Cockapoo Colours

If you’re the loving parent of a Cockapoo or thinking about getting one, I’m sure you’re aware of the plethora of coat colour combinations available. Cockapoos come in a wide range of colours because the Poodle half has ten standard colours and the Cocker Spaniel almost as many.

Additionally, you should be aware of several unique and more unusual Cockapoo coat colours as you select your dog’s colour selections. 

Another thing you might want to consider is what breeders and owners sometimes term the Poodle fading gene; however, the situation is more nuanced. There are several genes at work when determining a Cockapoo’s colour tone, rather than a single gene being solely responsible for the colour of its coat.

Two primary pigments generate a dog’s coat colours; eumelanin (which includes black) and phaeomelanin (which covers the red spectrum). These two pigments are the building blocks for all the other colours observed in these Cockapoos. Genetic specialists talk about Poodles having a progressive greying gene (G Locus) and a silver (V) gene responsible for the fading phenomenon in a Poodle’s coat. Therefore if the Poodle half of the Cockapoo has either of these two genes, it’s probable their coat will fade.

Common Cockapoo Coat Colours

The Cocker Spaniel half of the mix rarely comes in a single solid colour; however, some solid black or blue roan varieties exist. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) provides a list of permissible colours for that breed. For this reason, it is common to find Cockapoos with a dominant and a less prominent colouration.

The more common colours include:

  • Tri-colour Cockapoos
  • Red Cockapoos
  • Chocolate Cockapoos
  • Parti Cockapoos
  • Apricot Cockapoos
  • Merle Cockapoos
  • Cream Cockapoos
  • Phantom Cockapoos

There is a wide range of possible colour combinations. You cannot accurately predict a Cockapoo puppy’s colour, but you may make an informed estimate based on the colour of the parents’ coats.

However, the recessive coat colours are challenging to anticipate. You will have to rely on the experience of the Cockapoo breeder, who will have a better idea of the end colour. 

Unfortunately, in the case of many Cockapoo buyers, they have been thoroughly misled about the colour, and their pup has the fading gene. 

Numerous Cockapoo Coat Colours Explained

Mixing two distinct breeds requires an understanding of their different coat colours. A puppy’s coat colour can be challenging to predict because of the numerous colours of both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel parents.

It’s essential to remember that some of these will emerge as the dominant colouring in your Cockapoo, resulting in distinctive coat colours. A dog’s recessive genes, on the other hand, include a wide range of colours, and so multi-coloured Cockapoo litters are often the case.

Cockapoo Colours

Black Cockapoos

Typically this is one colour that inherits the parents’ fading gene. Unfortunately,  If you have a black Cockapoo, it means there’s a high chance the colour will change as your dog matures. However, black seems to suit the Cockapoo, and it’s a beautiful colour.

Cocker spaniels’ black coats can be lustrous or matte, depending on their parent’s coat texture. Often, black Cockapoos turn a dark grey or gunmetal colour, giving the dog a bluish appearance. Your Cockapoo may inherit the subdued black tones, but it can also occur because the dog grows older.

Eccles – Image kindly provided by his owner

Cream/White Cockapoos

Cream coloured Cockapoos are always a popular choice among dog lovers. The beautiful cream undoubtedly makes these dogs stand out in a crowd, and another endearing feature is the dog’s brown nose.

Nala the white Cockapoo at the back with Bailey, the tri coloured sable Cockapoo at the front

Golden Cockapoos

The golden cockapoo can’t help but be gorgeous, with parents like the English cocker spaniel and the miniature, or golden toy poodle! Their beautiful golden mane can be curly or straight, depending on whatever gene they get from their parents. 

Apricot Cockapoos

Apricot is one of the most popular cockapoo colours, and for a good reason; the dog is eye-catching. In terms of colour, it’s best described as a very pale brown that perfectly complements this tiny dog. 

There are various shades of apricot cockapoos to choose from. Dark apricot cockapoos are so similar to red cockapoos that they are difficult to tell apart. However, light apricot cockapoos bear a striking resemblance to cream and white cockapoos. 

However, apricot cockapoos are relatively uncommon because it takes an exceptionally skilled breeder to achieve the desired colour.

Below you’ll find some images of apricot cockapoos.

