Predicting Your Labradoodle Puppy’s Coat: A Comprehensive Guide

by Pup + Bones

Are you considering adopting a Labradoodle puppy and curious about what their coat will look like? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to predict your Labradoodle's coat. From understanding the genetics behind their coats to identifying the different coat types and patterns, we've got you covered. So, get ready to embark on this exciting journey of discovering what your Labradoodle's fur will look like, and be prepared to fall in love with those adorable curls or wavy locks.

Understanding Labradoodle Genetics

Labradoodles are a popular crossbreed between Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, known for their friendly nature and hypoallergenic coats. To understand the genetics behind a Labradoodle's coat, it's essential to delve into the genetics of both parent breeds.

Poodle Coat Genetics

Poodles have a diverse range of coat textures, including curly, wavy, and straight. The genetics behind Poodle coats involve multiple genes, including the curl gene and the furnishing gene. The curl gene determines the tightness of the curls, while the furnishing gene controls the presence of facial hair.

Labrador Retriever Coat Genetics

Labrador Retrievers, on the other hand, have a short, dense double coat that helps protect them in various weather conditions. The genetics behind Labrador coat colors involve genes related to pigmentation, such as the E and B genes. These genes determine the base coat color and the presence of black or brown pigments.

The Four Main Types of Labradoodle Coats

Labradoodles can inherit various coat types from their parent breeds. There are four main types of Labradoodle coats:

Wool Coat

Labradoodles with a wool coat have dense, curly or kinky hair that tends to resemble the texture of sheep's wool. This coat type is low-shedding and hypoallergenic, making it ideal for individuals with allergies.

Fleece Coat

The fleece coat is soft and luxurious, with loose curls or waves. Labradoodles with this coat type often have a low-shedding and hypoallergenic coat, similar to the wool coat.

Hair Coat

The hair coat is more similar to the Labrador Retriever's coat, with a straight or slightly wavy texture. Labradoodles with a hair coat may shed more than those with wool or fleece coats, and they may not be as hypoallergenic.

Wavy Coat

The wavy coat is a combination of the wool and hair coats, featuring loose waves rather than tight curls. Labradoodles with a wavy coat can have varying degrees of shedding and hypoallergenic properties, depending on the specific genetics of the individual.

Predicting Coat Colors

Labradoodles can come in a wide array of coat colors, including:


Black is a common coat color in Labradoodles and is often inherited from the Labrador Retriever parent. Black Labradoodles can have solid black coats or may have black coats with white markings.


Cream-colored Labradoodles often have a solid, pale coat that ranges from ivory to a light golden color. This coat color is usually inherited from the Poodle parent.


Gold Labradoodles have a warm, golden hue that can vary in shade from light to dark. This coat color is also influenced by the Poodle parent.


Caramel-colored Labradoodles have a rich, reddish-brown coat that resembles the color of caramel candy. This coat color is typically a result of both the Poodle and Labrador Retriever genetics.


Chocolate Labradoodles have a deep brown coat that can range from light to dark chocolate in color. This coat color is predominantly inherited from the Labrador Retriever parent.


Parti-colored Labradoodles have a unique coat pattern with two or more distinct colors. This pattern can include any combination of the aforementioned coat colors, creating a visually striking appearance.

Factors Influencing Coat Type and Color

Several factors can influence a Labradoodle's coat type and color:

Parent Coat Types and Colors

The coat types and colors of the parent dogs play a significant role in determining what their offspring's coats will look like. By understanding the genetics behind the coat traits of the parent breeds, breeders can make predictions about the potential coat types and colors of the Labradoodle puppies.

Genetic Inheritance

Labradoodles inherit their coat genetics from both their Poodle and Labrador Retriever parents. Due to the complex nature of genetic inheritance, it can be challenging to predict exactly which coat traits will be passed on to the offspring. However, breeders can make informed estimations based on the knowledge of coat genetics and previous breeding outcomes.

Crossbreeding Ratios

The type of Labradoodle produced can also depend on the generation of Labradoodle and the ratio of Poodle to Labrador Retriever genes. For example, first-generation Labradoodles (F1) have a 50% chance of inheriting more Labrador Retriever traits, while multi-generation Labradoodles (F3 or higher) have a higher likelihood of having consistent coat traits.

