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No matter what color your Bernedoodle is they can change colors with age. When a dog changes from black to grey we call that fading however with a sable color we call it clearing. When puppies are 6 weeks old we can generally tell if a tricolor Bernedoodle puppy will fade and what color a sable Bernedoodle puppy will clear out to.
Fading is an interesting topic and one I get a lot of grief from other breeders. I know that health and temperament are the most important but why not have it all????? Yes puppies that fade are beautiful and we love all colors but why breed without a goal? We have been breeding Bernedoodles for 8 years. We have mastered health and temperament. Why not continue upward and produce puppies that hold their color? Bernese is my heart breed. They are one of the most beautiful breeds, their loving loyal personality is something every family can benefit from. My goal is to produce puppies that even as adults look like a Bernese but have the hair of the poodle.
Because our extensive experience we can now say with confidence we can tell what color your sable Bernedoodle will be when they are older. The brindle and tricolor is still a bit tricky but we are getting close! Through experience and years of research we believe we have standard lines that will not fade.
The tricolor phantom coat or phantom tricolor coat color is the term used for a Bernedoodle with mostly black and rust with limited white. Phantom Tricolor is one of the most requested coat color I get. The phantom tricolor will be born with the black, rust, and white markings. As the dog gets older the hair can blend in making the phantom tricolor look like a phantom Bernedoodle. Phantom Tricolors are different from phantoms. Phantom tricolor Bernedoodles have some white while phantoms are only 2 colors usually black and rust. Some phantom tricolors will turn silver where they were once black and white where they were once brown. Some phantom tricolor Bernedoodles seem to hold their color very well. The phantom tricolor resembles a Bernese mountain dog with limited white.
The picture below is a 6 week old sable Bernedoodle and the same sable Bernedoodle a little over 2 years old. If you look close you can see the lighter color under her eyes is the same color she cleared out to. The ears seem to hold the black coloring. On the puppy picture you can see the dark tipped ear and in the adult Bernedoodle picture you can see the tips of the ears are still black.
This puppy is another puppy from one of our non-fading poodles. You can see with age he is the same color as he was when he was a puppy.
The picture below is a sable Bernedoodle at 8 weeks, 6 months, and over 2 years. If you look at the 8 week picture you can see that her true color is the brownish red color. You can see the brownish color under her eyes. Again the ears are tipped black and stayed black but her over all color cleared out to the color around her eyes as a young puppy.
How does the sable Bernedoodle coat change? Sable Bernedoodles are born dark or even looking black. By the time they are a few days old we can tell if they are sable. The first signs of a sable bernedoodle are highlights by the ears, eyes, muzzle, and underneath the tail. When sable bernedoodles are 6 weeks old you can tell what color they will clear out to buy looking at the color under their eyes. Sable Bernedoodles will usually have a lighter brown, cream, or red coloring under and around the eyes. This is the color your sable Bernedoodle will most likely clear out to. Clearing out is different than fading. With fading we do not know what color the puppy will end up being. With clearing out the dog shows what color it will end up being around 6 weeks of age.
You can see 2 examples of how the sable color clears with age below.
Brindle Bernedoodles seem to hold their color whether or not the poodle parent carries the fading gene. This has been the case in my breeding program. Most brindles are born with the brindle color. As the puppy gets older and the hair gets longer the colors blend in. When the puppy is shaved they will still have the brindle coloring. In other breeds brindle coloring can turn grey or silver. I have not seen this with Bernedoodles. In our program our brindle Bernedoodles seem to hold their brindle color. The picture below is one of our brindle Bernedoodle puppies around 10 weeks and 14 months.
You can see great examples of some of our sable Bernedoodles on our Sable Bernedoodle page.
This tricolor Bernedoodle puppy faded out to a silver color. The first picture shows 8 weeks, 4 months, 8 months, and 14 months
This puppy below is from a poodle that did not fade. You can see with age he is the same color and his rust shows more now than when he was a puppy.
Any doodle can fade. Because the Bernedoodle has poodle in them they do have a tendency to fade. The fading comes from the poodle parent. Some Bernedoodles start out as black and turn silver. Some Bernedoodles start out looking black and turn cream. Your dogs genetics determine if your puppy will fade. There is not a test available to determine if your dog carries the fading gene. The only way to reduce fading in the Bernedoodle is to know the lineage and chose breeding dogs that have not faded and come from long lines of non-fading poodles. Even with that there is a chance your puppy could change colors with age.
Tricolor Bernedoodles can either be born with the dark rust markings or the rust can come in with age. The lighter the rust is as a puppy the lighter the rust will be as an adult if your Bernedoodle has the fading gene. It has been interesting to watch the past eight years how the tricolor Bernedoodle color changes. One thing I am finding is that hair type can have an affect on whether or not they fade at an early age. Bernedoodles with a straighter coat seem to hold their color better than Bernedoodles with a curly coat regardless if the poodle parent carries the fading gene. Tricolor Bernedodoles with a poodle parent that faded to silver where their rust used to be seem to start fading as young as 10 weeks. Tricolor Bernedoodles from a phantom poodle parent seem to start fading a bit later around 6-12 months. Tricolor Bernedoodles from a sable poodle parent seem to start fading around 8-14 months. Tricolor Bernedoodles from a poodle parent that has not faded seem to hold their color. Because all of our puppies from our poodle parents that do not seem to carry the fading gene are under 2 years old we do not know what age they will start fading or if they will hold their color until they turn grey from old age.
The merle Bernedoodle coat is a newer coat color. Our Merle Bernedoodles are to young to know how their color will be as adults. So far what we are seeing is that the merle coat is actually turning a darker shade of grey. You can see in the pictures below how the coat is changing from 8 weeks to 4 months
This tricolor phantom Bernedoodle puppy ended up having a straight/wavy coat. You can see with age his rust lightened up to a tan color and his coat came in wavy.
This tricolor Bernedoodle puppy is from one of our phantom poodles that did fade. This picture shows the Bernedoodle puppy at 9 weeks, 5 months, 9 months, and 18 months.
This tricolor phantom Bernedoodle puppy below is from out phantom male Trip. He over 2 years old and is the same color as when he was 8 weeks old. You can see that his rust is very similar to that of a pure Bernese mountain dog. He has a straighter coat.