What exactly is an Australian Labradoodle, you ask? Let us explain. As best put on the Australian Labradoodle Club of America website, the Australian Labradoodle is different!
Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria, Australia received a request from a visually impaired woman that needed a Guide Dog which wouldn't aggravate the allergies of a family member. Wally Conran approached the manager of the Royal Guide Dogs with a request to intentionally cross a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle to hopefully have offspring that would be a good guide dog candidate, from not only a temperament standpoint, but having a more allergy friendly coat as well.
This first pairing produced three pups, of those three, one, a dog named Sultan, did not produce an allergic response from the family member. It is interesting to note that the other two dogs, while not "allergy friendly", did go on to lead lives of service: one as a Remedial Dog and the other as a Guide Dog.
As with all Guide Dog Associations, there was always a long waiting list of families waiting to puppy walk the Guide Dogs, but when this new cross breed needed homes, it was hard to find families prepared to take them. Knowing that it was vital that the pups got the right socialization in a family unit , Mr. Conran contacted a local television station with a story and "the new breed of Guide Dog", and realizing it needed to have a name, he came up with the "Labradoodle". After that show aired, the phones rang with people wanting to puppy walk this amazing "new breed" of Guide Dog.
Of the 31 Labradoodles bred at Royal Guide Dogs, a staggering 29 made it through as Guide Dogs... an allocade of unparalled proportion for this new "breed" of Guide Dog. Pretty impressive!
Two breeding and Research Centers for the Labradoodle were established, both located in Seaspray Victoria, Australia . Tegan Park and Rutland Manor continued on from where the Guide Dogs left off, with the intention of breeding through successive generations of Labradoodle bred to Labradoodle. Two new breeds were also infused into the early generations of the Lab/Poodle crosses, with the intention of improved temperament, coat, conformation, and size. The infused breeds include Irish Water Spaniel and 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 compared to other types of Labradoodles or Lab/Poodle crosses. Selective breeding for continuing the temperament, coat characteristics, and general health is of utmost importance.
Lucky Country Labradoodles strives to continue what the breed standards set by the Australian Labradoodle Club of America. Explainations of those standards can be found here: