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Australian Labradoodle: Your Ultimate Guide to this Wacky, Woolly Pooch - PawSafe

Australian Labradoodle: Your Ultimate Guide to this Wacky, Woolly Pooch

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Australian Labradoodle

The Australian Labradoodle is a unique and friendly breed that has captured the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide, and arguably, these are purebred dogs rather than designer breeds. These adorable, cuddly canines were initially bred in Australia by crossing a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. Their appealing appearance, coupled with their friendly demeanor, makes them an ideal family pet, especially for those who might have allergies.

Their story began in the 1980s with a noble cause. Crafting the perfect guide dog for those with both visual impairments and pesky allergies. Fast forward to today, and these lovable companions have become more than just assistance animals — they’re cherished family members.

If you’re thinking about getting an Australian Labradoodle puppy for sale to be a part of your family, it’s important to understand them. Through experts like George Hoppendale and Asia Moore, we give you this mix’s origins, breed characteristics, health, lifespan, and grooming needs. Get ready for your one-sided date with your future pup.

Contents show

Key Differences

1. Breed Infusion & Generations

The Australian Labradoodle includes genetics from six parent breeds – the Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy), Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, and English Cocker Spaniel. This diverse genetic pool was carefully selected to enhance certain traits, such as coat quality, color, size, and temperament.

Australian Labradors are also usually five or more generations a long. This is different from other Doodles that are usually only in their first or second (F1, F1b, or F2) Generations.

2. Breed Development Goals

The development of the Australian Labradoodle was driven by specific goals, including creating a hypoallergenic coat, maintaining the allergy and asthma-friendly qualities, and achieving a particular size and disposition.

3. Size and Coat Variations

Australian Labradoodles come in three sizes – Standard, Medium, and Miniature – and two main coat types known for being allergy-friendly: the Fleece and Wool coats. The focus has been on breeding away from undesirable traits, such as the Hair coat, long ears, and shedding.

4. Recognition and Standards

The breed has a set standard established in 1997, which has been upheld by organizations like the Australian Labradoodle Association (ALA), the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (WALA), and the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA). These organizations ensure breed integrity and ethical breeding practices.

First, let’s talk genes. You see, Australian Labradoodles didn’t just inherit their good looks from their Labrador and Poodle parents. Nope, they’ve got some extra spunk in their genetic makeup. Researchers found that Australian Labradoodles have an excess of the Poodle genome! Not too shabby, eh? Those curly locks might just pack a bit more flair than their standard Labrapoodle cousins.

But ultimately, the key point to remember about the Australian Labradoodle is that are a regulated, emerging breeds. While breeding doodle dogs as designer breeds is controversial, Australian Labradoodles are multi-generational dogs that already have organizations monitoring the breed’s development

This means it’s far easier to find an ethical Australian Labradoodle breeder than it is to find a ethical breeder of other Poodle Labrador mixes.

So there you have it! An Australian Labrapoo is a souped-up, extra friendly, and just plain adorable version of your typical Labrapoo. But hey, we love them all, don’t we?

Australian Poodle Labrador Mix History & Origins

Red Australian Labradoodle portrait close up of face

The Australian Labradoodle is a unique emerging breed, developed with specific goals in mind, rather than being merely a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Its origins trace back to the mid-2000s when it was recognized as a distinct breed. This recognition followed years of careful development and the infusion of several parent breeds to enhance desired qualities.

History and Development

The journey of the Australian Labradoodle began with the Australian Guide Dog Association’s quest to breed a hypoallergenic guide dog for a blind lady in Hawaii. They chose to cross their proven Labradors with a non-shedding Standard Poodle. The first litter of these crosses was named Labradoodles.

As the breed evolved, Australian breeders saw potential beyond just a Labrador-Poodle mix. They deliberately infused six approved parent breeds to achieve specific goals:

  1. Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy): For their non-shedding coats and intelligence.
  2. Labrador Retriever: For their reliable temperament and guide dog qualities.
  3. Irish Water Spaniel: To introduce rich chocolate color while maintaining an allergy-friendly coat.
  4. Curly Coat Retriever: For certain retriever qualities, albeit with some traits to be bred out.
  5. American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel: To develop the miniature size with appropriate boning and stockiness.

