Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color

By Nancy Williams •  Updated: 11/14/22 •  31 min read

The Red Poodle is a beautiful breed of dog with a coat color almost as unique as its personality.

This rare coat color is one of the most sought-after by many people looking for a poodle.

For readers that are unfamiliar with red poodles, here’s what it means.

Red poodles have a reddish-brown colored coat and are one of the rarest and the most in-demand poodle color. These poodles are amongst the most expensive poodle colors and are available in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

In this blog, I will tell you everything you need to know about red poodles, what makes them different, health issues, and what to expect from these poodles.

Red Poodle Characteristics

What Does a Red Poodle Look Like?

What are red poodles

Red poodles are one of the many different poodle colors available. 

While white poodles and black poodles have always been among the most popular poodle colors, red poodles have quickly caught up in terms of demand and popularity.

According to the official breed standards for poodles, a red poodle should have black-colored noses, black eye rims, black lips, black paw pads, and black toenails.

While the color black is preferred, these poodles can also have liver-colored noses, liver-colored lips, and liver-colored eye rims. 

It should be noted that the official breed standard states that even though liver-colored points are permitted, they are not desirable. 

A red poodle should have black colored points according to the breed standards and that is what’s generally desired.

According to the breed standard, the major faults in a red poodle are the wrong color of the nose, lips, and eye-rims.

The coat color of a red poodle can be best described as a reddish-brown color but the color can range from a deep orange tint to a light-mahogany color.

Red Poodle Nose Color


While it is believed by many that red poodles should only have black-colored noses, it is certainly not the case.

A red poodle can have either liver-colored or black-colored noses – both are acceptable and mentioned in the official poodle breed standards.

While black-colored noses are preferred, liver-colored noses are also acceptable but not desirable.

The nose of a red poodle can also change color based on the season. The nose appears to be of a lighter shade in winter and appears to be much darker in the summer.

There are several theories as to why this happens, here are two of the main ones.

In the winter, we generally get less access to sunlight which means less vitamin D absorption in our body, this may be a reason why a loss of color may occur. This is what people call the “winter nose” effect.

While many owners resort to supplementing their dog’s diet with Vitamin D to make up for the lack of sunlight, I would advise you to do your own research on the topic or talk to your vet before adding supplements to your dog’s diet.

The other main theory is that the nose simply appears to look that way because of the loss of pigment during the cold winter months. The loss of pigments can either be seasonal or permanent.

Red Poodle Eye Color

According to the poodle breed standards, black-colored eye-rims are preferred but liver-colored eye-rims are accepted as well.

As for the eyes, a red poodle has very dark eyes that are oval in shape. The color is either black or deep brown.

Other than these eye colors, amber-colored eyes, while not preferred, are also permitted in red poodles.

Red Poodle Personality

Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, second only to the genius border collies.

They are highly affectionate and make great family pets. These dogs are full of energy and are always down to play.

Red poodles are known for their intelligence and their ability to learn quickly.

They can be trained easily with the right kind of training program, which is important because these dogs thrive on routine and consistency.

Red poodles have a very high need for company, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time because they will become destructive or unhappy if they do not get enough attention from their owners.

They are known for being very friendly towards strangers, but they may be wary at first until they get to know you better over time.

Here is a quick overview of the different personality traits of a red poodle:

Level of Affection for Family MemberHighly Affectionate
Level of Affection for KidsVery tolerant, patient, and good
Openness to Meeting New PeopleVery Welcoming
Good With Other DogsNot Recommended
Intelligence LevelHighly Intelligent
Energy LevelVery High
Barking LevelVery Vocal
Trainability LevelHighly Trainable
Can Be Left AloneNo
Personality Traits of a Red Poodle

How Big Do Red Poodles Get?

How big do red poodles get

How big a red poodle gets is based on two major factors: their size variation and the gender of the red-colored poodle.

According to The Official Poodle Breed Standard, red poodles are available in three official sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.

Red toy poodles are the smallest poodle size, these poodles are 10 inches or under at the highest point of their shoulder and weigh between 4 to 6 pounds. With an average life expectancy of 12 to 18 years, red toy poodles live the longest on average when compared to standard or miniature poodles.

