Smart, cute, and sociable, the Australian Labradoodle dog breed has become very popular with many people across the world. And there is much more about this dog than meets the eye. Here is f everything you need to know about this dog breed.
The Australian Labradoodle was initially developed to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. The goal was to develop a dog that was smart enough to guide its owners while also being hardy enough to minimize shedding. It was the result of a cross between Labrador retrievers and poodles. However, it proved to be more than just a guide dog as it was observed to be smart, friendly, sociable, and active, making it an excellent pet.
The first Australian Labradoodle was discovered in 1988, when Aussie breeder Wally Conron crossbred a standard poodle with a Labrador retriever. It not only met the goal of minimized shedding but also showcased other likable attributes that have made it a favorite among pet owners. Since then, Australian breeders have been furthering their efforts to come up with a pure-bred Australian Labradoodle.
When well-groomed the Australian Labradoodle looks like a big fluffy teddy bear. It is covered in fur in every part of its body except the face. Currently, there are two types of this breed. The Australian Labradoodle bred in Australia is meant to be a pure-bred dog, but it is also a result of a cross between poodle and Labrador retrievers. Over the years, the Australians have struggled to develop a pure-bred Australian Labradoodle, and this was finally achieved in 2004. The Australian Labradoodle bred in the U.S., on the other hand, is just a cross between poodles and Labrador retrievers.
The Australian Labradoodle is everything you would want in a pet. It is easy to train as it learns quickly, and with the proper training it can perform special tasks. However, it can also be mischievous when not disciplined, and as such it requires the owner to be firm while also being gentle. This breed is also friendly and relates well with children and other dogs, further crediting it as a suitable pet. Under normal circumstances, it is very sociable and even comical – mostly happy and always wiggling its fluffy tail.
Since this dog is very active, it requires enough space to play and move around. Failure to give it the necessary space to be active may result in physical problems. Its brain also needs to be exercised regularly with tricks to avoid mental deterioration. Since it is friendly to other dogs and pets, it can also cope well in a house with several pets without causing much trouble.
Although the Australian Labradoodle is mostly common in the U.S. and Australia, it can do well in any environment. However, regardless of the conditions around it, physical and mental exercises are recommended to keep it fit and healthy. Coupled with the fact that these dogs are naturally active, this means that a spacious room and yard are necessary to allow it room for playing. Depending on how you raise it, an Australian labradoodle can be extremely vigorous or low-vigorous. In the former case, the dog can be hard to work with, using excessive energy in everything he does. This includes eating and drinking with big gulps, trying to plow through obstacles, and even straining on the leash. For someone who is frail or elderly or in a home with young kids, these characteristics may not be ideal. On the other hand, a low-energy dog can be peaceful to have around.
In spite of being covered in fur from head to paw, the Australian Labradoodle rarely sheds any hair, further making it an excellent pet for people with allergies. However, the thick fluffy fur also necessitates proper grooming to keep it smart and healthy.
To start with, the fur should be combed with a slicker brush every two to three weeks to keep it curly. Additionally, the coat should be trimmed about three times every year to keep the fur short and disentangled. Also, since the dog is covered in fur, it easily collects dirt and debris when it lies down. Hence, it is important to give it a bath now and then especially if it spends a lot of time outdoors.
Life Expectancy and Health Problems
Under the right care and living conditions, the Australian Labradoodle can live for up to 15 years. However, it is susceptible to several dog diseases that may lower its life expectancy rate. Health problems that are common in this breed include:
- Hip Dysplasia
A common condition among dogs, hip dysplasia occurs when the ball-and-socket joints are malformed. This results in a grind rather than a smooth sliding of these bones when the dog moves, and it can be very painful and uncomfortable for the dog.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
This disease is similar to hemophilia in humans. It occurs when dogs lack enough vWF, a glycoprotein necessary for clotting. As such, the dog may bleed excessively when injured, and this condition may be fatal if left unchecked.
- Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia occurs when cells, tissue, and bones around the elbow grow abnormally. The elbows end up not being strong enough to hold the dog’s weight, resulting in pain and difficulty in moving. When fully developed this condition may lead to lameness.
- PRA Dog Disease
Retinal degeneration occurs when the cells in the retina malfunction. It can cause poor vision, and even blindness when fully developed. The condition is genetic and a veterinarian should be consulted when you notice your dog making queer, unnecessary accidents.
Height and Weight
Adult Australian Labradoodle dogs measure about 22-24 inches in height. Miniature dogs in this breed are moderately shorter as they measure about 17 to 22 inches. However, in both cases, males are normally taller than females.
Weight, too, differs in males and females. Females are relatively light, weighing approximately 45 to 60 pounds when fed on a standard diet. Males, on the other hand, are heavier as they weigh between 55 and 77 pounds. Miniature Australian Labradoodle breeds are much lighter as females weigh about 30 to 50 pounds while males are slightly heavier.
The Australian Labradoodle is officially recognized in the U.S. and Australia through three associations. In Australia, this breed is recognized by the Labradoodle Association of Australia (LAA) and the International Australian Labradoodle Association, Inc. (IALA). In the U.S., this breed is recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA).