Mini Golden Puppies
We have done a great deal of study into the genetics of dog colors. Dog colors are very complicated and are affected by multiple sets of genes.
Cream/red colors are in essence recessive dominant, if that makes sense. The intensity of the red is a spectrum, not a this or that type of trait. Below we describe many more details on our understanding of dog color genetics.
In our quest to understand mini goldendoodle color genetics, we discovered more complexity to the mini goldendoodle breed color than we realized. We have done an in depth study into dog colors. Here is a little of what we have learned:
Dog colors are a complex set of genetics that give a wide range of colors. The poodle breed contains almost all dog colors while the golden retriever and irish setter breeds have a very defined color set. In short, golden retriever and irish setter colors are a recessive cream/red gene that will only produce these colors with parents that both are cream/red.
Since the cream/red colors are recessive, the poodle color has the most effect on the color of offspring goldendoodle puppies. Goldendoodles can range in color as much as the poodle breed. This is a general genetic description and not necessarily a complete genetic study or completely correct genetic terminology.
For miniature goldendoodle puppies, the most common color is in the cream/red range.
In more detail, black is the dominant color in dogs. The dominating genes that determine if a dog is black or not is either dominant black or recessive black (not black). An allele is half of the gene received from one of the parents, so both alleles together make up a specific gene.
A puppy with one black allele will always be black, no matter what the other allele is. Only if a dog has both not black alleles will the dog be able to be any other color. This is an abbreviated descriptions of the black dominant coloring, which is a little more complicated than this.
There are a couple sets of genes that determine if the black/brown set of genes (also a dominant gene) is expressed as a solid color or if markings are allowed will be expressed with either black/brown as the background coloring. Black is also a recessive color in the fawn/sable/brindle set of genes.
Mini goldendoodle puppies can be black, but a black poodle parent doesn't give all black puppies.
Brown (also known as chocolate) is the recessive to black. If a dog is recessive black (not black for both alleles), then a dog will be brown, assuming the other genes allow this set of genes to be expressed.
Since the recessive cream/red set of genetics is dominant over the other colors, a black or brown poodle can give black or brown mini goldendoodle puppies, depending on the black/brown makeup of the golden retriever or goldendoodle parent.
In the fawn/sable/brindle expression, sable, phantom, and recessive solid are either expressed as solid in background and marking color or as brindled in the marking color.
We haven't seen these colors expressed in the miniature goldendoodle breed.
The cream/red set of genes is expressed as an intensity from white to red in color. The spectrum of colors points to sub-dominance in the intensity set of genes, so the more diluted a red is with white, the less likely the offspring will maintain a red color.
This intensity on the cream/red spectrum is the most difference seen in mini goldendoodle puppies coloring. We get many requests for "English" goldendoodle puppies. Due to much information on the "English" definition, we have posted a short summary on English Goldendoodles.
"English", more correctly labeled European, is the white/cream coloring known in the European golden retriever breed. European golden retriever genetics in mini goldendoodle puppies dilutes red coloring to a lighter apricot/golden/cream coloring; therefore, the term "red English mini goldendoodle" is contradictory.
Both the cream/red and black/brown sets of genes are also controlled by another intensity set of genes. These intensity genetics affect fading, where a cream/red dog will lighten from darker to lighter shade of red/apricot coloring, or black/brown dogs fade to a silver/blue/tan. Fading is also age dependent, and can proceed rapidly or longer term.
This fading is common for mini goldendoodle puppies since it is inherent in the golden retriever and poodle breeds. The irish setter breed does not exhibit the fading of most other breeds, except for facial fading at higher ages. With this, irish setters keep their deep red coloring throughout their life. With the introduction of the irish setter breed into mini goldendoodles, we aim to minimize the amount of fading from the red color a puppy is when young.
This is a brief description of the complexity of dog color genetics that only briefly touches on coat coloring. Points (nose and paw pads) and eye color are also effected by color genetics, some of which are connected to coat color. White markings and parti coloring are also genetic.
Our mini goldendoodle puppies almost always have black points and brown eyes instead of brown (liver colored) points and green or other colored eyes. They will sometimes have white markings that can be on the head, chin, chest, feet, and tip of tail.
In conclusion on coat coloring, we only raise puppies in the cream/red set of genes, therefore all our puppies will stay in this color range. With the introduction of the Irish setter to the goldendoodle cross, we are impacting the long term coloring of the red goldendoodles by introducing less fading tendency (intensity).