Puppy Color Changes Explained (59 Breeds) & Crucial Facts – Loyal Pedigree (2024)

All baby animals (including humans) go through color changes when transitioning into adulthood.

Therefore, it is not surprising that when your adorable puppy loses its cute puppy coat, you end up with a dog with a radically different texture and color.

Not all puppies have a dramatic color change, but some breeds go through more changes than others.

How Does a Puppy Coat Change?

Your puppy starts with a puppy coat that is typically finer and softer than the adult form.

It is enough to keep it relatively warm and provides appropriate camouflage.

The hairs are generally shorter and require less grooming, making it easier for the mother dog to keep her puppies clean.

From around four to six months, the puppy sheds its puppy coat in favor of its adult coat.

The process can take a long time, with many puppy breeds not achieving their final adult coat until around three years.

Does the Fur Change Texture or Patterns?

Depending on the breed, losing the puppy coat can result in a patchy coat appearance.

In some breeds, “blowing” is the term to describe a puppy coat changing to the adult coat. These breeds frequently shed clumps of dense matted hair.

The changes include different hair lengths (usually longer) and textures.

Some breeds may develop patterns like brindle (tiger stripes), merle (dappling), and colored patches on the belly and legs.

A breed with a single hair coat will shed its puppy hair, and the adult hairs will replace it.

A breed with two coats will keep its puppy fur as an undercoat and the adult guard hairs grown in as a second coat.

The coat color can go darker or lighter depending on the breed.

Some changes can be dramatic, like Dalmatians with white puppies that then develop black or brown spots.

Other color changes can be gradual and so slight as to be unnoticeable.

How Can You Tell How a Puppy Will Change Color?

The puppy’s genetic heritage governs the color change.

In some breeds, the puppy has a clear progression from puppy color to adult form. It is impossible to accurately predict how the puppy will end up as an adult in other cases.

The Beagle, as an example, is notorious for the range of color changes an individual puppy will go through for its entire life.

Depending on the breed, some breeders will claim that you can predict a puppy’s adult coloration from looking at the tips of its ears or the pads of its feet, but there is no exact measure.

One of the best predictors is the coloration of the parent dogs or the previous (if any) litters. There are so many genes involved that you can still get surprised by the resulting puppies and their adult colors.

The Akita, for example, the same parent dogs may produce different colored puppies depending on the age of the parent dogs.

A parent dog with a double merle gene will not exhibit the merle pattern, but the puppies inheriting a single merle gene will show this pattern as adults.

Crossbreeds may follow either parent in color transitions or a strange mixture of both breeds.

So, like children, you can guess how your puppies will mature, but there are no guarantees.

Does Puppy Color Impact Health?

Your puppies’ genetics determine likely health issues, but sometimes these genes that cause ill health can be associated with color genes.

For example, white boxers are more likely to carry the genes for deafness and blindness; most breeders avoid breeding a double merle puppy for the same reason.

Rather than relying on the color of the puppy as a health indicator, it is best to discuss the breeder’s screening program to produce healthier puppies.

Most pedigree breeds have potential health issues, and responsible breeders avoid passing these onto their puppies.

Is It Going to Make a Mess?

The amount of mess you get when your puppy loses its puppy coat depends on the breed.

Some breeds are high maintenance and require regular grooming.

Other breeds require minimal attention and shed less hair.

As part of selecting your ideal puppy, it is worth looking into how much grooming it will require as it matures so you can choose a puppy breed that matches your energy and enthusiasm.

Color Descriptions Are Confusing – What Do They Mean?

The Kennel Clubs produce a breed standard identifying colors, patterns, coat texture, and other features acceptable in the breed.

Different breeds exhibit a wide range of colors and patterns, and breeders can use different descriptions for similar colors.

If you spend a lot of money on a pedigree puppy, then the kennel club registration will specify its color combination.

This specification doesn’t mean that you won’t ever see a puppy in a “wrong” color; it simply means that it won’t classify as a pedigree dog because it has” faults.”

