Thursday, July 23, 2009
I am plugging along on research about finding and getting a dog to be a therapy dog and work with me. I'll share info I have learned. I have become enthralled and educated about the Australian Labradoodle. Read along if you are into dogs.
Australian Labradoodles were originally breed in Australia and are a combo of a few breeds. They have been bred for so many generations that they are now seeking to be identified as a breed in and of themselves. The not-really-yet-a breed was originated to be guide dogs for the blind and to eliminate the issue of people being allergic to dogs. They have hair instead of fur and do not shed (like a poodle).
Therefore, people are not allergic. Turns out this is much different then a labrdoodle or goldendoodle that was breed by mating a poodle and a lab (or golden) retriever just a single or a few generations back. In this case you cannot guarantee a hair coat and disposition as much.
The color can range from white, cream, apricot, brown, black and all shades in between. Usually they are solid in color. The coat can be "wool" or "fleece". In my mind "wool" looks curlier like a poodle and "fleece" looks more like a cross between Bob Marley and a dog (see the brown guy up above). Or if you are a lab lover, they both look a bit like a lab with a bad perm. I spoke to a breeder today who said she noticed that children with autism really seemed to like the soft fur of these dogs. A nice tactile experience!
They are bred in 3 size categories:
Standard Labradoodle 21 to 24 inches in height and 50 to 65 pounds
Medium Labradoodle 17 to 20 inches in height and 30 to 45 pounds
Miniature Labradoodle 14 to 16 inches and 15 to 25 pounds
Cost varies-but generally seems to be $1,800.00 to $2,500.00. Most are $2,500.00Gulp. I think that is largely due to "labradoodles" being the "in" kind of dog to have lately. The strong history of service dogs for Australian Labradoodles is from a line(s) (or kennels) called Tegan and Rutland. Breeders will boast if their dog came from one of those lines.
Two women started a business breeding and training labradoodles to be service and therapy dogs. One of the women has a daughter with special needs. Us Special Mama's, we get it done! Read down the page on the link. I love the photos. You get a good idea of what a standard sized labradoodle looks like.
The breed is now being recognized and used quite a bit by people who train various service dogs. Of which there turns out to be many:
hearing dogs, guide dogs, seizure alert dogs, allergy alert dogs and best of all service dogs for individuals with autism.
At a minimum-those dogs make you smile.
Posted by Judy McCrary Koeppen MS SLP Sage Therapy at 11:43 PM