ABOUT THE BREED
WHAT IS AN AUSTRALIAN SERVICE DOG?
The Australian Service Dog is awesome! Born to Serve and happy to do just that, it was created by discerning breeders in Australia who wanted to develop the Labradoodle Origin (Labradoodle X Poodle) which, although a lovely dog, was not consistent in coat type and often shed profusely. The aim was to produce a dog that would provide companionship and therapy to the mentally and/or physically challenged with the added bonus of not shedding, making it suitable for hair related allergies as well.
With an outstanding temperament and character, the fame and high reputation of the ASD has spread around the world making the breed in high demand.
The Founders of the ASD infused 4-6 breeds to make up the Australian Labradoodle or ASD Australian Service Dog as it was originally called. A great deal of effort went into the creation over a long period of time. Emotional and financial investment went beyond the norm and with such a high reputation to maintain, it is vital that the Code of Ethics established by the Founders is not compromised. It is somewhat unfortunate that the term ASD has been substituted over the years for 'Australian Labradoodle' giving much rise to confusion and misinformation.
The breed came over to the UK in the early 2000's with the help of a very small number of passionate breeders who wanted to work with the Australian Breeders to introduce the breed to this country and to Europe. I am pleased to say that due to the diligence, hard work and huge investment undertaken, the wonderful ASD is making a name for itself, turning heads and helping those who probably thought they would never be able to enjoy dog ownership due to allergies.
WHAT AN ASD IS NOT
The English Labradoodles known as 'Labradoodle Origin' stem from the Labrador and Poodle parents. The First Generation Cross being referred to as F1, the Second Generation Cross as the F2 etc etc. They are Labradoodle in origin. The same is true for the Labradoodle Origins born in Australia - they are still Labradoodle Origin NOT Australian Labradoodles!
It is important to understand that the Labradoodle Origin is STILL being crossed. Labradors and Poodles continue to be crossed to produce the Labradoodle, with back crosses to the Poodle allowed to correct coats and size.
The ASD has finished being crossed. There is no requirement to cross the ASD with any other breed other than itself. This is to preserve the non shedding coat and tremendous reliability of character - which is of course part of the Breed Standard. It is still often incorrectly referred to as a Cross Breed when in fact it is a PURE Breed as it is not recognised by The Kennel Club as a Pedigree Breed.
There are Groups that have formed around the world such as the ALAA, ALAEU, WALA, the ALAUK and of course the UKALC, to bring breeders together and offer support and mentor-ship and give customers confidence in finding a reputable breeder. Breeders who belong to groups like these should adhere to the Code of Ethics for the breed and be fully licenced by their Local Authority (Council) in order to offer a high standard of practise and ensure that the lineage remains true and unbroken.
What does 'Breed Standard' mean?
Basically it means what you can expect from the Breed - what characteristic traits it has and how it should look. It's the definitive and recognised attributes that make it unique and special.
Breeders aim to breed from the very best and this is done by careful and sympathetic selection of their own stock as well as importing breeding stock from other lines.
As well as being exceptionally clever and responsive to good consistent training, the ASD has a natural intuition and seems to 'know' when and how to approach a child or adult with special needs or when someone is just feeling anxious.
Their appearance should be of compact build with good muscle and have a real swing to their gait, rather like a prance or glide!
Their coats can vary from tight curls, spiral, wavy fleece and wool and all should not shed.
They hate being left alone and thrive on good consistent human companionship as well as enjoying other canine company.
They can jump up a lot and think it's fun to dig up your garden!
The Breed Standard is guarded very closely not least because of the need for it to fulfil it's role within the special needs community. If this breed were to get into the 'wrong hands' then there is a real danger that the Breed Standard could become diluted and the breed itself lose its vigour and dependability.
Breeds that make up the AL
There are six main Pedigree breeds that make up the Australian Labradoodle.
1. THE LABRADOR
2. THE POODLE
3. THE AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL
4. THE ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL
5. THE IRISH WATER SPANIEL
6. THE SOFT COATED WHEATEN TERRIER
There is no requirement to infuse any other breed nor to infuse the original breeds any further - the Australian Labradoodle is a breed on its own. The breed is now recognised fully by the International Genetic firms that carry out the DNA health testings on Breeding Stock.
The Kennel Club do not recognise the ASD as a Pedigree Breed, so there is more need for Membership regulatory bodies such as the ALAUK and UKALC to support Breeders and provide a place for customers to find a reputable and fully Licenced breeder.
A PEDIGREE DOG - is a pure-bred dog of a specified breed which has been registered with the Kennel Club or equivalent and has a pedgiree record with details of its breeding over a minimum number of generations.
A PURE-BRED DOG - is a dog resulting from the crossing of two pure bred dogs of the same breed, but which is not registered with the KC as a Pedigree Breed.
CROSS-BRED DOG - is the result of a deliberate or accidental cross between two dogs of different breeds (ie a first cross - F1 hybrid)