Authentic Australian Labradoodle Breed Standard & Colors
As established by Tegan Park and Rutland Manor Breeding & Research Centers of Australia and adopted by the Australian Labradoodle Club of America 2005 revised 2007. Temperament and Soundness are the two KEY elements in a good family companion; they must not be sacrificed for any reason.
General Appearance: The Australian Labradoodle should be athletic and graceful, yet compact, with substance and medium boning. Joyful and energetic when free, soft and quiet when handled. They should approach people in a happy friendly manner with eye to eye contact. Keen to learn and easy to train. They have a free-flowing wavy or curly coat that does not shed and is possibly non-allergenic.
Size: Sizes are still “somewhat inconsistent” with no definition between male and female at this time. Accurate prediction of size, even by an experienced breeder, is not expected at this time. Size is measured to the top of the shoulder blades (withers) while standing squarely on a level surface.
Much care is needed when breeding both large and small dogs. Large dogs can suffer from rapid growth that can lead to structural problems. Soundness is of utmost importance. Oversize is a major fault. Care must be taken to keep the miniature Australian Labradoodle a solid athletic robust dog. The dwarfing of dogs can lead to many genetic and temperament disorders. Minimum size attention is of the utmost importance to maintain a healthy little dog. Most Australian Labradoodles will weigh more than their height reflects.
STANDARD: 21″ TO 24″ The “Ideal” size for a standard female is 21 to 23 inches and for a male 22 to 24 inches. The weight range tends to be 50 to 65 pounds.
MEDIUM: 17″ TO 20″ The “Ideal” size for a medium female is 17 to 19 inches and for a male 19 to 20 inches. The weight range tends to be 30 to 40 pounds.
MINIATURE: 14″TO 16″ The “Ideal” size for a miniature is 14 to 16 inches with no correlation between height and sex of the miniature Australian Labradoodle. The weight range tends to be 16 to 25 pounds.
Body: Height (to wither) to length (from sternum to point of buttock) should appear square and compact. Shoulders should have good angulation with firm elbows held close to the rib cage. Hindquarters should be of medium angulation with short strong hocks. The topline should remain level with strong loin and level croup. Flanks should rise up from a brisket set just below the elbows, but should not be excessively deep. Ribs should be well sprung but not barreled. Overall, the dog should appear square, be balanced, athletic, and with good muscling.
Movement: When trotting should be purposeful, strong, and elastic, with good reach and drive, giving the appearance of “going somewhere”. When happy, relaxed, or at play will prance and skim the ground lightly. Excessive tightness in the hips will produce a stilted action and is considered a fault.
Tail: Set relatively high and preferred to be carried in a saber, can be carried below the topline or “gaily” above. Curled possum-type tails are undesirable.
Head: Sculptured, broad, well-defined eyebrows, medium stop, eyes set well apart, nose to stop slightly longer than stop to occiput. Foreface shorter than the skull. The head should be clean and chiseled and fully coated as on the body, legs, and tail. The Muzzle is measured from the tip of the nose to the stop. The skull is measured from the occiput to the stop and does not include the muzzle.
Ears: Set moderately flat against the head, the base should be level with the eye. Leather should be of medium thickness and when gently drawn forward should reach the top canine tooth. Ear leather reaching beyond the tip of the nose is considered a severe fault. Ear canals should be free of excessive hair, and not thick and bulbous. When inquisitive and alert the ear set should rise to the top of the head. Thick/heavy ear leather is a fault.
Eyes: “Slightly” round, large and expressive, always offering eye to eye contact when engaged in activity with a human. Protruding or sunken eyes are a fault. Watery or tearful eyes are a fault. Wide, round, or narrow almond-shaped eyes are considered a fault.
Eye Color: Eye color should complement and blend with the face color. Black, Blue, Red, Dark Chocolate, and Silver dogs must have dark brown eyes. All shades of Cafe’, Milk Chocolate, Gold/Apricot, Cream, and Chalk should have dark hazel to brown eyes if they have black pigment. Caramel and dogs with rose pigment may have either dark eyes or “ghost” eyes. Ghost is a hazel color range much the same as it is in humans. Flecking with different shades of hazel with green and blue/green makes this eye color quite unique. Ghost eyes must always remain soft in appearance. Cold staring expressionless appearance in all eye colors is a severe fault.
Teeth: Scissor bite only is acceptable, being neither undershot nor overshot. Miniatures must not have crowding teeth.
Nose: Large square and fleshy. Pigment: Black or Rose. Pigment should be strong. Black pigment dogs must have dark brown eyes. Pink spots or patches on the nose, lips, eye rims, or pads are a fault. Dogs with rose pigment can have dark hazel, brown, or ghost eyes. Eye rims should be rose as should the nose, lips and pads. Pink spots or patches are a severe fault. Rose should be a rich liver color.
Neck: The firm, well-muscled neck should be moderately long, slightly arched, and flow into the well-angled shoulders with no appearance of abruptness. The neck should not be coarse nor stumpy and should lend an air of elegance to the dog. A short thick neck is a fault.
