Colours and Markings

Burrinjuck Labradoodles breed a diverse range of colours and markings. Over the last few years we have expanded our breeding program to include a premium line, which includes phantom markings; merle markings and recently, the very attractive roan colour.   



The unique patterning of Merle

In May of 2023, my loyal companion, Coach and I took on an adventure of  thousands of kilometres to outback Western Australia. The purpose of our road trip was a hopeful mating with a gorgeous, blue merle stud that I had fallen in love with over the internet. My vision was to incorporate his exquisite merle markings into my breeding program. 


To our utmost delight, Coach did give birth to two merle girls in a litter of 9 puppies. We retained Burrinjuck Burberry from this union and she is everything I hoped and dreamed could be possible. The glamorous Burrinjuck Burberry has strong blue merle patches and is also phantom. 


At the end of 2023, Burrinjuck added another puppy to our Merle Team. This time we purchased the sensational, Apache Park Alchemy. And WOW, he is sensational. Fingers crossed this puppy will pass his health testing at the end of 2024 and we can begin using him as a stud. 


The future of Burrinjuck Labradoodles is shining bright.

Apache Park Alchemy
Chocolate Merle, Abstract.
Burrinjuck Jesse & Burrinjuck Maestro
Blue Roan and Chocolate Roan
Burrinjuck Rocky Road
Dapple Chocolate Merle.
Burrinjuck Burberry
Blue Phantom Merle
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The magic of the Roan Colouring

Still not completely sure how we hit the jackpot and bred these exquisite, roan colourings for the first time in December, 2023
Puppies with the roan gene are born with white patches and over the coming weeks, months and years, these white areas transition to a solid base colour. It really is incredible.
Our blue roan boy was born an extreme white colour, with only the tiniest bits of black. At 7 weeks you can clearly see the blue undercoat coming through. We predict he will become a totally blue roan colour by the age of 2 years.
Our other roan boy has less visible chocolate roan markings. The roan is mainly peeking through this little guy’s legs. We are retaining the chocolate roan boy as part of our breeding program. It will be so interesting to witness his colourings come through as he matures.
We have been inspired to breed more roan puppies in the future and have imported semen from Magnolia Australian Labradoodles in the United States. the handsome stud of choice is Magnolia’s What a Wonderful World ~ Louie. As can be seen in the three photos below, Louie’s colouring transformed from a large tuxedo of white during puppyhood, to a mottled appearance in adolescence to almost complete blocking of colour by 2 years.

Base Colours of a Labradoodle

Australian Labradoodles have three basic colours; black, chocolate and gold. There are infinite shades of these three base colours to create the enormous variety of colour schemes. 

It all comes down to genetics. Some dogs carry a Rufus gene that will deepen the shade of colour. Other dogs carry a lightening gene that will lighten the coat. For example a gold dog with a Rufus gene will appear red. A gold dog with a Lightening gene will likely fade from gold to cream by the age of two. 


Chocolate should be a dark, rich colour. True chocolates are born almost black and maintain the rich dark colour throughout their lifetime. Nose pigment to be rose in colour (matching the coat colour). Rare colour group.


Red should be a solid colour. A true red should not be lighter at the roots than on the outer coat. Reds can fade as the dog grows older. Nose pigment to be black. This is a rare colour group..


Black should be a solid colouring with no sprinkling of any other colour through the coat. In my opinion, the flowing locks of a beautiful jet black coat is one of the most stunning coats. Nose pigment to be black.


Café ranges from a milk chocolate to silver-beige in colour and will develop over time (1-3yrs). Dogs that develop a café colouring will be born chocolate. Nose pigment to be rose in colour (matching the coat colour


This colour depicts varying shades of gold. A true Gold should not have a lighter root than the outer coat. This colour may fade as the dog grows older. Nose pigment to be black in colour.


Silver can range in varying shades from light pewter in colour to dark charcoal. It is fascinating to observe the colour change over a period of time. Puppies are born black and develop the silvering over time (1-3 yrs)


A smokey colour, likened to a cup of coffee with a generous addition of milk. Parchment dogs are born milk chocolate and the colouring develops gradually over time (1-3yrs) Nose pigment to be rose colour.


Caramel ranges from a buttery caramel colour through to a deep red. The description of caramel includes the gold, apricot and red shades however the nose pigment is always rose.


Cream should be a creamy colouring sometimes with apricot/gold tinting. All shades of cream are acceptable. Cream dogs with brown/rose noses are referred to as Cremé Caramel.

Colour Combinations

A kaleidoscope of markings


Parti Markings describe the combination of two distinct colours in relatively even patches. To be classified as having parti markings, the dog must be 50% white with patches of one other colour. We breed labradoodles with chocolate and white parti markings, black and white parti markings and also gold and white parti markings.


Puppies with abstract markings are a mostly solid colour with markings that are less than fifty percent white. It is common for puppies to have varying degrees of white abstract markings on the chest, under the chin and sometimes on the paws. The appearance of abstract markings sometimes resemble markings similar to a Border Collie.


Phantom markings describe a body colour with a solid colour [chocolate or black] with defined markings of a second colour above each eye, on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheek, on the underside of the ears, on the throat, the chin and chest. 

The colour of the nose

If a cream dog has a black nose then it is described as cream however if the same dog has a rose nose then the colouring is described as caramel cremé or caramel cream. Sometimes a dog is born that is a striking white colour rather than cream. We refer to this colour as chalk. A chalk dog with a rose nose is referred to as being a caramel-ice colour.

The Lightening Gene


Many colours will lighten in colour from eight months through to two years of age. This is due to the lightening gene often inherited from the poodle side. If you notice some silver hairs emerge in your puppy from 8 months this is not a cause for alarm – it is simply the adult coat growing through and the lightening gene being displayed.

The lightening gene result is a gradual change in coat colour that takes place over a period of several months. Dogs may inherit no lightening gene, one lightening gene or two lightening genes.