When most people picture a Cockapoo, they immediately imagine a dog with a classic tan, beige, golden, or creamy coat color. But did you know that Cockapoo coats come in a vast spectrum of colors?
In this post, we will introduce you to the entire range of Cockapoo colors. But first, let's briefly introduce the Cockapoo breed and talk a little about the type of coat Cockapoos have.
About the Cockapoo Breed
Cockapoos have been around for decades now. This designer dog breed is a cross between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. As highly sociable dogs, they are easy to train, can live comfortably even in smaller homes and apartments, and will reward you with endless love and affection. They also do well with children and other dogs.
What Type of Coat Do Cockapoos Have?
The single coat of the Cockapoo features long hair that may be straight or loosely curled. While Cockapoos are not big shedders, you should brush them at least twice a week. The hair can also get long over the eyes, so you will need to trim it away so your pet can see without obstructions (and so you can see those adorable love-filled eyes gazing back at you).
How Many Colors of Cockapoo Coats Are There?
Cockapoo coat colors run the gamut through just about every hue you can picture. Why are there so many? The reason is that both the parent breeds of the Cockapoo—the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel—have numerous possible coat colors. So, depending on how the genetics combine, the resulting crossbreed can exhibit any number of potential single colors or color combinations.
|Black & Tan|
|Black & White|
|Black White & Tan|
|Blue Roan & Tan|
|Brown & White|
|Brown White & Tan|
|Red & White|
|Sable & White|
|Brown & Tan|
|Buff & White|
|Brown Roan & Tan|
|Black & Brown|
|Black & Cream|
|Black & Gray|
|Black & Silver|
|Black & Tan|
|Black & White|
|Blue & White|
|Brown & White|
|Cafe Au Lait|
|Cream & White|
|Gray & White|
|Red & White|
|Red & Apricot|
|White & Apricot|
|White & Silver|
|Black & Apricot|
|Brown & Apricot|
That gives you an understanding of the tremendous variety possible when breeding Cockapoos!
Can You Breed for Specific Colors?
It is hard to be entirely sure what coat colors will result when breeding Cockapoos. But you will have your best chance of getting a particular color if you are breeding a cocker spaniel with a poodle, rather than a Cockapoo with another Cockapoo (or, for that matter, a Cockapoo with a poodle or a Cockapoo with a cocker spaniel).
Another thing that makes it hard to predict the ultimate color you will get is that coat colors can change as dogs get older.
So, even if you have a puppy with one coat color, you could end up with another one as that puppy ages. In situations where this happens, darker colors fade to lighter ones. This is the result of a particular gene expressed from the poodle parent.
Most of the fade will likely start at around the six-month mark and continue until your pet is three years old. But even after that, the coat can continue to fade and lighten.
However, not every Cockapoo carries this color fading gene, so it does not always happen. But it is a possibility you should be prepared for when you adopt a Cockapoo, especially a puppy.
Here are a few tips:
Solid Cockapoo Colors
Now that you know more about the genetic reasons for the broad range of hues possible for Cockapoo coats let's go over some of the colors you may encounter. We will start with coats in single colors.
The eye-catching dark coat of a black Cockapoo is a stunning contrast with the more typical Cockapoo coat colors. While a black Cockapoo’s coat can be a true midnight black and remain that way, dogs that inherit this coat color from their parents also tend to carry the gene that causes colors to fade.
That means that many black Cockapoos are grayer in color with time. The color may also be described as “silvery” or “gunmetal.” The cool undertone of the hue can lend it a bluish cast.
This fading, should it happen, will usually be most dramatic over the first two years. After that, it will typically slow down. Whether the black or gray color of the fur has a shiny or matte appearance comes down to the texture of the hair. So, for example, if a black Cockapoo's fur fades, it could look gray if it is matte or silver if it is shiny.
Something else to know about black Cockapoos is that while these dogs may be a solid black or gray color, black and white Cockapoos are especially common. Typically, you will see white accents on these Cockapoos' chest, tummy, face, and/or paws.
Black Cockapoos usually have black noses to match whether they have white marks or not. Their eyes are most commonly brown.