Red miniature poodles are smaller than red standard poodles but bigger than red toy poodles. These poodles are 10 to 15 inches tall at the highest point of their shoulder, weigh between 10 to 15 pounds, and have an average life expectancy of 10 to 18 years.

Red standard poodles are the largest red poodle size. These poodles are over 15 inches tall at the highest point of their shoulder, weigh between 40 to 70 pounds, and have an average life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.

Apart from the three official poodle sizes, breeders have created unofficial red poodle sizes to better market these poodles which are believed to be nothing more than gimmicks or terms used by backyard breeders.

Unofficial poodle sizes are as follows:

Red Giant Poodle also known as Red Royal Poodle or Red King Poodle is an unofficial size for poodles that are “extra-large”. On average, a standard poodle’s height is around 15 to 24 inches at its shoulders, however, a red royal poodle’s height would be over 25 inches at its shoulders.

Red Moyen Poodle also known as Red Medium Poodle or Red Klein Poodle is an unofficial size for poodles that are bigger than a miniature poodle but smaller than a standard poodle. These red klein poodles are produced by breeding ‘oversized minis’ with standard poodles.

Red Teacup Poodle also known as Red Micro Poodle is an unofficial size for poodles that are smaller than a toy poodle. This small size is often achieved at the expense of the poodle’s health and such poodles have health issues like spinal problems, liver shunts, hind paralysis, heart diseases, breathing issues, and arthritis.

Here’s a table that shows you a range of height and weight of fully grown red poodles based on their size variation.

Red Poodle SizeRed Poodle Height (in inches)Female Red Poodle WeightMale Red Poodle Weight (in lbs)
Red Royal Poodle*Over 25 inchesOver 55 lbs.Over 65 lbs.
Red Standard Poodle15 to 24 in.40 to 50 lbs.60 to 70 lbs.
Red Moyen Poodle*16 to 20 in.20 to 35 lbs.25 to 40 lbs.
Red Miniature Poodle10 to 15 in.10 to 15 lbs.10 to 15 lbs.
Red Toy Poodle6 to 10 in.4 to 6 lbs.4 to 6 lbs.
Red Teacup Poodle*5 to 8 in.Under 6 lbs.Under 6 lbs.
How Big Can Fully Grown Red Poodles Get?

* There are no official height and weight standards for royal, moyen, and teacup poodles. The height and weight range presented in the table above are the ones that are marketed by breeders.

While everyone knows the official poodle sizes: toy, miniature, and standard – not everyone knows what the unofficial poodle sizes are.

Unofficial red poodle sizes are created by breeders to better market poodles and are believed to be nothing more than gimmicks or terms used by backyard breeders.

Unofficial sizes are as follows:

Giant Red Poodle also known as Royal Red Poodle or King Red Poodle is an unofficial size for poodles that are “extra-large”. On average, a standard poodle’s height is around 15 to 24 inches at its shoulders, however, a royal red poodle’s height would be over 25 inches at its shoulders.

Moyen Red Poodle also known as Medium Red Poodle or Klein Red Poodle is an unofficial size for poodles that are bigger than a miniature poodle but smaller than a standard poodle. These red klein poodles are produced by breeding ‘oversized minis’ with standard poodles.

Teacup Red Poodle also known as Micro Red Poodle is an unofficial size for poodles that are smaller than a toy poodle. This small size is often achieved at the expense of the poodle’s health and such poodles have health issues like spinal problems, liver shunts, hind paralysis, heart diseases, breathing issues, and arthritis.

In general, irrespective of size and color, female poodles are smaller than their male counterparts.

But what do these sizes mean for your (future) Red Poodle? Here are some things to consider:

Red Poodle Genetics

Red Poodle Genetics

The genes that a dog carries decide factors such as coat color, nail color, eye color, eye-rims colors, and nose color, among other traits.

Red poodles are one of the rarest poodle colors and the genetics behind this color is one of the major reasons for that.

Although red poodles appear in apricot lines, their color is because of an entirely separate gene from apricot poodles.

The gene that is responsible for the reddish color in poodles is the Rufus gene.