The specification is less critical for a family pet than obtaining a healthy, happy puppy, but it must match the specification if you intend to show your puppy.

Self Color

If you describe a puppy as a self black or apricot, you mean that the puppy is a single color.

Alternative descriptions include pure or single color.

You may see a description of self white with black points; all this means is that the puppy is pure white, not albino, and has a black nose and dark-colored eyes.

Apricot

The apricot color is rare and sought after in some breeds like poodles.

The apricot color (midway between cream and brown) is sensitive to sunlight and will fade.

You only get an apricot puppy if both parents carry the gene.

In most breeds with an apricot color in adulthood, the puppy starts as brown, “clearing” to apricot.

In this context, clear is preferable to fade because it implies a refinement of an undesirable muddy color to a more attractive shade.

Bi-Colored

Bi-colored means the dog is predominantly one color (typically white) with patches of another color like brown or black.

Some breeds have specific bi-colors like the Yorkie, always black and tan, changing to blue and gold.

Tri-Colored

Tri-colored gives you a puppy with three colors chosen from the standard dog colors of brown, tan, black, lemon, cream, white, blue, silver, and red.

More than three colors and the puppy is multicolored.

Roan

Roan describes a single color coat with hairs of a different color (typically white).

This appearance may be known as badger, sesame seed, speckled, or salt and pepper, depending on the breed.

It classes as a color rather than a pattern.

Ticking

Ticking refers to the appearance of small dark spots on the legs and belly.

Typically these are not present at birth but appear during the transition to the adult coat.

Mask

A mask refers to a color band around the eyes.

A pug typically has a black mask.

Most puppies develop mask markings after they shed their puppy coat, but some exceptions exist.

Blaze

A blaze generally refers to a splash of white on the head or chest.

Some breeds have puppies born with blaze marking that fade, and some puppies develop blaze markings as they mature.

Brindle

Brindle is a tiger stripe pattern of black or brown stripes on a brown base.

Many dog breeds have a brindle version, and some of the most well-known include:

  • Akita
  • Staffordshire terrier
  • Basenji
  • Boxer
  • Bull Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Welsh Corgi
  • Dachshund
  • Great Dane
  • Greyhound
  • Mastiff
  • Plott
  • Wolfhound
  • Whippet

Depending on the dog breed, the brindle may develop within a few weeks or take more time to show.

Brindle classes a coat pattern rather than a color.

Merle

Merle is a pattern variation sometimes known as a dapple that occurs in many dog breeds.

To get a puppy with a merle coat, that puppy must have only a single copy of the merle gene.

Typically you want to avoid producing a dog with a double merle gene because it won’t have the merle pattern, and it may have genetic issues with seeing and hearing correctly.

The merle pattern tends to develop at around six months in those dog breeds with the right genetic combination.

Do These Puppy Breeds Get Lighter or Darker as They Mature?

Looking at your cute puppy and wondering how its appearance will change over the following months?

Here is a round-up of what you can expect from different breeds.

1. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a known color chameleon with significant color changes from puppy to adult and during adulthood.

The blue and red merles tend to darken over the months and years. The color darkening can transform the puppy from a merle pattern to a self-color.

Puppies with tiny white spots on the back tend to lose them as they age.

A pedigree Australian Shepherd for breeding must not have white patches outside of specified areas.

If the pedigree status of future pups is essential to you, check if your puppy had white spots as an infant.

Harlequins with lacy white areas as a puppy will probably lose the white as they mature.

The standard colors of an Australian Shepherd include:

  • All black or black with white trim or black and tan – a puppy can start with this coloring or begin as merle and mature into this form.
  • Reds – various shades of sienna and umber, includes patches of white and tan – some puppies with this coloration have startling blue eyes. If your puppy spends plenty of time outside in sunlight, the reddish-brown parts will bleach to a lighter shade.
  • Red merles – no standard definition for the colors, and most puppies end up as self-red as only a few retain the attractive merle pattern into adulthood.
  • Blue merle – black with patches of silver and greys. A puppy with blue merle markings may darken to clack as it matures.