Breed Standards and Goals

In 1997, the first breed standard for the Australian Labradoodle was written, reflecting these specific breeding goals. The breeders aimed to produce an all-around great dog, focusing on non-shedding, allergy-friendly coats, and a wonderful disposition. The breed quickly gained popularity for its low-shedding coats and versatile nature, becoming a favorite as family pets, therapy dogs, and assistance dogs.

Breed Recognition and Organizations

The Australian Labradoodle Association (ALA), the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (WALA), and the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA) are key organizations that oversee the breed’s standards and development. They serve as guardians of the breed, uniting breeders globally to maintain the integrity and goals of the Australian Labradoodle.

Current Status

Today, the Australian Labradoodle is recognized for its varying sizes (Standard, Medium, and Miniature) and coat types (Fleece and Wool, both allergy-friendly, and the transitional Hair coat). It is celebrated for its intelligence, versatility, and allergy-friendly qualities.

For those interested in this breed and looking for accredited Australian Labradoodle puppies, the ALA, WALA, and ALAA are valuable resources. These organizations provide information on breed standards, breeder ethics, and health testing, ensuring the continued integrity and development of this remarkable breed.

Visit Australian Labradoodle Association, Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association, and Australian Labradoodle Association of America for more detailed information and guidance on finding reputable breeders and Australian Labradoodle puppies.

Unlike other Labradoodles, the Australian Labradoodle is not just a mix between the poodle and the Labrador. It is an established breed with breed organizations that oversee ethical breeding practices.

But, hold your horses! There’s more. The mix developer himself, Wally Conrad, openly expressed his regrets about creating this dog in the New York times.

“I opened the pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein monster.” He said 

The main reason behind his regret is all the terrible breeders that come with the development. Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, they doodle everything these days. This has led to many ethical issues surrounding these mixes. So, make Conrad proud and only go for reputable breeders.

Breed Characteristics

White Australian Labradoodle with strong poodle features

The Australian Labradoodle is not just any Poodle Lab mix. They actually have a very specific breed standard they have to adhere to. So, let’s look at what they look like and what you can expect from their personality.

The Australian Labradoodle breed standard encompasses specific guidelines regarding their appearance, temperament, size, coat, and color, distinguishing them as a unique and well-defined breed.

General Appearance

  • Athletic and Graceful: The Australian Labradoodle must display an athletic and graceful appearance with a compact body. It should show substance with medium boning without appearing cloddy, heavy, or overly fine.
  • Coat: A hallmark of this breed is its coat, which is non-shedding and manageable, aligning with the breed’s hypoallergenic quality.

Size Standards

  • Standard Size: Height at wither is 53cm to 63cm (21 to 24 inches, not over 25) with a weight of 21kg to 30kg.
  • Medium Size: Height at wither is 43cm to 52cm (17 to 20 inches, not over 21) with a weight of 13kg to 20kg.
  • Miniature Size: Height at wither is 35cm to 42cm (14 to 16 inches, not over 17) with a weight of 7kg to 13kg.
  • Body Proportions: They should have a square and compact body with a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, good tuck-up, and strong, muscular loins.

Head and Facial Features

  • Head Shape: Moderately broad with well-defined eyebrows and a moderate stop. The foreface should appear shorter than the skull, and the head should be proportionate to the body size.
  • Ears and Teeth: Ears are large, expressive, and slightly rounded. A scissor bite is preferred for teeth alignment.
  • Nose: The nose should be large, square, and fleshy.

Forequarters

  • Structure: Shoulder blades and upper arms should be of equal length with well-laid-back shoulders. Elbows should be close to the body, and forelegs should be straight.

Coat Types

  • Fleece Coat: Soft texture resembling Angora goat’s fleece, either straight wavy or soft spiraling curls, easy to manage.
  • Wool Coat: Resembling lamb’s wool, with looser spiraling wool, not too thick or dense.
  • Hair Coat: This coat type, which sheds to varying degrees and has an odor, is less desirable and is being phased out.

Coat Maintenance

  • Length: Ideal coat length is 4-6 inches, growing naturally in staples with a soft texture.
  • Characteristics: The coat should not be too thick, dense, fluffy, or fuzzy. A single coat is preferred, with any sign of a double coat being a fault.