Based on genetics, the color red is a dominant color which means that if you breed a poodle with a poodle of another color (except for black), then you are likely to get a red poodle.

Black is the most dominant color out of all the poodle colors, so breeding a red with a black poodle will get you a black poodle in most cases.

As I mentioned, the genetics a dog carries affects many traits in a dog which are not just limited to a dog’s coat color.

One can very well take an educated guess as to what color a red poodle’s nose color be based on the genotype:

Red poodles with black noses can have the following possible genotypes: BBee, Bbee.


Red poodles with brown noses can have the following possible genotypes: bbee.

If you’re interested in learning more about what genes your dog carries, check out Embark Dog DNA Test Kit.

Using Embark Dog DNA Test Kit you can not only learn more about the color of your poodle’s coat but other important information such as actionable health insights, discovering your dog’s relatives, if your poodle is purebred or not, and much more.

Embark has also added a Red Pigment Intensity Test to their DNA testing kit which can help people get an idea of what color their red poodle will end up being.

Do All Red Poodles Fade?

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 1

Yes, all red poodles fade. It’s just how they are genetically made up.

Some red poodles fade less while, some fade significantly, and some even darken.

It is safe to say that owners should expect their red poodles to fade, it’s only natural. Owners should not get too worried if their poodle is fading.

When a poodle starts to fade, it could also be caused due to several reasons other than their genetic makeup, here are some of those reasons:

  1. Hormonal Changes – Hormonal changes are documented to affect a dog’s coat color. The reason is the amount of stress a female dog is under during pregnancy which is elevated even more during lactation because of the continued nutritional needs of the offspring.
  2. Exposure to the sun – Excessive exposure to the sun can have the same effect as that bleaching your dog’s coat. Since the sun shines brighter in the summer and far less in the winter, this reason shouldn’t be thrown out of the window and owners must limit the time their poodle spends in the sun.
  3. Banding – Banding is especially prevalent in red and apricot poodles. What it basically means is that the hair of a poodle grows dark for about an inch and then grows light for the other inch. If this happens with your poodle then it may take up to a couple of years for the final color to appear.
  4. Physical Trauma – Physical trauma could be anything from attacks from different dogs, to accidents, injuries, wounds, etc. If a red poodle gets a wound or an injury on its body then it is very likely that when the hair starts growing after the wound heals could be a different color from the rest of the coat. The color of the new hair is usually darker than the rest of the coat.

Grooming Tips For Red Poodles

When it comes to the long, curly, and beautiful coat of the red poodle, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that these dogs are hypoallergenic which means they do not shed nearly as much as other dogs.

The bad news is that a red poodle’s hair keeps on growing and requires regular grooming to tame those curly locks.

However, if you make grooming your red poodle a regular part of your schedule, it is possible to keep them well-groomed without a lot of effort.

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 2

When it comes to red poodle grooming, there’s no one-solution-fits-all answer!

The frequency of your red poodle’s grooming will depend on a number of factors—including the type of cut they have and the color they are.

If you’ve got a show clip, you’re going to want to groom them every 4 weeks or so.

If you’ve got a pet clip, you can probably get away with grooming them every 6 or 8 weeks.

Darker-colored poodles need less frequent attention than lighter ones—because they don’t get as dirty!

Light-colored poodles will need more frequent baths and brushes, but even then that depends on how much time they spend outside running around on the beach or in the park.

So how often should you groom your red poodle?

Here’s a common grooming schedule you can follow for your red poodle.

Are Red Poodles Hypoallergenic?

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 3

Before discussing whether red poos are hypoallergenic or not, it is important to understand the definition of a hypoallergenic dog breed.

A hypoallergenic dog breed is a dog breed (or crossbreed) that is purportedly more compatible with allergic people than are other breeds.

Hypoallergenic dog breed. In Wikipedia.

While it is commonly believed that poodles are the number one choice when it comes to a dog breed that is compatible with people who suffer from allergies, it simply isn’t the case.

Let me explain.

According to a study conducted by the researchers at Henry Ford Hospital, there were no findings that could support the claim that households with hypoallergenic dogs had fewer allergens as compared to homes with non-hypoallergenic dogs.

