Australians have been selectively breeding Labradoodles since the late 1980’s as hypoallergenic service dogs. In the beginning when you cross two separate breeds, the gene pool is very random, and the pups do not come out genetically consistent as an exact mix of the two different parent breeds. In the development of the early stages of a new breed (the Australian Labradoodle for instance) the first litter will contain pups in which some will resemble labs, some may be more poodle like in form and some will be in between. Some will shed heavily, some will shed lightly and some may not shed at all!
Many early generation lab-poodle crosses throw out quite a varied gene pool of characteristics. They often have quite a “Benji” shaggy dog appearance to them, they may or may not shed, they may have a more poodlie personality or a more labby personality…and similarly for the body type as well. They may look more like a lab with fringes or may be very poodle like in appearance!
The two main research and development centers in Australia, Rutland Manor and Tegan Park, have been working on developing consistency in the pups with regards to these four main characteristics:
1. The dogs should be non shedding
2. They should be low to non allergenic
3. They should be bred for temperament
4. Only the dogs with the highest health standards should be bred
The Australians were looking to fill a special need for a hypo allergenic dog with a service dog quality temperament. They have done this, selectively breeding only the dogs with the exact characteristics desired. Through many generations of selectively breeding the desired coat type, temperament and health standards, Tegan Park and Rutland Manor Research centers have developed the standard that we now know and love.