Red Poodles: Everything You Need to Know (With Pictures)

Most potential Poodle owners look for dogs that are a good fit for their particular home situation and personality. If you’re wondering if the purchase of a red poodle could be right for your family, it may be difficult to sift through the dozens of poodle coat colors and varieties available on the market today. So, what is a red poodle anyway?

Red poodles are purebred dogs that possess a rare red-colored coat. This color likely results from the “Rufus” gene, which transforms the natural brown or apricot shades in a Poodle’s coat to red. While Poodles can be dark or light red at birth, this color usually fades with age due to genetic factors.

If you are considering obtaining and owning one of these gorgeous dogs as a pet, this article will cover what you need to know to make the best decision for your family.

Red Poodles: Attributes at a Glance

This chart provides a quick glance at the important attributes found in Red Poodles:

Red Poodles
GroomingMedium-High maintenance
TemperamentAffectionate, Alert, Energetic, Intelligent, Instinctual, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Trainable
Red Poodle Coat* Red Poodles are born with either brilliant red coats or light red coats
* Red Poodles most often fade as they get older.
Life Span12 – 15 Years
Cost* Standard red poodles cost about $3000
* Toy and Miniature Poodles cost around $4,000-$5,000.
Energy LevelMedium-High
Breed Avg. Height/Weight* Toy Poodle– 10 inches tall and weighs 6 to 9 pounds
* Miniature Poodle– 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 15 to 17 pounds
* Standard Poodle– 15 to 22 inches tall and weighs 45 to 70 pounds

The Genetics of A Red Poodle

Red is a less common color seen within the poodle family, but why is that? This comes down to the genetic components present within the dog. Every animal, including humans, has genes. Genes are sequences of genetic material (DNA or RNA) that make up who we are.

Genes contain the code for hair color or eye color expressed in a living thing. Within the gene, there are components called alleles. These are variants of the genetic sequences that are passed down to us, and which determine if your hair color is brown or blonde.

Because there are a variety of colors that can be seen within the coloring of a Poodle, there are multiple alleles of the genes that are factored in. To add to this complexity, there are dominant and recessive alleles.

This means that if a dominant allele gets paired with a recessive allele, the dominant allele will be the color to appear. Unless you’re a biologist or a chemist, this may not make much sense. Let’s break this down so it is a bit easier to understand.

If we take a black poodle and breed it with a black poodle, the most likely outcome of the color in the baby Poodle’s coat is black. This is because of how the alleles are interacting. Black is the dominant color in both the female and the male, the pup is going to have those dominant alleles passed to them.

However, because recessive alleles may be present, it is possible for the pup to have a gray coat. This can only occur if both recessive alleles are given from each parent to the pup.

How, then, does this apply to how genetics work for Red Poodles?

Red is a more dominant gene, so if two Red Poodles are bred together, the pups will more likely to be red in color.

However, if a Red Poodle is bred with a White Poodle, the dominant red gene and the recessive white gene can create a diluted version of the red coloring. This is why there are also apricot poodles.

Red Poodle Coat Coloring

It may seem as though Red Poodles are not very common and this is true. In fact, because the coloring is difficult to breed in the poodle family, a Red Poodle is considered one of the rarest Poodle color varieties.

The color of a Poodle is determined by the genes that it inherits, which will be discussed in the next section. However, in general terms, the coloring of a Poodle comes from the mixing of two base colors. (Base colors are simply a solid color that hasn’t been diluted; black, white, cream, etc.)

When a Red Poodle is firstborn, its coat can either be deep or light red. The intensity and opacity of this color can change with age. A darker color can come in as the coat begins to develop fully.

However, over time, it is typical to see the coats of a Red Poodle begin to lighten. This is due to factors such as age and light exposure. If a Red Poodle has recessive genes, this may cause its coat to lighten much faster than a purebred Red Poodle.

As a result of the complexity that is involved to get the desired coloring, many breeders are selective about which colored Poodles can mate. If a breeder wants to keep a pure red line of Poodles, they will only allow the red male Poodles to mate with the red female Poodles. Even when this occurs, there are variations in color that can happen because of the genes and alleles that are present.

Physical Charactoristics of a Red Poodle

Poodles have been a very popular breed of dog for years for many reasons, including their thick and wavy hair. When red poodles first appeared on the scene in 1980, owners and breeders alike instantly fell in love with this beautiful and stunning new coat color.

Owning a Red Poodle will not only get you the great benefits Poodles provide their owners, but you will have a beautiful dog that stands out from the rest.

A red poodle will possess copper a red-colored coat and black:

  • Eyes (or very dark brown)
  • Gums
  • Noses
  • Points 
  • Under Paws

Red Poodles are typically the same size as a traditional poodle.

