Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
Labradoodles are many people’s favorite Labrador Retriever cross thanks to the unique coat coming from the Poodle parent. Did you know, however, that there are different types of Labradoodles out there? Let’s go over the highly controversial comparison of Australian Labradoodle vs American Labradoodle – which is the right Doodle for you?
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Australian Labradoodle vs American Labradoodle Comparison
Labradoodles are quite a popular mix between Labrador Retrievers and Poodles. These two common dog breeds are similar in a lot of ways which gives the Labradoodle a great consistency particularly as far as its personality is concerned. Both labs and Poodles are a water retriever breed, both are very social, smart, and easily trainable.
The main difference between the two, of course, is the exact body shape and coat type. Poodles are famous for their hypoallergenic and only lightly shedding hair. Whereas labs have a dense double-layered coat of fur that offers excellent insulation but also sheds a lot.
This means that the Labradoodle is a fairly consistent mix in almost every aspect other than its fur which can vary a lot. But what exactly is the Australian Labradoodle vs American Labradoodle difference?
What Is An American Labradoodle?
The American Labradoodle is what most people usually think of when they hear or talk about a Labradoodle. A 50/50 mix between a lab and a Poodle, the American Labradoodle is a classic and popular crossbreed.
There’s also the F1b American Labradoodle puppies which are a cross between an American Labradoodle and a purebred Poodle. So, essentially, that’s a 25/75 lab/Poodle mix. F1b Labradoodles are quite liked by many breeders because they have a more consistent Poodle-like coat whereas 50/50 American Labradoodles’ coat can be all over the place.
What Is An Australian Labradoodle?
So, what exactly is the Australian Labradoodle? After all, Labrador Retrievers are an American breed while Poodles are a European breed and they don’t seem to have Australian sub-breed types.
First things first – it’s important to differentiate between the Australian Labradoodle and the Aussiedoodle. The latter is a cross between an Australian shepherd and a Poodle and it has nothing to do with Labrador Retrievers.
That being said, the Australian Labradoodle isn’t exactly a 50/50 lab/Poodle cross either. What makes the Australian Labradoodle special is that it’s a cross with several other breeds as well, including the Curly Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, and Irish Water Spaniel.
So, the Australian Labradoodle actually has much less Labra to go with the Doodle and replaces that with several different Spaniels. Australian breeders have done this largely in an effort to produce a better and more consistent coat. And they have succeeded – Australian Labradoodles are a very consistent breed with very little variation between the different pups.
And here comes another difference between American and Australian Labradoodles – the Aussie ones are much more of a separate “purebred” breed at this point rather than a crossbreed. That’s because Australian breeders have been breeding Australian Labradoodles almost exclusively with other Australian Labradoodles. On the other hand, American Labradoodles are still often either first-generation crossbreeds between purebred labs and Poodles or F1b Labradoodles.
Naturally, all that inbreeding in the Australian Labradoodle pool means not just more breed standard consistency but also a higher probability of health issues. Good breeders are trying their best to avoid such problems but recommend caution when getting an Aussie Labradoodle.
A Summary Of The Difference Between American Labradoodle And Australian Labradoodle
So, let’s go over a quick list of the main differences (or lack thereof) between American Labradoodle vs Australian Labradoodle.
Both American and Australian Labradoodles come in similar sizes – between 14 and 24 inches (35.5 and 61 cm) height at the shoulder, depending on whether the dog is a mini or standard Labradoodle (i.e. its parents are mini or standard Labradors/Poodles). So, the inclusion of Spaniel breeds in the Australian Labradoodle mix hasn’t affected the crossbreed’s size all that much.
This is the main difference between the two crossbreeds and the main reason for the Australian Labradoodle’s existence. The Aussie crossbreed has a much more consistently single-layered and curly coat of hair. The American Labradoodle’s coat, on the other hand, can vary anywhere between a Poodle’s hair and a lab’s double coat.
Shedding and grooming needs
As a consequence of the above point, the shedding and grooming needs of these breeds can vary too. An Australian Labradoodle will shed much less than a purebred lab and will need less grooming overall. An American Labradoodle, on the other hand, can have nearly the exact same coat as a lab and need a lot of grooming. Or, it too can have a Poodle-like coat – it’s quite random.
Personality. A great point here is that the personality of both the American and the Australian Labradoodle is very much excellent. Yes, the Aussie variation has less lab in its family tree but it replaces that with other social, smart, friendly, and easy-to-train breeds so there’s barely a difference to be noticed.
This is a big point of contention and it’s why many American breeders don’t like Australian Labradoodles. The inbreeding that goes into the Aussie crossbreed can lead to some health risks which are further affected by the relatively low number of dogs overall. These risks include issues such as Addison’s Disease, Epilepsy, Allergies, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, and others.
Still, this doesn’t mean that if you get an Australian Labradoodle you cast a riskier dice roll. Instead, it just means that it’s even more important that you look for a reputable breeder who offers detailed health certificates for their dogs. Do this and you’ll very likely avoid all or most of the above problems.
So, Australian Labradoodle vs American Labradoodle – Which Should You Get?
All in all, this is a highly debated topic. Australian Labradoodle breeders swear by their dogs and don’t like the inconsistency of the American Labradoodle. On the other hand, their American colleagues don’t like the inbreeding that goes into the Aussie breed. They prefer to maintain the “crossbreed vigor” that keeps the American Labradoodle bloodlines fresh.
Our opinion is quite simple – both breeds make for fantastic pets. It’s just important to always make sure that you’re not buying/adopting a sickly puppy, regardless of what its exact breed is.