What colour should my puppy be?

If you are looking to acquire a puppy, please be aware that every breed of pedigree dog has ideal colours described in its blueprint – the Breed Standard as laid down by the Kennel Club. Before contacting any breeders about their puppies, please consult the breed club websites and the Breed Information Centre on the Kennel Club website for important information on the breed, including the ideal colours listed in the Breed Standard.

Beware of claims that puppies are a rare or exclusive colour, as well as inflated prices that reflect this 'rarity'. Sometimes these colours are not listed in the Breed Standard and are promoted by unscrupulous breeders who are following the latest fad or fashion. Colours are also sometimes advertised as desirable when, in fact, the opposite is true and these are undesirable under the Breed Standard which strongly recommends that such colours should not be rewarded in the show ring.

The Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the ideal colours of a breed and ensures that good breeders ensure the breed is fit for function.

The ideal colours in the breed are listed in the Breed Standard, and, while other colours may exist, these are not recognised in the Breed Standard. Unrecognised and undesirable colours may have occurred due to outcrossing and should be avoided if they are known to indicate conditions which may be detrimental to health. To view the breed specific colours listed by the Kennel Club, visit the Current Registration Colours section within the Breed Information Centre.

Where a colour is known to be detrimental to health, the Kennel Club will refuse registration. It should be noted that the Kennel Club will not accept applications to register a litter where both parents are the colour merle, regardless of whether that colour is listed for the breed. This is due to health considerations. For more information, visit the Breeding Restrictions section within the Breed Information Centre.

Buying a puppy is a very exciting time for any family and should never be undertaken lightly nor based upon one factor alone, such as coat colour. Any decision should be based upon a number of factors in order for a puppy buyer to make an informed choice which must have responsible dog ownership at its heart. Temperament and health must be major considerations and owners must be committed to the dog for the whole of its lifetime. Where puppy buyers make a decision based upon one factor alone such as coat colour there is the potential for welfare problems due to dogs being rehomed when the buyer decides their purchase is not suitable for their lifestyle after all. Don’t let this be you.

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