The Australian Shepherd has many color variations like black with tan points but is primarily dominated by black and red.

2. Akita

The Akita is a favorite family dog because of its protective nature.

There are two breeds of Akita – Japanese and American.

The purebred Japanese Akita is distinctly foxlike, whereas the American Akita is significantly more muscular and resembles a small bear.

The Japanese Akita comes in brindle, red, or pure white. Occasionally you find a black version, but these are not show-worthy.

All American Akitas (except pure white) have two or three colors in combination. The colors include white, black, red, fawn, brown, and silver.

The pattern range is vast, with various names like mask and pinto describing the color placement.

The Akita has two coats – a dense undercoat and a shorter-haired topcoat.

Your Akita puppy will develop the second coat on top of its fluffy puppy fur as it matures.

You can expect your Akita puppy to have lighter colors than the adult coat, but no startling color changes as it develops.

3. Aussie Doodle

An Aussie Doodle is a cross between a poodle (standard or miniature usually) with an Australian Shepherd.

The genetic mix means you can only guess at the potential color changes for your puppy.

If your puppy carries the poodle heritage, it may have darker colors that fade as it matures. If it follows the Australian Shepherd, you may get lighter puppy colors darkening as it ages.

Alternatively, what you see in your puppy may be the same colors as the mature dog.

4. Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terriers have a smooth black coat, dark heads, and a few patches of tan at birth.

The soft puppy coat acquires a harder wiry topcoat while retaining the softer undercoat.

The tan color develops as the puppy matures, but the black patches are permanent when your puppy achieves its adult coloration by age two.

5. Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a herding dog similar in appearance to a German Shepherd, but the Belgian Malinois is smaller and lighter.

The American Kennel Club lists five standard and seven nonstandard color patterns for this breed. The standard colors are shades of brown and red; the rarer colors include white and the brindle pattern.

Your Belgian Malinois puppy is born with the color combination it will show as an adult.

The color may darken or fade with age, but this breed’s color change is not dramatic.

6. Beagle

There are 25 potential color variations with ten colors.

The AKC allows a beagle breeder to change the color combination on the puppy certificate up to three times.

However, you can still end up with an adult dog that doesn’t match its description because your beagle puppy can change its coat multiple times, each with a different combination.

If you have a Beagle puppy, keep a photo history because your Beagle puppy will keep changing its patches and colors throughout its life.

Most Beagles start life with black and white coloration. After a few months, some of the black fades to brown, and in some cases, the black completely vanishes to give a liver and white Beagle.

Most Beagles end up with a mixture of different colored patches, typically tri-colored.

7. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington terriers are born either black or dark chocolate brown.

The black puppies change to a blue shade, and the dark brown puppies become liver or sandy.

The color transition can be dramatic, with many puppies becoming almost pure white at twelve months and then changing to the final shade by twenty-four months.

Throughout their lives, the shade of color will change slightly.

8. Blue Heeler

The Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle Dog results from some mixing of typical herding dogs like the collie with a dash of Dingo.

These puppies are born white (there is also a hint of Dalmatian in the mix) but soon develop their adult patterning at around six weeks.

The base color is black but with the speckling that gives it the ability to merge into twilight.

Your Blue Heeler puppy will shed its puppy coat at around twelve weeks and may emerge with a different shade of blue.

The final color does not stabilize until between fourteen and twenty-four months.

9. Red Heeler

The Red Heeler is the same dog type as the Blue Heeler but with a base color of brown rather than black.

The Red Heeler is born white and develops its speckled reddish coloring at around six weeks. The color may continue to change until the full adult coat stabilizes by two years.

10. Basset Hounds

Basset hounds are like Beagles in their color changes.

Most Basset Hound puppies start white, and then patches of tan or fawn develop. A lemon Basset Hound is born white, and the lemon shade develops from around three months.

Most Basset Hound Puppies will include patches of brown, black, and white.

These colors may darken or lighten as they mature.

11. Bernedoodle

A Bernedoodle is a mixture of poodle and Bernese Mountain dog.

Your puppy can be a single color or a mix of black, brown, and white.

