The Cockapoo is a lovable, friendly cross between the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. These popular designer dogs are bred specifically as companion dogs and are meant to provide the best of both worlds from their parent breeds. Considering that both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel have a wide variety of coat colors and markings, so does the Cockapoo. Let’s learn all about the potential Cockapoo colors.
The 12 Cockapoo Typical Shades
1. White Shade
White Cockapoos are one of the most common and popular colors of this designer breed. The solid white coat comes from their Poodle lineage. Though white is considered a solid color, the Cocker Spaniel’s genetics can contribute to some hints of cream or gold in the coat, mainly around the muzzle and the ears.
2. Black Shade
The black Cockapoo gets its jet-black coat from both parent breeds. Black is a recognized color per the breed standard for both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. This is yet another of the most common coat colors of the Cockapoo since black is a dominant gene.
Solid black is not the only type of black Cockapoo. These dogs often have white markings, especially on the chest. There is also a very common tuxedo pattern within this hybrid breed. These dogs also have very dark eyes to accompany their dark coat.
Poodles have a recessive gene known as the “progressive graying” gene or the (G)-locus gene which results in the coat coloration fading with age. Certain Cockapoos may also carry this gene and their black coat may fade over time and turn into a more diluted black or even an ashy gray color.
3. Cream Shade
Cream-colored Cockapoos are also a fairly common sight. Both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel come in varying shades of cream, which means the same goes for the Cockapoo. Creams can either be a solid cream color or have some darkened areas on the face or even the outside of the ears.
4. Red Shade
Red Cockapoos are another coloration that results from both parent breeds. This is another popular coat variety that is typically a deep orangish-brown to brick-red shade. The eyes of a red Cockapoo are typically brown, and their noses will either be black or dark reddish-brown.
5. Apricot Shade
Apricot is a lighter shade of red and is considered a separate coat coloration from red itself. Apricot looks to be a mix between the red and cream coat colors, displaying a creamy light orange coat. Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles include apricot as part of the breed standard. The Cocker Spaniel typically has lighter cream to white areas around the chest, legs, underbelly, and ears. Apricot-colored Cockapoos also have brown eyes and black to dark brown noses.
6. Chocolate Shade
A chocolate Cockapoo will range from caramel to dark brown and typically have hazel or green eyes with a dark brown nose. The chocolate coat is a recessive trait, so both parents must carry the chocolate gene for a puppy to have this coat color. Chocolate cockapoos are much rarer than other solid coat colors.
7. Buff Shade
The coat color known as buff comes from the Cocker Spaniel side. This term is used to describe the more yellow to golden-colored coats. The coloration resembles that of your classic Golden Retriever and can either be solid throughout the entire body or have slightly different shades, especially white around the muzzle and ears. Some buff Cockapoos may have a fully white chest or even white socks on their feet.
8. Sable Shade
Sable Cockapoos come from their Cocker Spaniel heritage, as these markings are not found in Poodles. These pups display a unique blend of lighter and darker shades of tan to red with darker-colored tips in an ombre-like fashion. The darker coloration can also range in color from chocolate brown to black. The most common areas for this darker pigment are on the ears, head, back, and tail.
9. Merle Shade
Merle is a unique coat pattern that is seen in several popular dog breeds. The merle pattern features splashes of darker shades swirled or marbled into a light base shade. The merle pattern is rare but can be displayed among the many coat colors of the Cockapoo. Merle is not a recognized marking in either the Poodle or the Cocker Spaniel.
Merle is a more controversial coat pattern that must be specifically bred to prevent serious health complications, like deafness and blindness that result from this recessive gene. Any reputable Cockapoo breeder will have proper testing done to ensure that only one, not both parents exhibit the merle gene to ensure the health of the litter.
10. Roan Shade
Roan is another Cockapoo pattern that comes from the Cocker Spaniel, which has several roan colorations within their breed standard. Roan is a distinctly colored coat where dark fur intermixes with white to make a unique combination. These darker base shades can range within all the coat colors of the Cockapoo. The color of the eyes and nose will be dependent on the dog’s base color.
11. Parti Shade
The parti coat features two or more solid colors, one of which is white. Parti is short for “particular-colored” and usually features a white base with patches of another color.
The most common parti-coated Cockapoos are black and white, but they can come in any of the featured coat colors. Certain individuals may even be tricolor, which is the parti color with tan markings over the eyes, and on the muzzle, ears, legs, and sometimes the chest.
12. Phantom Shade
The phantom Cockapoo has a black body with tannish brown eyebrows, and tannish brown on the legs, under the tail, on the chest, and on the sides of the face. This coloration is possible thanks to the agouti gene, which controls the amount and the distribution of eumelanin, the pigment responsible for dark colors like brown and black. Phantoms will have dark eyes and a black nose, much like the solid black coat variety. They may also occasionally display patches of white, especially around the chest.
Recognized Breed Colors and Markings for Poodles
The Cockapoo, like all hybrid designer breeds, is not recognized as a pedigreed dog breed, however, the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel are both very popular pedigree breeds with established coat colors and markings within their breed standard.
Here’s a quick look at the recognized breed colors and markings for each breed according to the American Kennel Club, to help you get a better understanding of how the Cockapoo gets its variety of looks.
The adorable Cockapoo comes in many different coat colors and patterns that are passed down from both the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. Not only can they be found in many solid colors like white, black, red, chocolate, apricot, cream, and buff but they also have several patterns like phantom, parti, sable, roan, and the rare merle.
Featured Image Credit: Joe Caione, Unsplash