Chocolate Cockapoos are brown Cockapoos. Their coats are typically dark in color, or at least start that way. But they can also be a medium brown or fade to medium brown over time. There are even scenarios where the fade can be so dramatic as to eventually produce a tan or beige color.
Sometimes, chocolate Cockapoo coats start out so dark that they appear at a glance to be black.
While a brown Cockapoo may be a pure chocolate color through and through, white on the tummy, chest, face, or paws are common.
Brown Cockapoos may have brown or black noses. Eye colors range across numerous hues. You sometimes may even get a stunning contrast like blue or green.
This is an incredibly striking and distinctive coat color for a Cockapoo. A red Cockapoo looks similar to an apricot Cockapoo with a darker, coppery coat, except even deeper and more vivid. Some red Cockapoos fade to apricot as they age, but others retain their deep reddish coat color.
As with the other hues on our list, "red" references a range of colors rather than one single hue. Sometimes these dogs are close to chocolate but have enough reddish undertone to call them "red." Other times, they are much more vibrantly red, more like a copper penny. Still other times, they may be closer to apricot but darker than what we would typically categorize as such.
The color is often solid across the entire dog with no variations or only subtle variations in intensity or lightness. But sometimes, these dogs may have lighter patches on the tummy, chest, and face. The patches may even be whitish.
“Buff” does not refer to a single, specific color for a Cockapoo coat. It is a broad category of coat colors that span the spectrum including:
Below, we detail these different buff hues. Keep in mind that there is overlap between them, and some people may use the terms to refer to slightly different colors.
Some Cockapoos have coats in a pale creamy color that is close to white. The fur may be whiter in some spots and creamier in others. Usually the darker, creamier patches are on the ears and close to the noses, which can be brown or black.
Sometimes, you might also see hints of other hues on cream-colored Cockapoos, like apricot or golden. Some Cockapoos born with tan or beige fur could also fade to a creamier lighter color like this over time.
These Cockapoos are named for the warm, reddish tint of their coats. They may be:
Not surprisingly, many apricot Cockapoos start with a deeper coppery coat that lightens to a paler color. But the reddish undertone itself should not go away, even if the color lightens overall.
It is common for these dogs to have lighter patches on their bellies and chests, the undersides of their necks, and below their mouths. Their noses can be black or brown.
"Tan" and "beige" are words used to describe Cockapoos with light brownish coats. As is typical with other colors, usually the coats are darker around the ears and lighter on the chests and bellies of these dogs.
When a tan or beige Cockapoo is born, the color of the coat may appear more of a medium "true" brown. But within a couple of months, it will already be the light tan or beige hue.
A golden Cockapoo has a coat in a light brownish color similar to tan or beige. But the coat has a distinct yellowish undertone, giving it a more "golden" hue. Usually, the parents of this dog are the golden toy poodle and the English cocker spaniel.
This is not the most common color for Cockapoo coats, considering that achieving it requires fairly specific breeding and outcomes.
This coat color, like golden, is not very common and immediately catches the eye due to its rarity. In fact, it can often be described as a very pale form of golden, a close match for the effervescent drink after which it is named.
Sometimes, the color is a little more “neutral” and less yellowish—almost more of a pale taupe than a pale gold. The usual pattern applies where the ears are darker and the stomach, chest, and underside of the neck are often lighter. The eyes and nose form dark contrasts with the surrounding fur.
A Cockapoo born with a golden coat could hypothetically fade to champagne color.
Cockapoo Multicolor Coats
Now that we have checked out the single-color coats for Cockapoos, we can take a look at the multicolor coats!
One of the most eye-catching color combinations you can find on a Cockapoo is the merle coat. This coat features a swirl of contrasting hues somewhat reminiscent of marble. Some colors might include cream/white, black, grey, brown, tan, or red. You usually see two or even three hues on a single merle Cockapoo.
If warmer tones are present, you might hear the dog referred to as a “red merle Cockapoo.” If cooler tones are present like a gunmetal gray, the dog might be called a “blue merle Cockapoo.” There is no one distinct “pattern” for the swirls. The look is entirely random, and no two merle Cockapoos look alike.