Chocolate/Brown Cockapoos

The dark brown cockapoo is another attractive option for individuals who really want a dark Cockapoo but aren’t fans of black. The colour is becoming increasingly popular among Cockapoo lovers. 

Colours that fall between chocolate and apricot, such as tri-chocolate (see the image we posted), are even more popular among Cockapoo owners.

From a dark chocolate colour to lighter tones of brown, there is a wide range of colours. Chocolate-coloured Cockapoos have the same “fading gene” as black Cockapoos, which means they may turn a light coffee or silvery beige colour as they get older.

Truffles – Image kindly provided by his owner
Pippa – Image kindly provided by his owner
Clay – Image kindly provided by his owner. He is also on Instagram @clay_the_cockapoo
@fizz_cockapoo – Image kindly provided by his owner
Barnaby – Image kindly provided by his owner
@cockapoo_paddington_bear – Follow him on Instagram. Image kindly provided by his owner

Champagne Cockapoos

 It’s easy to see why champagne cockapoos are so popular. In contrast to their creamy white heads, the dog’s dark brown drooping ears make its puppy eyes pop! They have blue eyes that match their darker muzzles entirely but look equally striking on the lighter shades of champagne. 

Champagne colour Cockapoos are not as easy to find as the typical shades of brown and black.

Luna. My Cockapoo. The dog that inspired me to make this site. This was just before our trip to Snowdon. She has straight hair and looks more like a spaniel compared to most Cockapoos
Barney – Luna’s brother. He is 18kg and Luna is 10kg 🙂
Luna on the left. Her brother on the right and Lottie in the middle.
@hugypoodog – Image kindly provided by his owner
Pandora – Image kindly provided by her owner

Red Cockapoos

With its gorgeous, almost-ginger tones, the red cockapoo is a less common variant than some of the others on the list.

The colours of red cockapoos can range from warm-toned chocolate brown to reddish auburn colours like tan and gold, depending on the type of melanin pigment, which, as we mentioned earlier, is determined by genetics. 

Phantom Cockapoos

The coat of a phantom Cockapoo is a mix of black or dark brown and beige or cream. Phantom Cockapoos,  exciting blend of two contrasting colour tones makes them a particular stand-out feature. 

Roan Cockapoos

Roan Cockapoos have a distinctively coloured coat, with dark hairs interspersed with white. These deeper base colours can be blue, black, silver, brown, orange, or lemon, depending on the breeding.

Sable Cockapoos

The coat is usually reddish with darker tips, giving it a blended look. The Cockapoo’s face is well-framed thanks to the coat’s fluffy appearance.

Tan Cockapoos

Tan Cockapoos look remarkably similar to the Golden, and only if you have a very discerning eye will you know the difference.

Merle Cockapoos

The’merle gene,’ found in the cockapoo’s genes, is what gives this variant its name. This gene, commonly known as the dilution gene, is the cause of the unusual coat pattern in these pups. In red cockapoos, the merle gene has no effect. However, in dogs with blue, black, or liver-coloured coats, this mutation causes beautiful patches in an otherwise even coat.

Another result of the merle gene’s random coat colour dilution is blue eyes and pink noses. As with many Merle-coated breeds, there are inherent health problems; puppies are often born blind or deaf. When selecting breeding dogs, breeders must use extreme caution to avoid health issues that frequently lead to Merle puppies being abandoned or dying before their time.

Tri-Colour Cockapoos

Tri-coloured cockapoos are distinguished by their black or brown coats, tan spots, and white patches. While the lighter hues of tan and white are found in smaller areas, the darker coloured hair dominates. They are distinct from phantom cockapoos in that they have three coat colours instead of two.

Harry – Image kindly provided by his owner
Forrest – Image kindly provided by his owner

Tuxedo Cockapoo 

The colour variant’s name comes from a well-defined white fuzzy patch in the middle of the Cockapoo’s chest, surrounded by a solid colour like black or red. 

There’s high demand for these Cockapoos because, well, let’s face it, how cute are they dressed up as though they are off to a dinner party.

Final Thoughts

Cockapoos have a fantastic array of different coat colours and textures, and it’s easy to see why they are one of the most sought after dogs. Make sure that you pick a professional breeder, not just in it for the money, because you’ll get a more honest response when discussing the coat type and colour variations.

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