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Breed Standards

BREED STANDARDS

As re-printed from International Labradoodle Association, Inc.


In the development of the Australian Labradoodle, it should be the goal of every serious breeder to do their best to safeguard the health status and integrity of the Australian Labradoodle for future generations. Testing for hereditary unsoundness in breeding stock will go a long way toward this goal and although it is no guarantee of the health in their progeny, it should be accepted practice by every breeder to health test their dogs.

Breeders recognize that not all Australian Labradoodles will meet the criteria in this Breed Standard especially in respect to coat type.  It is therefore a guideline which breeders breed toward as they pass through the generations to the ideal.  Conformation is not designated for eye appeal but is necessary to preserve soundness in limbs and joints and overall physical health.

General Appearance
The Australian Labradoodle comes in three sizes:  Standard (largest) @ 50 pounds or more, Medium @30 to 49 pounds, and Miniature (smallest) up to 29 pounds.  There should be no appreciable difference in the general appearance in any of the three sizes.
 
The Australian Labradoodle is a compact dog, not exceptionally boxy nor long bodied.  A galloping dog which gives the impression of light footed athleticism and joyful bearing.  They have medium to light boning, are graceful in movement and have a vivacious expression.  Coat should be non shedding, be of even length over body, on legs neck, tail and head, and should be as close to non allergenic as possible.  Their unique traits of intuitive nature and the seeking of human eye contact should be easily discernible at a glance.  Easily amenable to training.

Sizes
The Standard size Labradoodle is 21 - 24 + inches and weighs between 50 and 88 + pounds.

The Medium size Labradoodle is 17 - 20 inches and weighs between 30 and 49 pounds.

The Miniature Labradoodle is 16 inches or less and weighs less than 30 pounds.

Temperament
Temperament is one of the most important traits of the Australian Labradoodle.  They are confident, joyful, vivacious, clown like, sociable and friendly, totally non-aggressive, clever and extremely intuitive.   They are well suited for special work such as Therapy Dog, Assistance Dog, Hearing or Seizure Alert Dog, Guide Dog.  They can try to outsmart their owners just for fun if not firmly disciplined when young.  The Australian Labradoodles respond well to positive training methods.  They are loyal and devoted to their family.  Most love water and are natural swimmers and retrievers.  They are affectionate and loving, active and athletic when free but should 'melt' into mellowness when touched by human hands.

Disqualifying Faults
Timidity, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness to either people or other animals are all serious disqualifying faults and dogs exhibiting these traits should not be bred.

Movement
First impression should be of a dog whose feet seem to hardly touch the ground.  Light, graceful, athletic.  When trotting, should have the appearance of 'going somewhere' with energy and effortless drive and purpose looking like they are dancing.  When galloping, they should appear to float almost above the ground…light and airy, flowing and free moving with a complete absence of apparent effort.

Body
Height to length ratio should be as ten is to twelve, being slightly longer in leg than deep in body, but still looking compact.  Level top line, strong over loins and slightly sloping croup and with sloping shoulders flowing into firm elbows and front legs straight to the ground.  Straight upright shoulders are a fault as are straight stifles.  Stifles should have medium angulation and be long, with short strong hocks parallel and straight to the ground. Cow hocks are a fault as are toes turning either inwards or outwards.  They are a galloping dog, so flanks should rise to a medium tuck up, from deep brisket and well sprung ribs.

Head
The head should be in proportion to the rest of the body, being neither too blocky, nor too fine or chiseled.  Medium stop, length from nose to eyes should be slightly longer than length from eyes to occiput.  Skull should be slightly rounded but not domed.  Forehead medium breadth, muzzle not snipey, but should have depth and breadth.  Weak under jaw should be penalized.  The head should flow naturally into a strong slightly curved and muscular neck and not appear to be 'stuck on.' Long narrow head is a fault.

Ears
Should be wide apart and low set, below or level with the eyes and hanging flat against the sides of the head. The inner ear canal should not be too heavily coated.  Ear 'leather' should be thinner rather than thick and spongy.
 