Even the noses and eyes of merle Cockapoos have a distinctive appearance. Sometimes, the noses have spots. Eyes may be brown, blue, or even a mix, with each eye a different color.
There is a catch, however. As beautiful as merle coats are, the same gene that produces this coat also can cause health problems. For this reason, one should never attempt to breed a pair of merle Cockapoos with each other. The resulting puppies may be blind, deaf, or both.That said, if you find yourself somehow with a merle Cockapoo that is blind, deaf or both, it can lead a healthy and fulfilling life with appropriate training and care. A dog with these conditions does not need to be put down; he requires love, patience, and hard work from his family.
Phantom Cockapoos have coats with a very specific distribution of colors. The most common combination is black and tan, or possibly black, tan, and white. There may also be brown, red, silver, or other hues.
Usually, the bulk of the phantom Cockapoo's body will be a darker hue, i.e. black or brown. There will be lighter markings (i.e. tan) around the muzzle, above the eyes (like eyebrows), on the chest, on the legs and paws, underneath the tail and in the ears.
The markings are highly symmetrical and regular. While there may be slight variations in how they appear, on the whole, the phantom look is quite easy to recognize once you become familiar with it.
We mentioned previously that sometimes there are black and white Cockapoos. One particular configuration of black and white coloring on a Cockapoo's coat is referred to as the "tuxedo" since it resembles a formal tux.
A tuxedo Cockapoo is a dark color like black, brown, or red. But this dog has a prominent white marking running down his chest. There may sometimes be a little white on the face (around the muzzle, typically) or on the feet. But other times, the dog's fur will be one solid color aside from the chest streak of white.
With the other Cockapoo coat colors we have talked about, we have seen patches of solid color, but not sections of fur with hairs of different colors mixed together.
Roan Cockapoos have patches in different colors, but at least some are roan, meaning they are a mixture of white and darker hairs with a splotchy "salt and pepper" appearance.
The colors of the darker hairs can range widely from one dog to the next. Some possibilities include black, brown, bluish-gray, red, golden, and so forth.
The colors of the other patches can also vary across the spectrum. But it is common for these dogs to have darker ears and cheeks and roan on their chests and stomachs. Sometimes their legs may also be roan, and even their backs and parts of their faces.
A sable Cockapoo has a coat that features a range of colors, usually some combination of black, red, and tan. Not surprisingly, the lightest parts of the coat are usually the chest/stomach and around the muzzle, while the darkest parts are the ears, cheeks, and generally the back. But some variations diverge quite a bit from this typical distribution.
The sable coat particularly stands out because each hue tends to fade gracefully into the next. The result is a smooth and striking gradient of colors.
When a Cockapoo has a coat that features two colors in roughly even amounts, then we usually call that a “parti-colored” coat. Normally, one of those colors is white, though it could also be apricot, cream, or another buff hue.
A black and white Cockapoo may be a parti-colored Cockapoo. We also would say the same of a brown and white Cockapoo, a red and white Cockapoo, a buff and white Cockapoo, and so on.
While color distribution patterns can vary, it is most common for these dogs to have dark ears and cheeks and light bellies and chests. Dark patches and white patches may alternate on their backs and sides.
The term "tri-colored" for a Cockapoo coat refers to a variation on the phantom coat. As mentioned in that section, some phantom Cockapoos have three hues, not two. When they do, that is when we might refer to them as "tri-colored."
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the rarest color for Cockapoos?
The rarest color for Cockapoos is probably merle, owing to the health concerns involved with the merle gene.
What coat will my Cockapoo have?
That can be extremely hard to predict in advance. While a skilled breeder can do their best to produce a particular color, there is no way to be certain what the outcome will be until the puppy is born. Once a puppy is born, you can assume that the adult coat color will either be the same or a lighter version of the same.
What is the best color of a Cockapoo?
That is a very subjective question, but we think it is pretty easy to answer. The best color of a Cockapoo is whatever color your Cockapoo happens to be. Every Cockapoo is beautiful and unique in its own way, and each of these affectionate animals deserves the best care we can offer.
So, whatever color Cockapoo stumbles into your life, know that your dog's beauty is immeasurable, just like the love he will share with you. Even if his coat changes in the future, the joy he brings to your life will never fade.