What is an Australian Labradoodle?
There are a total of 6 possible breeds that can make up the heritage of the Australian Labradoodle breed. Those breeds are the Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coat Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, and American Cocker Spaniel.
The most common mix used to create the Australian Labradoodle is the Labrador Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, and Poodle. When you hear the term Australian Labradoodle, this is most often what is being referred to.
Australian Labradoodle Breed History
Labrador Retriever Breed History:
The Labrador retriever got it start in Canada, but surprisingly it didn’t originate in Labrador as you would believe based off its name alone. Newfoundland was actually where the Labrador Retriever was first bred, being utilized on fishing boats to help the fishermen get the fish that would fall out of their nets.
This breed was not only great at retrieving, but it had a short, dense coat that made swimming in the frigid waters a breeze and an otter-like tail that could help it maneuver easier in the water. In the early part of the 1800s, Englishmen spotted these dogs on a trip to Canada and brought them back home. They were responsible for giving them the false moniker of “Labrador dogs.”
Labrador retrievers are now extremely popular in both Europe and the United States and currently hold the number one spot as the AKC’s most popular breed.
Cocker Spaniel Breed History:
As you would expect based off its name, the Cocker Spaniel’s origins can be traced back to Spain where they were utilized as bird hunting dogs. Before rifles were invented, these dogs were used in conjunction with nets to trap prey. Before written breed standards, Spaniels were categorized into two categories—water or land.
In the 1800s when breed standards came about, the Cocker Spaniel received its name from the fact that it specialized in catching woodcock, a type of water bird. The AKC recognized this breed in 1946 but it took until the 1950s for the breed’s popularity to increase thanks to Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” and former U.S. President Richard Nixon’s Cocker Spaniel named Checkers.
Poodle Breed History:
While commonly associated with the French, the Poodle actually originated as a duck hunter in Germany over 400 years ago. In German, “pudelin” refers to the splashing in water that the dogs would do to retrieve waterfowl. The Poodle’s curly, weatherproof coat as well as its natural swimming ability and high intelligence made it an excellent retriever.
Eventually, Poodles made their way from the lake to the life of luxury as they were the breed of choice by French nobles, and eventually royalty across all of Europe. To this day, the Poodle is still the national dog of France. The entertainment industry then caught on to the Poodle’s showy looks, intelligence, and ease of trainability and gave them a prominent role in circus acts across the world.
While the Poodle started out as the “standard” variety, eventually the miniature and toy variations were bred. The Toy Poodle started in the United States in the early 20th century to be a city-dwelling companion dog. Due to the many positive personality traits and its hypoallergenic coat, Poodles are now commonly bred with a wide variety of other breeds to produce the “designer” hybrid dogs known and loved by many as “doodles.”
Australian Labradoodle Breed History:
The history of the Australian Labradoodle breed begins with the history of the Labradoodle.
The Labradoodle is often given the title of the first intentional Doodle. Wally Conron first bred this type of dog in Australia during 1988. He was asked to mix a Standard Poodle with a Labrador Retriever by the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia so that visually impaired folks with allergies could have guide dogs to suit their needs. The result was an amazing success and Sultan, one of the dogs from the first litter, served for 10 years as a guide dog for a woman located in Hawaii.
The Tegan Park and Rutland Manor in Australia continued to pursue what Wally Conron started and develop the Labradoodle further into its own “purebred” dog. They experimented in adding in other breeds into the mix attempting to find the optimal combination of aesthetic and behavioral characteristics.
In 1997, the first Australian Labradoodle Breed Standard was established. Today, it’s one of the strictest breed standards due to how many potential breeds can be involved as well as how many generations it takes to standardize the characteristics.
Australian Labradoodle Breed Appearance & Grooming
How Big Do Australian Labradoodles Get?
An Australian Labradoodle’s size is determined mostly by whether the Poodle in its family tree was a standard, miniature, or toy. On top of that, the gender of the puppy and the genetics of the parents play important factors as well.
Australian Labradoodles are rarely, if ever, bred from Toy Poodles. A Miniature Australian Labradoodle will weigh in at around 30-50 pounds and stand roughly 17-22 inches tall. The Standard Australian Labradoodle, will weigh approximately 55-80 pounds and stand about 22-24 inches tall.
Australian Labradoodle Dog Coat & Grooming:
The coat of an Australian Labradoodle can come in a wide variety of colors including white, black, apricot, chocolate or a combination of those and others. Their coat comes in three types: the “wool” coat with tight curls, the “fleece” coat with looser curls, or the “hair” coat which is most like the Labrador Retriever’s.
A minimum of brushing once per week is required for Australian Labradoodles, with the ideal frequency being every other day if not every day for more curly-haired dogs.
Are Australian Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?
Do Australian Labradoodles Shed?
Due to the presence of the Poodle’s genes, Australian Labradoodle puppies are often promoted as being hypoallergenic and/or non-shedding. While this can be true, due to the unpredictability of genetics, there is no guarantee that any particular dog, or litter of dogs will be hypoallergenic. Some individuals’ allergies are more sensitive to certain breeds than other breeds, but there is no scientific evidence that shows that certain hybrid breeds are universally more or less hypoallergenic than others.
The advantage to an Australian Labradoodle in this regard is that the breeding standards are so strict you’ll often see multi-generational litters that have been bred keeping careful track of lineage and characteristics to make it easier to predict if a puppy will be hypoallergenic.
Australian Labradoodle Breed Health & Wellness
Australian Labradoodle Dog Lifespan:
A healthy and well-cared-for Australian Labradoodle’s life expectancy is around 10-15 years.
Australian Labradoodle Dog Common Health Concerns:
Australian Labradoodles may be susceptible to the common health problems of the Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, and the Poodle (as well as any other breeds in a puppy’s lineage.) However, due to the genetic diversity from crossing these two breeds, the result may be a lower chance of developing these inherited health concerns.
Some of the more common genetic disorders to be on the lookout for include Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Patellar Luxation.
Due to the cost of treating these common health concerns, we highly encourage all dog owners invest in pet insurance. We recommend getting a free online quote from Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.
Australian Labradoodle Breed Temperament & Personality
Australian Labradoodle Dog Behavioral Traits:
Australian Labradoodles are very smart and easily trainable. The positive side to this is that you’ll be able to quickly teach them rules and tricks. The negative to this is that if you don’t establish yourself early on as the “pack leader,” they could become mischievous and attempt to outsmart you. Being firm, consistent, and calm will go a long way towards developing a positive and strong relationship between you and your Australian Labradoodle puppy. Australian Labradoodles are gentle, joyful and make great family pets.
Australian Labradoodle Dog Activity Requirements:
The Australian Labradoodle is typically seen as more moderate energy doodle breed and a little more relaxed than a Labradoodle. One longer or two shorter walks a day is sufficient, with at least 30-40 minutes of exercise each day being a good minimum.
Australian Labradoodle vs. Labradoodle?
This is one of the most common questions prospective doodle owners have about Australian Labradoodles. It’s also not an easy one to answer as it depends on the generation and exact lineage of a particular litter. However, there are some basic differences we can generalize between these two types of doodles.
Australian Labradoodles, due to their strict breed standards and multigenerational heritage, tend to be more consistent in the traits of their puppies. This also helps when it comes to better odds of being hypoallergenic.
While both breeds have great personalities, Australian Labradoodles tend to be a bit calmer and a tad less energetic than their Labradoodle peers. This can be helpful in a smaller household, for first-time dog owners, or for families with young children.