The rarer puppies exhibit markings similar to the Bernese Mountain Dog or have a black coat with a mottled back in grey and white.

The poodle part of the heritage means that your puppy’s darker colors may fade as it matures.

Most puppies are born dark and then fade or clear to a different color.

The color change continues until around two years.

12. Boxer

The boxer has three main types: fawn, brindle, and white. You can get a bit of variation with the mask color and brindling.

Boxer puppies are born with their adult markings.

You may get some lightening or darkening of color as they transition from puppy coat to adult, and the pattern may become more defined.

Around 25% of boxer puppies are born white.

In less forgiving times, breeders were in the habit of destroying white boxer pups because of the risk of deafness associated with this color gene.

About a quarter to a third of white boxer puppies will be deaf in one or both ears.

13. Black Puppies

Many black puppies change to blue as adult dogs, but it depends on the dog breed.

Some breeds are born with more or less the same color as their adult form; others have dramatic and startling color changes.

14. Bichon Frise

Your Bichon Frise puppy will develop hair rather than fur and needs careful grooming.

The puppy coat can be straight, wavy, or curly but may grow into a different texture.

Around three to six months, your puppy will lose its hair to grow its adult coat. Your Bichon Frise puppy does not have a full adult coat typical of the breed until around three years.

The puppy starts with a blush of color (buff, apricot, or cream), but this will clear to the trademark white at around twelve months.

The hair is white, but the skin may develop dark spots that appear as a piebald pattern marking when your puppy has a bath.

15. Corgi

The color changes in Corgi puppies can be dramatic.

Your Corgi puppy can go from one to a potential three colors.

Typically, darker colors at birth will lighten as the puppy grows. Black can change to red, stay the same or develop lighter spots.

The best way to get a feel for your puppy’s color progression is the breeder’s experience with previous litters with this breeding pair.

16. Chihuahua

A Chihuahua puppy is born with a soft puppy coat that matures into the adult coat over eighteen months.

The fur may get lighter or darker, and patterns and markings can appear or vanish.

The color transition may be unnoticeable with little significant change, or you may get a distinct shift in color.

A Chihuahua puppy with a dark sable coat may shed the dark hairs and reveal a lighter base coat of cream, red or tan. Alternatively (much rarer), the darker sable can grow in and turn a light puppy into one with darker markings.

A white coat can become cream or fawn, but the typical chihuahua color transition is from dark to light.

17. Catahoula

The Catahoula is the state dog of Louisiana and originates from a mixture of Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, and Native American dogs to produce a hunting dog capable of herding wild hogs.

The full name of Catahoula Leopard Dog points towards the spotting patterns on their coats.

The color change from a Catahoula puppy to an adult dog is frequently dramatic. You can expect colors to darken or lighten and for patches to appear and disappear.

18. Cavachon

A Cavachon is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon Frise. A puppy inherits traits from both parents but how they combine is impossible to predict.

The pup can end up all one color or a mixture of cream, apricot, tan, and black shades.

If your puppy follows the Bichon Frise parent, you can expect a buff color with spots of other colors developing as it grows.

If the puppy takes after King Charles Spaniel, you can expect the colors to be present from birth but to grow darker and with greater definition as your puppy grows up.

19. Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is an old Italian breed of hunting dog.

Typical adult colors are black, grey, fawn, and red – different shades and sometimes a brindle pattern and a grey or black mask.

The grey color in the Cane Corso is often mistakenly referenced as blue.

A grey Came Corso puppy may develop a brindle pattern over time.

Still, typically the only color change is a subtle lightening or darkening of the coat color as the puppy ages.

20. co*cker Spaniel

co*cker Spaniels have an extensive color range (23 different colors), some of the most common: lemon roan; golden; blue roan; blue roan and tan; black, white, and tan; black and white; black and tan; black.

Roan in this context means a mixture of white and colored hairs across the whole body, producing a mottled effect.

Color changing in co*cker spaniel puppies tends to occur with puppies born with a white or black coat, as these can develop patches later.