Color Variations

  • Chalk, Cream, Gold, Caramel, Red, Black, Silver, Blue: The Australian Labradoodle comes in various colors, each with specific characteristics and preferred nose pigment.

This breed standard emphasizes the Australian Labradoodle’s unique traits, focusing on their hypoallergenic coat, intuitive and friendly temperament, and specific physical attributes. 

General Temperament

Curly coat hypoallergenic Australian Labradoodle in long grass

Now, let’s talk about what makes this mix such a charming companion. Their personality is a delightful mix of intelligence, sociability, and energy. They’re known to be friendly, easygoing, energetic, playful, very intelligent, and affectionate with both humans and other animals. This makes them great family pets.

These pups are highly trainable, thanks to their innate intelligence and eagerness to please. They’re also pretty social, so don’t be surprised if your Australian buddy quickly becomes the life of the party. In fact, in the world of Doodles, MDPI research has shown that Labradoodles fare better than Godendoodles temperamentally. Huh, who knew a Golden Retriever could be beat in friendliness?

So, they are extremely clever, sociable, joyful, and energetic when free, yet soft and quiet when handled. The breed is known for its happy, friendly approach to people and ease of training.

Australian Labradoodles also display an intuition towards their family members or handler’s emotional state, making them excellent for individuals with special needs.

It’s crucial to take note that these dogs may be energetic. Their energy ranges from moderate to high (mostly high), so these dogs love being active. Whether it’s a game of fetch or a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. Remember,  a well-exercised Poodle Lab is a happy Poodle Lab, so don’t forget to add some daily activity to their routine.

Health and Lifespan

Very woolly small Australian chocolate brown Labradoodle running on grass

Your Australian Lapoo is a pretty healthy breed, but like any dog, it can face some health issues common in parent breeds. Labrador and Poodle health studies will show you what to expect with the health of this mix.

Keep an eye on these common concerns:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia: Wacky genetics can cause your Labradoodle’s joints to develop improperly, leading to pain and even arthritis.
  • Ear infections: Those adorable, floppy ears can be an excellent hideout for bacteria and yeast. Clean them regularly to avoid infections.
  • Allergies: Itchy skin? Your pupper might have allergies. Food or environmental factors might make them want to scratch all day long!
  • Addison’s Disease: This is a hormonal disorder that can affect these canines. It occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol and has been shown to be pretty common in Poodles.
  • Heart issues like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart and muscle decline).
  • Eye issues like Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and glaucoma.
  • Bloat: where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. 
  • Skin issues like Sebaceous Adenitis, where you see rampant hair loss.
  • Neurological issues like epilepsy. 
  • Moderate problems like obesity, dental problems, and stomach issues.

Veterinary Care

Taking your Aussie Labradoodle to the vet regularly is like taking a stroll down Prevention Lane, where you can catch any sneaky ailments trying to hitch a ride. Here’s the game plan. 

Make sure your pup’s immunizations are up to date by giving them all the vaccines dogs should have. Prevention is always better than cure! Your vet will do the rest by performing a physical exam to spot any underlying issues. 

Average Lifespan

While they’re no fountain of youth drinkers (unfortunately), they tend to live fairly long lives compared to certain larger breeds. On average, these energetic furballs can live up to 13-15 years.

Keep in mind that there are no guarantees, but by providing proper veterinary care, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and lots of love, you’re setting your buddy up for the best chance at a long and happy life.

Living with Australian Labradoodles

Australian Labradoodle retrieving stick swimming in lake

So, let’s look at what you need to know about how to care to for these special pups before you google “Australian Labradoodle puppy for sale.”

Diet and Nutrition

You should provide high-quality dog food that meets their specific needs. Keep proteins at 25% of the food content min and ensure it’s balanced with carbs, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

Amazingly, these dogs are known for their low-shedding coats, and you can help maintain that with proper nutrition. Feed your pooch food that is rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to keep its coat shiny (because who doesn’t love a shiny doggo?).

 As for treats, feel free to reward them with dog-safe goodies, but be mindful not to overindulge them; you wouldn’t want your pup to turn into a chunky Labradoodle!