Eyes
Should be wide set, large and expressive, lustrous or sparkling, oval to round, and must not bulge (as in the Pekinese for example).  Expression to be lively, curious, full of fun and intuitive looking seeking human eye contact.

Eye colors
Eye Color can be darkest brown, a transparent honey color, or shades of hazel.  Wall or china eyes are not permissible.  Protruding eyes, sunken or watery eyes are a fault. (Note that puppies may sometimes have tear stained eyes during teething).

Nose
Large square and fleshy in appearance.  Must never be narrow or pointed.  Brown colored dogs must have 'rose' or 'liver' colored noses and can never be black.  Reds must have black noses.  Other colors may have any of the above, depending on the colors they themselves carry in their ancestry.

Teeth
Scissor bite means that the upper teeth should fit closely over the tops of the lower teeth.  Gaps between upper and lower teeth are a fault.  Undershot mouths (where the lower teeth extend beyond the upper teeth) are a fault.  Overshot mouths (where the upper teeth extend beyond the lower teeth) are a fault.  Crowded teeth in the adult dog are a fault especially in Miniatures.

Tail
Ideally saber shaped as in the Labrador Retriever.  But during the formative years of the breed the tail may be carried gaily and swirling over the back.  Kinked tails are not permissible.  Tails must not be docked.

Feet
Foot pads should be thick and deep and close together.  Weak 'hare's feet' are a fault.  There should be a definite 'ankle' between the feet and legs.  Front dewclaws may be removed although it is not necessary.  It is rare for an Australian Labradoodle to have hind dewclaws but if puppies are born with them, they must be removed at two to three days old.

Pigment
Must be strong in all colors.  Browns must have liver or rose pigment.  Apricots and Reds must have black pigment.  Missing pigment around the eyes, or spots or patches of white or pink on the nose, eye rims, lips or pads are not permissible.

Coat
As the Australian Labradoodle develops through the generations there are many coat types from short sparse hairy coats, to long flowing hair coats, to wooly curly coats.  But the ideal is the non shedding Wavy Fleece or Curly Wool Coat, which must not shed, is allergy friendly to the vast majority of persons with dog related allergies and which has no doggy odor.  The coat is one of the unique features of this breed and must be a priority coming close behind health & sound temperament.

The Fleece Coat
Fleece coats have a distinctly soft fleecy 'feel' like no other dog coat.  It should be a single coat, with a complete absence of fluffy undercoat.  Ideally it should not be too thick, nor fuzzy, but should hang in loose loopy spirals similar to that of the angora goat.  Length is around four to six inches, on body, tail, head and face and on the legs. A 'change' of coat is permissible from puppy to adult and due to hormonal changes in entire females.  This should not shed itself out, but needs to be stripped out with grooming.

The Wool Curly Coat
The Wool Curly Coat feels similar to that of a pure bred Poodle and will often be quite tightly curled.  It should be the breeders' goal to breed a looser curl than that of the Poodle in the interest of lower maintenance. 

Colors
Black, Silver, Cream, Apricot/Cream, (Cream with Apricot ears and tonings), Chalk {milky almost white), Gold, Red, Apricot, Browns may be known as either Chocolate or Cafe.  Cafes are usually born Chocolate and pale with age.  They may also show gold or bronze highlights or tips to the coat from exposure to sunlight.  Reds and Apricots may pale with age.  Silvers are born Black and silver out with age.  Blacks with Silver in their
Ancestry may have a sprinkling of silver hairs through their coat with maturity.  Blacks with Brown in their ancestry may have brownish tonings on faces and legs.  Any color may have a small flash of white on the chest which should not be penalized.

Serious Faults
Hyperactivity, shyness, timidity, aggressive to people or other animals, snappy, yappy, high strung, missing pigment, overshot, undershot or crowded mouths, patched color, kinked tails, weak or 'hare' feet, heavy or ponderous build, cow hocks, dippy backs.

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