Most co*cker spaniel puppies have their adult coloring, but when their puppy coat falls out, the adult color is more defined and may be a different shade.

21. Cairn Terrier

Cairn terriers are breeds of dogs whose colors can change throughout adulthood and in the transition from puppy to adult.

The color changes are difficult to predict – blame the brindle gene as the cairn terrier puppy can grow lighter or darker with age.

A brindle pattern may develop or vanish entirely.

The color changes can be dramatically different.

22. co*ckapoo

A co*ckapoo is a cross between a co*cker spaniel and a poodle.

The poodle influence means your co*ckapoo puppy color will fade or clear as it matures.

Around three years of age, your co*ckapoo puppy will have its adult color.

23. Cavapoo

The Cavapoo is a cross between King Charles Spaniel and a miniature poodle.

You get a variety of coat colors and three different types of coat texture:

  • Hair – terrier-like and with minimal grooming.
  • Fleece – wavy and attractive but needs plenty of grooming.
  • Wool – poodle-like and allergy-friendly.

The Cavapoo puppy will change color as it matures with lightening of the color stabilizing between two and three years.

24. Dachshund

The adorable Dachshund puppy comes with different coat textures, patterns, and colors.

Some dachshund puppies will change color, and others have little discernible color change.

Typically, if a dachshund puppy goes through a color transition, you can expect:

  • Red puppies to go either darker or lighter.
  • Blue may fade.
  • White may darken to cream.
  • Black patches may disappear entirely.

Sadly, there is no way of predicting which Dachshund puppy will go through a color change or the result.

But you won’t have a dramatic color change from the puppy coat and pattern – a few shades lighter or darker.

25. Dalmatian

The dalmatian is famous for having puppies born white and developing brown or black spots as they mature.

Some spots may be visible at birth, but generally, a dalmatian puppy takes eighteen months for the spots to develop.

26. English Mastiff

English Mastiff puppies are born with dark puppy fuzz, and you can’t tell if they will be apricot, fawn, or possibly brindled.

The dark coloring fades by six months, and your puppy’s adult color emerges.

27. French Bulldog

It is difficult to determine what color the French Bulldog puppy will be as an adult at birth, but the color change is not dramatic -an adjustment of shade rather than a complete transformation.

A black French Bulldog puppy won’t fade to grey, but it may develop a blue over the first few weeks.

When you adopt a French Bulldog puppy, you can be reasonably confident that the coat color is close to the adult hue.

28. Great Dane

Great Dane puppies can, like most puppies, subtly change their coat color as they mature.

Generally, the puppy coat transitions to a richer color, but some puppies do become lighter.

The Great Dane’s puppy coat will “blow” sometime between ten months and one year. The soft puppy fluff drops out, and the adult coat – slightly stiffer and coarser – grows.

You can expect two shades darker in most cases, turning a fawn puppy into a yellow-gold.

29. German Shepherd

German Shepherd puppies change color up to two years. The exceptions are White German Shepherd puppies and the Black German Shepherd.

A black German Shepherd puppy may remain black or develop tan, red, or sliver markings around its face within days of the birth.

If the markings don’t appear, the black German Shepherd puppy will remain black.

A tan German Shepherd puppy will develop a sable pattern and markings at around six months.

A white German shepherd puppy may have a seasonal color change in the summer months with a bit of gold tint, but you can be confident that a pure white German Shepherd puppy will retain that coloring for life.

30. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever puppies can get darker or lighter, but you don’t see a dramatic difference.

The puppy fur is lost around three to six months, and most Golden Retriever puppies go darker.

There is some talk that you can tell the color of the adult by looking at the tips of the puppy’s ears, but a better guide to adult coloring is to look at the parents.

31. Golden Doodle

A Golden Doodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.

Both parents produce puppies with color changes, and the way your Golden Poodle puppy’s color changes will depend on which parent’s genes are dominant.

In practice, this means your puppy’s color will either intensify a few shades darker or fade or clear to a lighter color.

You will see the final coat color and texture between two to three years.

32. Husky

Huskies are an old dog breed with distinct wolf influences remaining.

