The Australian Labradoodle is a mixed dog breed. It was developed from Labradors, Poodles, English and American Cocker Spaniels, Curly Coated Retrievers, and Irish Water Spaniels. The aim of the Australian Labradoodle is to produce a new purebred with its own breed standard. And with more predictable traits than a first-generation Labrador Poodle cross. So let’s take a look at what you can expect from this mix. And how different it is to other types of Labradoodle.
Meet The Australian Labradoodle!
Doodle dogs seem to be everywhere these days! Poodle crosses are increasingly popular. You’ve probably heard of the Labrador-Poodle cross known as the Labradoodle. But maybe you haven’t come across the Australian Labradoodle. This is a similar, yet uniquely different, dog.
Read on to learn more about exactly what separates the Australian Labradoodle from the Labradoodle. And discover if this loving pup is right for you and your family!
Where Do Australian Labradoodles Come From?
The term ‘Labradoodle’ was first coined back in 1955. But, the name—and the dog itself—did not become popular until several decades later. In the 1980s, Wally Conran, a breeding manager for Australian Guide Dog Services, found himself faced with a challenge.
A client needed a guide dog but also suffered from terrible allergies to dogs. Labradors have long been used as guide dogs, mainly owing to their gentle nature. But they are certainly not hypoallergenic.
Introducing the Poodle
Indeed, no dog breed is truly ‘hypoallergenic’. But the curly coat of the Poodle does ‘catch’ some of the loose hairs and dander that are responsible for allergies. So, for some people, that means fewer allergies. So, Conran came up with the idea of crossing the Labrador with the Poodle.
The result? The first modern Labradoodle. And within a few years, the Labradoodle became extremely popular. In Australia and around the world.
The Labradoodle Versus the Australian Labradoodle
Contrary to popular belief, a Labradoodle born down under does not automatically qualify as an ‘Australian Labradoodle’! In fact, there are significant differences between the Labradoodle and Australian Labradoodle.
Labradoodles have one Labrador parent and one Poodle parent. These first-generation Labradoodles are referred to as F1. And from those we get second-generation, F2, and so on. On the other hand, Australian Labradoodles can be a blend of up to six different breeds:
- Cocker Spaniel
- American Cocker Spaniel
- Curly Coated Retriever
- Irish Water Spaniel.
Why These Breeds?
These breeds are selectively mixed together to create a dog with a winning temperament. But also with a low-shedding coat.
Australian Labradoodles have been bred this way since the 1980s. Even now, breeders are striving to make a consistent set of breed-specific traits. They hope these can be reliably passed down from one generation to the next. And that’s why Australian Labradoodles have far more predictable traits.
The Australian Labradoodle breed standard was introduced in 1997. And many enthusiasts hope they will eventually be recognized as a breed in their own right.
Fun Facts About the Australian Labradoodle
The Royal Guide Dogs (Wally Conran worked for these guys) bred 31 of these original Labradoodles. And of those 31, 29 became guide dogs.
Pretty impressive for the first-ever batch of this brand-new mix. Don’t you think?
Australian Labradoodle Appearance
Australian Labradoodles grow to around 24 inches tall and weigh about 77 lbs.
They can have one of two coat types. Either fleece-textured or wool-textured.
Fleece-textured coats are soft and either straight or wavy. They can also have spiral-shaped curls.
Wool-textured coats feel—you guessed it!—like wool! And they’re usually curly.
Australian Labradoodles are often described as teddy bear-like. And this certainly adds to their appeal!
Australian Labradoodle Temperament
Australian Labradoodles are gentle, loyal, and sociable. They are not aggressive and are very good with children.
Plus, Australian Labradoodles are intelligent and quick to learn.
In fact, Australian Labradoodles are widely used as therapy and service dogs. Mainly because they’re so universally friendly, gentle, and easy to train.
Naturally playful, they enjoy time with their human families. But they should not be left alone or in crates for too long.
