At What Age Do Poodles Change Color?

By Jenny E

Poodles are a dog breed that come in many shades, shapes and sizes. They are popular house pets due to their intelligence and often showy appearance. One common characteristic of poodles is the fact that the color of the coat they were born with tends to change to another color as they mature. If they are born with a dark coat, they "clear" or "fade" to a lighter color.

Color Process

The determining factor of the ultimate color of a poodle's coat is the initial color. For example, a "clearing" of the coat could be from a darker color to a lighter one, or the other way around. Some poodles that are born a darker shade may eventually "clear" to an apricot shade by the time they are 2 years old. The coat of black poodle puppies may "clear" to silver or blue by the age of 2. Dark brown poodles may change to a café au lait shade by the age of 2. Generally, poodles change their coat color by the time they are 2. This initial color may go through another change and stabilize by the time the poodles are 3 years old.

Poodle Care

Some factors may affect the ultimate color of a poodle and how long it takes for the poodle to achieve that color. One of the factors is the type of care the poodle receives as it matures. Intensive coat-grooming with some specific products, at various stages in the poodle's development, can affect the eventual color of a poodle's coat. Some of these products include whitening shampoos, coat dressings and conditioners.

Holding

A poodle may keep the color of the coat that it was born with, a factor known as "holding." Even if the poodle does "clear" from a darker color to a lighter one, the "clearing" of the coat is not uniform all over the poodle's fur. For instance, the fur around the ears and the thicker guard hairs tend to "hold" their color throughout the life of the poodle, even when other parts of the coat change to another color.

Other Poodle Colors

Other varieties of poodle color include white, gray, silver beige, red and silver. The "clearing" process in poodles may go through various stages before the poodles finally achieve their permanent color. For instance, a poodle puppy could start off with a blackish coat that will "clear" to a gray color and eventually a platinum silver color. Some orange-colored poodle puppies change to a darkish peach color and eventually fade to a lighter peach color.