There are many color variations, and typically a Husky puppy will darken as it matures but essentially follow the puppy markings.

There are exceptions; some Husky puppies will get lighter rather than darker.

Pure White Huskies or the Isabella Husky is relatively rare. These puppies are born entirely white with no black pigmentation.

They are not albinos; the nose, eyelids, and gums can be light brown color, although a pure White Husky often has a black nose.

33. Havanese

The Havanese puppy comes from a breed with many color changes.

The black and white markings tend to be stable, the lighter colors may shift a shade, but the darker colors can change dramatically.

Not every Havanese puppy will change color, but most will, depending on their genetic heritage.

Noticeable color change starts around three months and may finish around six months. Some Havanese puppies will change color for up to three years.

Typically you can expect:

  • All white – probably won’t change at all.
  • All black – also unlikely to change.
  • Cream – go darker or lighter.
  • Chocolate – typically goes a shade or two lighter.
  • Fawn – tend to change dramatically, dark or light.
  • Gold – may stay the same or go a shade lighter.
  • Silver – either substantially darker or lighter.
  • Red – generally becomes lighter.

Multicolored and spotted coats tend to change most noticeably, with patches appearing and disappearing.

34. Jack Russel

Jack Russel puppies don’t really change color, but as they get older, they may develop ticking – extra spots typically on the legs and belly.

The ticking generally develops from around six months, but not every Jack Russel puppy develops ticking.

35. Kerry Blue Terrier

All Kerry Blue Terriers are born with a black cost.

The namesake blue tinge doesn’t develop until six months.

The full color change completes around eighteen months.

36. Labrador

Labrador puppies are born with their adult coloring.

You may get a slight lightening or darkening of the shade when the puppy coat falls out, but typically, what you see is what you get with a Labrador puppy.

37. Labradoodle

The labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a poodle.

Although Labrador puppies don’t have noticeable color changes, poodles go lighter or darker. The labradoodle puppy inherits its poodle parents’ tendency to fade.

A black labradoodle puppy may remain black or change dramatically to silver or less dramatically to blue. The color change can take up to two years.

Apricot Labradoodle puppies tend to go darker, but golden Labradoodle puppies go lighter.

The chocolate and red shades also fade to lighter colors.

38. Lhasa Apso

Most Lhasa Apso puppies will go through a color change at around six to eight months when they shed their puppy fur in favor of adult hair.

Not every Lhasa Apso puppy will change color as a solid black puppy remains black into adulthood.

A chocolate brown Lhaso Apso will probably embrace a cream or golden coat as an adult.

39. Min Pin or Miniature Pinscher

The Min Pin puppy comes in a single or a combination of colors, and apart from a bit of lightening or darkening of the color, it will retain its puppy color and pattern into adulthood.

40. Maltipoo

The Maltipoo puppy is the result of a cross between a Maltese Terrier and a Toy (sometimes a miniature) Poodle.

They are cute and stay puppy-like into their later years.

The poodle heritage means you get a color change around six months when the colors tend to fade to a lighter shade.

Your Maltipoo puppy may develop white spots because white is a dominant color from the Maltese Terrier, and these spots may develop in a month or two after birth.

41. Malshi

If you combine a Maltese terrier with a Shih Tzu, you end up with a Malshi.

Your Mashi puppy has a dominant white color from the Maltese terrier parent, but the Shih Tzu contributes some other color combinations.

Your Malshi puppy may be quite colorful on its ears and snout, but these colors will fade as it matures, and the puppy hair changes to the adult coat.

If your puppy was born with some colors, it will retain hints of them but in lighter shades.

42. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer puppies, like most puppies, see a color transition that may result in the adult being a few shades lighter than the puppy.

A black Miniature Schnauzer may remain pure plack or fade to a dark grey.

Brown puppies will always end up a few shades lighter.

The rarer White Miniature Schnauzer will remain white.

43. Maltese Terrier

The purebred Maltese has a pure white coat, but you can get other color variations.

Those accepted by the American Kennel Club are:

  • White.
  • White and tan.
  • White and lemon.