Also, Australian Labradoodles are active dogs. They need a large amount of daily activity. At least 30-60 minutes is ideal.
Training Your Australian Labradoodle
Australian Labradoodles are often described as ‘born to serve.’
This means that they’re naturally quick to learn. And as a result, relatively easy to train.
But, it’s very important to begin training and socialization early in your puppy’s life.
Socialization can have a huge impact on your puppy’s development.
And puppies that are socialized early are less likely to display behavioral problems later on.
Positive Training Methods
Research shows that positive, rewards-based training is more effective than punishment-based training.
In fact, punishments negatively affect behavior. But rewards-based training actually improves your dog’s ability to learn.
Read more about positive puppy training here.
When using rewards to train your pup, make sure you include any edible treats as part of your pup’s daily food allowance.
This will help prevent weight problems.
Australian Labradoodle Health
Have you ever heard of ‘hybrid vigor’ in mixed-breed dogs?
Some evidence suggests mixed-breed dogs experience fewer inherited disorders than their purebred counterparts.
The limited gene pools of purebreds can cause a number of health-related issues. This is due to years of inbreeding.
But, this doesn’t mean mixed breeds are entirely free from the same inherited conditions. They may still inherit certain health conditions from either parent.
So, if you’re considering an Australian Labradoodle, you should be aware of the potential health concerns.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Like many larger dogs, Australian Labradoodles are prone to canine hip and/or elbow dysplasia.
The problem leads to painful arthritis and lameness.
Australian Labradoodles are also prone to patellar luxation.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can affect Australian Labradoodles. The problem causes vision loss that could lead to blindness.
Plus, Australian Labradoodles are at risk from multifocal retinal dysplasia. This causes retinal detachment and eventually, blindness.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is a type of bleeding disorder. And Australian Labradoodles are prone to it.
So, Australian Labradoodles should be tested for Von Willebrand’s disease. Plus hip and eye tests.
Grooming Your Australian Labradoodle
Whether your Australian Labradoodle has a fleece- or wool-textured coat, they will need regular brushing. Usually around once a week.
You might find it useful to enlist a professional groomer. They can trim your pup’s coat two or three times a year.
When grooming, be sure to check your Australian Labradoodle’s eyes and ears. It’s important to keep their nails trimmed, too.
If in doubt, speak to your dog’s vet and/or groomer. They can offer specific advice on your pup’s coat and nails.
Feeding Your Australian Labradoodle
As with any dog, it’s important to give your Australian Labradoodle high-quality dog food. Be sure to check the recommended portion sizes. They are usually listed on the packaging.
Letting your dog become overweight could lead to health problems. So, go easy on the treats!
Is the Australian Labradoodle A Good Family Dog?
Australian Labradoodles make fantastic family dogs.
As a gentle breed, they are great with children and other pets.
They’re very friendly and sociable. Plus, they love spending time with their human families.
Australian Labradoodles learn quickly. So if you start training and socialization early, you’re almost certain to have a people-pleasing pup!
But They Aren’t For Everyone
But, Australian Labradoodles are also active, energetic dogs. So, they need a good amount of exercise (at least 30-60 minutes daily).
They’re not very well-suited to apartment living. Instead, large homes with securely-fenced outdoor spaces are best.
And the Australian Labradoodle might not be the right fit if you spend a lot of time away from home during the day.
They might become bored if left alone. This is because they prefer human company.
Australian Labradoodle Rescue
Unfortunately, at any given time, shelters are full of animals waiting for new homes.
So, instead of buying an Australian Labradoodle from a breeder, you may want to consider a rescue dog.
Just bear in mind that shelters often have limited information on the health and behavioral history of animals.
That’s why it’s important to spend time with any dog you’re thinking about adopting. This helps ensure they’re the right fit before you bring them home.
Raising an Australian Labradoodle Puppy
There’s a lot to think about when you bring home your new puppy!
First off, start training and socialization early on.
