Goldendoodle types (Size, Generations, Coat types & Colors)

Designer dogs like Goldendoodles are increasingly popular.

They come in different variations since the Poodle and Golden Retriever parents have diverse genetic makeups. These differences depend on;

  • Size
  • Generations
  • Colors
  • Coat types and textures

The traits inherited by the offspring are a genetic gamble and will depend on the parent’s traits. No guarantees can be made on how a puppy will turn out

Goldendoodle Generations

F1 Goldendoodle
(Filial 1)
1st generation cross
50% Poodle X 50% Golden Retriever
Has strong hybrid vigor
Tends to shed more than other generations
F1b Goldendoodle1st generation backcross
F1 Goldendoodle X Poodle or Golden Retriever
The Poodle is preferred for 3/4 Poodle, 1/4 Golden Retriever that sheds less
F1bb Goldendoodle1st generation double-backcross
F1b Goldendoodle X Poodle or Golden Retriever
F2 Goldendoodle
(Filial 2)
2 generation cross
F1 Goldendoodle X F1 Goldendoodle
Increased genetic diversity and unpredictability
Vary in size, coat types, and shedding
Multigen GoldendoodlesAny generation beyond the 1st generation cross
Optimization for certain Poodle or Golden Retriever qualities

Goldendoodle sizes

As a hybrid dog, it is impossible to predict how big your Goldendoodle puppy will be. However, below are some of the predictions based on what has been observed on full-grown mixed dogs

Below are the 3 typical sizes;

Standard GoldendoodleMini GoldendoodleToy Goldendoodle
Standard GoldendoodleMini-Goldendoodle (2)Toy Goldendoodle
Weight:50-70 poundsWeight:25-50 poundsWeight:10-25 pounds
Height:20-26 inchesHeight:15 -20 inchesHeight: Under 15 inches
Lifespan:10-15 yearsLifespan:10-15 yearsLifespan:10-15 years

Goldendoodle colors

Goldendoodles come in a variety of colors and patterns that include

  • Black
  • Blue/gray
  • Silver
  • Silver Beige
  • Chocolate/brown
  • Red
  • Apricot
  • Tan
  • Champagne
  • Cream
  • Chalk white
  • Merle
  • Parti
  • Sable
  • Phantom
  • Tuxedo
  • Tri-color
  • Brindle
  • Abstract

These colors are created by alterations of 2 melanin pigments or a lack thereof. These pigments are;

  • Eumelanin is default black, chocolate or grey. This pigment is also responsible for black noses and brown eye colors. If the pigment is modified (brown gene) the nose will be pinkish (rose) and the eyes amber. Eumelanin is affected by brown, dilution, merle, and greying genes.
  • Phaeomelanin is yellow, red, cream, apricot, tan, and so on depending on the intensity of the pigments. It is only visible on hair color and not the eye, skin, or nose color.

Color genetics

The coat color and intensity are determined by the genes inherited from the parents. Variations of these color genes (alleles) alter how the colors are expressed. These genes are found in different positions on a dog’s chromosome.

There are 6 main gene positions (Loci) that affect a Goldendoodle’s color. These are the K, A, E, B, G, M, and S loci.

K locus (Dominant black):

This is where the dominant black gene (K) is located and is responsible for the default black coat (eumelanin).

The K locus consists of 3 alleles;

  • Dominant K- Produces black. Black is dominant and a dog with a capital K will have a solid black or chocolate coat. The nose will be black with eyes that are almost always brown. The dominant black gene (Kb) is dominant over the A-locus but can be modified by brown, dilution, greying, and merle genes. These genes alter the shade of the black pigment but cannot add red pigments to the coat or skin. Any Goldendoodle with dominant K may be genetically red or sable but they won’t be expressed due to the dominance of the gene. Red pigments can only be added to the coat through the recessive red gen on the E-locus (e/e). The coat will be turned solid red but retain a black nose if the E-locus is e/e.
  • Kbr– Produces brindle pattern. 2 copies are required for a brindle coat (kbr/kbr). This gene is dominant over small k but recessive over Kb.
  • Recessive k– Non-black and allows black, red, and tan markings to show but with a black nose. 2 copies of these alleles should be present for red marking to show. How these red markings show is determined by the A locus.

When other genes interact with the K locus, other shades such as liver, blue, grey, and silver come about.

A locus (Agouti):

This is the location of the Agouti (ASIP) gene that affects whether eumelanin or phaeomelanin is produced, distribution, and specific patterns.

In its dominant form (A), the gene promotes the production of red pigments (phaeomelanin). But the recessive mutant variant (a) promotes eumelanin production when 2 copies of the recessive allele are present for a black coat.

