If you suffer from allergies or asthma, it is particularly important that you understand the difference between an American Labradoodle and an Australian Labradoodle!
The Australian Doodle is more than just a mix of two breeds. There are actually six breeds that were originally mixed to make the Australian Labradoodle:
Poodle: Highly intelligent, agile, friendly, hypoallergenic
Labrador Retriever: Popular service dog, good for families with children, loves water
English Cocker Spaniel: sporting dog, affectionate
American Cocker Spaniel: smallest breed of sporting dog, not shy, easily trained
Curly Coat Retriever: Used widely as a therapy dog, loving demeanor, active
Irish Water Spaniel: Sheds very little, easy to train, eager to please
There are three significant differences to note when comparing the Australian Labradoodle and the American Labradoodle (also called early generation labradoodle, British Labradoodle, or simply a Labradoodle): coat, temperament, and consistency.
Coat: Due to gene inconsistencies, a vast majority of early generation labradoodles DO shed their coats and therefore are NOT suitable for allergy sufferers. This is a common misconception that results in many animals being returned. Australian labradoodles are many more generations away from the shedding Labrador. Their coats have been developed over the last 40 years such that they do NOT shed and therefore have a very high compatibility rate with allergy and asthma sufferers.
Temperament: While some early generation Labradoodles do have fantastic temperaments, they do tend to be more energetic and hyperactive, particularly when compared to the calmer, better balanced Australian Labradoodles. Australian Doodles are particularly intuitive, highly intelligent, easily trained, and are excellent with young children, making them an ideal family member. They still love to have fun and be silly outside, they're not party poopers by any means!
Consistency: The American labradoodle has very little consistency in the litters of puppies produced. Australian Labradoodles, however, produce very consistent litters in coat (allergy compatibility) and temperament. If you simply cross a poodle and a lab, the puppies will vary considerably in coat type, size, and temperament. Things get more complicated when you get to second and third generations, and the puppies can look more like a poorly bred lab or a poorly bred poodle rather than a cross. In Australian Labradoodles, because of how far down the generations we are, and as we continue to breed further, physical characteristics and attributes become more consistent and predictable.