So why is it a widely accepted ‘fact’ that red poos are hypoallergenic dogs and they don’t trigger any allergies?

Here are a few theories as to why that may be.

Poodles have hair instead of fur.

The main difference between dogs that have fur and dogs such as poodles is the fact that fur is denser, grows quickly, and sheds often.

Whereas a poodle’s hair grows out very slowly, which means they shed far less than dogs with fur.

Unlike breeds that have fur instead of hair, such as Huskies and German Shepherds who are known for shedding a lot – poodles don’t shed nearly as much.

Notice I said don’t shed nearly as much instead of poodles don’t shed at all – this is exactly the part that breeders fail to mention.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.

In fact, allergies are one of the top six chronic illnesses causing conditions in America.

Breeders see these numbers as an opportunity to make money so they twist the facts to make wild claims such as poodles not shedding at all, or poodles being 100% hypoallergenic dogs that won’t trigger any allergies.

But that’s not how it should be and this needs to change.

While red poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs, there are no previous allergy studies that could confirm this claim.

So, if you or someone you live with suffers from an allergy, I highly recommend talking to a qualified medical professional to get their opinions before welcoming your new furry friend to your family. 

Are Red Poodles Healthy?

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 4

Red poodles, like any other solid poodle color, are generally considered healthy dogs which is evident by their long lifespans.

Like any other poodle color, red poodles are vulnerable to diseases such as Hypothyroidism, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Hydrocephalus, Patellar Luxation, Sebaceous Adenitis (SA), Bloating (GDV), Epilepsy, Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Von Willebrand’s Disease.

Here are 7 steps you can take to make sure your red-colored poodle stays healthy, disease free, and lives a long life:

How Long Do Red Poodles Live?

Red poodles are healthy dogs that have a long lifespan of 12 to 18 years on average based on the size of the poodle. Toy and miniature red poodles generally live longer than standard red poodles.

red poodle lifespan

Here’s a table in which you can see the average expected lifespan of different red-colored poodle sizes:

Red Poodle SizeLife Expectancy
Red Standard Poodle10 to 15 Years
Red Miniature Poodle12 to 18 Years
Red Toy Poodle12 to 18 Years
Red Poodle Lifespan Based on Size

Now, you’re probably wondering, if the standard, miniature, and toy are all different size variations of the same poodle breed – then why is there a difference in expected lifespan?

Research conducted by the University of Washington that included over 2.3 million dogs concluded that larger dogs had a shorter life expectancy as compared to smaller dogs.

In the same study, the researchers concluded that purebred dogs had a shorter lifespan than mixed-breed dogs.

The reproductive status of the dog, that is whether the dog is spayed/neutered or not, also has a significant effect on a dog’s life expectancy.

In this research, spayed females had the longest life expectancy out of neutered males, intact males, as well as intact females.

The difference in lifespan was found to be around 30 weeks when comparing spayed female dogs to intact female dogs.

In the case of male dogs, the difference was far less than in female dogs.

Comparing the difference in lifespans between neutered males and intact males, the difference was found to be about 3 weeks which is still a positive relationship between neutering a dog and an increase in life expectancy.

Red Poodle History

Red poodle history
A statue of a poodle resting

Today’s red poodles didn’t spring into existence overnight, it took many years and several generations of dedicated breeders to achieve the standard conformation and quality that we see in our red standard poodles today.

The idea to develop a red standard poodle was first conceived by Ilse Konig of Shangri-La Kennel in 1980 after she saw a red miniature poodle at a dog show.

The first litter of red poodle puppies was brought into existence by crossing an oversized red Miniature poodle and a small Apricot Standard Poodle.

In an interview, Isle Konig mentioned that she was dancing with joy upon seeing the great color.

Still, she only realized the main problem after some time when she realized that the puppies had short legs like a Miniature Poodle and the head of a Standard Poodle.

In the same interview, she also mentioned that the temperament of those puppies was not the same as Standard Poodles.

Since, they were smaller than a Standard Poodle and larger than a Miniature Poodle she called them “Caniche” – a term coined for the size of poodles between Miniature and Standard Poodles.