Red poodles were first seen when a standard size poodle was bred with an apricot miniature poodle. It was by chance and an accident that the first red puppy was born.

When you consider that it had such a beautiful and unique coat, there is no question why they have become very popular. They share many of the same traits as your typical poodle, they just have a bonus of a very unique red coat.

Red Poodle Temperament

Red poodles also are known as Velcro pets, which means glued to you at all times to keep an eye on you. They are very loyal dogs and are known to pick an owner that is their owner.

They will obey that individual better or follow that person more. Females are more likely to want to be on your lap and try to constantly be on you. Male red poodles are a little more laid back but will still be glued to you.

Red Poodles are active, lovable, and extremely easy to train. Like traditional poodles, These dogs make great family pets and are great for families with children when properly trained. While Red Poodles can be excitable at times, regular exercise can help stimulate their minds and reduce excess energy.

Red Poodles are typically larger dogs that can be very strong and fast. There have been some cases where Red Poodles have trouble adjusting to children. However, breeders typically will not breed dogs with undesirable traits. This will usually erase any potential inbred or inherent bad traits and will give you a sweet and loving dog.

Red Poodles provide a great opportunity for children to learn responsibility. Not only can they enjoy being a part of their new friend’s life, but children also get to practice discipline and restraint.

Training a Red Poodle

Because Red Poodles are such an excitable breed, it can be difficult to keep them engaged long enough to help them to learn the commands you try to teach.

These dogs are highly intelligent which is partly why they can be difficult to teach new things. However, once you’ve discovered different ways to keep your dog engaged, it only takes less than five repetitions (in most cases) for them to understand the command.

If you’re new to training, the most important thing to establish with your Poodle is his name. Just like a teenager will ignore their parents unless spoken to by name (and even then it’s a struggle), the same holds true for the Poodle. You want to look at him directly and wait until he responds.

Teaching your Poodle his name will build a positive association between themselves and the name that you have given to them.

House training can be difficult, whether for a Poodle or a child, but it can be made a little bit easier using positive reinforcement. This is something that can become tricky because you can accidentally reinforce bad behavior without even knowing it. If your dog takes a tinkle on the bed and you yell at him, he will be upset.

Be sure to reinforce the behaviors you want to last. If your dog tinkles outside, give him a treat. Doing this on a continuous basis teaches your Poodle he is doing the right thing.

A Red Poodle’s Diet

New owners need to be concerned about what food their Poodle has been eating when they bring their new dog home. It is vitally important that you continue to feed the same food that was provided by the breeder or shelter, at least initially.

Over time, you can slowly integrate foods you want them to eat into their diet. However, it is important that this is a gradual process. It’s best to introduce foods you want your dog to eat one at a time you can feed them what food you want them to eat.

Be careful of what store-bought brands you purchase your poodle. A Poodle’s stomach is very sensitive so even the most mundane food has the potential to produce an upset stomach.

Upset stomachs in dogs mean vomit, which means you may end up staying up all night regretting your decision to feed him the wrong thing. There are a lot of foods that can make your precious poodle sick, so be careful of what you buy and introduce these foods gradually.

If you decide to pamper your poodle with home-cooked meals, make sure that you have a well-balanced variety of foods for them. Protein and grain are important, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. You’ll need to watch to see how your Poodle reacts to these foods to determine if they have allergies to them or not.

The amount of food that Poodles need to eat also varies as they grow. Younger Poodles need a lot more food. Poodles need fresh food in their bowls so that they get the best quality of food possible.

Once your Poodle becomes an adult, he will normally need to eat three times a day. A miniature or Teacup Poodle may have to eat a little more frequently than a Standard Poodle because of its increased metabolism rate.

I feed my dog high-quality food from Pet Plate. Pet Plate is a premium dog food subscription service that provides freshly cooked and pre-portioned meals completely customized for your dog. I really love the fact that Pet Plate delivers the highest quality meals to my door without me ever having to think about it! Check out Pet Plate here to see if this service is right for you too.

Exersizing Your Red Poodle

Giving your Poodle the room he needs to exercise and play is vitally important. Red Poodles need to get a walk almost every day because it helps them to get not only physical exercise but also the mental stimulation they need as well. Additionally, it is very important to consider providing activities that challenge their brains too.

Poodles are very intelligent and their brains need to be exercised every day as well. Toys such as puzzles, making them work for their food, or teaching a new trick can all serve this purpose. Basically, anything that helps your dog learn something new or strengthens a skill he already has.

