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Breeding Standard Parent Breed Grading Scheme

Breeding Standard

Breed standard indicates the ideal image of the AL that defined sizes, coats and colors. Each item below shows the goals that should be aimed for and the standard that should be considered for breeding of the AL.

Australian Labradoodle Standard

General Appearance
The AL should be athletic and graceful with a compact body displaying a moderately-boned body.
They should not be clumsy, dense nor overly sensitive.
A distinctive feature of this breed is their coat which is non-shedding and easy to manage.

They should be extremely clever, sociable, comical, joyful, and energetic when free and soft and quiet when handled.
They should approach people in a happy and friendly manner, and should be enthusiastic and easy to train. They must be able to display an intuition for their family member’s or handler’s current emotional state and needs. This ability to know made the AL wonderful dog for individuals with special needs.

Body to wither as to length (from sternum to buttock) is square and compact. Deep chest well sprung. They can easily tuck their body up. Loins should be strong and muscular.

The entire head is proportional to the body size, and should be moderately broad with well-defined eyebrows. The head develops modestly.
Stop (a dent between the muzzle and the upper head) should be appropriate and eyes are set well apart. The fore face (under eyes) looks shorter than the head.
The head should be clear-cut, and the cheeks should not be fleshy.

Large, expressive, and slightly rounded.

Set slightly above eye level and laying flat against the head. The leather of the ear should have medium thickness and should not hang below the lip line. Excessive hair in the ear canal is undesirable.

Must be a scissor bite (the upper teeth to just overlaps the bottom teeth).

Should be large, fleshy, and well squared.

Must be a scissor bite. Undershot or overshot will be a major fault.
Crowding teeth in miniatures will be a fault.

Blade bones and upper arms should be the same length, and the shoulders should be well laid back.
Elbows are positioned close to the body, and the forelegs should be straight when viewed from the front. Toeing in or out will be a fault.

The croup must be almost flat when viewed from the side, but slight slope will be accepted.
The stifle joint should be moderately turned forward, and the hock joint to heels should be perpendicular to the ground.
Hindquarters is muscled for power for movement, but they should be parallel to each other when viewed from the rear side. They should not be cow-hocked.

The feet are of medium size and well-arched with elastic and thick pads and round toes.
The feet should not turn in or out.

The tail should not curl completely over the back when in repose or in cheerful motion.
The entire tail should not curl even if the tip of the tail touches the back.

Should have a good reach in front and drive from behind when the dogs run. Mature dogs can do it smoothly, powerfully, and beautifully without effort.
Quiet movement and light gait are essential.

Sign of inability to walk properly should be a fault.
Male should have two normal testicles in the scrotum. Female should have a normally formed vulva.

Characteristics for Disqualification

The tail should not curl completely over the back when in repose or in cheerful motion.
The entire tail should not curl even if the tip of the tail touches the back.

  • Aggression or dominance will be heavily penalized
  • Fearful, timid, yappy or volatile temperaments
  • Coats are not fleece or wool, but harsh hair, or any sign of undercoat
  • Short or overly thick neck
  • A coat with shedding (*Coats may be instable during hormonal changes in fertile bitches)
  • Tails which look like possum (a mouse-like marsupial which inhabits in Australia) or teapot handle
  • A long narrow or block head
  • Protruding or sunken eyes
  • Watery or tearful eyes
  • Over or undershot or pincer mouth
  • Long back
  • Crowding teeth
  • Bad movement or heavy gait
  • Monorchid or inverted vulva
  • Cow-hock, turning into the inside
  • Toeing in or out
  • Achromia is a condition for disqualification
  • Over or under sized is a major fault

Parent Breed

In mid 2004 it was announced that the Australian Labradoodle was not just a Labrador x Poodle cross but was a breed in its own right developed over many years with particular goals in mind.

To accomplish these goals further development was done with parent breed infusions added to the already blooming Labrador x Poodle cross lines. The developers of the breed sought out the best way in which to compliment the Australian Labradoodle breed, and to develop the qualities that we find and love in these dogs.

In 1997 the very first Australian Labradoodle Breed Standard was written which reflected these goals. The ALA publicly acknowledge and recognize at the ALA’s October 2004 Annual General Meeting the six different parent breeds used in the further development of the Australian Labradoodle.

The Confirmed and Approved Parent Breeds of the Australian Labradoodle are as follows:

  1. Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy)
  2. Labrador Retriever
  3. Irish Water Spaniel
  4. Curly Coated Retriever
  5. American Cocker Spaniel
  6. English Cocker Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel was the first non-Poodle/Labrador used in the development of the Australian Labradoodle. The main goal of this parent breed infusion was to produce the rich chocolate color in the Australian Labradoodle that you now see today without losing the Allergy and Asthma friendly coat.

The Curly Coated Retriever followed bringing back some of the “Retriever” qualities into the Australian Labradoodle. While the Curley Coated Retriever was able to bring in some positive “Retriever” qualities they also brought in some negative qualities such as the shorter hair on the face and muzzle of the dogs. In the Australian Labradoodle breed this trait has become known as an “Open Face”. Also noted as a negative point was aloofness, the trait that should be bred away from.

Miniature poodle was also used to develop the miniature size (13-17 inches) in the Australian Labradoodle.

The English and American Cocker Spaniel are the last recognized Parent Breeds of the Australian Labradoodle. The Cocker gave the miniature size the boning/stockiness that was being lost simply by size management with miniature poodles. The negatives that are now being bred away from are domed heads, long ears, and shedding coats.

Parent Breeds of the Australian Labradoodle that were used for breed development and approved are only six breed listed above. AL didn’t recognize any other breed.

Grading Scheme

The revised edition of the ALA 2009 Grading Scheme for purebred Australian Labradoodles is available as a download only.

Grading Scheme (pdf)