However, the A-locus can only shine through if the doodle has a pair of recessive k alleles (k/k). when the dog has a dominant K gene, the genes on the A-locus though present will not show.

There are 4 known variants of this gene;

  • Ay– The dog will have a fawn color (yellowish tan). This allele is dominant over others in the gene and their presence will not matter
  • aw– Switches between eumelanin and phaeomelanin as the hair grows for a sable coat (wolf sable gray). 2 copies of the gene (aw/aw) are required for the color to be expressed.
  • at– Produces tan markings. The dog will be tan or black or tricolor
  • a– Produces a solid black coat. a/a will have a black coat

Locus E and K affect the expression of the A locus. In the presence of e/e genotype and K allele, the A locus is not expressed.

E locus (Extension):

This locus affects all non-agouti eumelanin and phaeomelanin distribution and patterns. It determines which area of the coat produces eumelanin and which produces phaeomelanin.

In its dominant form (E), the gene allows for the expression of the K, B, and A-locus for eumelanin production. However, with 2 copies of the recessive variant (e/e), the coat will be completely red (or red shades such as yellow, apricot, cream, etc) as it only promotes the production of phaeomelanin. It is genetically impossible for a red dog to have a black or brown coat but will not affect the skin, eye, and nose color

The recessive red (e/e) dominates all other loci except for white.

B Locus (Brown):

This locus contains the gene that modifies eumelanin only to produce a liver (rich brown) color. the gene is recessive and thus b is brown/liver/chocolate while capital B (Dominant) is non-liver. 2 copies of b (b/b) are required to modify black to brown.

All black hair will be tuned to brown as it is genetically impossible for the doodle to have any black hair. The nose will be brown or pinkish (rose), the paw pads brown, and the eyes amber.

Some Goldendoodle can be born with a red coat (e/e) but still, be genetically brown if the nose is brown or rose. This is because the brown gene does not affect phaeomelanin pigments.

G Locus (Greying):

This is the home of the greying gene in Goldendoodles. It affects how intense the eumelanin pigments are over time.

The greying gene is dominant (G) and only affects the black pigments on the coat. Only one copy of the gene is required for progressive greying to occur as the dog ages.

The gene does not affect the nose or eye color but the black or brown coat will lighten as the pup gets older.

M Locus (Merle):

The M locus affects the intensity of eumelanin. In its dominant form, it creates random irregular patches of dilutes and solid color.

A black dog with a merle pattern is known as blue merle while a brown dog with the merle pattern is known as red merle

S locus (White spotting):

S locus affects the distribution of white random and irregular patterns such as parti. The recessive gene causes some parts of the coat to be white where no eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigments are produced. Rarely is the entire coat affected for a completely white coat.

There are 4 variants of the S allele;

  • S– solid color with no white pigmentation
  • si– White spots- often seen on the collar, legs, and belly
  • sw– extreme white spotting due to a lack of or production of less pigment
  • sp-piebald– Produces irregular white spotting depending on the number of mutant alleles

Black Pigment color shades

Black pigment dogs must have dark brown eyes. Depending on the number of eumelanin produced and distributed to the hair shaft will give you different shades that include;

  • Chocolate
  • Gray
  • Silver
  • Cafe or Silver Beige
Color chart
Black Goldendoodle The entire coat tends to be pure black with no markings. Some may develop a Bluish, charcoal, or silver hue as they age due to the fading gene
Eyes: Dark brown
Nose: Black
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Black
Nails: Black
Chocolate/Brown/Liver GoldendoodleAre born quite dark, rich chocolate color – almost black- and may fade with age
A true Chocolate Goldendoodle should not fade
Markings are accepted but not desired
This color is described as deep and rich mahogany to dark walnut color
Usually F1b and beyond
Eyes: Dark amber to pale hazel-green
Nose: Rose, brown, or liver
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Liver or brown
Nails: Dark brown
Gray GoldendoodleAre born almost black and develop a dark to medium smoky blue-gray coat as they age over 1 to 3 years from as early as 6 weeks. Tends to appear as Multi-colored and is rarely a solid color
Similar to Silver Goldendoodles but darker and steelier
Best described as a pale, dark grey color with a bluish undertone
Eyes: Dark brown
Nose: Blue-gray
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Dark brown
Nails: Black
Silver GoldendoodleAre born dark chocolate and lighten or fade into a silver-grey or light-grey color in 1-3 years
A solid color is preferred but uneven layering is acceptable. May have darker or lighter patches
Often confused for gray Goldendoodles early on but is lighter and shinier with age
Eyes: Dark amber to pale hazel-green
Nose: Rose, brown
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Dark brown
Nails: Dark brown
Silver Beige/Cafe au lait GoldendoodleBorn dark beige brown and develop a silver shade with age as early as 6 weeks
Is a lighter shade of silver with a light brown color and lighter hair roots
Some have faces covered by silver fur
Eyes: Dark amber to pale hazel-green
Nose: Rose, brown
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Dark brown
Nails: Dark brown

