ABOUT AUSTRALIAN LABRADOODLES
(also known as Australian Cobberdogs)
There are many myths surrounding the origin of this "pure breed in development." Most of the accounts of its history agree with the following brief statements.
In 1988/1989 a guide dog trainer for the Royal Guide Dogs Association in Australia, Wally Conron, was asked to develop a hypo-allergenic therapy dog for a disabled person who was severely allergic to dogs. Eventually Mr. Conron bred a Standard Poodle to a Labrador Retriever and was successful in producing a true hypo-allergenic dog. He called the dogs he bred Labradoodles and continued breeding Poodles and Labradors for a few years and then retired. During that time other Australian dog breeders became interested in the breed and built upon his work.
Two of the most influential and rigorous breeding programs were developed by Tegan Park and Rutland Manor. These breeders began judiciously controlled programs using genetic testing and detailed record-keeping which have resulted in the Australian Labradoodles of today. Because this breed was a purposeful crossbreed (bred to be a hypo-allergenic therapy dog) the responsible breeders involved used up-to-date scientific knowledge to perfect it. They carefully slected five other breeds to incorporate into the early Lab/Poodle gene pool to enhance particular traits. The five minimally infused breeds are:
English Cocker Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniel
Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier
The specific reasons these breeds were added to enrich the Australian Labradoodle heritage include: softening the coat, increasing non-shedding characteristics, enhancing athleticism, strengthening the human bond and lengthing eye contact. The attributes from these additional breeds are what make the Australian Labradoodle unique and vastly different from the American Labradoodle which is a simple cross between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever.
Remember that the Australian Laradoodle was developed to be a service dog and as such truly desires to be your best buddy. In Australia "cobber" means just that, "best buddy." "Australian Cobberdog" therefore is a more appropriate name than Australian Labradoodle and is consistently used in Australia where the breed was developed. However, most people in the USA do not know what a Cobberdog is and to avoid confusion I usually call my dogs Australian Labradoodles. You may use either name for your puppy as both are correct.
Australian Labradoodles come in three general sizes:
Miniature 14" -- 17" 15 -- 30 pounds
Medium 18" -- 21" 30 -- 45 pounds
Standard 23" -- 26" 45 -- 75 pounds
Australian Laradoodles have three basic coat types:
1. Wool -- most hypo-allergenic, shed-free, slightly coarse
2. Curly fleece -- little shedding, hypo-allergenic, soft, flowing curls
3. Wavy fleece -- more shedding, hypo-allergenic, soft, shiny coat
Some colors of the Australian Labradoodle, lists vary:
Caramel (nose is rosy)
Chocolate (nose is rosy – brown)
Cream (nose is black)
Gold/Apricot (nose is black)
Red (nose is black)
Black (nose is black)
Blue (nose is black)
Silver (nose is black)
Parti (nose matches solid color)
Phantom (nose matches solid color)
General traits of the Australian Labradoodle:
Eager to please
Smart and trainable
Seeking eye contact
Playful, often described as "clownish"
Once you own an Australian Labradoodle you will add your own observations to the above list. I know you will appreciate the versitility of this breed. They are content to lie at your feet or race on the beach, eagerly swim with you and play fetch until your arm falls off or patiently relax at home while you are at work, happily meet your friends but bark an alarm when someone is at the door. It is very easy to live with these sweet-tempered, joyful companions.