Breeding Labradoodles for Coat Traits

Breeders who specialize in Labradoodles often strive to produce puppies with desirable coat types and colors. This can be achieved through careful selection of parent dogs and creating consistency in coat traits.

Selecting Parent Dogs

When breeding for specific coat traits, breeders carefully select parent dogs based on their coat types and colors. By choosing dogs with the desired traits, breeders increase the likelihood of producing puppies with similar coats. However, it's important to note that genetics can be unpredictable, and there is always a degree of variation in each litter.

Consistency in Coat Traits

To establish consistency in coat traits, breeders may focus on multi-generation Labradoodle pairings. These pairings involve breeding Labradoodles with Labradoodles, rather than crossing them with Labrador Retrievers or Poodles. This approach helps stabilize certain coat traits and reduce the likelihood of unpredictable variations.

Understanding Coat Changes

A Labradoodle's coat undergoes changes as they transition from puppyhood to adulthood. Understanding these changes can help owners better care for their Labradoodle's coat.

Puppy Coat Shedding

During the first few months of a Labradoodle puppy's life, they may experience what is known as "puppy coat shedding." This shedding is a natural process where the puppy's soft, fuzzy coat is replaced by their adult coat. It is important for owners to be patient during this phase and to provide regular grooming to minimize the amount of loose hair.

Adult Coat Development

As Labradoodles mature, their adult coat starts to grow in. The texture, type, and color of the adult coat may become more evident as the puppy grows, allowing owners to get a clearer idea of what their Labradoodle's final coat may look like. However, it's important to remember that coat changes can still occur.

Coat Care and Maintenance

Proper coat care and maintenance are essential for keeping a Labradoodle's coat healthy, shiny, and free from tangles.

Brushing and Grooming

Regular brushing is crucial for Labradoodles to prevent matting and keep their coats in optimal condition. The frequency of brushing may vary depending on the coat type, but a gentle brush through the coat at least a few times a week is generally recommended. This helps remove loose hair, prevent tangles, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat.

Trimming and Clipping

Labradoodles may require regular trimming or clipping to maintain their coats at a manageable length. Depending on the desired appearance, owners can choose to trim the coat shorter for easier maintenance or keep it longer for a more luxurious look. It is advisable to consult a professional groomer for guidance on the best trimming techniques.

Bathing and Drying

Labradoodles should be bathed regularly to keep their coats clean and free from dirt or debris. The frequency of bathing can vary based on the dog's lifestyle and coat type. After bathing, thorough drying is crucial to prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the coat, as this can lead to skin irritations or infections.

General Coat Health

Maintaining overall coat health is important for Labradoodles. This includes providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, and keeping up with routine veterinary care. Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle contribute to a shiny, vibrant coat.

Common Coat Related Issues

Labradoodles, like any other breed, may experience certain coat-related issues that owners should be aware of.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Some Labradoodles may develop allergies or sensitivities that can affect their coat health. This could manifest as dry, itchy skin or excessive shedding. If an owner notices any unusual changes in their Labradoodle's coat, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Matting and Tangles

Labradoodle coats, especially those with curlier textures, are prone to matting and tangles. Regular brushing and appropriate grooming techniques can help prevent these issues. Matting can be uncomfortable for the dog and may result in skin irritation if not addressed promptly.

Expert Tips for Predicting Your Labradoodle's Coat

Predicting the exact coat type and color of a Labradoodle can be challenging, but there are a few tips that can help prospective owners make informed predictions.

Consulting with Breeders

Reputable Labradoodle breeders have extensive knowledge of coat genetics and can provide valuable insights into what to expect from a particular pairing. They can provide information about the coat types and colors of the parent dogs, as well as their previous litters.

Examining Previous Litters

Looking at previous litters from the same parent dogs can give an indication of the potential coat types and colors in future litters. While not a foolproof method, it can provide some guidance.

Health and Genetic Testing

Health and genetic testing can provide additional information about the potential coat traits of a Labradoodle puppy. Testing for coat color genes and genetic diseases can help identify any potential risks or surprises in the coat and overall health of the puppy.


Understanding Labradoodle genetics is key to predicting and maintaining their coat traits effectively. By considering the parent breeds' genetics, coat types and colors, and other influencing factors, owners can make informed decisions and provide the best care for their Labradoodle's coat. Regular grooming, brushing, and proper coat care help ensure a healthy and happy Labradoodle with a coat that is both beautiful and manageable.

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