Red & yellow shades

You can get a range of colors from the phaeomelanin gene depending on the intensity of the pigments. These shades include;

  • Deep red
  • Cream
  • Apricot
  • Chalk white
  • Caramel
  • Champagne
Color Chart
Red GoldendoodleRanges from light to a rich dark red but can fade and tan as the dog matures
The entire coat should be a rich solid red and even from the base to the tip with no markings
Resembles a teddy bear
Eyes: Dark brown
Nose: Black
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Black
Nails: Black
Tan GoldendoodleDescribed as mid-tone brown or a subtle reddish color
Has lighter apricot, cream, or white shades mixed into their coats
Eyes: Dark brown
Nose: Black
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Black
Nails: Black
Cream GoldendoodleIs a shade that appears darker than white. It comes in various shades ranging from a light creamy yellow to a deep cream color that is almost red
Often confused for the chalk-white Goldendoodle due to how light they are but tend to be darker
Goldendoodles with brown noses are referred to as caramel cream
Appear on multi-colored Goldendoodles (merle, phantom, parti) with gold and apricot markings on the paws and face
Eyes: Various shades of brown
Nose: Brown or rose
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Dark brown or rose
Nails: Light nails
Champagne GoldendoodleHave light cream coats with a golden yellowish tinge
Cream and Champagne Goldendoodles are somewhat similar but champagnes are more colorful
Puppies may be born dark brown and fade over time from about 6 weeks
Eyes: Various shades of brown
Nose: Brown or rose
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Dark brown or rose
Nails: Light nails
Caramel GoldendoodleIs a rich shade of cream ranging from rich gold to a deep red shade
Should be a consistent color but may have hints throughout the coat
Eyes: Hazel to amber
Nose: Dark brown or rose
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Liver or brown
Nails: Dark brown
Apricot or Golden GoldendoodleRich dark golden brown color resembling the inside of apricot
This is a shade between red and brown
Should be a consistent coloration from the root to the tip of the hair shafts
May lighten over time to pale orange yellow
Can be confused for Cream or tan Goldendoodles but have black noses
Eyes: Dark brown to hazel-green eyes
Nose: Black
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Black
Nails: Black
Chalk-white GoldendoodleIs white but appears creamier or darker when put against a white backdrop more like chalk
Others may have deeper chalk-white facial markings
Eyes: Dark brown to hazel-green eyes
Nose: Black or rose
Paw pads, lip, and eye rims: Black or rose
Nails: Black or light

Coat patterns

  • Brindle
  • Abstract
  • Parti
  • Merle
  • Tuxedo
  • Phantom
Solid colorOnly one single color of any color such as chocolate, red, and so on
No markings
Tuxedo GoldendoodleIs a variation of the parti coat with white markings making up less than 50%
Are part black and part white
The non-white parts can be any color including brown
Has distinct and predictable white markings on the legs, chest, tummy, forehead, and nose as if the dog is wearing a tuxedo
Parti GoldendoodleContains a coat that is at least 50% white with secondary random patches of any color such as chocolate, red, silver, apricot, tan, etc
The patches should be clear and defined with no particular shape thus no two parti pups are alike
Patches normally appear on the face, chest, feet, under the tail, around the eyes, ears, and saddle
The secondary color is the same for the eye and lip rims, nose and eye color
Sable GoldendoodleIs Gold, Chocolate, gray, red, or any base color with black tips overlaying the base color for a two-tone appearance
Has no predictable pattern
Are born black and fade with age into a lighter cream or tan shade
Some of the body parts remain black with spots on the ears, face, and other areas
The distribution of the darker tips can be even or uneven
Phantom GoldendoodleThey have a solid base color such as black or brown sporting particular sharply defined markings of any second color such as white, silver, gold, or cream
The markings appear on the eyebrows, cheeks, throat, below the chest, below the tail, inner lower legs, and the sides of the muzzle
Common combinations are;
– Black and gold
– Black and tan
– Black and cream
– Silver and brown
– Cream and brown

