Unusual Cockapoo Coats – Part 2

Merle Cockapoo
Merles are possible in Cocker Spaniel and Poodle breeds, therefore merle Cockapoos are possible from their pure breeds genes. The merle pattern is very striking and is fairly unusual. Merle gives a patchy, speckled or mottled scattered appearance which is unevenly place on the coat with no defined pattern. The base colour can be black, brown, red or lighter with the lighter patches created by the merle. A blue merle is a black base colour with blue-grey markings. A chocolate merle is a chocolate/brown solid colour coat with grey-tan markings. A calico merle is a pale colouring (almost white in colouring) base colour with black, chocolate and grey marking, but these can sometimes be mistaken as parti markings due to the amount of pale colouring. A red merle can be hard to see on some merle coats as the base colour is red with pale cream and white markings. There are also other merle coats possible such as a sable merle and parti merle.

A merle gene is an incomplete dominate gene and careful programmes are necessary when breeding merles as a double merle breeding (merle to merle) can produce possibly dead, deformed, blind or deaf puppies. A responsible merle breeder would understand the health concerns and colour genetics which may require having access to full pedigrees, as hidden merles are also possible. Merles can be breed to black, black & tan, chocolate/brown, brown & tan, black or brown tricolour, black parti and chocolate/brown parti. Merles must not be bred with merle due to the health concerns, however there are other coat colours and patterns which should not be bred with merles or at least bred with much care, as these coat types can hide the merle pattern which include cream/buff, silver, sable, roan, pale and very open marked parti coats.

Here is a beautiful example of a Merle Cockapoo

Many thanks Pyper the Merle Cockapoo and her owner Mandy McIrivine for sharing these photos with My Dogs Life.

Sable Cockapoo
The sable coat marking is still considered fairly unusually within Cockapoos and this coat marking comes from the pure breed. A sable coat is a solid colour coat with each hair having dark coloured tips, therefore a newly born sable puppy can sometimes look like a solid colour, but on closer observation a new colour may be spotted nearer the root of the coat. Sable puppies quite often have a dark coloured stripe down their back and a dark coloured muzzle as a puppy. A sable coat can also fade over time and a puppy which was born red with black tips may fade to a cream colour with the black tips. When this coat is cut or trimmed the sable tips will be gone forever although often the tips of the ears and muzzle area remains dark in colour. The sable tips are always darker in colour than the base coat colour and are usually black or brown. The base coat can be any colour including cream, tan and red shades. It is possible to have sable along with a parti coat marking, as the coloured section of the parti coat has sable colouring but the rest of the coat is white in colour giving the parti marking.

Please look in the Cockapoo Coat Colour Catalogue to see some stunning examples of merle and sable coats.

Please read Unusual Cockapoo Coats – Part 1 for information on Roan, Brindle and Fading Cockapoo coats.

Unusual Cockapoo Coats – Part 1

Cockapoo coats are always a hot topic as they are so interesting and nothing is more exciting than seeing an unusual colour or pattern. Due to the cross breeding of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, there are so many beautiful colours, markings and patterns possible in Cockapoos.

Roan Cockapoo
The roan pattern is from the Cocker Spaniel in the Cockapoo mix. A roan coat can be either light or dark roan depending on the overall proportion of white hairs in the coat. The roan pattern is the intermingling of white and another colour hair. This this coat can be cut and still the pattern will remain clear, as each single hair is one colour from root to tip. It is the amount of white hairs present that dilutes the colouring to produces the roan pattern. Roan is a dominant gene which must be present in the dog to be passed onto its offspring, therefore the roan pattern can be followed in a dogs pedigree. A roan coat is a like a parti coat, but whereas the white section of the parti coat is either white or white with ticking, the roan pattern in the white section is white with the other colour intermingled.

Types of roan coat colours include blue roan which is white with black hairs intermingled, chocolate/brown/liver roan which is white with brown hairs intermingled orange/red/strawberry roan which is white with red hairs intermingled.

Here is a gorgeous example of a Blue Roan Cockapoo.

Many thanks to Millie the Blue Roan Cockapoo and her owner Julie Root for sharing these photos with My Dogs Life.

Brindle Cockapoo
A brindle coat is a marking which gives a striped appearance in the coat, usually with black hairs and lighter colours which may include tan, cream or brown. Each hair is one colour from root to tip and this is very important as sometimes brindle may be mistaken for a sable marking, however there is a major difference in these markings. The brindle coat is created by the placement of the solid coloured hairs which gives the striped pattern, plus this coat can be cut to a very short length and the pattern will still remain. This colour gene is from the Poodle in the Cockapoo mix.

A reverse brindle is when the black stripes and colouring is prominent and the other lighter colour is less visible, this type of brindle marking gives the appearance of a black coat with lighter coloured stripes. When breeding brindles, a brindle to a brindle will produce brindle puppies and the brindle gene is expected to be a dominate gene, therefore a brindle dog can be bred with any solid colour and it is still highly likely a brindle puppy will be produced in the litter.

Here is an example of a Brindle Cockapoo. Picnic the Cockapoo has what is known as a Reverse Brindle colouring.

Fading Colour/Gene Cockapoo
The fading gene seen in Cockapoos comes from the Poodle pure breed as this gene within Poodles allows some amazing colours to appear. Colours such as blue, silver, silver beige, faded red are possible from the fading gene and also the stunning colour of café au lait is a fading colour. Blue and silver colours are a dilute of black with the fading gene therefore a puppy will be born black and over approximately 2 years this coat will fade to either a blue or silver colouring. Silver beige is a dilute of brown/chocolate with the fading gene which means the puppy will be born dark brown/chocolate in colour which will fade to a silver beige colour over time. A red coat can also fade in colour due to the fading gene which can change a red coloured puppy to a light shade of apricot or cream in adult age. A café au lait coat colouring can be born dark brown/chocolate and will fade gradually to a creamy chocolate colour by approximately 2 years of age.

Here is a handsome example of a faded Cockapoo.

Many thanks to Monty the fading Cockapoo and his owner Shirley Fearnley for sharing these photos with My Dogs Life. Monty was born solid black and now at the age of 4 his coat has faded to a silver/blue colouring which pays a resemblance to the blue coloured poodle.