If there is a hint of color, the breed specification says it is on the ears only.

The Maltese puppy is born with a white coat (most desirable), but some color tinges may appear as the puppy changes to an adult at around six months.

44. Morkie

A Morkie is a cross between a Maltese Terrier and a Yorkshire Terrier.

The Yorkshire terrier parent adds some color to the mix, and the resulting puppy can be a solid black, tan or white, or have patches of more than one color.

You can expect the following potential color changes from your Morkie puppy:

  • White can change to cream or light brown adult coats.
  • Black can lighten to dark chocolate or a mixture of grey and brown.
  • No color changes.
  • General lightening of all colors.

The mixed genetics can result in surprising color changes and some unusual patch patterns.

45. Mastiff

The Mastiff is an ancient dog breed with some 5,000 years of known history.

The term Mastiff covers various dogs, from the Tibetan Mastiff to a Neapolitan Blue mastiff or the English Mastiff.

Technically the Tibetan Mastiff is not a true mastiff breed but is frequently lumped in with the rest.

Mastiff puppies start with a fluffy dark coat that gives them an adorable fuzzy appearance. When this fuzzy coat departs (around six months), you get a glimpse of the future coat color.

The best way to predict the future color of your Mastiff puppy is to look at the parents and previous litters (if any).

46. Pitbull

The dog referenced by the name Pitbull depends on your country.

In the UK, the term refers to the American Pitbull Terrier.

In contrast, it can refer to many dogs in the US, including the American Pit Bull, American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire terrier, American Bully, and any cross breed with Pitbull characteristics.

These Pitbull puppies often change color from their puppy coat to adult.

You get a fantastic variety of colors and patterns with a high incidence of brindle markings.

A black pup can turn brown, and in general, you can expect your Pitbull pup’s coat to get lighter and for patterns to develop when your puppy sheds its baby coat at around six months.

47. Pomeranian

Pomeranians develop a double coat and rarely have a completely-adult coat until around two years.

Pomeranians are associated with an orange or rusty color, but they are available in a wide range of colors and patterns in practice.

A solid black or white is rare and can take generations of careful breeding to achieve.

Your Pomeranian puppy may transition to its adult coat (in stages from around four months to six months) without a significant color change.

Still, often you can expect a white coat to go darker (cream or light orange) and a black coat to go lighter.

48. Pug

Your pug puppy is likely to go through color changes by either going darker or lighter.

A fawn Pug will be born a relatively dark tan or brown and fade to the lighter shade.

A true black Pug will stay black without any color changes until it reaches its senior years.

An apricot Pug starts life as a more orange-red before clearing to this shade.

If your Pug puppy is destined to have brindle markings, these will develop much later, but your puppy’s coat will display a mixture of colors.

49. Poodle

Poodles are a breed known to go through many color changes on the way to adulthood.

Most Poodle puppies acquire their adult coat color by age two, but it can take another year for the color to stabilize.

Poodle puppies experience a color change as they mature – a darker coat in a puppy becomes lighter as they grow.

A brown-coated puppy may fade to apricot by two years.

A black Poodle puppy may retain the color or fade to a silver or blue color.

A pure white Poodle puppy is possible but rare. A born white, Poodle puppy has an exceptionally clear white coat.

Typically, your poodle puppy will birth with a cream or apricot coat that clears to a White Poodle coat by maturity.

The one certainty with most Poodle puppies is that the puppy coat will change as it matures, and the direction of change is to lighter shades and not darker.

The exceptions are true Black Poodles and true White Poodles, as these are born with their adult colors.

50. Rottweiler

Rottweiler puppies may become darker or lighter as they grow.

The standard color for a Rottweiler is black with a brown shade (mahogany, rust, or tan).

Other color variations result from crossbreeding and don’t class as a ‘true’ Rottweiler.

You can expect your puppy to display an approximation of its final markings, and the shedding of the puppy coat will determine the final shade.

51. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies start color changing a few weeks after birth, and the color changes continue to maturity.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy can be dark or light at birth – litters frequently have a mix of shades.

