The Australian Labradoodle is not just any Labradoodle, and he is definitely not even an Australian one (We explain later!) But he is, however, a very calm and gentle dog in the home, who is very affectionate with his human pack, as well as every stranger that he comes across. He is also very excitable and playful during exercise and play sessions which means that there is never a dull day when the Australian Labradoodle is around. And it is this well-balanced personality that makes him a very popular family pet across the world.
He can be a small or medium sized dog, or anywhere in between, and his single coat makes him great for families with dog allergies. And with his gorgeous teddy bear looks there really isn’t anything to dislike about him!
It is important to know that he is different from the standard Labradoodle. We have an article about the standard Labradoodle versus the Goldendoodle if you want to learn more about them, but if you want to learn more about the Australian Labradoodle then you are in the right place.
Origins & History
The Australian Labradoodle is not really Australian; he is only called the Australian Labradoodle because he originates from down under! He was first bred by a man called Wally Conran of the Royal Guide Dog Services, which is located in Victoria, Australia. He was created to be the world’s first hypoallergenic assistance dog, for those individuals with visual impairments who were also allergic to dogs.
The Australian Labradoodle has been around for just under 40 years, which is quite new in the canine world. Because of this he is not considered a purebred pup, but a hybrid of several different other breeds. However, because he has been around for several decades and he is no longer considered a novelty designer pup, his appearance and traits are now quite consistent amongst the later generations.
It is unknown whether established breeders are working towards gaining full recognized status by the recognized kennel clubs, but if they are it would seem like it won’t be long until they do achieve this. Whilst the Australian Labradoodle cannot be registered with the main kennel clubs they can be registered with the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA), and all reputable breeders will be able to provide you with registration papers.
He is also, very different from the standard Labradoodle, who is simply the designer puppy of the Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. The standard Labradoodle is known by several other names, such as the American Labradoodle, the British Labradoodle, and the Early Generation Labradoodle, and these terms are all used interchangeably but they should not be confused with the Australian Labradoodle.
The Australian Labradoodle is a mixture of 6 dog breeds:
- Labrador Retriever
- English Cocker Spaniel
- American Cocker Spaniel
- Curly Coat Retriever
- Irish Water Spaniel
His extra genetics from the 4 other breeds means that the Australian Labradoodle is quite different from the standard Labradoodle in both appearance, personality and other factors. So, let’s learn all about him and see if he would make the perfect family dog for you.
The Australian Labradoodle is a well-balanced dog with a mixture of calm and excitement. Generally, he is relatively calm in the home, and loves to chill, and when he is outside he becomes very excitable and playful. He is often described as comical and clumsy by his owners when in play mode. The standard Labradoodle tends to be hyper both inside and outside of the home, so the Australian Labradoodle offers a better temperament balance for the average family.
He is also very loving and affectionate with his family and will love a cuddle or two on the sofa. He is also very friendly with outsiders and strangers, and for this reason he does not make the best guard dog in the world. He will greet all visitors at the door with a waggy tail and a smile across his face. Because of his sociability he is known to become quite anxious if he is left alone for too long, so for this reason he should be placed with a family that isn’t going to leave him for hours at a time.
The Australian Labradoodle is also very intuitive, and as such he knows to mirror his family’s needs. If you are feeling sad, then he will be affectionate and nuzzle into your neck, and if you are feeling energetic, he will place a ball into your hands or in front of your feet. For this reason, he makes a great companion for those with anxiety and makes a wonderful therapy dog.
Size & Appearance
The Australian Labradoodle will measure between 14 to 24 inches in height, from paw to shoulder, and should never exceed 25 inches. He should also weigh anywhere between 15 and 65 pounds. The vast range in both measurements is because the Australian Labradoodle comes in three sizes; miniature, medium and standard.
Generally, he is a small to medium sized dog of good proportion. He has large round eyes and a square and fleshy nose. He has a neck longer than the average dog which carries his moderately broad head with an air of elegance. He is a square and compact dog, with a deep chest. He is not overly muscular but also not skinny. The ALAA outlines the full breed standard of what he should look like for further information.