Color: Any solid color including Cafe’ and Silver is preferred. Minimal white on the chest and toes is acceptable. Light, chalky, coarse hairs (kemp), sprinkled through a dark coat is permissible but very undesirable. Parti (patched) and Phantoms, are acceptable colors. Parti can be any color (except Phantom) with white on face, head and/or body. Phantoms are any shading or two-tone coloration such as a Black dog with lower legs showing a soft toning of silver or gold or a dog born dark with a golden shading at the roots or a slight brindling effect. True, pure solid colors, with the exception of Silver and Cafe’ are highly prized and are the ideal for the Australian Labradoodle. It is normal that all colors may show bleaching and discoloration over the top coat. This is called sunning and is quite expected and acceptable, as the Australian Labradoodle is an active dog and often a service dog that enjoys the outdoors. Weather bleaching or sunning must not be penalized.
The Breed Standard of Colors
Gold has also been referred to as “Apricot” should be the color of the inside of a ripe apricot to varying shades of rich Gold in color. A true Gold should not have a lighter root than the outer coat and preferable have an even coloration over the entire body. This color may fade as the dog grows older. Nose pigment to be black in color.
Caramel a rich Gold/Apricot very much the color of its namesake – caramel through to a deep red – must have rose pigment.
Red a solid, even, rich red color which should have no sprinkling of other colored fibers throughout the coat. A true Red must not be lighter at the roots than at the tips of the coat. Red can fade somewhat with age, and senior dogs showing paling of coat should not be penalized.
Chalk should be a white color but when compared to white is rather a chalky-white in color. Nose pigment to be black or rose. Chalk dogs with brown/rose noses are sometimes referred to as Caramel Ice.
Cream should be a creamy coloring sometimes with apricot/gold tinting, all shades of cream are acceptable. Nose pigment to be black or rose. Cream dogs with brown/rose noses are sometimes referred to as Caramel Cream.
Black should be a solid with no sprinkling of any other color through the coat. Nose pigment to be black. Blue Black should be a dark to medium smoky blue in color. Blues are born black but will have a blue/grey skin pigment. The blue coat color will develop over time (1-3yrs) but as a developed adult should have an even coat color. Nose pigment to be blue/grey (matching the skin pigmentation). Rare color group.
Silver born Black but will have more of a grey skin and will develop individual silver fibers at a young age. Silver dogs can take up to 3 years to color out and become a beautiful smoky grey through to a light iridescent platinum and varying shades in between at adulthood. Uneven layering of color in the silver is normal.
Chocolate should be a dark and rich in color. True chocolates are born almost black in color and maintain the rich dark color throughout their lifetime. Color should be even. Nose pigment to be rose in color (matching the coat color). Rare color group.
Cafe’ born milk chocolate of varying shades, and have the same gene as the silver dogs, often taking up to 3 years to fully color out to multi shades of chocolate, silvery chocolate and silver throughout. When given plenty of time in the sunshine, they develop stunning highlights.
Lavender a definite, even smoky lavender chocolate, giving almost pink/lilac appearance. Lavender dogs are born Chocolate and can be difficult to distinguish at a young age. Any other color throughout the Lavender is highly undesirable. True Lavender belongs to the Rare Color Group.
Parchments are born milk chocolate, will pale to a smoky creamy beige. Paling usually starts from an early age often as early as 6 weeks. As adults they can be mistaken for dark smoky Cream from a distance. Parchment belongs to the Rare Color Group.
Partis are at least fifty percent white, with spots or patches of any other above solid color. The head can be of a solid color but white muzzle, blaze, or white muzzle/blaze combination (preferably symmetrical) are equally acceptable. Full or partial saddles are acceptable, as long as they do not exceed the color proportion, but are not preferred. Ticking in the white of the coat is acceptable but not preferred. Nose pigment to match the solid color requirements as listed above.
Phantoms have a solid base color with sharply defined markings of a second color appearing above each eye, on the sides of the muzzle, on the throat and chest, or in a chin and chest bowtie pattern as well as on all four legs and feet, and below the tail. A phantom without clearly defined face markings or one that presents with its whole face colored in the second color is acceptable, as long as it maintains all the other specified body markings. Any combination of acceptable colors is allowed. Nose pigment should follow requirements listed above based on the solid base color. Less than fifty percent white, with the remaining percent any other acceptable solid color.
Brindles should have an even and equal distribution of the composite colors with layering of black hairs in regions of lighter color (usually, chalk/cream/gold/red, café/lavender/parchment, or silver) producing a tiger-striped pattern. (rare color group)
Sables have coats represented by black-tipped hairs on a background of any solid color, with no particular pattern/location designated for such hairs.
A sincere thank you to the Australian Labradoodle Association of Australia for the use of it photos and to our members that submitted phots.
COLOR PATTERN REQUIREMENTS:
Apricot/Gold, Red, Black, Silver and Blue – must have black pigment
Caramel, Chocolate, Cafe’, Parchment and Lavender – must have rose pigment
Chalk – (appears white but when compared to a true white it is a chalky white) – may have rose or black pigment
Cream and Apricot Cream – (all shades and combinations of cream shades are acceptable) – may have rose or black pigment
While there is truly no hypo-allergenic dog breed, some dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms. This is often attributed to the lack of shedding or very little shedding thereby not leaving allergens in the air to react to.
