What is a Labradoodle?
The ‘Labradoodle’ idea of an Allergy and Asthma friendly service and assistance dog was originally a cross between a Labrador retriever and a Standard Poodle almost two decades ago. While many of the offspring showed service dog qualities producing a Labrador x Poodle progeny with both the service qualities and a non-shedding coat was not immediately a success. But the idea caught on and the result of this initial idea started the selection, crosses, back-crosses and carefully chosen breeding done by reputable breeders that has produced a wonderful allergy and asthma friendly dog with excellent health and fantastic temperament and service qualities.
Because of the Australian Labradoodles overwhelming success there can be found today more and more breeders of the ‘Labradoodle’. Just like any other breed that becomes popular there are breeders who have started breeding for the popularity of these dogs and not for the benefit of the breed itself.
The first organized breed association for the Australian Labradoodle is the Australian Labradoodle Association Inc. “ALA” established in 1997. For more information about them please go to www.LAA.org.au .
In your research of the Australian Labradoodle you will come across breeders using the terms ‘Multi-Gen’ (Australian Labradoodle), “Early-Gen” (Labradoodle Origin) and “Back Cross”. Here are some helpful tips to understand what a breeder means when they are using these phrases.
The multi-gen Australian Labradoodle is a dog that has had many years in its development and the selection of its foundation stock which includes 6 different parent breeds that have been used in the development of the breed as it is seen today. The parent breeds that have verified use in the Australian Labradoodles development by the ALA (Australian Labradoodle Association Inc) are: Poodle (all three sizes), Labrador retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Curley Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. It is not fully known today exactly what the “percentages from the Parent Breeds” that is in the multi-gen Australian Labradoodle but the ALA is tracing the breed’s history and development so that a database and history of this wonderful breed will be recorded for future generations. What we do know for a fact is that the Multi-gen Australian Labradoodle is a unique and fantastic dog that is becoming world renown for its qualities. This did not happen overnight, multi-generation Australian labradoodles have been being bred here in Australia for over 15 years now. The Multi-gen Australian Labradoodle on the majority has Labradoodle x Labradoodle matings done usually for several generations in their pedigree. The Australian Labradoodle has long passed the Labrador x Poodle cross and has moved on in development of a breed in its own right, it is no longer just a “Poodle Cross”. You will find that the number of breeders who breed multi-gen Australian Labradoodles are rare compared to breeders of “Early-gens”.
The early-gen (Labradoodle Origin) is a dog from new bloodlines that has not had the multiple generations of Labradoodle x Labradoodle breeding nor the addition of Australian Labradoodle Foundation stock or multiple Parent Breeds. These dogs are Labrador x Poodle matings and have more tendencies to a shedding coat as they are closer to the genetics of the Labrador Retriever’s shedding coat. The “Early-Gen” (Labradoodle Origin) plays an important part in the development of the multi-gen Australian Labradoodle and we encourage responsible breeding of quality early-gens so that breeders can integrated them into the bloodlines of the multi-gen Australian Labradoodles to ensure a broad genetic base for the breed.
The IALA (International Australian Labradoodle Association) has initiated the term “Labradoodle Origin” for all bloodlines with only Lab x Poodle cross parentage to help the public differentiate those breeders, dogs and bloodlines who are “Origin Labradoodles” and the breeders, dogs and bloodlines who are “Multi-gen” or “Australian Labradoodle”. We support these terms and the use of them to help with clear indication about the differences in the two types of Labradoodles found these days. Back Cross refers to when a Labradoodle has be bred back to one of the Parent Breeds (usually the poodle, but not restricted). Different breeders do back crosses for different reasons, some will be doing back crosses to “correct” a coat type, or to establish a colour, or to bring in new bloodlines for their Australian Labradoodles.
When looking for an Australian Labradoodle make sure you let the breeder know if you or your family suffers from dog related allergies and asthma. This information is very important to give to your Breeder so that they are able to select a puppy that is suitable for your families needs. Remember not all Labradoodles are Allergy and Asthma friendly. This is very important to keep in mind when researching breeders for your puppy as usually only the multi-gen Labradoodle have consistent coat types that can usually be predicted for Allergy and Asthma friendliness. It is key to remember that it is not the “look” of a coat that determines Non-Shedding vs. Shedding but the texture of the coat. Make sure if you or your family have dog related Allergies and/or Asthma that you select a breeder who is knowledgeable and confident in selecting an allergy and asthma friendly puppy for you.
Because of the time and effort responsible breeders have put into the Australian Labradoodle they have developed into a well rounded dog with high vigor, great health, intelligence and low to non-shedding coat. It has filled the spot that many families have been seeking for an easy to train, family oriented, allergy and asthma friendly, companion or assistance dog with an easy to maintain coat.