History of Labradoodles

Labradoodle History

In the early 1980’s, the first labradoodle was produced by Wally Conran, the Royal Guide Dog breeding manager, at the request of a family who needed an allergy-free guide dog. After a great deal of thought, he bred a standard poodle, to one of his best Labradors. The result was 3 puppies, one of which was the perfect match for the family in need! Intelligent, responsive AND did not aggravate the allergies that were present in their household! Through some trial and error, the Labradoodle became a great success, known for being a non allergenic dog breed. By 1989 the Labradoodle became an international interest and requests for non allergenic dogs were flooding in.

Soon, however, Conran, noticed that the mating between a poodle and Labrador did not always produce the desired non-shedding, allergy-free dog. Angela Cunningham of Tegan Park picked up the labradoodle scent and was the first developer of the Australian Labradoodle. Her mother, Beverly Manner, also became involved in the early stages of Australian Labradoodle Development.

People began to really enjoy the Australian Labradoodles for their non-shedding coats and their lovely disposition. They became popular as assistance and therapy dogs due to their intelligence and willingness. Word continued to spread and now they have purpose as wonderful family companions, seizure alert dogs, guide dogs, assistance dogs to the mentally and physically challenged and agility dogs.

Many believe that a labradoodle is a poodle cross with a Labrador, these are called American Labradoodles. An Australian Labradoodle is comprised of not only the Labrador and poodle, but Irish Water Spaniel, Curley Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel as well.

The two main differences between the American and the Australian Labradoodles are:

  • Predictability of the body type, coat and personality
  • The mix of parent breeds.

Each one of the Australian parent breeds were carefully considered for their contribution to the breed. For example, the Cocker Spaniel contributed the lovely domed head and shorter muzzle, while the water spaniel; the trainable personality. The curly coat retriever is considered the breed responsible for infusing the chocolate colour into the breed while the poodle lends its non-shedding coat to the mix. Obviously, some less desirable traits of the parent dogs were found in the puppies.  These puppies possessed a trait that was not found in the breeding standard, such as a puppy having a hair coat rather than a fleece or wool coat. Those puppies were culled from the breeding program through neuter/spaying and then placed in a pet home.

So, what you see as today’s Australian Labradoodle is vastly different than what was available in the 1980’s. Through a great deal of careful breeding, a consistently non- shedding, allergy-free, family-temperament labradoodle of various sizes has been produced.

Multi-generational labradoodles are labradoodles that have been bred with other labradoodles. Only the best of the best are chosen for breeding purposes, which gives the breeder and potential families a great deal of comfort about their temperament and health standard!

F1 – The first generation: poodle x Labrador

These labradoodles do not have a consistent coat or energy level.

F1B – This the result of a first generation labradoodle bred to a poodle. Because this results in a ¾ poodle cross, the dog may look more like a poodle. The coat is also variable in this generation as well.

F2 – The parents for this dog are BOTH F1’s. There is not a lot of consistency between the puppies of the same litter. There may be more poodle-looking ones, and more Labrador looking ones. Their coats may be more hair like, or poodle like, depending on the puppy.

F2B, F3 and beyond – Generally stated, the further from the original parents, the more consistent the coats, personality and body type, the dog exemplifies in accordance with the breed standard.

Mulit-Generation, or Mulit-Gen. – are labradoodles that be have been bred back to other labradoodles. They are said to have “multiple generations in the background”, thus the term Mulit-Gen is used.  All our labradoodles are multi-gen.