When a Poodle puppy is a solid, one must understand that many variables can affect what will become the adult coat. When a pup keeps the same color coat, this is known as "holding". However, many Poodles "clear". To "clear" means when the coat fades or lightens to another color. A lightening of the coat does not necessarily occur evenly all over the coat, rather Poodle color will often hold more on the dog's ears and the thicker guard hairs.
- Cafe Au lait Poodles are born dark brown and change to cafe around the age of 2 yrs
- Blue Poodles are born black and change over by the age of 2 years
- Sliver Poodles are born black and change over by the age of 2 years
- Apricots are often born a dark shade that lightens by the age of 2 years
Many owners can become confused as their Poodle takes on a completely different color as they grow. For example, a blue Poodle puppy could be misinterpreted as black, although a reputable breeder should be able to know the difference. If that puppy has parents with parti in the bloodline, as the coat clears during the first 2 years, other colors may appear and the once black looking puppy who was actually a blue parti becomes a parti with a wide array of possible colors.
Fixing a Dull or Yellowing Coat
It is common for a Poodle's coat to dull, become brassy or yellow as the dog matures. Sunlight, air pollution and constant bombardment of minuscule debris are at work here, in addition to the natural aging process cycling out a duller color than a Poodle once had. At all times, each hair strand is in 1 of the 3 phases: Growth, rest or release. Therefore, it is a gradual process... some hairs grow in while others are resting and still others are releasing (shedding off). Owners may not notice a difference in the richness, depth and shine of the coat until the process has been going on for a while and enough hairs have grown in faded or dulled to make a drastic difference.
The key to fixing and maintaining a beautiful color on a Poodle is to use a color enhancing shampoo. There are some great ones manufactured specifically for canines. In addition, while in general one does not want to use a human product on a puppy or dog, as long as the PH balance is correct, it most certainly can be used with excellent results.
If you want your Poodle coat color to be richer and purer, but are not sure which product to use, you may wish to look to 'Grooming - Shampoo - Color' in the Poodle Specialty Shoppe