popular tuxedo combinations, there have also been other color variants like red and white or apricot and white. 

7. Brindle

Brindle Goldendoodle
Image credit: teddythebrindlegoldendoodle / Instagram

A brindle Goldendoodle is distinguishable through the dark-colored patches of fur against a lighter base coat that often looks like tiger stripes. This is another dual-toned coat variation that is rarely seen. 

Although brindle Goldendoodles usually have a light-colored base coat like tan, this is not always the case. Some brindle Goldendoodles are darker in color, making them more difficult to identify. 

8. Seal

Seal Goldendoodle

A seal Goldendoodle refers to a black Goldendoodle — complete with black features like the eyes, eye rims, nose, and paw pads — that inexplicably sports a brownish coat. 

Very little is known about seal Goldendoodles other than how it is a genetic mystery. Brown Goldendoodles always have brown noses, so it is strange to see a brown coat paired with black points.

There have only been a handful of documented cases of seal Goldendoodles and even fewer pictures of this peculiar marking, but it certainly piques the interest of many. 

Why Are There So Many Goldendoodle Colors?

Just like other hybrid dogs, the appearance of a Goldendoodle depends primarily on its parent breeds: the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. In other words, the range of Goldendoodle colors is all thanks to its parents.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognizes three different colors of the Golden Retriever, namely dark golden, golden, and light golden.

On the other hand, there are eleven standard Poodle colors: apricot, red, blue, black, silver, silver beige, gray, brown or chocolate, cream, white, and cafe au lait.

Although these are the recognized colors of each breed, there are also a few non-standard colors that can be taken into consideration when creating Goldendoodle colors. 

Each of these colors comes from the combinations of eumelanin and pheomelanin, the two main pigments found in each dog. Eumelanin is the black pigment that is also responsible for a dog’s nose and eye colors. 

On the other hand, pheomelanin is the red pigment. This can present as apricot, cream, tan, and other red variants with the presence of dilution genes, which lighten a dog’s coat color as it matures. 

The combinations that can be made from these different pigments result in the rainbow of Goldendoodle colors and patterns that make the designer breed so appealing to many.

The Goldendoodle friend I mentioned a while ago has also commented that the Goldendoodle is one of the most exciting hybrids to breed precisely because of the wide range of color possibilities that you can produce.

She is now focusing on red, but she started with apricot and white and will soon explore silver and silver beige. I can relate to the same breeding excitement I have over exploring color combinations for one of its parents, the Poodle.

Do Goldendoodle Colors Affect Behavior and Health?

Goldendoodle lying on the grass

Regardless of breed, coat colors do not affect a dog’s behavior and temperament. Whatever color, combination, or pattern your Goldendoodle has, it will likely have a gentle, lovable, and cheerful disposition. 

Even the common health ailments of a Goldendoodle, such as hip dysplasia, Addison’s disease, or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), are not influenced by a Goldendoodle’s coat colors. 

However, merle-colored Goldendoodles have a higher tendency to be born with or develop health issues compared to other Goldendoodle colors — especially if the breeder does not do its genetic research.

The possession of a merle gene (M) has been associated with certain ailments like deafness, blindness, and decreased efficiency of the immune system. 

Crossing two merle dogs may produce a double merle (MM), otherwise known as a “lethal white.” These dogs are almost always born with health defects that can sometimes be life-threatening.

Thus, responsible Goldendoodle breeders should always do DNA background tests before attempting to produce a merle-colored Goldendoodle.

Do Goldendoodle Puppies Change Colors as They Grow? 

If you have a Goldendoodle puppy, it is best not to get too attached to its color. Most Goldendoodles will change colors as they grow older due to a biological process known as progressive graying.

Red and apricot Goldendoodles are more prone to this phenomenon. However, it can also be observed in black and chocolate Goldendoodles, which turn gray or silver with age. 

This process is caused by a mutation of the G locus gene, which Goldendoodles inherit from their Poodle parents. Thus, as a Goldendoodle matures, its color will gradually lighten. 

This usually occurs as early as 5 to 8 months of age. Once it reaches adulthood at around two years old, however, its color will usually stop fading or lightening any further.

What Color Will My Goldendoodle Puppy Be?

Goldendoodle puppies in varying colors

As mentioned earlier, the color of a Goldendoodle puppy depends primarily on the coat colors of its parents. 

A responsible breeder usually performs tests to determine the genetic composition of each parent breed before attempting to produce certain Goldendoodle colors. 

Golden Retrievers have limited colors compared to Poodles. These colors are recessive, while Poodle shades are often dominant. This means that it is more likely for a Goldendoodle to inherit the Poodle’s colors. 

As mentioned earlier, colors are primarily dictated by two pigments: eumelanin (black) and pheomelanin (red). 

Every dog has a base coat of either black or brown, which is usually determined by its nose color. This is caused by a gene called the B locus. 

Because black is dominant to brown, having only one copy of the black (B) locus will result in a black Goldendoodle, but brown needs two copies of the brown (b) gene to present.

Meanwhile, red pigments are determined by the presence of the recessive E locus and produce either white, cream, apricot, or red Goldendoodles. Because it is recessive, Goldendoodles must have two copies of this gene.

Different combinations of these genes will result in different colors. Generally speaking, breeding two light-colored dogs will also produce light-colored dogs, and the same principle applies to darker shades. 

However, this is not always set in stone. The parent dogs may both pass on recessive alleles and result in a completely different-colored offspring. 

In conclusion, you can determine the coat color of your Goldendoodle puppy by examining its Golden Retriever and Poodle parent, ideally through a comprehensive DNA test.

Frequently Asked Questions

Goldendoodle colors and markings

What Is the Rarest Goldendoodle Color?

Gray is considered the rarest Goldendoodle color, with blue and silver trailing closely behind. These colors result from multi-generational breeding, a more difficult process for breeders. 

What Is the Most Common Goldendoodle Color?

The most common Goldendoodle colors are cream, apricot, and red. Goldendoodles with these colors are more in demand because of their adorable, teddy bear-like appearance. 

Why Is My Red Goldendoodle Turning White?

A red Goldendoodle’s color is highly likely to fade or lighten with age because of a process called progressive graying. This process is a result of a genetic mutation a Goldendoodle inherits from its Poodle parent.

Beginning at five months of age, a red Goldendoodle’s coat gradually ‘clears’ into a lighter shade that can appear white once it fully matures. 

What Coat Types Do Goldendoodles Have?

There are four main coat types found in Goldendoodles, namely, flat, straight, wavy, or curly. This depends on whether or not it possesses a ‘curl gene,’ which it can inherit from either parent. 

If a Goldendoodle has two sets of curl genes, its coat will present as curly. One curl gene results in wavy textures, while no curl genes will present either as straight or flat.

Final Thoughts

Goldendoodles come in a rainbow of possible colors. Aside from the typical white, apricot, red, cream, and black, Goldendoodles with champagne, gray, blue, silver, silver beige, tan, and chocolate coats also exist. 

The world of Goldendoodle colors is more complex than its most popular color variants. Common colors like apricot and cream are indeed endearing; however, rarer colors like gray and blue are just as delightful!

There are also many kinds of Goldendoodle markings, each as charming as before. These colors, patterns, and combinations contribute to our long-standing love for Goldendoodles!

If you have a favorite Goldendoodle color, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments!

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