Red Poodles do require a lot of exercise, as they were originally bred to work. Exercise will help dissuade your dog from acting out as they will not be as likely to be hyper with the proper amount of physical activity. Red Poodles typically love to swim, jump and run.

The amount of exercise Poodles require each day is determined by their size. A Standard Poodle usually needs more exercise than smaller varieties, about 60-90 minutes a day on average. A miniature or Toy Poodle requires about 60 minutes of exercise broken up into two 30 minute sessions each day.

When you are taking your Poodle on walks, it is important for you to keep him on a leash as Poodles will go after the other canines on the street if unleashed and not properly trained.

Red Poodle Grooming

Taking the time to properly take care of your poodle’s hair is essential. To accomplish this, you really have two options: you can either take them to be groomed, or you can turn your house into a grooming salon.

Regardless of which decision you make, your Poodle needs to be groomed every 3-6 weeks. A Red Poodle’s hair does hide dirt and grime better than white or cream-colored coats.

If you decide to take your Red Poodle to a groomer, you need to make sure your dog is well prepared before grooming for the first time. With any new experience, the lack of understanding of what is going to happen can make grooming incredibly scary for your dog.

Poor preparation can lead to a negative association between going to the frightening pet salon and the grooming process.

Give your dog an opportunity to get accustomed to the sounds, people, and new sensations involved, he will likely be much more comfortable with the grooming process.

If you decide to set up shop in your house, you’ll need to order all of the necessary grooming materials. It requires time and diligence to take care of a Poodle’s grooming needs. Make sure you do your research so you can take care of your Poodle to the best of your ability.

Check out this article I wrote on how to groom a poodle puppy at home. In it, you’ll learn the best grooming techniques as well as the products you will need to groom your new dog like a pro from home!

How Do You Take Care of a Red Poodle’s Coat?

Red poodles are not like most other dogs as they do not have hair, not fur. These dogs have fluffy red locks that need to be groomed regularly to prevent matting or overgrown coats.

Many Poodle owners develop relationships with local dog groomers as some people struggle to manage and trim their Poodle’s hair at home. If this is true for you, It can be much easier and effective to leave this task in the hands of a professional. 

There are some basic things you can do at home to maintain their coat in-between grooming visits. For example, you can give your dog baths, however, you should be sure to purchase a shampoo that is specifically formulated for your Poodle’s hair.

I purchase Argan Dog Shampoo on Amazon for my dog Angus. This shampoo:

  • Helps the coat dry quickly 
  • Removes tangles
  • Lifts my dog’s hair to create a nice fluffy coat

To see a greater variety of shampoos, I wrote this article on the best shampoos for Poodles. In it, you’ll find the best shampoos to get that professionally groomed look, but at a budget price and in the comfort of your own home.

Red Poodle Cost

Breeding a Red Poodle is a difficult and expensive process.

This means that purchasing your new Red Poodle will likely be a bit pricey. The typical range of standard poodles (not a red poodle) is between $600-$1,500.

For a miniature or toy poodle, the average price range beings at $1,000 and climbs to $2,000. This means that the cost for a Red Poodle is going to be even higher.

The average cost of a Red Standard Poodle puppy is about $3,000 when purchased from a reputable breeder. Red Miniature and Teacup Poodles usually cost $4,000 for a new puppy but can fetch up to $5,000 when properly registered.

There are not a lot of red poodle breeders in the world, so check their credentials before paying anything.

This will assure you are buying from a true breeder and not a puppy mill. Red Poodles are not inexpensive, so you need to double-check that they are a true purebred Red Poodle. Some breeders may allow you to do payment plans before picking up your dog, while others only require a small deposit.

It is a good idea to check your breeder’s health policy and guarantees to learn what happens to your deposit if something were to happen to the puppy before you pick him up.

If you’ve decided to buy a Poodle, you also need to consider how much money it takes to care for them each month. The first year of raising a poodle is going to be the most expensive.

In fact, The average cost of ownership over a Red Poodle’s lifetime is roughly $28,000 on average!

You have to account for replacing any cushions that are bitten or shoes that have become chew toys. If you don’t have a fence, you’ll need to get one because Poodles are notorious escape artists. You’ll have to find the right foods, bowls, Veterinarian, and the right groomer for your dog.

As previously stated, the first year of your dog’s life will be expensive. Raising a Red Poodle puppy takes a lot more time, effort, and money than the typical adult Poodle. Young dogs don’t have any house training and don’t know how to respond to commands.

It is similar to the rigors associated with raising a baby… just one with hair all over its body.

As a result of the significant investment Red Poodle owners incur over the life of their dog, choosing the right breeder or rescue and having good health insurance for your dog is extremely important to help reduce the overall cost of ownership.