Over time, breeders continued to breed the largest puppy from the litter to slowly increase the size of the puppies to the point that we see a lot of standard red poodles around.

However, as the number of red poodles grew so did the market demand. Within China, the United States, and other countries worldwide, red poodles became extremely popular.

In order to keep up with demand, breeders resorted to heinous breeding practices such as overbreeding, rushed breeding, and inbreeding which resulted in red poodles being born with birth defects.

Although there have been a lot of cases over the years, the one that stands out most to me is a red poodle being born without any eyes.

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 5
A red poodle born without an eyes

This story comes from Taiwan, China, and it depicts a practice that, despite it being more than 8 years old, still exists in our society today.

Readers are advised to only purchase poodles from a reputed breeder that keeps their dogs in humane conditions, breeds only healthy poodles, and invests in health testing their dogs before breeding them.

Are Red Poodles Rare?

Red poodles are one of the rarest poodle colors.

These poodles generally appear in apricot lines and have a much darker and deeper coat color than apricot poodles.

Even though red poodles appear in apricot lines their coat color comes as a result of an entirely different gene which is called the Rufus gene.

The gene responsible for the red coloration is a recessive gene, this means that both parents must have the Rufus gene in order to produce a red poodle.

Moreover, in order to consistently produce red poodles to meet the market’s demand for these poodles, breeders make it a point to only breed a red poodle with another red poodle.

This makes the available gene pool for these poodles very limited and it’s not long before these breeders start getting red poodles with behavioral and health issues in these poodles.

This is why I would advise my readers to not have their mind set on a single color, if you get the opportunity to buy a poodle of a certain color but the breeder doesn’t seem trustworthy or the breeder only breeds for a specific color then you should definitely keep looking.

Breeding for color isn’t inherently bad, it’s a necessity to establish breeding lines that will allow the breeders to consistently produce poodles of certain colors.

However, the least a breeder could do is breed the red poodles with a different color poodle for the sake of genetic diversity and overall quality of the poodle.

How Much Do Red Poodles Cost?

how much do red poodles cost

Red poodles are one of the most expensive poodle colors out of all the different solid poodle colors and multicolored poodles.

This high price comes because of the recent rise in popularity and the demand for these rare poodles.

The average price of red poodles as well as the price range for each size are listed below:

  • Red toy poodles cost $3500 on average with prices ranging from $2900 to $4600.
  • Red miniature poodles cost $2730 on average with prices ranging from $2160 to $3200.
  • Red standard poodles cost $2660 on average with prices ranging from $1900 to $2900.

When I was asking around for the average price from various breeders, shelters, and online marketplaces; I came across some very weird marketing tactics to sell red poodles for an even higher price.

As a reader, I want to warn you and tell you more about how these breeders will employ dirty marketing tactics to scam money out of your pocket.

Red poodles and apricot poodles are poodle colors that aren’t one single defined color or shade.

Red and apricot poodles are available in different shades which is perfectly natural and is even mentioned in the poodle breed standards.

Naturally, red poodles range from a deep orange shade to a reddish brown color with many different shades in between.

So, what these breeders do is that they make up new colors that are not official colors such as Rust, Orange, Gold, or Yellow.

Rust, Orange, Gold, or Yellow are not official poodle colors. These colors are not real and are simply made up by breeders to scam more money out of potential buyers like you.

With that being said, let me tell you about some factors that does have an effect on your red poodle’s price.

The color of a red poodle depends on the following factors:

Red Poodles Vs Brown Poodles

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 6

The difference between a red and a brown poodle is the coat color. A brown poodle has a much darker coat color in comparison to a red poodle.

The coat color of a brown poodle can be said to be of mahogany color whereas a red poodle’s coat color ranges from an orange-ish tint to a light reddish brown color.

Red Poodles Vs Apricot Poodles

Red Poodle – All About This Rare And Beautiful Coat Color 7

Reds have a coat color that ranges from a deeper and rich red to a lighter shade but not as light as an apricot.

The main difference between a red poodle and an apricot poodle is the intensity of their coat colors.

Differentiating between a red and an apricot poodle can be difficult under poor lighting conditions. Make sure you have adequate lighting to better see the difference in coat colors.

