Australian Labradoodles Today

The Clubs

Today Australian Labradoodles are being bred world wide and have warmed the homes of many families.  The highest concentration of Australian Labradoodles can be found in North America where the ALAA oversees hundreds of Australian Labradoodle and Labradoodle breeders. Europe has nearly 50 breeders dedicated to protecting and improving Australian Labradoodles working with the ALAEU and Australia has a small but dedicated group still breeding Australian Labradoodles in their place of origin, over seen by the ALA. At the moment there is no international database for all Australian Labradoodle, but it is the hope of the ALAEU that there will soon be a revival of the International Australian Labradoodle Association which will function as an umbrella association for all the major breeding clubs.  Despite the lack of international organization, the breeders of the ALAEU, ALAA and ALA often exchange breeding stock and most dogs registered with any of these clubs will also qualify for registration with the other major clubs. 

There are also many breeders in all of these places who breed outside the organization of one of the major Labradoodle clubs.  These breeders can also produce lovely, healthy dogs and it is possible to find a lovely puppy from an unregistered breeder.  However, buyer beware!  Breeders who are not working with the cooperative effort to maintain health and character while increasing consistency in Australian Labradoodles do not have the same type of accountability in regards to health testing and record keeping that a registered breeder does.  It is impossible to know for sure what background the dogs have and unfortunately strange mixes are often done with what ever dogs are available and they are marketed as Australian Labradoodles to maximize profits. An ALAEU breeder may have slightly higher prices, but it is definitely a situation where you get what you pay for. An ALAEU dog will have been bred according to the rules and regulations of the ALAEU which protects dogs from over breeding and poor living conditions, verifies identity of parents, and double checks the validity of health testing.  So if you want to be sure that your dog has been bred responsibly and is what it claims to be, support the effort to establish our breed and get your puppy from an ALAEU, ALAA or ALA registered breeder.

Breed Composition

The Australian Labradoodle was originally created by carefully blending five parent breeds: Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, American Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels and Portguese Water dogs.  The original labs and poodles used were from the Victoria Guide Dog Association and were some of the nicest labs and poodles in the world.  Cockers were used to help create the silkiness we see in Australian Labradoodles today and bring down the size of the dogs. A few Portugese Water Spaniels were infused to help reinforce the allergy friendly coat of the ALD.  In recent years, there have been several breeders in Australia who have also infused Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers into their Australian Labradoodle lines.  The purpose of these infusions was to improve ear health without loosing the lovely coat of the Australian Labradoodle.  However, Wheaten infused dogs are not accepted by the ALAA or the ALAEU because these infusions were not done in accordance to any organized or approved infusion plan. 

There is a lot of debate in the world of Australian Labradoodles about whether the "old lines" which originally came from Australia and are very well established and consistent should be preserved and protected, or whether it is better for the health and longevity of the breed for contemporary breeders to continue building new stock from Labs, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels.  The general conclusion is that we need to continue creating new lines for the time being to ensure that our breed is healthy and robust.  Our breed is still developing and we need to take advantage of this to ensure that our dogs are as healthy as possible and have a wide enough genetic base to be sustainable for generations to come.  However, there are many who are scared that the lovely character and appearance of old Australian Labradoodle lines will be lost in this effort to keep our breed robust.  Today you can find old line, multi-generational Australian Labradoodles, new Australian Labradoodle lines which have been made from scratch with labs, poodles and cockers, Origin labradoodles (lab x poodle) and any variation in between. 

Counting Generations

All of the major clubs have a system for keeping track of how many generations your potential labradoodle is.  The generations are calculated using a base definition of an Australian Labradoodle (usually you start counting generations when you have the appropriate combination of lab, poodle and spaniel) then they count up for each generation. The ALAEU has ALF1 as the base generation for a dog with the appropriate blending of lab, poodle and spaniel.  ALF stands for Australian Labradoodle Foundation.  Every dogs generation is counted by taking the lowest number between the parents and adding 1.  If you breed and ALF1 to and ALF1, the puppies will be ALF2.  If you breed and ALF1 to and Origin Labradoodle (LO), the puppies will be ALF1.  If you breed and ALF3 to and ALF1, the puppies will be ALF2.  If you breed and ALF3 to an ALF3, the puppies will then be called "pure Australian labradoodle" or AL.  Most dogs in Europe are still in the ALF  stage of development.  There are a handful of pure AL's, but there are too few for it to be practical to breed on AL's.  

Breed Development

The ALAEU is currently putting together a quality control process for the development of new Australian Labradoodle lines in Europe.  This way we will be able to protect the health and genetic variability of our breed without risking a decrease in the quality or consistency of our dogs.  At our yearly meeting in June 2013 we will be officially approving an infusion plan for incorporating new blood into our established ALD stock in Europe.  It is our expectation and hope that several experience breeders will then take up the project of creating new lines from scratch for the improvement of our breed.