What is an authentic Australian Labradoodle?
What’s the difference between the authentic Australian Labradoodle and the Labradoodle?
Does the Australian Labradoodle shed?
Will I have allergic reactions to the Australian Labradoodle?
Do you health test your parent dogs?
What sizes do the AL come in?
Is there a difference in the coat of the AL?
What colors do the AL come in?
Will my Australian Labradoodle need to be groomed or can I do it myself?
What is an F1 Labradoodle?
Will my puppy be registered?
What does a puppy cost and what installments are required?
Will you ship my puppy?

Q:  What is an authentic Australian Labradoodle?

 


A:  To adequately answer, we must visit the origin of the breed.  In short…the authentic Australian Labradoodle (AL) is a breed comprised of the lab, poodle and retrievers and are multi-generational (meaning the product of several generations of ALs bred to ALs without infusions of any purebred ancestor dog). The authentic AL is not to be confused with the Labradoodle which is comprised of Labs crossed to Poodles with no other breed having been infused.

Below is an article citing Wally Conron who is credited as the father of the Labradoodle.  It is important to realize that the ‘failure’  Mr. Conron expresses is due to the lack of allergy friendly progeny produced by the F1 crosses he was breeding.  The breed development has come far since other interested parties picked up the baton, so to speak, from Mr. Conron and the issue that haunted the father of this breed has been resolved in the authentic AL.  Mr. Conron also parrots the same concerns that those of us who steward this breed feel today: back yard breeders and individuals who are less than ethical/unscrupulous breeding the Lab x Poodle for nothing more than monetary gain and foregoing proper health/temperament screening in which today’s registered breeders pride themselves.

The AL continues to serve as seeing eye dogs, autism support dogs, health alert companions and therapy dogs around the world. I would like to think that the community of registered breeders who are diligent in their efforts to ensure health tested and mentally sound parents with coats that are indeed allergy friendly would make the father of this breed proud.   I know I certainly am!

 My Story: I Designed a Dog, by Wally Conron

Printed 7/10/2007 by readersdigest.com.au

Determined to source the most suitable guide-dog for a client, I unwittingly turned the canine world upside down

I DESIGNED A DOG BY WALLY CONRON

While working with the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia as its puppy-breeding manager in the early ’80s, I received a request from Hawaii. A vision-impaired woman there, whose husband was allergic to dog hair, had written to our centre in the hope that we might have an allergy-free guide-dog.

“Piece of cake,” I thought. The standard poodle, a trainable working dog, was probably the most suitable breed, with its tightly curled coat. Although our center bred and used Labradors, I didn’t anticipate any difficulties finding a suitable poodle.

It turned out I was wrong: after rejecting countless poodles with various problems, some two years and 33 disappointing trials later, I still hadn’t found an appropriate dog for the job.

In desperation, I decided to cross a standard poodle with one of our best-producing Labradors.

The mating was successful, but it produced only three pups. We sent coat and saliva samples of each pup to the Hawaiian couple, and the husband found one sample allergy-free. At last we were getting somewhere, but a big job lay ahead. The pup had to grow up and prove suitable for guiding work; and then it had to be compatible with the visually impaired client. We had a long way to go.

With a three to six-month waiting list for people wishing to foster our pups, I was sure we’d have no problem placing our three new crossbred pups with a family. But again I was wrong: it seemed no-one wanted a crossbred puppy; everyone on the waiting list preferred to wait for a purebred. And time was running out – the pups needed to be placed in homes and socialized;  otherwise they would not become guide-dogs.

By eight weeks of age, the puppies still hadn’t found homes. Frustrated and annoyed with the response to the trio of crossbreeds I had carefully reared, I decided to stop mentioning the word crossbreed and introduced the term Labradoodle instead to describe my new allergy-free guide-dog pups.

It worked – during the weeks that followed, our switchboard was inundated with calls from other guide-dog centers  vision-impaired people and people allergic to dog hair who wanted to know more about this “wonder dog”. My three pups may have been mongrels at heart – but the furor did not abate.

It was 1989 and the publicity surrounding the new designer dogs went national and then international. A new world opened for countless people who had once thought they could never enjoy the delight of a pet pooch.

With this kind of response, I knew we were on to a winner, and I took the decision to breed more of the Labrador- poodle crosses. So I contacted the then Kennel Control Council of Australia, hoping to find the names of reputable breeders who were breeding standard problem-free poodles.

“If you use any registered dog for your program, that breeder will be struck off the register and never be allowed to show or register their dogs again,” the council’s spokesperson warned. Nor did he budge when I explained that the dogs were being bred to help vision-impaired people.

The breeders themselves were split: many did subsequently threaten me or propose litigation if I used their progeny in my breeding program, while others offered their services free to the guide-dog center.

While all this was happening, I continued training Sultan, the original non-allergenic pup. He eventually went to Hawaii, amid intense media coverage, where as the world’s first Labradoodle he bonded beautifully with his new owner and her allergic husband.