So, can two apricot poodles produce a red poodle?

Well, from a genetic standpoint a red poodle’s genetic makeup is e/e which makes them a recessive color.

It is possible for an apricot poodle to carry the recessive red gene genes, however, those genes must be present in both parents to produce a red poodle.

Red Poodle With White Markings

Red poodle with white markings

White markings on an otherwise red poodle can occur because of various reasons. These markings are mostly seen on the chest, head, muzzle, legs, toes, and tail, as well as parts of the poodle’s coat.

One of the most common reasons could be that your red poodle is a multicolored poodle rather than a solid-colored poodle.

Multicolored poodle is an umbrella term for several types of coat coloration and patterns such as parti, abstract, phantom, mismark, or tuxedo poodles.

Here’s a quick rundown of what each of these terms means:

Red Parti Poodle

Parti poodles (short for PARTIcular colored poodles) are poodles that have a coat that is at least 50% white and the rest of the coat can be any of the acceptable poodle colors in the form of random and uneven patches all over the coat.

Red parti poodles are poodles with white as the base color covering at least 50% of the poodle’s coat and the rest of the coat consists of random and uneven patches that can range in color from deep orange-ish to reddish brown. The color of the patches of a red part poodle is the same as a red poodle’s coat.

Red Phantom Poodle

A phantom poodle has a coat that consists of a dark base color with markings also known as tan points appearing on specified areas such as above the eyebrow, side of the muzzle, legs, feet, below the tail, throat, chin and on the chest.

While most people may think that since phantom poodles are a subset of parti poodles, red phantom poodles may also exist since red parti poodles exist.

But that is just not the case. There is no such thing as a red phantom poodle. It is genetically impossible.

On a phantom poodle, there are two colors, a primary color and a secondary color in the form of phantom points that appear in various areas of a poodle’s body.

Since the phantom gene turns the points of a black or a brown dog to red, apricot, cream, or tan – red phantom points on a red dog are just not genetically possible.

There is just no way for the phantom points to express themselves on a red phantom poodle.

Red Abstract Poodle

An abstract phantom poodle is a poodle that has a white color on less than 50% of their coat along with phantom markings on specified areas of their body such as the area above the eyes, side of the muzzle, chin, throat, chest, and all four of the legs.

So, by that definition, a red abstract poodle is a poodle that has white as the base coat color which covers less than 50% of the poodle’s coat and the rest of the coat is the color of a red poodle’s coat which can range from a deep orange-ish tint to a reddish brown color.

White Markings Due to a Virus

Sometimes, when a dam contracts a virus while the puppies are still developing, then the virus may cause damage to the cells that produce pigment in specific areas which can leave them white-colored.

The white color is produced because the virus damages the cells responsible for pigment production that would otherwise have produced color in the cell of the dog.

White Markings Due To Pregnancy

There have also been cases where a red poodle fades to a lighter shade and then regains the original red coloration after some time.

The reason for this fading and then regaining might be because of hormonal changes and is usually nothing to worry about.

In many cases, pregnancy in poodles has also led to such a change in color that a red poodle will fade and then regain its color after giving birth.

Loss of Color Due To Excessive Exposure To The Sun

Excessive exposure to the sun may produce the same effect on a red poodle as bleaching.

It is advised that poodle owners of specific colors such as red, apricot, and cream limit the time their poodle remains out in the sun to try and reduce the effects of fading in the sun.

Red Poodle Names

Have you named your puppy yet? If you haven’t, and you like the color red, then consider one of these red-hot names for your red pup.

If you have already found a good name for your poodle, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to update this list with red poodle names from our community members.

Nancy Williams

👩🏻‍🦱 Hey, I'm Nancy! Over at PoodleGo, I'm "that passionate poodle lady". At home? Mom to 3 kiddos 👶🏻, ruled by 2 diva poodles 🐩, and one dramatic Persian cat 🐈‍⬛ who thinks he’s king. Poodles might seem all glam, but they’re more than just fancy fur. Dive into PoodleGo and discover the magic behind these curly superstars ✨. For some behind-the-scenes poodle tales 🐾, don't miss our newsletter 💌. Let's embark on this fluffy journey together! 💯