The Australian Labradoodle breed dates back to the 1980's and was initiated by Wally Conran of Royal Guide Dogs located in Victoria Australia. The intent was to create a breed that was allergy and asthma friendly with the temperament of a service dog. This journey was inspired by a vision impaired woman in Hawaii who needed a Guide Dog which wouldn't aggravate her husband's allergies. Of the 31 Labradoodles bred at Royal Guide Dogs, a staggering 29 made it through as Guide Dogs... an accolade of paralleled proportion for this "new breed' of Guide Dog.
To continue the efforts of Wally Conron, breeders in Australia began breeding Labradoodles determined to produce litters with consistent conformation, coat type, and temperament. During the 90's, a number of other dog breeds were bred into the Labradoodle lines to assist in this effort. Most often the English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel were the breeds used, however, it is reported that a few other dog breeds were also introduced into certain lines. DNA evidence of these dog breeds are still found in a few lines today, while others were bred out and not re-introduced into any other blood lines.
Currently the Australian Labradoodle is considered to be a cross between the Poodle, Cocker Spaniel and Labrador Retriever, while the Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and Poodle only.
Organizations have been formed to protect the continued development of the Australian Labradoodle lines, and guidelines for the continued introduction of English and American Cocker Spaniel are followed carefully. Infusion committees also discuss the merits of other possible dog breeds being allowed careful introduction into select lines. It is an exciting time to be involved in the development of this breed.
Text taken from the American Labradoodle Association of America with permission.
As established by Tegan Park and Rutland Manor Breeding & Research Centers of Australia and adopted by the Australian Labradoodle Club of America 2005 revised 2007.
Temperament and Soundness are the two KEY elements in a good family companion; they must not be sacrificed for any reason. General Appearance: The Australian Labradoodle should be athletic and graceful, yet compact with substance and medium boning. Joyful and energetic when free, soft and quiet when handled. They should approach people in a happy friendly manner with eye to eye contact. Keen to learn and easy to train. They have a free flowing wavy or curly coat that does not shed and is possibly non-allergenic.
Size: Sizes are still "somewhat inconsistent" with no definition between male and female at this time. Accurate prediction of size, even by an experienced breeder, is not expected at this time. Size is measured to the top of the shoulder blades (withers) while standing squarely on a level surface.
Much care is needed when breeding both the large and small dogs. Large dogs can suffer from rapid growth that can lead to structural problems. Soundness is of utmost importance. Over size is a major fault. Care must be taken to keep the miniature Australian Labradoodle a solid athletic robust dog. The dwarfing of dogs can lead to many genetic and temperament disorders. Minimum size attention is of the utmost importance to maintain a healthy little dog. Most Australian Labradoodles will weigh more than their height reflects.
STANDARD: 21" TO 24" The "Ideal" size for a standard female is 21 to 23 inches and for a male 22 to 24 inches. Weight range tends to be 50 to 65 pounds. MEDIUM: 17" TO 20" The "Ideal" size for a medium female is 17 to 19 inches and for a male 19 to 20 inches. Weight range tends to be 30 to 40 pounds. MINIATURE: 14"TO 16" The "Ideal" size for a miniature is 14 to 16 inches with no correlation between height and sex of the miniature Australian Labradoodle. Weight range tends to be 16 to 25 pounds.
Body: Height (to wither) to length (from sternum to point of buttock) should appear square and compact. Shoulders should have good angulation with firm elbows held close to the rib cage. Hindquarters should be of medium angulation with short strong hocks. Top line should remain level with strong loin and level croup. Flanks should rise up from a brisket set just below the elbows, but should not be excessively deep. Ribs should be well sprung but not barreled. Overall, the dog should appear square, be balanced, athletic and with good muscling.
Movement: When trotting should be purposeful, strong and elastic, with good reach and drive, giving the appearance of "going somewhere". When happy, relaxed or at play will prance and skim the ground lightly. Excessive tightness in the hips will produce a stilted action and is considered a fault.
Tail: Set relatively high and preferred to be carried in a saber, can be carried below the topline or "gaily" above. Curled possum type tails are undesirable.
Head: Sculptured, broad, well defined eyebrows, medium stop, eyes set well apart, nose to stop slightly longer than stop to occiput. Foreface shorter than skull. The head should be clean and chiseled and fully coated as on the body, legs and tail. The Muzzle is measured from the tip of the nose to the stop. The skull is measured from the occiput to the stop and does not include the muzzle.
Ears: Set moderately flat against the head, base should be level with the eye. Leather should be of medium thickness and when gently drawn forward should reach the top canine tooth. Ear leather reaching beyond the tip of nose is considered a severe fault. Ear canals should be free of excessive hair, and not thick and bulbous. When inquisitive and alert the ear set should rise to the top of the head. Thick/heavy ear leather is a fault.
Eyes: "Slightly" round, large and expressive, always offering eye to eye contact when engaged in activity with a human. Protruding or sunken eyes are a fault. Watery or tearful eyes are a fault. Wide round or narrow almond shaped eyes are considered a fault.
Eye Color: Eye color should complement and blend with the face color. Black, Blue, Red, Dark Chocolate and Silver dogs must have dark brown eyes. All shades of Cafe', Milk Chocolate, Gold/Apricot, Cream and Chalk should have dark hazel to brown eyes if they have black pigment. Caramel and dogs with rose pigment may have either dark eyes or "ghost" eyes. Ghost is a hazel color range much the same as it is in humans. Flecking with different shades of hazel with green and a blue/green make this eye color quite unique. Ghost eyes must always remain soft in appearance. Cold staring expressionless appearance in all eye colors is a severe fault.
Teeth: Scissor bite only is acceptable, being neither undershot nor overshot. Miniatures must not have crowding teeth.
Nose: Large square and fleshy. Pigment: Black or Rose. Pigment should be strong. Black pigment dogs must have dark brown eyes. Pink spots or patches on nose, lips, eye rims or pads are a fault. Dogs with rose pigment can have dark hazel, brown or ghost eyes. Eye rims should be rose as should nose, lips and pads. Pink spots or patches are a severe fault. Rose should be a rich liver color.
Neck: The firm, well muscled neck should be moderately long, slightly arched and flow into the well angled shoulders with no appearance of abruptness. The neck should not be coarse nor stumpy and should lend an air of elegance to the dog. A short thick neck is a fault.
Color: Any solid color including Cafe' and Silver is preferred. Minimal white on the chest and toes is acceptable. Light chalky coarse hairs (kemp) sprinkled through a dark coat is permissible but very undesirable. Parti (patched) and Phantoms, are considered an acceptable color. Parti can be any color (except Phantom) with white on face, head and/or body. Phantoms are any shading or two tone coloration such as a Black dog with lower legs showing a soft toning of silver or gold or a dog born dark with a golden shading at the roots or a slight brindling effect. True pure solid colors with the exception of Silver and Cafe' are highly prized and are the ideal for the Australian Labradoodle. It is normal that all colors may show bleaching and discoloration over the top coat. This is called sunning and is quite expected and acceptable, as the Australian Labradoodle is an active dog and often a service dog that enjoys the outdoors. Weather bleaching or sunning must not be penalized.