WHAT IS AN ORIGINAL AUSTRALIAN LABRADOODLE?
The Australian Labradoodle is different from all other labradoodles. In the early days, the Australian Labradoodle was simply a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. Dogs from this cross typically were bred to each other over future generations, whereby the Australian dogs are also known as “Multi-generational” Labradoodles.
Then, in the late 1980’s, Tegan Park and Rutland Manor, the two founders of the Australian Labradoodle as we know it today, began carefully infusing several other breeds into early generations of their Lab/Poodle crosses, to improve temperament, coat, conformation, and size. The infused breeds include Irish Water Spaniel as well as the American and English Cocker Spaniel. The resulting labradoodles subsequently have been bred to each other, continuing the multi-generational tradition.
Today, Australian Labradoodles are wonderful, intelligent dogs with lush coats that are more reliably low to non-shedding and allergy friendly than other types of Labradoodles such as first generation Lab/Poodle crosses, or first generation crosses bred back to Poodles. Even when the other types of Labradoodles are bred on for generations, the result is not an Australian Labradoodle, as the attributes of the infused breeds were not included in their ancestry.
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. They should be joyful and energetic when free, soft and quiet when handled. Australian Labradoodles approach people in a happy friendly manner with eye to eye contact and should be 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 or 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, though undesirable, 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 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.