Interest in the Labradoodle continued to escalate and inquiries poured in from all over the world from people wishing to either purchase or breed the dogs. But

I quickly realized that I’d opened a Pandora’s box when our next litter of ten Labradoodles produced only three allergy-free pups.

I began to worry, too, about backyard breeders producing supposedly “allergy-free” dogs for profit. Already, one man claimed to be the first to breed a poodle- Rottweiler cross!

Nothing, however, could stop the mania that followed. New breeds began to flood the market: groodles, spoodles, caboodles and snoodles. Were breeders bothering to check their sires and bitches for heredity faults, or were they simply caught up in delivering to hungry customers the next status symbol? We’ll never know for sure.

Today I am internationally credited as the first person to breed the Labradoodle  but I wonder, in my retirement, whether we bred a designer dog – or a disaster!

Retiree Wally Conron, 78, still keeps two Labradors  Rocky and Jazz, but his first love is for horses. He has nine of his own that he breeds and trains when he’s not giving riding lessons to horse-lovers in rural Victoria.

Q: What’s the difference between the authentic Australian Labradoodle and the Labradoodle?

 


A: The authentic Australian Labradoodle is comprised of the labrador retreiver, poodle and spaniels. The coats of the Australian Labradoodle has been fine tuned, so to speak, to be far better tolerated by individuals with allergies. The shedding component of the AL is low to virtually non-existant (*see “shedding” question below).  The Labradoodle is a pure cross between a lab and poodle. These dogs can make wonderful pets but the coats are not as reliable in regards to allergy tolerance and shedding.  Many individuals who breed the Labradoodle do not health test. If you choose to purchase a Labradoodle as opposed to an AL, please protect yourself and encourage responsible breeding simultaneously by purchasing only pups that are from health tested parents.  In addition, while the Labradoodle can make a wonderful pet, it often fails to exhibit the temperament of the Australian Labradoodle due to the ALs’ purpose driven breeding to serve as service/therapy dogs.  As always, ensure that your puppy is the product of careful breeding from health tested parents!

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Q: Does the Australian Labradoodle shed?

 


A: This is a loaded question as many claims of non-shedding dogs/hypoallergenic dogs are prevalent among breeders but I am here to inform you that each and every single dog on the planet sheds!  The term “non-shedding” is one used to refer to dogs with a long grow stage and resting stage to their coat.  Unlike a lab, boxer, chihuahua whose hair has a very short grow and resting stage of hair growth, the ‘non-shedding’ breeds have a very long grow and resting stage of hair growth.  All “non-shedding” breeds can be divided into two groups: straight or curly.  The straight haired breeds would be the maltese, yorkie, silky hair terriers, shitzu, and…the fleece coated Australian Labradoodle. With these dogs in your home, you will find their hair is very like your own: most will come out in the brush during quick daily brushing and the odd loose hair on the bed pillow or floor.  The curly haired breeds would be your Irish water spaniels, PWD, Kerry Blue Terriers, Poodles…and the curly/wool Australian Labradoodles.  With these dogs in your home, you will rarely find any hair at all on bedding or floors because when the hair does detach from the folicle, it is caught within the curly layer of attached hair, leaving it to get caught in the brush during daily grooming sessions or by the groomer during regular visits. Studies have also suggested that the wool coated dogs are well tolerated by individuals with allergies  because the layer of wool acts as an insulator and prevents allergens from becoming airborne.  Ultimately, every person and dog is unique to their allergen tolerances and shedding properties.  It is a good idea to expose yourself to the ‘non-shedding’ dog to detect if you will react or not.

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Q: Will I have allergic reactions to the Australian Labradoodle?

 


A: As stated above, each individual is unique in their reaction to ‘non-shedding’ breeds. I would caution to say that if exposure to dogs results in you being transported to hospital via ambulance, you may want to stay away from dog ownership altogether. I would not personally believe it worth the risk.  HOWEVER, speaking from my own experience, my son has quite severe allergies to animals with fur and he can tolerate the AL very well but cannot be in a room in which they are being groomed.  He will develop stuffy sinuses and red itchy/watery eyes. We also installed an air scrubber (not a filter but an actual air scrubber like the air systems in hospitals) onto our furnace. This was an incredibly sound investment for our family as it curbed nearly all the allergy related issues our family was experiencing due to pollen and environmental allergies.  I often hold meet and greets with individuals who have allergies and want to see if they react to exposure to our ALs.  Allergies and health related issues are serious and not to be taken lightly.  I have not yet had a pup returned due to allergy issues so my experience leads me to expect the pups to be well tolerated by the average allergen sufferer. I would insist on a meet and greet if you have not yet exposed yourself to the non-shedding breeds to investigate whether or not you will react poorly.

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Q: Do you health test your parent dogs?

 


A: Absolutely!! We test for hips/elbows, PRA, CERF, and cardiac check to name a few. If the young potential breeder does not pass a each test, we do not use them in our breeding program. We are diligent in this practice.

