Labradoodle Q&A

What is the difference between an F1, F1B and the various types of Australian Labradoodles? How are Labradoodles graded?

F1: The "F" stands for "filial generation". "F1" means "first generation" and is a common scientific term. This, in the Labradoodle breed, is the coding for first-cross, purebred poodle to purebred Labrador Retriever. The results are mixed, as this is not the breeding of two "like" dogs, or dogs that resemble each other. F1 Labradoodles typically are moderate- to low- shedding and have a sparse-hair to fleece coat.

F1B: The additional “B” refers to backcross — an F1 Labradoodle, as defined above, bred (or backcrossed) to a purebred Poodle. Again, the results are mixed, as this is not the breeding of two "like" dogs. F1B Labradoodles typically are low- to non-shedding (or as much as any dog can be non-shedding) and often have a hair or fleece coat.

Australian Labradoodle: The Australian Labradoodle carries the DNA of the Labrador, Poodle, and Cocker Spaniel (American or English). The resulting offspring share characteristics, though some pairings of parent dogs will produce a more mixed litter. An Australian Labradoodle can be created by crossing a Poodle to another Australian Labradoodle, a Cockapoo to a Labradoodle, a Labradoodle to a Cocker Spaniel and the like, resulting in the three-breed combination. Australian Labradoodles typically have a non-shedding coat (again, as much as any dog can be non-shedding) if both parents are non-shedding.

Multigen Australian Labradoodle (Multigenerational): A Multigenerational (Multigen) Australian Labradoodle comes about from the breeding of one Australian Labradoodle to another. Multigen Australian Labradoodles typically have a non-shedding coat (as much as a dog can be non shedding) if both parents are also non shedding.

Purebred Australian Labradoodle: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary first defined “purebred” in 1852 as “bred from members of a recognized breed, strain, or kind without admixture of other blood over many generations.” The AKC, meanwhile, requires four generations of like-to-like matings in their foundation service.

What is the difference between a Labradoodle and an Australian Labradoodle?

Labradoodle is the result of breeding the Labrador Retriever to a Poodle, Labradoodle to Poodle, or Labradoodle to Labradoodle. In other words, the Labradoodle has DNA from the Labrador Retriever and Poodle breeds only. Caroline Colie’s description of the Labradoodle in "Designer Dogs, Portraits and Profiles of Popular New Crossbreeds" (page 89) says it best:

“This is one celebrity canine who doesn’t read his own press — and with his rave reviews, he doesn’t need to. Easygoing and self-assured, the Labradoodle is a modest mister who’s just happy to hang out with his friends.

He’s a self-made bloke, the Cary Grant of designer dogs. Born of working –class Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle parents,” (the smaller sizes have miniature poodle) “his destiny seemed laid out ahead of him as a working dog. Though he was good at his job, his handsome looks and winning personality propelled him to greater fame, and soon he was on the A-list of every chic club in town.

The Labradoodle doesn’t let celebrity go to his head, however. He’s a gregarious fellow who doesn’t judge people by their position. Actually, he’s more interested in whether their car has four-wheel drive, so he can get where he wants to go. He’s a nature lover, with a special interest in waterfowl, thanks to his outdoorsy parents.

This is a casual guy who won’t mind sloshing thorough puddles without rain gear, and in fact prefers it. He’ll think nothing of showing up with a bandanna around his neck and his hair still wet from a swim. But he cleans up so well, he can easily switch from a down-home kerchief at the beach to a diamond-studded collar at dinner. He likes his sports, and is happy hobnobbing at the polo grounds (or just lounging on the sofa watching NASCAR). But he'd rather participate than watch, and his idea of paradise is a day at the beach chasing a ball, catching a curl, or snoozing in the shade, beach-bum style.

Despite his full social calendar, he always seems able to squeeze in one more play date, especially with his favorite partners-kids. And you’ll need to make sure he gets plenty of exercise every day.” (A Labradoodle temperament is typically the reflection of his parents' high energy or laid back temperament) “Labradoodles don’t tire easily, and unless he’s truly tuckered out, he can become creative in ways you don’t really want to find out about.”