The Australian Labradoodle Coat currently comes in two textures, fleece or wool.
Fleece Coat: Length is usually around 5 inches long. The Fleece coat texture should be light and silky. Appearing “to contain a silky lanolin”, the fleece coat can be from loosely waved giving an almost straight appearance to deeply waved. Kemp ( Short, coarse, brittle hairs ) is often found around the eyes and topline. The absence of kemp is highly prized. Fleece coats, straight or wavy, rarely if ever shed. A slight shedding may occur and may be determined to the degree of wavy / curly. During the age of 8-12 months, during the adolescent/maturing time you will need to groom your fleece every week. After this “transition” period, the coat will settle down and maintenance will return to normal, requiring a comb out at least once a week. The fleece coat has been found to be allergy friendly.
Wool Coat: Wool coats are more dense to the feel like a sheep’s wool. The “Ideal” wool coat should “hang” in loose hollow spirals. Most wool coats are still exhibiting a good texture but take the appearance of a Spring not a Spiral. The spring wool coat is not desirable. A thick (dense) coat is also not desirable. The Australian Labradoodle has a single coat. Both the Fleece and the Wool coat should naturally grow in “staples” and be of a soft texture. Both the “Ideal” Fleece and Wool coats spin successfully. Hair coats (Hair texture that shed) is a fault and are undesirable. It is extremely rare for a wool coat to shed, and is the preferred coat type for families with severe allergies. To keep the wool coat long and flowing will require more maintenance. The wool coat looks beautiful cut shorter and is very easy to maintain. Grooming and a trim or clip every five to six week is all that is required to keep the short wool coat looking great.
Originally, Labradoodles were bred using only two breeds – Labrador Retriever and Poodle. This type of breeding is still being done today by many people and is now considered the American version of the Labradoodle. It is identified by the below type designations:
F-1 = A first generation Labradoodle created by breeding a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle.
F-1b = A F-1 bred back to a poodle.
F-2 = A first generation Labradoodle bred back to another first generation Labradoodle
But many years ago, breeders in Australia, Tegan Park Breeding & Research Centre and Rutland Manor Breeding &Research Centre were trying to consistently produce allergy friendly dogs starting with this formula. They believed that working with only two breeds was too limiting and began infusing other breeds into the recipe. Slowly, through careful breeding and a keen eye for mutations of the genes that would produce the desired results, the centers began to have consistent success using up to six different breeds. Angela Cunningham of Tegan Park and Beverley Manors of Rutland Manor are the co-founders of the Australian Labradoodle. Together they have built a breed type that has taken the world by storm.
The name Labradoodle was retained because the foundation is and will always be the Labrador and Poodle. But, in order to differentiate between lab/poodle cross breeds and the dogs that were developed by the aforementioned breeding centers in Australia, the term Australian Labradoodle is now being used in America and Cobberdog (Companion dog) in Australia.
The Australian Labradoodle Club of America (A.L.C.A) is the Premier club, dedicated to preserving and continuing the work that was done by the founders of the breed. We are focused on the development of the Australian Labradoodle in America and working to maintain the temperament, conformation, coats and allergy friendly traits that make these dogs so special.
The Infusion of foundation breeds ceased in 2010. After which, Australian Labradoodle to Australian Labradoodle, is the preferred breeding and the only one accepted as a Pure Breed in development, by the ALCA. Which means, no dogs with infusions after 2010 can be considered a Pure Bred Australian Labradoodle. However, those previously accepted after 2010 are on track to become pure bred Australian Labradoodles.
There are other “doodles” that may look the same, but nothing beats the Authentic Australian Labradoodle, which is non-shedding, allergy friendly, consistent in temperament and form, highly intelligent with great eye contact, companion oriented and very therapeutic in nature. No matter the size, all Authentic Australian labradoodles share the same traits. Below is the acceptable grading scale for the Australian Labradoodle.
Below is a list of dogs not able to be registered as Australian Labradoodles.
Doodles identified as F1, F1b, F2, Double Doodle, Merles, Wheaten Terrier, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Cobberdog, CockaPoo, Poodle, or any labradoodle with a new infusion of any breed cannot be registered with ALCA as a pure breed Australian Labradoodle.
A dog that has a F1, F1b, or F2 on one side and an Australian Labradoodle on the other side, will not be registered as Australian Labradoodles. Australian Labradoodles are to be bred to Australian Labradoodles in order to be identified as Authentic Australian labradoodles or, the infusion must have occurred before 2011.
The ALCA no longer accepts infusions that were not already in the ALCA database as of 12/31/2010. Only infusions from those dogs registered within our database prior to 01/01/2011, are allowed to be registered. Offspring of those earlier infusions are also allowed to be registered. We did have some dogs registered with us that had infusions after the above date and so we have a different grading classification for those dogs. Their registration # will start with “wi”.
One side of the doodles pedigree must date back to Rutland Manor or Tegan Park.