Coat & Colors
The Australian Labradoodle’s coat can be any length, but it should not exceed 4 inches in length. It is a single and non-shedding coat which should be either wooly or fleecey in texture. His coat can also be wavy, straight or form tight curls, but whichever form it takes, it should not be too thick or dense.
His coat can take many colors, including, Caramel Ice, Caramel Cream, Caramel, Caramel Red, Red, Gold, Apricot, Cream, Chalk, Chocolate, Café, Lavender, Parchment, Black, Blue, and Silver, as well as Tricolor. The Chocolate color is the most popular color. He also has several different types of coat markings, which can all be found in the full breed standard above.
The Merle color is also found in the Australian Labradoodle gene pool, but this is an undesirable color and reputable breeders will not breed dogs with this coat color. Unreputable breeders will advertise this color as unique and charge extra for this, but be warned that this color is not accepted by the ALAA, he cannot be registered to breed with, and he will also be prone to additional pigmentation related illnesses.
Exercise Requirements and Living Conditions
The Australian Labradoodle will need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day dependent on whether he is a miniature, medium or standard size. He makes for a great jogging partner and loves to jump in the pool or the local lake. If you want to maintain his docility in the home then he needs to be exercised adequately, otherwise he will become bored and restless which can result in undesirable behaviors. It is also likely that he will become destructive in the home.
Again, his living conditions will be dependent on his size. If he is a miniature sized Australian Labradoodle then he will be suited to apartment living, and if he is a medium or standard size then he would do much better in a larger home with access to a backyard.
Because of his well-balanced nature and calmness in the home, he is said to be great around children of all ages, but as with any dog just be sure to supervise them at all times. He is also known to be gentle and accepting of other family animals, and he is therefore suited to a multi-pet household.
The Australian Labradoodle is super intelligent thanks to his intelligent forefathers, and with all 6 of them being clever you know that your pup will always be top of the class at puppy training or doggy day care. This does not mean however that he doesn’t need to be trained, as he needs to learn his commands and desirable behaviors from somewhere, so you still need to invest time into training him. The saying ‘you get out what you put in’ is very true of all dogs, so do not take his intelligence for granted.
His eagerness to please his master means that a little praise will go a long way, so be sure to offer him plenty of verbal praise and belly scratches for being a good boy. He is also known to inherit, or not inherit in this case, his Labrador Retriever parent’s missing gene that tells him that he is full, so edible treats will also motivate him as this guy will always be hungry! Be sure to use this to your advantage during training sessions, just be sure not to overfeed this forever hungry hound.
Again, early socialization is important with the Australian Labradoodle as it is with any other dog. Be sure to expose him to all kinds of sounds both in the home and outside, and introduce him to dogs and other animals of all shapes and sizes.
The Australian Labradoodle is a generally healthy dog who tends to live between 13 and 15 years of age.
The most common health problem to look out for in the Australian Labradoodle is ear infections, as his hair will tend to grow in his ear canals. This is further explained in the below grooming section, but it is something that you need to look out for and address every month as it can lead to severe pain for your pup and further complications if not treated appropriately.
Exercise Induced Collapse is also a condition that is found in Australian Labradoodles, which is inherited from the Labrador Retriever parent. This is characterized by weakness and eventually collapse following a period of strenuous exercise. Whilst the majority of dogs recover from the collapse, it can be fatal for some, so as soon as you recognize any weakness or dragging of the limbs during exercise stop him immediately, and return him to a calm state as quickly as you can and monitor him.
His parents should also be tested for Elbow and Hip Dysplasia as many of his forefathers suffer from this. His parents should also undergo an Ophthalmologist evaluation to test for a variety of eye conditions, such a Progressive Retinal Atrophy which is prevalent in his Poodle parent.
The Australian Labradoodle should be fed between 2 to 3 cups of food a day, but again this is entirely dependent on his size. If he is smaller pup, then he should be fed 2 cups and if he is a larger boy who is energetic then he should be fed around 3 cups a day.
Because he has a tendency to always be hungry and he therefore easily piles on the pounds, his food should be age appropriate and his treat intake should be monitored.
