In the early 1980s, Wally Conron, head breeder of the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia, was asked about an allergy-free guide dog. Not being able to find one, he created the Australian Labradoodle, a cross between a standard poodle and a Labrador retriever.
Beginning in the late 1980s, the original Australian Labradoodles were crossbred with other breeds such as the Irish water spaniel, American cocker spaniel, English cocker spaniel and curly coat retriever. This has improved the Australian Labradoodle's temperament, size, coat and conformation.
Miniature Australian Labradoodles have a height of 14 to 17 inches and a weight between 30 and 50 pounds. Their life expectancy is 13 to 15 years. The health problems common to the breed are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and elbow and patella disorders.
Australian Labradoodles have well-formed muscles, a broad head, wide-set eyes, square nose, ears that lay flat against the head and tails set either low or high. The coat--which comes in three types: wool, fleece and hair--is 4 to 6 inches long and may be wavy, straight or mildly spiraled. The variety of coat colors includes black, gold, chocolate, cream, chalk, red, blue and silver. Most Australian Labradoodles shed little to no hair and are considered hypoallergenic.
These dogs are intelligent, easily trained, friendly, sociable, joyful, non-aggressive, active and loyal. Bred to be a companion and guide dog, Australian Labradoodles are good with children and other dogs.
Australian Labradoodles need a lot of exercise. Long daily walks are suggested, as well as human/dog playtime. They love water and fetch-and-retrieve games. They excel at learning new tricks and have strong agility capabilities.
Australian Labradoodles obedience train easily with a firm but gentle hand. They should be socialized early and disciplined appropriately. If untrained, an Australian Labradoodle will try to outsmart its owner.