Lemonade Pet Insurance insurance has enabled me to afford the highest level of veterinary care for my dog, Angus. Especially after he was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. Visit the Lemonade Health Insurance website here to get a free quote and see why Lemonade is a good fit to protect the health of your dog too.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of reputable breeders and shelters to help you with this all-important decision.

Choosing a Breeder Or Rescue For Your New Red Poodle

If you have decided to purchase one of these red curly pups, you may be wondering where to go to purchase your new Poodle.

But what is the best way to purchase your dog? What’s the next step?

The next thing for us to do is find you your new Red Poodle.

The best way to find a Red Poodle is by looking to:

  1. Trusted, good quality breeders
  2. Dog Shelters
  3. Local Dog Rescues

While I believe rescuing a Red Poodle from a shelter or rescue is preferable to purchasing from a breeder, there are some really great, reputable breeders out there, so whichever makes you feel more comfortable is just fine.

Quality Red Poodle Breeders and Shelters Across the United States

I have compiled this list of breeders and shelters by region to help you find your Red Poodle more quickly and easily:

The Northeast

RedTeddy PupBreeder Ancram,
Northeast Animal
Sunset Valley PuppiesBreederKinzers,
Poodle Rescue of New EnglandRescueSomerville,

The Southeast

Darla’s Dark Red Standard PoodlesBreederWeeki Wachee,
Marilynn WilkinsBreederWADLEY,
Florida Poodle RescueRescueSt. Petersburg,
Williamson County
Animal Shelter

The Midwest

Great Lakes PoodleBreederTawas City,
Midwest Moyen PoodlesBreederGaylord,
Awesome PawsBreederPoplar Grove,
Heartland Small Animal RescueRescueSouth Bend,

The Southwest

Texas Red Toy PoodlesBreederDallas,
Red Standards
BreederSan Diego,
Peggy’s Arizona Red
Arizona Animal Welfare

The West

Celebrity Red StandardsBreederLynnwood,
Up the Creek PoodlesBreederPurdy,
Paws For Life UtahShelterHeber City,
GingerBred poodlesBreederTacoma

Will a Red Poodle’s Coat Fade?

Red Poodles are usually born bright red and begin fading at around six weeks of age. Most Red poodles “fade” or “clear” to a different color as an adult. The final color, and how long it takes to achieve it, varies greatly but most often occurs by the age of two.

When your puppy is around ten weeks old, you can check your dog’s skin to see what color will be coming in. It can be brighter or lighter than what they were born with.

Many red poodles may not always keep the brighter red coat that they were born with. Sometimes its color will fade as it grows into an adult dog, while other times, the dogs can get much darker. Either way, it is almost a certainty that a red poodle’s coat will somewhat change over time.

This is not always the case for red poodles, but for the most part, their color will change as they age. As red poodles get older into their senior years, it is common for them to have a darker red coat that can even look slightly brown.

They will typically still have a red hue, just a lighter version of red. It is very rare for their hair to stay dark red.

Are Red Poodle’s Purebred?

Red poodles are purebred dogs. but like another breed, there are certain characteristics to check to make sure they indeed have the bloodline you expect. All solid color poodles may technically be purebred. However, it is important to check your puppies’ papers and research the breeder before buying.

Always check your breeders’ papers and check their credentials. There are also a few things you can check as far as the puppy’s body goes to see if they are purebred.

Ensure you are purchasing a purebred Poodle by observing:

  • Body Type
  • Coat
  • Forequarters
  • Head shape
  • Hindquarters
  • Overall Appearance

If you check these and they fall within the AKC’s guidelines, then it is a good indicator that the dog is a purebred red poodle.

How Big Do Red Poodles Get?

This chart shows the average height and weight of Red Poodles:

Red Toy Poodles 6-9 Pounds10 Inches Tall
Red Minature Poodles15-17 Pounds11-15 Inches Tall
Red Standard Poodles45-70 Pounds15-22 Inches Tall

Red Poodles come in three main sizes:

  • Toy
  • Minature
  • Standard

Standard Red Poodles are surprisingly large; many assume they are small-sized dogs, but that is not the case. Standard red poodles typically run between 15 and 22 inches tall from the floor to the shoulder. These dogs can weigh anywhere from 40 to 70 pounds, depending on gender.

Red Toy Poodles are the smallest of the three Poodle types. These dogs average under 10 inches tall and weigh in at a minuscule 6-9 pounds. As a result, Toy Red Poodles are great for owners who live in small homes or apartments.

