Guest author: Garrett Yamasaki, We Love Doodles
Over the past decade, Australian Labradoodles have gained massive popularity in the U.S. They are known for their affectionate nature, intelligence and extrovert tendencies.
Aside from this, Labradoodles are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed. But, is this really true?
Before we start, let’s distinguish between the Australian Labradoodle and the American Labradoodle.
The American Labradoodle is a crossbreed or hybrid of two purebreds – the Labrador and the Poodle. This type of Labradoodle is one generation.
The Australian Labradoodle, on the other hand, traces its parental lineage to the Labrador, Poodle, Irish Water Spaniels, American Cocker Spaniel, and curly-coated Retriever. These six breeds are mixed to produce a new purebred with more predictable traits and a standalone breed standard.
Now that we’ve distinguished the two types, let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Over the years, Australian Labradoodle breeders have followed a strict code of breeding standards. This has resulted in higher predictability in the labradoodle’s temperament and hypoallergenic nature.
Compared to the American Labradoodle, Australian Labradoodles are more allergy-friendly to folks with allergies. If you’re allergic or have close ones who have allergies – the Australian Labradoodle is your best bet.
Let’s break down why Australian Labradoodles are great for folks with allergies:
1. Low Shedding
Every dog sheds hair, whether it’s a hypoallergenic breed or not. Shedding hair is a natural process for a dog to get rid of dead hair and skin cells.
Since every dog breed is different, it will shed differently. High shedding breeds (such as Golden Retrievers, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Great Pyrenees) will shed all year round and peak during certain seasons like fall.
Medium shedding breeds (inclluding Beagles, Dachshund and American Bulldog) will shed occasionally and more frequently than low shedding breeds.
The Australian Labradoodle is part of the low shedding group. This Labradoodle sheds very little and may only increase shedding during illness or extreme cases. Even in those instances, the shedding is minimal compared to high and medium shedding dog breeds.
For folks with allergies, this means the risk of triggering an allergy is very minimal.
When you are selecting a Labradoodle, the type of coat you decide on will either increase or decrease the risk of developing an allergic reaction.
Australian Labradoodles have three types of coats: fleece, wool, and hair.
Fleece coats are the less curly version of wool coats. They tend to be soft and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They have an average maintenance level. This means you will need to brush your Labradoodle’s coat weekly and trim it to one inch long. The best thing about this coat type is its allergy-friendly nature. It works best for folks with low to moderate allergies.
Wool coats are the best choice for folks with moderate to severe allergies. The coat is soft, thick and gorgeous to look at. It is similar to the Poodle’s coat compared to the other five parental breeds. Unlike the wool coat, it is low maintenance. This means you’ll only brush it every couple of weeks and trim the fur three or four times a year.
The above two coats are common for Australian Labradoodles. Chances are you will most likely find wool or fleece when you’re looking for an Australian Labradoodle.
That being said, there are Australian Labradoodles with hair coats. These Labradoodles are found within the first couple of generations. As a breeder progresses in breeding, these Labradoodles are phased out as more evolved and improved Australian Labradoodles take center stage.
Hair coats tend to shed more than wool and fleece coats. For this reason, they are not a good fit for people with allergies. Before purchasing an Australian Labradoodle, ask the breeder which generation the doodle is in and what coats the parents had. This will give you a good indication of how your doodle’s coat will turn out.
How to choose a Hypoallergenic Labradoodle puppy
1. Find a reputable breeder
Before you commit to purchasing, ensure you are dealing with a reputable Australian Labradoodle breeder. Many unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills prey on uninformed buyers in exchange for a quick buck.
The first step to finding a reputable breeder is to do thorough research before you even ask for referrals. Seek to understand the breed, write down what you expect, and what questions you want a potential breeder to answer. This will give you a good knowledge base and you will be able to tell when a breeder is not being straight-forward.
2. Ask questions about the Australian Labradoodle’s parents
The breeder should be able to pinpoint your potential doodle’s parental lineage, temperament, health records and past litters to give you a general overview of how your doodle will turn out. In addition, ask about the parents and spend time with them when you visit.
Keep in mind, though, we are still dealing with mother nature. There might be a slight difference in how your potential doodle turns out.
3. Check past litters
Past litters will give you a good indication as to how your potential doodle’s temperament and traits will play out.
Australian Labradoodles are hypoallergenic. They don’t shed a lot and, thus, the risk of triggering allergic reactions is minimal.
Grooming for most Australian Labradoodles falls between average to low maintenance; therefore, you don’t have to break the bank when it comes to grooming. Brush them weekly, bathe them monthly and trim their fur every couple of weeks.
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