Some are a 3-color combination
The nose can be black or rosy
Merle GoldendoodleConsists of random, unique, and irregular patches of black, red, or chocolate, apricot, blue-gray, silver, and cream on a solid base color. This results in a marbling effect
Oftentimes, the patches are silver or blue on a black, brown, or white coat
These dogs have incredible blue, amber, or dark-colored eyes
If two merle parents are bred together, the merle genes can cause deafness and blindness
Brindle GoldendoodlesTypically appears as black stripes on a red base. The stripes vary in intensity and width similar to tiger stripes
These stripes are best seen on large body parts such as the back
The base color can be red, cream, apricot, blue, or silver.
Long, wavy or curly hair can make it hard to identify brindle markings
Tri-color GoldendoodleConsists of 3 colors of at least 30% white, a second color usually black or brown, and a third tan color on the eyebrows, chest, lower legs, muzzle, and other phantoms points
No tri-color Goldendoodle is 100% Goldendoodle as the gene responsible does not typically appear on Poodles or Golden Retrievers. Usually, they have another breed such as the Bernese Mountain dog in them
Abstract/Mismark/Chrome GoldendoodleAbstract Goldendoodles have a solid base color with less than 30% white markings of no particular patterns or order
The base can be any other color such as red or apricot on the chest, paws, tail tip, chin, or forehead
Often confused for Tuxedos but have no white bellies
The nose should be rosy, black, or brown, matching the base color.
The eyes can be blue, black, or brown.

Goldendoodle color change

Some Goldendoodles puppies may hold their coat color into adulthood. However, you should understand that some pup’s coat color will lighten with age (clearing). Even then, some parts of the pups such as the ears and muzzles may hold their color into adulthood. The color change is commonplace.

It is best practice to choose a color that is darker that the anticipated adult color as it is likely to fade as the adult coat develops. A black Goldendoodle may fade into gray while an apricot one may change to cream, chocolate to light brown, and so on. Typically, clearing occurs within the first 3 years.

This color change is more prevalent and dramatic in Black doodles and the difference may be day and night. If you plan to get a Black Goldendoodle, this is something to keep in mind.

Goldendoodle coat types

The appearance of a Goldendoodle is also determined by coat features such as curls, hair, texture, and length.

There are 3 Goldendoodle coat types;

  • Curly coats
  • Wavy or fleece coats
  • Straight or hairy coats
Coat types
Coat typeDescriptionGenotype
Fleece or wavy coated GoldendoodleThis is the most common coat type preferred for the low shedding properties and ease of grooming.
The coat is wavy to silky with loose shaggy, free-flowing, and soft curls of 4 to 7 inches if not trimmed
This coat can range from almost straight, wavy, or forming soft spirals
Wooly or Curly coatsThis is the coat type you would get from a purebred Poodle
It is dense with tight and compact curls
This coat is thick, soft, curly, and dense similar to sheep’s wool.
The curls range from loose hollow spirals to tight curls that loop over themselves
The coat should not be overly dense
Gives an afro look when brushed
Straight or hair-coated GoldendoodleThis coat is straight and more similar to Golden Retriever’s coat
It varies in length and thickness
Has a light to moderate seasonal shedding
The coat may change from puppyhood to adulthood and during hormonal changes in fertile females
The coat ranges from 2-5 inches in length

Coat Length

Both Poodles and Golden Retrievers have long coats. As such both parents carry the genes for longhaired coats which is a recessive trait. All Goldendoodles will thus have long coats as each parent will contribute a copy of the long coat allele for the l/l genotype.

Coat furnishings

Furnishings are long leg and facial hairs such as eyebrows and beards, characteristic of doodles as the Goldendoodle (Doodley coat). The gene responsible is dominant and thus only one copy of the F allele (FF) is required for a dog to inherit the trait.

A Goldendoodle without furnishings (ff) is said to have an improper coat as furnishings are part of the breed standard. A Goldendoodle with furnishings has a proper coat and shed less compared to those without. This is because furnishings confer to a low or non-shedding coat

But being low shedding is not a guarantee that the dog will be hypoallergenic as allergies are complex- shedding is only a small part of the equation. Allergens can be found in saliva, dander, and skin flakes that may all trigger an allergic reaction.

To Sum up

When buying a Goldendoodle, do not base your decisions on color alone. Health and the dog’s personality are far more important when it comes to selection before gravitating to looks. Although it is the first thing you notice, no color or pattern is better than the other.

The is no link between color and a dog’s personality.

However, some colors such as merle have been linked to genetic defects that cause deafness or blindness if the pup inherits two copies of the dominant merle gene. As such as you should always seek out a responsible breeder for a purchase.

All in all, Goldendoodles are loving, playful, and excellent family dogs whose company you will love.

There you go, WOOF!