Miniature red poodles can be around 15 pounds, while males are larger, coming in at around 17 pounds. Generally, miniature red Poodles measure between 11 and 15 inches at the shoulders. Miniature Red Poodles are a better choice for homes with children as a result of their medium size.

Are Red Poodles Healthy Dogs?


Red Poodles are generally very healthy dogs. However, experimental breeding to produce this distinctive red coat color has made these dogs more susceptible to birth defects and other genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia, Addison’s disease, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Purebred Red Poodles have unfortunately been inbred, sometimes resulting in a myriad of health issues over the course of their lives.

Common health problems that affect Red Poodles include:

  • Gastric dilation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Immune disorders
  • Legg-calve-perthers
  • Luxating patella’s
  • Many eye disorders
  • Sebaceous adenitis
  • Von Willebrand’s disease

However, don’t let this list scare you. Many Poodles do not have any of the maladies on this list. Breeders try hard to breed the healthiest dogs for the best outcome. All dogs can have health issues, but with regular vet visits, preventive medicine, and tests, you can likely keep your Red Poodle happy and healthy for many years to come.

The Poodle Club of America recommends getting these tests to help prevent illness in your red poodle:

  • Hip evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation 
  • PRA Optigen DNA test

These four tests can help prevent many health issues in your dog and provide for a better quality of life when employed early.

How Long do Red Poodles Typically Live?

The average life expectancy for red poodles is between 12 to 15 years. However, a Poodle’s size, overall health, and living environment can all affect a Poodle’s actual lifespan.

This long lifespan makes the Red Poodle a great long-term companion for you and your family. Dogs can always outlive their standard amount of years as every dog is different.

Dogs live in different environments and may have different health issues that may result in their life being cut short, or they could live to 28 like a poodle named Lady, which was the oldest living dog on record in 1937.

There is no rhyme or reason why some dogs outlive others. If you feed your dog a good diet and have regular vet check-ups, you will give them the best chance at living a long life.

Do Red Poodles Shed a Lot?

Red poodles are hypoallergenic and not prone to excessive shedding. While most dogs have fur, Poodles have a single layer of dense curly hair that helps trap stray hairs and prevents them from falling out. Like human hair, a Poodle’s coat sheds slowly and does not experience seasonal shedding like most dogs.

Red Poodles may lose hair here and there just like a human would, but you don’t need to be concerned about shedding as you would a typical dog. You will likely experience far less shedding when you own a Red Poodle or any Poodle for that matter.

This hypoallergenic quality is a big selling point for people that hate dog hair around the house or for those that have allergies. If you want a dog that can snuggle with you in bed and not leave behind enough hair to make a small rabbit, a Red Poodle would be a great choice for you. Keep in mind, Red Poodles should be brushed often, as mentioned above.


After finding a reliable red poodle breeder, you will be well on your way to bringing your fluffy red Poodle puppy home. These dogs are sure to fit perfectly into your family and help keep you active as he will undoubtedly have ample energy to burn. 

Red poodles make the perfect companion dogs and, if properly cared for, will love and protect you and your children for years to come. You can’t go wrong with a red poodle.

Must Have Products For Poodles And Doodles

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful. Here are some products that I personally believe every owner should employ to help ensure the best quality of life for their dogs. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact products that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family.

Lemonade Pet Insurance: Lemonade Pet Insurance has enabled me to afford a very high level of veterinary care for my dog, Angus. Even after he was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. Lemonade is a great company, and I can’t recommend them enough!

Brain Training For Dogs: Brain Training for dogs is an amazing online training program I found that actually helped me to understand and ultimately stop my dog’s separation anxiety and destructive behaviors when I left the house. This program actually works, and at a small fraction of the cost of hiring a dog trainer!

Pet Plate: I first learned of Pet Plate when the company was featured on the TV show “Shark Tank” back in 2016. Pet Plate is the dog food subscription service I use to provide extremely healthy, pre-portioned meals for my dog. Pet Plate gives my dog Angus the highest quality nutrition at a very affordable price.

BarkBox: Without a doubt, my dog enjoys Barkbox more than anything else I buy him. BarkBox delivers a customized box of themed toys, treats, and other products to your door each month. In addition, I like that a percentage of proceeds is donated to local animal shelters. Pawp is not insurance. It’s a membership program that gives you access to unlimited video calls or texts with a licensed vet 24/7 and includes up to six pets on a single membership! I Purchase this service for my dog Angus and have saved hundreds of dollars over visiting his local vet with questions or more minor health concerns. Pawp will even pay up to $3,000 if your pets experience an emergency situation! Check out Pawp’s website to see why Pawp can help you save money and increase your pet’s quality of care.

Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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