Labradoodle can be standard, medium or miniature in size, although use of Toy Poodles is not recommended. All colors of the Poodle can be found in the Labradoodle. Coat types range from straight to wavy, kinky to a spiraling curl. Coat texture ranges from harsh wool to softer fleece (though not as silky as the fleece of the Australian Labradoodle) to hair coats (slightly longer but more like a Labrador coat). Dogs with non-shedding or low-shedding fleece and wool coats should be brushed weekly to prevent matting, and they should be groomed every other month. Dogs with hair coats, which do shed, require less grooming.

We return to Caroline Colie’s “Designer Dogs, Portraits and Profiles of Popular New Crossbreeds,” as it offers a wonderful description of the Australian Labradoodle. Thank you, Dr. Colie!

"One of the first breeds on the designer-dog scene, this fella has rocked his way to international stardom. Whether you’re up for some Aussie rules football, or just snuggling and having a cuppa, this bloke’s always game.

The land Down Under used to be best known for kangaroos and boomerangs, but that was before the Australian Labradoodle wagged his tail onto the scene. This dinky di poch isn’t your average designer dog. In fact, he’s technically not a standard hybrid. He started off as a simple cross of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, but then the recipe got complicated. A dash of Irish Water Spaniel, a dollop of Curly Coated Retriever” (these two are no longer used and not in all pedigrees), "and a sprinkling of English and/or American Cocker Spaniels went into the mix. Now the breed has worldwide clubs, such as the International Labradoodle Association”(Now the ALAA, The Australian Labradoodle Association of America) “working to promote the Australian Labradoodle as a legitimate breed in development.

Greeting everyone with tail-wag semaphore for “G’day, mate,” Aussie Labradoodles are friends to all, more likely to invite a burglar in to fire up the Barbie than they are to scare him away. If you have a game to play or a walkabout to take, he’s an instant chum. He may even dazzle you with his “kangadoodle,” a vertical jump that launches him up among the stars — where he belongs, of course.

Once back on the ground, he’s equally athletic and energetic, and loves to run, swim and fetch. Great in the outdoors, this ‘Doodle is less suited to the city (unless you can devote your entire life to running and throwing balls).” [Please note that Australian Labradoodles are a reflection of their parents — some are total couch potatoes; others are marathon runners]

“But he’s more than a star jock. He’s smart and actually likes having a job to do. He’s a gifted retriever, an enthusiastic obedience dog, and a successful service dog. In fact, he was first developed as a guide dog for the blind."

Australian Labradoodles
 can be standard, medium or miniature in size. All colors of the poodle can be found in the Australian Labradoodle. Coat types run from wavy-straight to a spiraling curl. Coat textures include wool, soft wool, silky fleece or a combination of the three. Dogs with non-shedding or low-shedding fleece and wool coats should be brushed weekly to prevent matting, and they should be groomed every other month.

Finding an experienced Labradoodle groomer is difficult! The best way to get the results you want is to print photos of your desired look and take them to the groomer. Show your groomer the ALAA Grooming Video and printed instructions found on the ALAA home page:

What is an American Labradoodle?

Your guess is as good as ours! The ALAA does not recognize the term “American Labradoodle.” The Labradoodle originated in Australia. Some novice breeders choose this term incorrectly to describe a lab/poodle cross.

What is hybrid vigor, and does it apply to labradoodles or Australian Labradoodles?

Breeders use the term “hybrid vigor” to illustrate the fact that breeding two different purebred dogs results in healthier offspring. Genetically speaking, this applies only to health issues not inherent in both breeds in the initial cross. Because Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels share many health issues, hybrid vigor does not apply. Visit the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals) link to learn more about health issues common to these breeds:

Fortunately, out-crossing (breeding unrelated pedigrees together) also results in healthier offspring, and this perk does apply to purebred Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels, as these breeds do not have common ancestors.

What are common health issues in Labradoodles and Australian Labradoodles?

The Labradoodle and Australian Labradoodle are generally considered healthy dogs, but breeders should screen for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, as well as other general health issues. Please see our health testing requirements for ALAA Member Breeders to learn more about Labradoodle health issues and what the ALAA is doing to tackle them:

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