Australian Cobberdogs come in eight colours. However, if you were just looking at coat, there are only six. We've included nose colour as well, since many people do have a preference. It does not affect the pup's health at all. It's simply another way of differentiating between puppies and genetic lines. Here are the coat colours, categorised by nose colour:
Our main priority for breeding Australian Cobberdogs is always health and temperament. Focusing on Science, Selection and Service allows us to combine parents using extensive health screening techniques and DNA technology. Our objective is to reduce the risk of avoidable health conditions. Hopefully, then, we can produce a rainbow of healthy, happy puppies.
Our standard colours range from white/cream to chocolate and black. We also specialise in the rarer shades and patterns for those looking for a more striking, unusual puppy.
When we refer to a chocolate labradoodle, we might not realise how many shades fall under this umbrella. A chocolate doodle can range from lavender - a bronze/silvery grey colour to rich dark chocolate (think 90% cocoa). Often the shade can fade or darken with age. You can usually tell if this will happen by looking at the parents/grandparents as it’s genetic.
Surprisingly, there are a few shades of black. Some dogs are jet black their entire lives. Others fade to blue or silver. A blue colouring means there's a blueish shimmer to the coat.
If your dog is more of a silver colour, it will show over time. It's much lighter than blue or black. If that's the case, they usually have paler areas under their eyes and around their nose or mouth. Usually, you'll be able to see this from a young age.
Whilst your dog's colour can change quite a lot over time, any of these variants are still considered black. Sometimes it's quite tricky to predict whether the colour will fade, however, genetics is a good indication.
Our pups are jet black and shouldn't fade significantly with age. But, no breeder can guarantee this. We don't specialise in blue or silver. Our lines are focused on maintaining a deep black coat for as long as possible.
Cream Labradoodles can range from white to dark red. Despite the apparent differences, they are all technically the same colour. Like black puppies, red puppies often fade to a golden colour, and golden puppies can often fade to become white Labradoodles.
It's possible, like chocolate though, that golden pups can darken to a rich red. Cream Labradoodles can have either a black nose or a rose nose.
We love the rare and unusual labradoodle colours. Merle is an incomplete colour whilst partis, phantoms and 2+ colours are not created by the absence of a gene. These dogs can usually be distinguished from merles as the white or coloured patches are more evenly distributed. Merles are randomly coloured with white patches and are absolutely unique. Some can have a small patch of white or lots of patches.
It is important to identify merles when breeding. The merle coat colour is due to the lack of expression of colour within a gene. The M locus is the merle allele. Merle is dominant, and so denoted by the capital letter M. Non-merle is recessive and denoted by m. Breeding merles and unusual colours require specialist genetic knowledge and testing to ensure one parent is a solid colour (no merle genes is denoted by mm).
Half of the colours have a black nose and usually dark eyes. The other 4 have the unusual brown or rose nose with amber/green eyes. The shades from white/cream to the rarer apricot/red are genetically all shades of yellow.
Merles, partis and phantoms are extremely rare and require additional genetic testing. Stunning blue eye(s) or heterochromia (eyes of different colours) can also occur as a result of merle colour genes in ancestry.
For a puppy to be black or have a black nose, they must have a BB or Bb colour gene. They may have a recessive yellow and/or brown gene as well. The diagram below shows the various BB or Bb genes. A pup would need to have any of the following to have a black nose.
If a puppy is chocolate or has a brown/rose nose then their colour gene must start bb as there's no black allele. Bbee is yellow carrying brown, whilst bbEE is chocolate with no recessive colours. bbEe is chocolate carrying yellow. Again, the colour yellow can be a shade from white/cream to apricot/red. However, all variants cannot express a black nose.
By breeding two merles together, you risk a “Double Merle” gene (this is a homozygous merle “MM”). This double gene can cause severe health problems for the puppies, including:
A heterozygous merle Mm will have the incomplete colouring but not the health problems of a homozygous “double” merle MM. A solid colour dog without any merle gene is referred to as mm. When breeding a Merle Mm, to a solid colour mm, only a few pups will inherit the merle colouring, Mm. No pups can be MM. This is a much safer, more responsible breeding strategy.
Selecting parents can be complex depending on what genes a dog is carrying, not just the colour they are. For example, an Apricot/Red (Black Nose) may also be carrying the brown gene, but it isn’t visible. Dogs often carry alternative colour genes in their DNA which we can’t see. By genetically testing for these, we know which lines carry certain colour genes and make decisions based on these.
When we plan your puppy, we look extensively at the parent’s colour genetics. By doing this, we maximise the chance of achieving your puppy preferences or avoiding traits you don't want. For example, not many families realise that a brown mum and yellow dad can have all black puppies!
If you want a more in-depth explanation, please download our free handout.