The Australian Labradoodle, despite having a single coat that doesn’t really shed, is quite high in terms of his grooming requirements. He will need to be thoroughly brushed 2 to 3 times a week to ensure that his curls do not become tangled or matted. You need to get right down to the skin, because despite only having one layer of hair it can become matted underneath which will result in having to have all of his hair clipped off, and a bald Labradoodle is an unhappy one, so you have been warned!
His hair will also need to be clipped at least 4 times a year, and this can either be completed by yourself or at the professional groomers. There is no set style to follow unlike his Poodle parent, and a teddy bear cut is the typical Australian Labradoodle style that most owners opt for, as it follows the lines of his body and is a natural looking cut.
His ear hair, as described above, needs to be removed to avoid ear infections. Massaging ear grooming powder into the ear canal will open up the pores and make the plucking experience much easier for you and your pup. After this, ear cleaning solution should be used to clean out the wax and dirt trapped by his hair. This of course is never going to be a pleasant experience for your pup, but it is essential to get him used to this practice from a young age and treat him immediately with his favorite bone or toy.
All reputable breeders will show you exactly how to groom your Australian Labradoodle, so whilst this process may sound daunting, it is easily taught and learned with the right teacher and tools, so be sure to ask for a grooming demonstration!
The average price of a Australian Labradoodle from a reputable breeder is around $2,500, but of course this can vary slightly dependent on breeder and location.
If a puppy is being sold for less than $2,000 or more than $3,500 then this should ring alarm bells, because although you might be saving money on the initial cost, you will be risking a lot more money in future Veterinarian bills and dog behavioral therapist classes. Doodle breeds are one of the most targeted dog breeds for puppy mills to sell as they are one of the most in demand designer dogs, and therefore the most lucrative. So, please don’t get your puppies from them as you will be keeping them in business!
As Family Pets
- The Australian Labradoodle is a well-balanced pup who is calm in the home
- He is happy to snuggle on someone’s lap in front of the television.
- He is also a very energetic pup when he is outside wanting to play.
- Dependent on his size he will need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day.
- He is a very sociable and friendly with everybody.
- For this reason, he can become quite anxious when he is on his own.
- He should be with a family who can spend most of the day with him.
- The Australian Labradoodle is a very intuitive dog who can pick up on his human family’s emotions.
- If you are feeling down it won’t be long until he picks you back up again.
- He is a gentle dog who is great with children of all ages and would suit a multi-pet household.
- He is high maintenance when it comes to his grooming.
- He needs a family that can spend the time looking after his fur and ears.
- He is a hypoallergenic dog breed, so he is suited to families with dog allergies.
Finding an Australian Labradoodle Breeder
The ALAA lists reputable Australian Labradoodle breeders state by state, and here they must agree to several best breeding practices, as well as pay an annual fee to keep up to date with news and health testing. Whilst you must still complete your own research and meet the breeders and puppies in person before you hand over a deposit for your puppy, you can rest assured that these breeders are of good standing and so this is your best breeder finding tool. Be prepared to find yourself on a long waiting list though, because these gorgeous puppies are in high demand.
If you want a predictable Australian Labradoodle as described in this article it is best to stick to reputable breeders rather than an unscrupulous puppy mills as you will never know your puppies origins and true health history.
Rescue & Shelters
The Australian Labradoodle is very unlikely to be found in local rescue centers for two reasons. Firstly, because of his initial costing and the long puppy buying process that is involved, it is unlikely that a family would ever opt to rehome their pup, and secondly, if they do, then it is also likely that within their contract that they have to surrender him back to the original breeders. If you are lucky enough to find one of these guys in a local rescue center, then be sure to snap him up quick because there will be many other families after him also.
However, the Doodle Rescue Collective Inc, is a group of volunteers who, since 2008, have saved over 4,000 Labradoodles and Goldendoodles across America, so this is the best place to find a Australian Labradoodle to rescue. Rescuing a dog is one of the most rewarding things that you can do, and these are the best guys to contact if you want to rescue an Australian Labradoodle.
This guy is a perfect all-rounder, and the only negative that we can think of is his large puppy price tag, however, as long as your purse will allow it then he really is worth it! So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself on that waiting list and get ready to say g’day to this gorgeous guy!