Do all Cockapoos Fade? + What Causes It

October 8, 2022

Imagine getting a brand new Cockapoo puppy with a vibrant red coat only to notice it dulling several months later.

What happened? Is something wrong with your pup? Nope, your Cockapoo puppy just has the fading gene that has been passed down from its Poodle parent.

A fading coat is a very common characteristic most Cockapoos will experience. However, it does not affect every Cockapoo, it does appear to be a bit of a luck of the draw.

If you have a Cockapoo puppy and are interested in learning more about fading coats, what causes it, and a few of the most common questions Cockapoo owners have on the subject, this is the article for you.

Does Fading Happen to All Cockapoos?

No, fading is not something that will happen to every Cockapoo. It does vary from dog to dog. The reason for this is if your dog has the fading gene passed down from the Poodle parent.

What Causes a Cockapoos Coat Fade?

So, what actually causes the colour of a Cockapoos coat to change colour over time?

There are actually a few reasons your dog's coat patterns change over time. This includes genetics, sunlight exposure, and getting old.

Let's look at each in more detail.


The main reason for Cockapoo's coat changing colour is the fading gene. This is passed down from the Poodle side and is also known for fading certain colours of Poodles.

If Cockapoos have the diluting gene it will make their coats turn to a paler colour.

Sunlight Exposure

If your Cockapoo spends a lot of time in hot weather it can also be affected by the sun beating down on its coat. Over time this can contribute to their coats turning to lighter shades. Sometimes this is referred to as sun bleaching.

This is when the melanin in your dog's coat is bleached out of its coat by the sun, hence the name.

It is worth noting that this would take a lot of time in the sun. Don't worry about this if you are just going out for daily adventures during the summer.


We all get greys as we age, and this is no different for your dog. While this, of course, can't be a reason for your dog's coat changing to a silvery beige tone as a puppy if you start to notice their coat change as a senior dog, this is likely why.

The reason for greys is that pigmentation production sustains the colour of your dog's coat. And when it does fail your dog's coat will become more grey.

At What Age Will a Cockapoo Begin to Fade?

A Cockapoo's coat will start to fade at around six to eight months old ass they shed the puppy coat and the adult coat comes in. At this point, it is common to see your Cockapoo's colour becoming lighter than the dog you had a few months ago.

At one-year-old, if your Cockapoo does not have a faded coat you can be sure they do not have the fading gene.

If it is not the fading gene that is causing the colour change and you have a senior Cockapoo whose coat is appearing to change colour it could be down to old age more than genetics.

How Fast Does a Cockapoo Change colour?

The process of a Cockapoo's coat changing colour is a gradual process that will happen over a few years. You will notice it quite clearly if your dog has the gene within the first year though.

Your dog's coat might not finish changing colour until they are around two years old.

How Much Does Fading Affect a Cockapoos Final Colour?

The level of fading your Cockapoo experiences will vary quite a bit.

Providing they have the fading gene your Cockapoo's coat is most likely going to become a slightly paler version of its original coat colour. In some cases, it can be quite a drastic change of colour such as going from a solid black coat to grey.

Do All Colours of Cockapoo Fade?

Every colour of Cockapoo is at risk of inheriting the fading gene from its Poodle parent.

Interestingly, the same can not be said for Poodles as not all colours are susceptible to fading. Only a few colours of Poodle can fade over time.

Quite strange that all colours of Cockapoo's can have the gene. No matter if you have a solid colour, tri-colour, merle, or tuxedo pup there is a chance their coat will fade. Dark brown and Red Cockapoos fade the most out of all colours.

Can you Stop a Cockapoos Coat from Fading?

No, there is no way you can stop your Cockapoo's coat colour from fading. If your dog has the fading gene then its coat is going to become a lighter shade.

If you do a little research online you will find that most Cockapoo owners actually like the faded coats their dogs have. Try not to think of your dog's coat fading as a bad thing, there is a very good chance you will like it.

And even if you are not a fan, it's still your loving canine companion in there.

Can I Tell if a Cockapoo Puppies Coat will Fade?

When bringing a Cockapoo puppy into your family you may want to know in advance if its coat will fade over time. Particularly if you have been looking for a particular Cockapoo coat colour.

Unfortunately, there is no reliable way of telling if your Cockapoo is likely to fade or not. The odds are fairly high that your dog's coat will fade, it is pretty common.

If you are getting your Cockapoo pup from a breeder you can ask questions about the Poodle who was used to breed if it's an F1 Cockapoo, or about both parents if it's an F2 Cockapoo. Try to find out if there is a history of faded coats in the family.


Not all Cockapoos will fade over time, but those that do have the Poodle half to thank for it. This is because in the vast majority of cases genetics is the cause of the fading. The English Cocker Spaniel side is off the hook in for this one!

There are no specific doggy health problems associated with Cockapoos that fade against those who do not, so this is purely cosmetic rather than a health problem such as is often the case with merle dogs.

If you are looking to bring a Cockapoo into your life and would rather have a dog that did not fade over time your best bet is to speak with the breeder. Quiz them about the parent's coats to find out what the odds of your pup having the fading gene are.

And finally try not to worry too much about this Cockapoos are very smart, and loving dogs who are ideal for families, no matter the colour of their coats.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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