Exercise Requirements

Your mix may seem like a laidback snuggle buddy, but beneath that gentle exterior is a bundle of energy! These affectionate and loyal pups need daily exercise for 1 to 2 hours to stay healthy and happy. Don’t worry. We’re not talking about training them for a doggie marathon.

Remember, your Labrapoo is a smarty-pants, so keep their mind engaged with interactive toys and puzzle feeders.

Family Compatibility and Socialization

Alright, here’s the fun part. These mixes make fantastic family pets! They’re gentle and patient with rowdy little kids, always eager to join the chaos. These dogs are the embodiment of “the more, the merrier” as companions for families of all sizes. Just don’t leave them, or any dog, with your kids.

But having an easygoing personality doesn’t mean you can skimp on socialization. Exposing your canine to various sights, sounds, and experiences is crucial. Think canine boot camp! You can ensure they become adaptable, well-mannered dogs by starting early with puppy kindergarten and obedience classes.

Training and Behavior

If you want to welcome an Australian Poodle Lab into your life, you’ll be pleased to know that they are quite intelligent and generally easy to train. They may even surprise you with their quick wit and responsiveness to commands.

Basic Commands and Behaviors

Due to their Poodle mix, these mixes typically have a great temperament and are eager to please their human companions.

To kick off training, focus on basic commands like sit, stay, and come. Remember, consistency and positive reinforcement are your new best friends! With a little persistence and lots of praise, you’ll be amazed by how quickly your pup picks up these cues.

Advanced Training for Service Roles

Given their trainable nature and gentle temperament, these canines can excel in various service roles, such as guide dogs or therapy animals. If you want your mix to serve a higher purpose, be prepared to invest time and energy in specialized training. This might include:

  • Obedience training beyond basic commands such as tricks like “roll over”, “play dead”, and “bow.”
  • Stay and Wait: Extend the duration and distance of the stay command.
  • Agility training like tunneling, weaving, and jumping. 
  • Scent detection. 
  • Socialization with other service dogs and humans.

Since service roles require a strong bond between dog and handler, developing trust and communication with your pooch from the start is crucial.

Behavioral Challenges

No dog is perfect, and despite their amiable nature, these mixes may have some behavioral challenges. For instance, if left unattended or not adequately socialized, they may develop aggressive behavior or anxiety. But don’t fret! By giving them proper training and attention, these issues can be addressed.

By nurturing a strong bond and addressing any problems head-on, you and your Australian pup can enjoy a happy, well-adjusted life together.

Grooming and Care

Caring for your Australian Poodle Labrador coat is essential, but fear not, it’s as easy as brushing your own hair – well, almost.

Grooming Tips

  • Daily or twice a week brushing: Start by taking a proper brush and gently work through the coat in sections.

 It’s best to do this daily to keep your dog’s hair tangle-free, and as a bonus, it’s great bonding time with your pup friend. Remember to be gentle around sensitive areas like the ears and paws, and you’ll both be loving every minute of it!

  • Brush their teeth at least twice a week. 
  • Keep those nails trimmed twice a month. 
  • Don’t forget the ears at least every two weeks.
  • Baths every month with gentle canine shampoo will suffice.

Shedding and Allergies

One of the main attractions for these Aussie Labrador Poodle mixes is their low-shedding coats, making them suitable for families with allergies. However, keep in mind that no dog is truly non-shedding, but these doodles come pretty close! Shed a tear of joy and wave that box of tissues goodbye!

Professional Grooming and Maintenance

While daily home grooming is essential for your dog, professional grooming sessions are still a must. Some breeds, this mix included, may require intensive professional grooming, so scheduling regular appointments is a good idea. Professional groomers will take care of their hair, trim their nails, and help maintain their overall health. Plus, your pup will strut with pride after a visit to the grooming salon!

So, with these grooming tips and tricks, you’ll help your Australian buddy stay happy and healthy. Just like fashion, they say that a well-groomed dog is never out of style!

Adoption and Purchasing

Basket with chocolate and cream Australian Labradoodle puppies

So, you’ve decided to bring this mix into your life, congrats! Now it’s time to find the perfect breeder for your soon-to-be canine friend. Look for breeders that have a solid reputation, as a reputable breeder will prioritize the dogs’ health and temperament. 

