The Australian Labradoodle
Labradoodle vs. Australian Labradoodle
A Labradoodle is a cross between a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred Poodle. When looking into Labradoodle breeders, you may see the designations "F1" or "F1B". The “F” stands for “filial generation”. “F1” means “first generation”. The first cross breeding of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle will result in a litter of F1 Labradoodles. The results are unpredictable. The puppies could be more like a Labrador, more like a Poodle, or a mixture of the two. They could be low, moderate or high shedding dogs and could have a coat that is anywhere from a flat coat to a wool coat.
To reduce the unpredictability, many Labradoodle breeders will breed "F1B" litters. The “B” stands for "Backcross". An F1 Labradoodle is bred (or backcrossed) to a purebred Poodle. The results are mixed. Because this is not breeding two like dogs, the offspring will tend to resemble one or the other. With this being a backcross to a purebred Poodle, the puppies will usually more closely resemble a Poodle.
F2 Labradoodles are the result of breeding an F1 to another F1 (or F1B's). This breeding produces the most inconsistent results. Labrador and Poodle characteristics can be significantly emphasized, though there is a chance of the highly desirable blending of characteristics. Carefully selecting only the most desirable traits to breed is how ethical breeders produce the Multigenerational Labradoodles.
Multigenerational Labradoodles are F3 Labradoodles or greater. This means there is at least three generations of Labradoodle to Labradoodle breeding. To get to this point, ethical breeders must carefully select the best Labradoodles that display correct coat and temperament. The result is a consistent dog that is allergy friendly, does not shed and has an excellent temperament.
Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles were originally developed in Australia, in the 1980's, by the breeders at Tegan Park and Rutland Manor. They began with stock from the original Labradoodle breeder, Wally Conron of the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia (now known as Guide Dogs Victoria). These breeders developed the Australian Labradoodle with the infusion of other breeds (Cocker Spaniel, Curly Coated Retrievers, and Irish Water Spaniels) into the Labradoodle stock. This was done to develop the proper structure, coat and temperament. Today, the Australian Labradoodle is primarily Poodle, Labrador Retriever and Cocker Spaniel (English and American). To be considered a Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles, there must be at least four generations of Australian Labradoodle to Australian Labradoodle breeding.
HISTORY OF THE LABRADOODLE
In the mid 1970’s, The Australian Guide Dog Association received an inquiry from a blind lady in Hawaii, requesting a guide dog that would not cause her allergies to flare. The Australian Guide Dog Association did not have anything meeting her needs, so they set about trying to breed such a dog. Their Labradors were tried and proven, so breeding with them was the obvious choice. To achieve a hypoallergenic dog they needed to breed their Labradors to a dog that was already non-shedding, hence the Standard Poodle. The Guide Dog Association sourced an imported white dog from Sweden, as he was a quality dog from working bloodlines. The gentleman in charge of the operation was Mr. Wally Conran.
When the first litter was born he christened it LABRADOR-POODLE, and so the Labradoodle was born. The Guide Dog Association had minimal success, as they too never recognized the importance of the mutated gene that would go on to be the building block of the allergy friendly Labradoodle as it is seen today. Interest in the Labradoodle soon become apparent, and forward thinking breeders in Australia started to breed these dogs with a deliberate plan in mind. Within a few short years other breeders joined in, and together they developed the Australian Labradoodle we all know and love today.
The main attraction to the Labradoodle was the low and non-shedding coats, but more and more people were won over by the wonderful disposition and kindness the Labradoodle possessed. These dogs were becoming so versatile, their intelligence and tenacity started to attract people and trainers’ wanting special dogs for sports and assistance/therapy dogs. Today you can see the Australian Labradoodle around the world as an allergy friendly soul mate, family companion, seizure alert dog, agility dog, assistance dog to the physically and mentally disadvantaged, guide dog, and in the not too distant future a gun dog and show dog.
In the late 1980’s, Tegan Park Research Center and Rutland Manor, the two founders of the Australian Labradoodle as we know it today, began carefully infusing several other breeds into early generations of their Lab/Poodle crosses, to improve temperament, coat, conformation, and size. The infused breeds include Irish Water Spaniel as well as the American and English Cocker Spaniel and in some lines the Wheaten Terrier. The resulting labradoodles subsequently have been bred to each other, continuing the multi-generational tradition without ever having to go back to the parent breed of the Labrador or Poodle.
ABOUT THEIR SIZE AND COATS
The Australian Labradoodle now comes in a variety of colors, from black, silver and cream, to reds, sable, chocolate and parti. They have also adopted their poodle ancestor’s size variation from:
The Standard – 21 to 24 inches
The Medium – 17 to 20 inches
The Miniature – 14 to 161/2 inches
Weight is not the determining factor for size with the Australian Labradoodle.
There are two coat types that are considered allergy friendly. These are the Fleece coat, which has a soft textured fleecy feeling. The two variations of the fleece are the wavy fleece and curly fleece. Then there is the Wool coat. This has a definite dense wool feel, and is mild to very curly. By the time the Australian Labradoodle becomes a recognized breed, it will be a dog of three sizes with two coat types.
THE LABRADOODLE TODAY
Today, Australian Labradoodles are wonderful, intelligent dogs with lush coats that are more reliably low to non-shedding and allergy friendly than other types of Labradoodles such as first generation Lab/Poodle crosses, or first generation crosses bred back to Poodles. Even when the other types of Labradoodles are bred on for generations, the result is not an Australian Labradoodle, as the attributes of the infused breeds were not included in their ancestry.
(Courtesy of the Australian Labradoodle Club of America,