The Labradoodle was originally developed in Australia to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. In 1989, Wally Conron, who was in charge of the breeding program for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, conducted the first purposeful crossbreeding between a Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever
This first cross of Conron’s produced a dog called Sultan, who not only had the hypoallergenic coat but also had the aptitude, intelligence, and personality to be an effective guide dog. Sultan went on to work with a woman in Hawaii and was a successful at his work. At that point, other breeders saw the merit of crossing these two breeds.
Like the Labrador Retriever parent, the Labradoodle quickly rose in popularity and has become one of the most sought-after “Doodle breeds.” These dogs are often produced by crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle, but multigenerational breeding has begun in an attempt to produce a viable and recognizable breed.
Both the Australian Labradoodle Association and the International Australian Labradoodle Association are taking steps in this direction (there are no Labradoodle breed clubs in North America), and they hope to move this designer breed into registered breed status in the next few years. These groups have made great efforts to bring breeders together so that they’re working to achieve the same standards through multi generational breeding.
The Labradoodle comes in three size variations, depending on the size of the Poodle used for the first-generation breeding. The three sizes are Standard, Medium, and Miniature.
- The Standard Labradoodle should be 22 to 24 inches in height for a male and 21 to 23 inches in height for a female, while both can range in weight from 50 to 65 pounds.
- The Medium Labradoodle should be 18 to 20 inches high for a male and 17 to 19 inches high for a female, with both weighing from 30 to 45 pounds.
- The average size for a Miniature Labradoodle is between 14 to 16 inches and 15 to 25 pounds.
Each Labradoodle generation has their own unique coat qualities and appearance.
- Australian Labradoodle or multi-generational American Labradoodle-F1B Labradoodle bred to an F1B or higher Labradoodle or an Australian Labradoodle (65% to 85% Poodle) which is non-shedding.
- F1B-F1 Labradoodle to Standard Poodle (75% poodle to 25% lab) most are low-shedding to none shedding.
- F1=Labrador retriever to Standard Poodle (50% – 50%) cross which can range widely on shedding and appearance.
- Australian and American Multi Generation coats: Wool (Curly) Curly Fleece, and Fleece. These are non-shedding and allergy friendly (hypoallergenic).
- F1B coats: Wool, Fleece, Wavy, Borderline wavy and hair. These can either be shedding or non-shedding.
- F1 coats: Wavy, Borderline Wavy and Straight. All these coat types vary in shedding from a light/moderate to heavy shedding.