What is the difference between an Australian Labradoodle and an American Labradoodle? One would think it is safe to assume that since both breeds are Labradoodles, there can’t be that much of a difference…right? In this case, there are many, many similarities. But there are also a few significant differences between the American Labradoodle and the Australian Labradoodle!
For starters, don’t confuse the Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd crossed with a Poodle) with the Australian Labradoodle. That’s a completely separate discussion.
An American Labradoodle is most likely the Labradoodle that most people picture when they think of the breed “Labradoodle.” In general, there are a lot more American Labradoodles than Australian Labradoodles. An American Labradoodle is the offspring of Labrador Retriever and Poodle parents. An F1b Labradoodle, crosses an American Labradoodle back to an unrelated Poodle.
For many reasons, f1b American Labradoodles are the most popular Labradoodle at Crockett Doodles. This breed of dog is known for their loyalty, affection, playfulness and beautiful coats. The American Labradoodle is the closest to the two breeds that make the cross-breed so popular and are truly unique pups. These Labradoodles can also be Multi-Generational, for more information on the definition of a Multi-Generational Doodle check out this article about multi-generational Doodles.
An Australian Labradoodle is the offspring of at least 5 different breeds. Australian Labradoodles have been around for a couple decades. The initial Labradoodle breeders (who lived in Australia) said that they weren’t happy with the consistency of the pups they were breeding. It should be pointed out that many first generation Labradoodles have rather odd coats. Some of them look very wiry. At Crockett Doodles, we strongly prefer f1b Labradoodles to first generation Labradoodles.
The early Australian Labradoodle breeders were desiring more consistency, so they kept experimenting. In the end the Australian Labradoodle ended up being a hodge podge of multiple breeds: Labrador, Poodle, English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel and Curly Coat Retriever were bred together to originate the breed known as the Australian Labradoodle. These pups have a much more diverse and longer bloodline as there are far more breeds that are mixed to have an Australian Labradoodle. The Australian Labradoodle has a more predictable look than the American Labradoodle. Ironically, most Australian Labradoodles have a tiny amount of Labrador Retriever in them, because they have been bred with so many different breeds. They’re dominantly Poodle, and most of them appear to have more Cocker Spaniel than Labrador Retriever.
The advantage of the Australian Labradoodle is that typically the pups will all have similar coats (wavy/curly). It would be very rare to have an Australian Labradoodle with a flat coat or a short coat. The disadvantage of the Australian Labradoodle, is that they have very little Labrador Retriever in them, and that they have lost much of the hybrid vigor that comes from crossing two separate breeds. Australian Labradoodle breeders essentially have in-bred within the Australian Labradoodle family to have predictable pups.
Both types of Labradoodle are known for their train-ability, loyal nature and beautiful coats. The main difference is that the Australian Labradoodle has a more consistent expectation of puppy as there is a higher number of generations that precede them. The American Labradoodle is a true hybrid breed (a real doodle). The disadvantage of this hybrid is that the coat is not as predictable (the same American Labradoodle litter could have a curly coated pup, a wavy coated pup, and a straight coated pup). But the trade off advantage of the American Labradoodle is that they tend to be healthier because of hybrid vigor and they also reflect great traits of the Labrador Retriever that many Australian Labradoodles seem to have lost because of the multiple other breeds that have entered their pedigree.
Most Labradoodle breeders have a very STRONG preference between Australian Labradoodles and American Labradoodles. The vast majority of Labradoodle breeders breed American Labradoodles and are likely to tell you negative things about Australian Labradoodles. Whereas the small group of Australian Labradoodle breeders are likely to tell you all the reasons that their pups have a more predictable look and better ancestry.
We feel fortunate to have a level of objectivity since we have several Australian Labradoodles (and mini Australian Labradoodles) in our program at partner homes. We also have many American Labradoodles (and mini Labradoodles) in our program. Because we see pros and cons of each, we charge the exact same adoption fees for our Australian Labradoodles as we do for our American Labradoodles. Overall, we generally prefer American Labradoodles and breed more of them, but we understand the advantages of Australian Labradoodles, and the Australian Labradoodles in our program are beloved pets with wonderful temperaments (even if they don’t reflect the Labrador Retriever very much).
Ultimately, we love both the Australian Labradoodle (and mini Australian Labradoodle) and the American Labradoodle (and mini Labradoodle). It would be hard to go wrong with either the Australian or American Labradoodle!