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Q: What sizes do the AL come in?

 


A: Australian Labradoodles come in three (approximate) sizes:
Standard: 21-24 inches tall and approximately 50-70 pounds
Medium: 18-20 inches tall and approximately 25-45 pounds
Miniature: 14-18 inches tall and approximately 15-25 pounds

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Q: Is there a difference in the coat of the AL?

 


A: Yes. The coats can be wool (poodle like), curly (open loop), wavy or straight fleece (like human hair in manageability).  All are considered ‘non-shedding’ in the AL lines.

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Q: What colors do the AL come in?

 


A: There are literally too many to name. The most common are white, cream, apricot of varying degrees of tone, every possible shade of chocolate, black,  reds, and caramels. Some more unusual colors are phantoms, partis, tuxedos, lavender and parchment….the list goes on and on.

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Q: Will my Australian Labradoodle need to be groomed or can I do it myself?

 


A: Yes and yes!  If you wish to research, purchase professional equipment and have the time and patience to develop the skill to groom your own AL, of course that is an option to anyone with an interest in doing so.  But whether or not you decide to venture into that task yourself, your AL will require regularly scheduled visits to your groomer.  How often depends on the coat type of your dog and the style in which you choose to keep him.  The most important thing about grooming is maintenance.  Nothing in life is free and the benefit of a dog that sheds virtually not at all is the absolute necessity for proper grooming  This is not an issue to take lightly.  Poor grooming can lead to painful mats and subsequent health problems.  On a positive note, I have yet to meet an AL that does not thoroughly relish being brushed and many of my puppy owners brush their dogs in the evening before bed as it is relaxing for both dog and human.  If you are not prepared for the cost and time requirements of proper grooming, a ‘non-shedding’  breed is not a good choice for your lifestyle.

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Q: What is an F1 Labradoodle?

 


A: An F1 Labradoodle is the label given to a puppy/dog with a lab as one parent and a poodle as the other. The F1 dog is 50% lab and 50% poodle.  An F1b is a puppy with an F1 as one parent and a poodle as the other parent. It is a result of an F1 being  ‘bred back’ to a poodle.  F2 is a puppy from parents who are both F1.  An F2b is a pup/dog that is the result of breeding one F2 dog to a poodle.  This can be very confusing but is basic genetics. This is how the Australilan Labradoodle began but the spaniels were infused along the line.  New lines are always being developed to provide a wide and varied genetic pool.  All new lines begin this way.  The most important thing is that they are health tested stock and of stellar mental abilities.  The line is not considered mulit-generational (mulit-gen) until the line has bred several generations of Labradoodles to Labradoodles with no new infusions.  New genetic lines are generally developed by individuals already breeding authentic ALs and are monitored closely to ensure proper health and type.

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Q: Will my puppy be registered?

 


A: Yes. Each litter is registered with the A.L.C.A. (Australian Labradoodle Club of America). The AKC, UKC, CKC does not yet recognize the AL as a breed at this time.  This is not a concern to those of us breeding the AL as breed recognition is a long and arduous process. Take, for example, the Leonberger.  This breed began as a cross between the Landseer Newfoundlander and St. Bernard.  The cross was then infused with Great Pyrenees, then infused again to the St. Bernard.  So, genetically speaking, the Leonberger is 50% St. Bernard, 25% Newfoundlander and 25% Great Pyrenees.  The breed was satisfactorily developed and breeding “true” by the mid 1800s.  HOWEVER… the breed was not recognized by the CKC unitl the year 1992.  It took 142 years for this breed to gain official recognition.  It would appear that the AL has obvious potential to follow suite but the breed is relatively new in its development and these things take time.  The focus of reputable AL breeders in on the health and quality of the breed not on popularity and validation. Recognition will come when in due time. In the meantime ALCA and ALAA breeders continue to be good stewards of the breed by health testing  breeding stock and selecting only the best representatives of the breed to further the lines.

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Q: What does a puppy cost and what installments are required?

 


A: All authentic Australian Labradoodle puppies cost $2,500.00.   Some breeders charge more for rare colors while others do not. The minimum cost is $2,500.00.

Reservation Fee: $500.00 due upon approval of application – holds your place on reserve list for your puppy.
Balance Due: $2,000.00 when puppies are 6 wks of age.
Payments can be sent via etransfer within Canada or by money transfer/wire as direct deposit if purchaser is outside Canada.  All monies must be sent in Canadian funds.

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Q: Will you ship my puppy?

 


A: Yes.  Depending on the individual development of the puppy and flight schedules available, we will ship when the pup is between 10 – 12 wks of age. On occasion, the flights do not serve all airports so it may be necessary for the purchaser to travel to the airport where the pup has been shipped.  Although we have, in past, shipped our puppies overseas, we no longer do so.  We can ship anywhere within North America with moderate to little expected inconveniences.

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