Temperament and soundness are the two key elements in a good family companion; they must not be sacrificed for any reason.
Breed standard for the Australian Labradoodle
As established by Tegan Park and Rutland Manor Breeding & Research Centers in Australia and adopted by the Australian Labradoodle Club of America 2005 revised 2007.
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 the large and small dogs. Large dogs can suffer from rapid growth that can lead to structural problems. Soundness is of utmost importance. Over size 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. 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. 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. Weight tends to be 16 to 25 pounds.
Body: Height (to wither) to length (from sternum to 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. Top line 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 that 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 lightly longer than stop to occiput. Foreface shorter than skull. The head should be clean and chiseled and fully coated as on the body, leg 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, base should be level with the eye. Leather should be of medium thickness and when drawn gently 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 eyes are considered a fault.
Eye Color: Eye color should compliment 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 of 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 and green and a blue/green make 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 or overshot. Miniatures mist not have crowding teeth.
Nose: Large square and fleshy. Pigment: Black or Rose. Black pigment dogs must have dark brown eyes. Pink spots on 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 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 course 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 in 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, though undesirable, are considered an acceptable color. 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 exception of Silver or 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 Excellence colors are:
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 ream shades are acceptable) - may have rose or black pigment
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.
Apricot/Gold: The color of a ripe apricot on the inside. A true Apricot must not be lighter at the roots than at the tips of the coat. It can come in varying shades and may fade as the dog grows older. Senior dogs should not be penalized for paling of coat.
Blue: A dark to medium smoky Blue. Blue also belongs to the Rare Color Group. Blue dogs are born black but will have Blue Skin and undertonings at a young age. Any other color throughout the Blue is undesirable.
Silver: Born black but will have ore 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 gray through to a light iridescent platinum and varying shades in between at adulthood. Uneven layering of color in the silver is normal.
Chocolate: Dark and rich, born almost black, may maintain a dark chocolate throughout their lifetime. Most chocolates lighten up to a variety of chocolate shades. Most chocolates will turn cafe over time. A true chocolate is a rare color.
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 dogs belong to the Rare Color Group.
Parchment: 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.
Coat: Coat types are also still very sporadic with many dogs showing a combination of multiple types. As the genetic values stabilize, we hope the "ideal" coats are as follows:
Fleece: Length is usually around 5 inches long. The Fleece coat texture should be light and silky quite similar to that of an angora goat. Appearing "to contain a silky lanolin", the fleece coat can be from loosely waved giving an almost straight appearance to deeply waved. Kemp is often found around the eyes and topline. The absence of kemp is highly prized. Fleece coats rarely if ever shed. A slight shedding may occur and may be determined to the degree of wavy/curly. The less curly, the more chance of slight shedding. During the age of 8 - 12 months, during the adolescent/maturing time you will need to groom your fleece every week. After the "transition" period, the coat will settle down and maintenance will return to normal, requiring a comb out very 3 - 4 weeks. The fleece coat has been found to be allergy friendly.
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 sprung 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 three or four times a year is all that is required to keep the short wool coat looking great.
For a complete listing of the Breed Standard for the Australian Labradoodle Association of America, please visit their website at www.ilainc.com