That way your puppy and family can quickly adjust to a new life together. And will also help your puppy grow into a well-adjusted dog.
Puppies need general obedience training. Plus potty training and crate training (but only if you plan on using a crate).
Positive, rewards-based training is the most effective training method. But consistency is key and a little forward planning can be invaluable.
For more information on general, potty, and crate training check out our detailed guides:
Pros And Cons of the Australian Labradoodle
- These loyal, gentle and friendly companions are great with children and good with other pets.
- Australian Labradoodles are quick to learn and respond well to consistent, positive training.
- This mixed breed may be good for allergy sufferers. Their curly coat catches some of that allergy-triggering dander and fur.
- Australian Labradoodles make great service and therapy animals.
- These active, energetic dogs require at least 30-60 minutes of activity daily. Plus, access to securely fenced outdoor space.
- This breed is not suited to apartment living.
- Australian Labradoodles don’t do well alone or in their crate for long periods of time. So, they’re not the best choice if you spend a lot of time out of the house or at work.
Labradoodles closely resemble Australian Labradoodle. So, what’s the difference?
The Labradoodle has one Poodle parent and one Labrador parent. But the Australian Labradoodle blends six different parent breeds.
Labradoodles are very popular with families. They’re good with children and usually get along with other pets.
They vary in size, depending on whether their Poodle parent is a standard, miniature, or toy.
Labradoodles tend to be higher-energy than the calmer Australian Labradoodle. That’s why proper training and socialization from an early age are so important.
Their coat tends to be wiry and wavy in texture and come in a range of colors.
Be aware that while many Labradoodles are billed as ‘hypoallergenic’, no dog truly meets this description!
Numerous anecdotes suggest Labradoodles trigger fewer allergies in humans. But this is not a guarantee.
That’s why it’s best to spend time with any dog before you take them home.
A Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
As with other Doodle dogs, sizes can vary. This depends on whether the Poodle parent is standard, miniature, or toy.
Goldendoodles inherit the gentle temperament of the Golden retriever. Plus, the intelligence of the Poodle.
Their coats are typically longer than the Labradoodle coat. And can be straight, wavy, or curly.
Coat color tends to come from the Golden retriever parent:
- shades of red.
Goldendoodles are often more relaxed than Labradoodles. Yet, just as friendly and outgoing.
This makes them a great choice for families. And as therapy dogs.
Australian Labradoodle Rescues
If you want to rescue an Australian Labradoodle, the following links are a good place to start:
Is the Australian Labradoodle Right For Me?
An Australian Labradoodle is a great fit if you have children or other pets. Or if you’re looking simply for a gentle companion that gets along with anyone.
Australian Labradoodles tend to be calmer than the standard Labradoodle. Plus, they’re quick learners.
Early socialization and consistent rewards-based training will help your Australian Labradoodle become a great people-pleaser.
But, if you work away from home for long hours, this pup may not be the best choice.
Australian Labradoodles don’t like being left alone or in a crate for long periods of time.
This pup is better off in a home with a securely fenced outdoor space. An apartment is not ideal.
Are you the proud owner of an Australian Labradoodle? Share your experience in the comments section below!
You’ll Also Love…
- Labradoodle Lifespan
- Do Labradoodles Shed?
- Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle
- Labradoodle Names
- Best Dogs for First Time Owners
References and Further Reading
- Australian Labradoodle Association of America
- Hiby EF, Rooney NJ, and Bradshaw JWS. 2004. Dog training methods: their use, effectiveness and interaction with behaviour and welfare. Animal Welfare.
- Howell TJ, King T, and Bennett PC. 2015. Puppy parties and beyond: the role of early age socialization practices on adult dog behavior. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports.
- Oliver JAC and Gould DJ. 2012. Survey of ophthalmic abnormalities in the labradoodle in the UK. Veterinary Record.
- Rooney NJ and Cowan S. 2011. Training methods and owner-dog interactions: Links with dog behaviour and learning ability. Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website