FAQ: AUSTRALIAN LABRADOODLES
The Labradoodle story begins with Wally Conron, the head breeder of the Australian Guide Dog Association, who coined the name in 1989 when he bred a litter of Labrador Retriever - Standard Poodle cross pups. Pat Blum had lived with vision impairment for many years, but never could apply for a Guide Dog because of her husband's problem with allergies. Pat approached Wally and was overjoyed when the AGDA agreed to breed a litter of Labradoodle pups, hoping the Poodle cross would lessen the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
Harley the Standard Poodle was bred to Brandy the Labrador Retriever and three pups, Sultan, Sheik and Simon were conceived. As Pat and her husband lived in Hawaii, fur samples of the 3 pups were sent to Pat at different ages. Sultan's coat was the only one that caused no problem at all. Sultan trained well as a Guide Dog and was united with Pat for the first time at eighteen months old.
Labradoodles became very popular among the blind in Hawaii, and Wally has said that 29 of the first 31 Labradoodles he bred were successfully trained as Guide Dogs, although only one in ten were reliably allergy friendly. The Australian Guide Dog Association continues to breed one or two litters of Labradoodles a year due to their popularity. Dr. Kate Schoeffel, a friend of Wally Conron, is an honours geneticist and Vet in Condoblin, New South Wales, Australia. Kate was the first to breed pet Labradoodles, and still breeds miniature Labradoodles to this day.
In the early 1990's two associated kennels in Australia, with a background in Spoodles (Australian for Cockapoos, a Cocker Spaniel - Poodle mix) began to breed Labradoodles to Labradoodles and Labradoodles to Poodles, breeding toward a consistently allergy friendly and nonshed dog. Other breeds were introduced into the mix as well. (The IALA is in the process of confirming the use of these purebreds)
In 1999 these new lines of dogs were introduced to North America where they took off like gangbusters! Those breeders who carefully selected breeding dogs and promoted health testing joined together to form the first association created to protect the qualities of the multigeneration Labradoodle, the Labradoodle Association of Australia (LAA).
The LAA was founded in June of 2000, and began a computer database to record and track the pedigrees of the multigeneration Labradoodle. As the founding parent body of the Australian Labradoodle, it is their goal to submit the Australian Labradoodle breed standard to the Australia National Kennel Club (ANKC) for breed recognition when the required criteria are met.
The International Labradoodle Association (ILA) was incorporated in 2004 and began to work with the LAA towards the protection of the Labradoodle's future. Their goal is to focus on nurturing the development of the Labradoodle and promoting uniform breeding standards to insure the health and integrity of the breed.
First generation Labradoodle - (First filial generation - F1) a Labrador Retriever and Poodle cross
First generation backcross Labradoodle - (F1b) a Labradoodle bred back to one of its breeds of origin, usually a Poodle
Multigenerational Labradoodles - (F2 or F2B, F3, etc.) Generations of Labradoodles and Labradoodle backcrosses
In 2005 The International Australian Labradoodle Association, IALA, was founded as a global organization, uniting the existing sister organizations. These sister associations include :
the Australian Labradoodle Association, ALA (formerly the LAA)
and the Australian Labradoodle Association of America, ALAA (formerly the ILA )
Working together, the breeders have developed stringent guidelines in health testing and a more comprehensive breeding program.
One of the most important qualities for a healthy, viable new breed is to build a large and healthy number of foundation stock with a broad genetic diversity. The IALA oversees new lines being added from around the globe, each bringing renewed health and vigour into old lines.
They have compiled the largest Labradoodle database in the world. As of September 2006, there are almost 3000 registered dogs and over 3000 additional ancestors in the database.
As science moves forward, the IALA breeders embrace new technologies that offer them more insight into their breeding programs. Although each sister organization has its own specific code of ethics and conduct, all IALA members are recommended or required to administer certain tests to their breeding dogs.
Breed recognition is many years away, both in Australia and in the U.S. New breeds develop through a series of processes -
ANKC Breed Recognition
Breeders in Australia have contacted the ANKC and discussed more specifics on the requirements for breed recognition, and have updated and improved the breeding program accordingly.
AKC Breed Recognition
The ALAA has contacted the AKC, although the Australian Labradoodle does not currently meet its definition of a possible purebred, the ALAA is taking all the necessary steps to allow the AKC to accept the ALAA's database into it's foundation services program at a future date.
The IALA encourages all Member Breeders to health test their breeding stock. Recommended basic tests include hip and elbow exams, yearly physicals with CBC and biochemical profiles, and annual EYE/PRA exams.
Breeders who have submitted DNA parentage identification profiles on all breeding dogs an IALA/ALAA member may place the following statement on their website.
"Our breeding dogs are IALA/ALAA DNA profiled. All of our breeding dogs have been DNA'd and their DNA profiles have been submitted to the IALA/ALAA. This has been done to protect the buyer and support parentage identification. The IALA/ALAA strongly recommends this profiling of its members and we are proud to be an IALA/ALAA/DNA breeder."
Pacific Rim Labradoodles
All IALA/ALAA members have pledged to a stringent Code of Ethics which includes Rules & Regulations that are updated quarterly. The ethics code is extensive and includes;
standards in housing and caring for dogs and pups
candor about all aspects of the breeding program
ethical treatment of dogs and choices in breeding practices
identification and record keeping requirements
a pledge to represent the dogs honestly and provide materials to better educate owners
Some of the statements in the Code are broad and open to interpretation, and so with each new quarter year, new procedures and standards of excellence are sent to all the breeders, refining and defining specific parts on the Code.
Bi-monthly letters are also sent out with updates in health testing, or any issues that may affect the health of these foundation lines of Australian Labradoodles.
Many thanks to Krista Waitz of Rainmaker Ranch Australian Labradoodles and the IALA, and to Kathy Young from Cloudcatcher Labradoodles and the AALA, for all their efforts in helping to put together this informational page.
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