The color of a dog’s nose is largely dependent on their breed and their color. Like most traits, the color of their nose is down to genetics. Did you know that there are five different colors that your Doodle’s nose could be? When we say five that’s five main colors, like their coat their nose color can be open to various different shades. Who knew that nose color could be such an interesting and varied topic?
Lack of pigmentation, genetics, injury and even weather conditions can all be causes of your Doodle’s pink nose. It is usually not of concern should your Doodle’s nose turn pink, however you should always check with your vet to rule out any medical conditions.
So, why is your Doodle’s nose pink? Was it born with a pink nose? Has it just turned pink? What determines what color it is going to be? We investigate the different colors and reasons behind them below.
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Do all Doodles have Pink Noses?
In short no, they don’t. Some will be born with pink noses which will blacken as they grow. Some will be born with a dark nose that will lighten over time. Some will stay the color it is assigned at birth.
Genetics will ultimately dictate what color your Doodle’s nose will be. Generally, if your Doodle’s nose changes color from birth this will be down to pigmentation either developing or lessening. However, there are other reasons, which we will discuss later, that this can change.
Doodles and dogs in general can have one of five different colored noses. This is dependent on their cross breed, color and genetics. The name of the pigmentation that colors a dog’s nose is called eumelanin.
The colors are:
- Pink (or liver, depending on the level of pigmentation). A liver dog will always have a liver nose (or a shade thereof)
- Dudley nose. This phrase refers to a pink nose that should be black. The correct name is nasal depigmentation and for a purebred dog can lead to disqualification in the show ring. Dudley nose is usually a gradual occurrence with the dog starting out with a black nose.
- Butterfly. This describes a black nose with random pink patches. The pink patches lack pigmentation. This nose is commonly seen in merle color dogs (we briefly talk about this coloring in our article Goldendoodle Colors: A Complete Guide). Harlequin Great Danes also very often have the butterfly nose. Whilst the harlequin coloring is only recognized in Great Danes, should your Doodle be a Great Danoodle then you may see the butterfly nose.
- Blue. Blue nose occurs with a blue coat. The Doodle’s skin will be a bluey grey in color with a nose pigmentation to match. This is a rare color group of Doodle and you are unlikely to see many around.
What Reasons do Doodle’s Noses Change Color?
Weather – it is not unusual for a Doodle’s black nose to fade during winter when the weather is not as warm, and the days are not as long. However, once the summer months return with their warmer weather and longer days then so should the dark pigmentation in your Doodle’s nose.
This is more commonly known as snow nose and is thought to happen due to a breakdown in tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is an enzyme which is responsible for making melanin and melanin is responsible for pigment. Tyrosinase does not only weaken with age but is also sensitive to temperature. That’s your science lesson for today.
Watch out for snow nose in your Bernedoodle, Goldendoodle or Labradoodle as their parent cross breeds are all particularly susceptible to this condition.
Injury – It’s not beyond the realms of possibility for your Doodle to scratch or cut their nose whilst playing, adventuring or simply curiosity getting the better of them. Such trauma can result in the nose temporarily losing its pigment and turning pink. In most cases the color will return as the nose heals.
Infection – If a bacterial infection is at play then there are likely to be other signs alongside depigmentation. Signs to look out for are tenderness, swelling and a crusty appearance. Please seek professional advice if you suspect that your Doodle has an infection.
Allergies – You may have to undertake a little detective work to discover the culprit irritant should this be the cause of your Doodle’s pink nose. Check what they’re actually sticking their noses in and the materials that they are made of. This could include their toys, food bowls and all those sneaky places you think they aren’t getting into.
If allergies are the answer, then the nose is likely to present as with infection. The lips can also be affected in these cases.
Age – A dog’s nose can lose its pigment as it grows older. It is quite common for the liver nose to fade to pink as the dog ages.
Dudley Nose – As discussed above this is when a nose that ‘should’ be black is pink. This term is usually used when there is no other explanation for the fading. The Poodle is prone to Dudley Nose so it certainly something to keep an eye out for in your Doodle.
Any depigmentation for reasons other than what we have discussed above could indicate that there is something else going on medically with your Doodle. There are a few immune diseases amongst other things that could be the cause. Do not hesitate to contact your vet to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your Doodle and the color of their nose.
What Color will my Doodle’s Nose be?
It depends on the genetics of your Doodle’s parents and even grandparents. There are many combinations of colors and pigmentations, dominant and recessive genes. We would literally be here for a long time if we tried to establish every combination. We are here to enlighten you, not bore you so we will keep it relatively brief. Lets’ have a look at the most popular Doodle breeds and determine if they are likely to have a particular colored nose.
- Bernendoodles are all born with pink noses. They will develop their pigmentation as they grow. Whilst not in all cases, most will have their fully black nose by around 4 months old.
- Labradoodles’ nose colors vary. Nose colors should follow coat colors, for example black and golden Labradoodles should have black noses. Parti colors should have the same color nose as the patches on their coat. There are many combinations for this breed.
- Aussiedoodles / Aussiepoos are similar to the Labradoodle and can be a variety of colors. The merles can even have a freckled nose.
- Goldendoodles can have black, liver or pink noses. It’s tough to try and deduce what color their nose will be when looking at your puppy. Taking a look at their parents may give you a good idea but ultimately, you’re just going to have to wait and see.
- Schnoodle’s will generally have a black nose although you may also see those with a liver color.
- Cockapoo’s noses, like their Schnoodle cousins, are usually black. Liver noses though, whilst uncommon do occur.
FUN FACT – It is genetically impossible for dog whom is liver in color to have a blue or black nose.
What is the Rarest Eye Color in Dogs?
Whilst green is considered to be the rarest eye color in dogs, some with a merle coat have been known to display 50/50 eyes. This is a term used when each eye is a combination of brown and blue.
Can I Put Vaseline on my Dog’s nose?
No, please don’t do this. It can be toxic and cause tummy problems such as sickness and diarrhoea. Shea Butter or Olive Oil is a much safer alternative to sooth any dry or crusty noses. You can also buy dog specific balm which you will find at most pet stores or online.