A Labradoodle is simply a Labrador Retriever bred with a Poodle. Right? Not so fast. It is actually not quite that simple. There are several types of Labradoodles, and they are all quite different, so it is important to understand the differences between them. Below is a simplified breakdown of the different types of labradoodles.
F1 - This is a first generation cross between a labrador retriever and a standard poodle. The puppies from this cross are 50% lab and 50% poodle. F1 labradoodles are most likely to shed because half of their genes come from a labrador retriever.
F1b - An F1b labradoodle is also referred to as a backcross. In this case, an F1 labradoodle is bred back to a standard poodle. Since the F1 labradoodle dogs do shed and can have a wiry type coat, the poodle is bred back to the F1 labradoodle to correct the coat type. The puppies are 75% poodle and 25% labrador retriever.
F2 - An F2 is a second generation labradoodle resulting from an F1 x F1. These puppies also shed just like the F1. An F2 is still 50% lab and 50% poodle. The F2 generation is the most varied generation and puppies will have a variety of looks and coat types.
Mulitgenerational Labradoodle or Multi-gen - When a labradoodle is 3 or more generations into the breed, they are considered multigenerational labradoodles.
Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles were originally bred by Wally Conron, the breeding manager for Guide Dog Services in Australia to produce an allergy free service dog. As the breed continued to develop other breeders in Australia such as Tegan Park and Rutland Manor began to infuse breeds into the Australian Labradoodle to improve upon consistency in health, temperament, structure and coat type. These infusions proved successful and also created uniformity to create a breed standard. This distinctive look is unique to the multi-gen Australian Labradoodle.
Australian Labradoodles have the following six parent breeds in their pedigree:
English Cocker Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniel
Curly Coat Retriever
Irish Water Spaniel
Australian Labradoodles can also be categorized by generation the same way as other Labradoodles. However, since most Australian Labradoodles are now a very high generation since they have been bred for over 30 years, we usually just refer to them as multi-generation Australian Labradoodles since there is so little difference.
But what difference does this make? What is the real difference? Do Australian Labradoodles look or behave differently than other Labradoodles? Yes, they definitely do and below are the three main ways that they are distinctly different:
Many Labradoodles being bred today are early generation Labrador and Poodle crosses and, as a result, are of low generation. This means that there is very little consistency in the litters of puppies produced. If you cross a Labrador with a Poodle, the resulting puppies vary considerably in size, coat type and temperament. Some of the puppies look more like poodles and some of them look more like labs. When you get to the second and third generations, things get even more complicated as the genetics play out and throw-backs start appearing. This means, for example, that a second or third generation Labradoodle could look like a poorly bred Labrador or a poorly bred Poodle rather than a Labradoodle. There is much, much more consistency in Australian Labradoodle litters. This is primarily because they are now so far down the generations that there is much more consistency in their physical characteristics and attributes.
Since Labradoodles are only a few generations away from a Labrador, it is no surprise that the vast majority of Labradoodles DO SHED their coats and are therefore NOT suitable for allergy sufferers, despite what you may have been led to believe from other sources! Australian Labradoodles on the other hand, are many more generations away from the shedding Labrador; their coats have been developed over the last 30 years such that they DO NOT SHED and therefore have a very high compatibility rate with allergy and asthma sufferers.
Although some labradoodles may have fantastic temperaments, they do tend to be more lively and potentially more high strung, particularly when compared to the calmer, better-balanced Australian Labradoodles. As a matter of fact, Australian Labradoodles are very intelligent and easy to train and are exceptional with young children making them an ideal family member.