Most of the dramatic color changes occur before three months, and the final color change when the puppy coat blows at nine to twelve months may be unnoticeable as it results in a slightly lighter coat.

52. Shih Tzu

Only a black and white Shih Tzu puppy keeps its puppy color.

Otherwise, it depends on genetic heritage – a G gene means a lighter adult color, and one with the chinchilla gene will become silver grey.

Your Shih Tzu puppy will change to its adult color (typically lighter) around twelve months, depending on the exact mix of genes.

53. Black Shih Tzu

Finding two Shih Tzu puppies of the same color is exceptionally rare.

A pure black Shih Tzu is not a common type.

The Shih Tzu puppies frequently change color at around twelve months, but if you are lucky enough to have a black Shih Tzu puppy, you can confidently expect it to retain this color into adulthood.

54. Schnauzer

The genetics involved in Schnauzer puppy color changes are quite complex.

Your black Schnauzer puppy may carry the fading gene and will transform to a silver-grey within twelve months.

The fading gene is not color-specific and can be present in any Schnauzer puppy.

If the fading gene is present, the dark Schnauzer puppy will fade to a lighter shade; if not, it will retain the darker shade into adulthood.

A white Schnauzer puppy will remain white throughout its life, or if it has black patches on its skin, it will develop into a black and white Schnauzer.

If it is born white with brown skin spots, it will be brown and white.

55. Shiba Inu

A Shiba Inu is one of Japan’s six native dog breeds and is a type of Spitz dog.

The Shibu Inu is a double-coated breed with a dense undercoat and longer guard hairs on top.

The Shibu Inu puppy color and markings are like the adult coat; the colors may brighten or darken in transition.

Some puppies are born with white markings on the face (known as a blaze), but these fade as the adult coat comes in.

Another unusual Shiba Inu puppy coat color is black sesame – a black coat with tiny white or beige “seeds,” but this speckling darkens to black in adults.

56. Shichon

The Shichon (sometimes known as the teddy bear dog) is a charming result of crossing a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise.

How the puppy turns out or changes when it grows is challenging to predict as it depends on which genes it inherits from its parents.

The colors can change by either lightening or darkening when the Shichon puppy coat gives way to the adult coat.

57. Shorkie

Shorkies are a mixture of Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terriers.

You can expect color changes as the Shorkie puppy grows its adult coat.

Typically, your puppy is born with the adult color pattern, but the shade will go lighter or darker.

By around age three, the color will settle.

58. Shih Poo

The Shih Poo is a mixture of Shih Tzu ad a Toy Poodle.

Both parent breeds have puppies that change color, and the Shih Poo puppy will also go through a color change.

Typically, the coat will fade or clear to a lighter tint at around six months.

59. Sheepadoodle

The Sheepadoodle is a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a poodle (standard). This combination is larger than most designer dogs, so it is rare.

The typical coat is a mixture of black and white with some bluing or speckling of the black.

The Old English color genes tend to win out in Sheepadoodle puppies.

The color change that may occur (other than some lightening or darkening) is that the black and white puppy may turn into an all-over grey color.

You still get the cute coat and happy personality, but the color change may surprise you.

60. Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie

Pure Yorkie puppies are born black and tan, and this puppy coat will change to blue and gold in the adult.

Although a Yorkie puppy may seem all black at birth, if you look closely, you will see the tan markings. The black dilutes to blue and, in some cases, silver.

The color transition is very gradual and starts at six months, and the process may take three years to complete.

Does the Color Matter?

Some breeds have little or no color change between puppy and adult, but many dog breeds do.

If color matters, you can consult with the breeder and do your best to predict the final result, but there are no guarantees.

While your puppy’s color changes can surprise you, the color and texture of your puppy’s final coat are only a tiny part of the package; your puppy’s personality is what makes you fall in love with your fur baby.

That doesn’t change when it sheds its puppy fur in favor of its adult coat.

Puppy Color Changes Explained (59 Breeds) & Crucial Facts – Loyal Pedigree (2024)

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