Be sure to ask about their policies, genetic tests performed on parent breeds, health guarantees offered, and feedback from previous customers. Don’t forget to pay them a visit (in person or virtually) to see the living conditions and meet the parents of your future pup!

Adoption Options and Rescues

If you’re open to adopting and providing a second chance to a pupper in need, that’s fantastic! Pet adoption organizations and rescues often have purebred and mixed-breed dogs looking for their forever homes. 

Be prepared to answer questions about your lifestyle and follow their adoption process. Keep in mind that adopted dogs may need some extra love, patience, and training to help them settle into your home.

Adoption costs can vary, ranging from $100 to $600, depending on age, size, and the rescue organization’s requirements (c’mon, it’s like getting a puppy discount while doing good deeds).

Remember, these pups can live up to 15 years with proper care, so plan for the long term and give them all the love they deserve!

How much does an Australian Labradoodle puppy cost?

The average price of an Australian Labradoodle puppy for sale can fall anywhere between $2,500 to $3,500. However, some puppies can even fetch prices as high as $5,000! But hey, they are the perfect blend of adorable and hypoallergenic, so it’s no surprise that folks are willing to shell out some bucks for these cuties. Lineage, reputation, size and coat might influence the cost. 

Finally, don’t forget the hidden costs! These pups need some supplies, like a crate, bed, leash, and those all-important chew toys. Oh, and let’s not forget veterinary care, grooming, and training. You know, the typical dog-owner stuff.

Owner surveys show that many doodle owners are disappointed when their designers don’t meet their low-shedding, happy-natured expectations. Also, many prospectives don’t really factor in grooming costs. So prepare so you don’t disappoint yourself. 

In the end, the price tag for this dog might seem like a pretty penny. But trust us when we say these adorable, friendly, and allergy-friendly companions are worth it! Just remember to do your research, prepare for the costs, and find the right breeder. Happy puppy hunting!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you spot the difference between a Labradoodle and an Aussie Labradoodle?

You might need more than a map to spot the difference! Both are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. However, Australian Labradoodles are more selectively bred, with a 5-generation minimum requirement. They might have some subtle differences in coat texture or appearance, but they can easily be mistaken for regular Labrapoodles!

What’s the size of an Aussie Labradoodle?

Aussie Labradoodles come in three size categories: Miniature, Medium, and Standard. Miniatures can range from 14 to 16 inches tall, Mediums from 17 to 20 inches and Standards from 21 to 24 inches. They’re not quite kangaroo-tall, but they’re the perfect size for cuddling and hanging out with you on your adventures.

Do Australian Labradoodles come in Many Colors?

These doodles come in various colors, including cream, gold, chocolate, black, pied, red, silver, and more! They can also have different coat patterns, like solid, phantom, or parti-colored. 

Is an Australian Labradoodle the secret to no more Allergies?

While no dog breed can be truly hypoallergenic, these doodles are known for their low-shedding, low-dander coats. This can make them more suitable for people with allergies. However, individual reactions can vary, so spending time with one before committing to ownership is always best.

Why is the Aussie Labradoodle so friendly?

These mixes are known for their friendly, affectionate, and intelligent personalities. They were initially bred to be service and therapy dogs, so they naturally tend to be social and attentive companions. If you’re looking for a loyal and loving BFF, this might be the perfect fit!

Is an Australian Labradoodle purebred or a mix?

Australian Labradoodles would definitely be a funky mix. However, some argue that these dogs may be Purebred. This is because they are required to date back at least five generations of mixing Lab Poodles and Lab Poodles.

Final Thoughts

So, you have made it this far in your quest to learn about the Australian Labradoodle! Let’s wrap up with some witty and informative final thoughts. Consider the fact that the dog was bred for its excellent temperament and hypoallergenic qualities. This makes them great companions for people with allergies and assistance and therapy dogs.

This mix is paws-itively delightful, and by now, you should have a much better understanding of this amazing breed. However, remember to ask, ask, ask for genetic health tests first. Now you’re Ready to welcome one of these fabulous, friendly, and furry friends into your life.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.