Are you trying to decide between an Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle?
These two loyal, smart and energetic mixed breeds both have a Poodle parent. The Aussiedoodle’s other parent is an Australian Shepherd, while the Labradoodle’s other parent is a Labrador Retriever.
Both dogs make great additions to the right home. But for most people, one will be a better match than the other.
Let’s figure which one is right for you!
Australian Shepherd vs Labrador Retriever Origins
One way to choose between an Aussiedoodle and a Labradoodle is to consider the background of all three breeds involved, and how the original purposes they were bred for shape their natural instincts and temperament today.
Aussies, Labs and Poodles are all smart, hardworking breeds, but there are some definite differences in their backgrounds.
The Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a versatile breed which started out in Europe and eventually came to America via Australia.
Closely associated with cowboys and the rodeo circuit, this lean, tough breed was refined in California during the 19th century.
They have an impressive reputation as herding dogs. More recently, Aussies have also excelled in search-and-rescue work, service roles, and even narcotics detection.
The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever got their start in Newfoundland, Canada, working as a duck retriever and fisherman’s mate.
Sporting English nobles admired the tireless, traditional waterdog and brought them to England where they were refined and standardized at the end of the 19th century.
Today they are one of the most recognizable breeds in the world, thanks to their success as working dogs, service dogs, and pets.
The Standard Poodle
Like Labradors, Poodles also started out as working dogs on duck and waterfowl hunts. But this time in Germany.
They were such elegant-looking dogs, talented retrievers, and loyal companions, that they quickly gained favor with wealthy landowners across Europe.
From there of course, they were also scaled down to create the Miniature and Toy Poodle varieties.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Size
Labs are a large breed. They outweigh the medium-sized Australian Shepherd by 15 pounds on average, and stand a few inches taller too.
Naturally, this is reflected when either breed is crossed with a Poodle – which sits in between the Lab and the Aussie, size-wise.
Aussiedoodles are typically bigger than an Aussie, but smaller than a Poodle. They weigh 40 to 70 pounds and stand over 15 inches.
Labradoodles are bigger frequently bigger than a Poodle, but smaller than a Lab. They weigh 50 to 80 pounds and stand 22 to 24 inches.
These are only averages, and the best determinant of size is how big the parents are.
Since the size ranges of all three breeds over lap, it’s even possible to meet Labradoodles which are smaller than some Aussiedoodles.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Coat
The Poodle is known for their curly, low-shedding coat that comes in a wide array of colors.
Australian Shepherds have a double-coat of moderate length that comes in 6 standard shades including, blue merle, red merle, black, tan, black tricolor, and red tricolor.
Labradors also have a double-coat that comes in chocolate, black, or yellow.
Thanks to the kaleidoscope of color genes in the Poodle breed, both Labradoodles and Aussiedoodles come in a spectacular variety of colors.
But the Aussiedoodle is especially notable for sometimes inheriting the Australian Shepherd’s desirable merle pattern.
In either mix, coat texture can be tight and curly like a Poodle, or straight like an Aussie or Lab. It can even have a wavy or fleecy texture which is somewhere in between.
To make matters more unpredictable, it is rarely obvious in a poppy what kind of coat texture they will have when they’re fully grown.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Grooming
Needless to say, Labradoodle and Aussiedoodle grooming requirements vary depending on the type of coat they inherit.
Those with a curly Poodle coat require the most maintenance.
They need daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. And since Poodle-type hair grows quickly, they need regular visits to the groomer for a trim.
Meanwhile, Aussiedoodles and Labradoodles who have a straight or wavy coat require less brushing to keep their fur untangled, but these coats are more likely to shed heavily.
It’s often assumed that all Doodle dogs are hypoallergenic, and don’t shed or stir up symptoms in allergy sufferers.
While it’s true that Poodle fur sheds less than other fur, there really is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog.
This is because it’s actually not fur that triggers symptoms, but proteins in dogs’ saliva.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Temperament
Parentage and environment both play a role in a dog’s temperament.
But considering how intelligent, loyal, loving, and energetic all three parent breeds are, you can expect these qualities in either mix.
However, when it comes to natural enthusiasm for meeting strangers, the Labrador is in a league of its own.
Poodles tend to be more wary around new people, and both the Aussiedoodle and the Labradoodle can inherit that reserve.
You can help either mix to be more confident around people, other dogs, and new situations by socializing them well as a puppy.
Since Australian Shepherds are herding dogs, Aussiedoodles may inherit their instinct to steer young children or smaller animals by nipping and bumping them.
This is not aggressive behavior, but it can cause frustration and upset on both sides!
Australian Shepherds also need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They are easily bored if their owner doesn’t provide enough to do. Bored Aussies may occupy themselves with unwanted behaviors such as digging, chewing furniture, and scratching.
On the other hand, people have been keeping Labradors solely as companion dogs for much longer, resulting in breeding lines which are specifically continued for their calm and easy going nature at home.
So, if you want a super smart Doodle to take part in advanced training and dog sports with, you might decide that an Aussiedoodle has the right mix of brains and stamina.
But if you’d like a Doodle with a laidback temperament and who gets along with children and other dogs and pets, you’re more likely to find a Labradoodle who fits the bill.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Exercise
Both the Aussiedoodle and the Labradoodle require an active lifestyle that incorporates plenty of mental and physical pursuits.
Short walks around the block will not cut it for these two!
They both need at least an hour of exercise a day, plus playtime and training games at home.
Since Labs, Aussies and Poodles were all bred to be attentive and helpful to a human handler, Aussiedoodles and Labradoodles both have a strong emotional need to interact and engage with their owner.
On the whole though, owners report that Labradoodles tend to be happy and settled after less exercise than Aussiedoodles.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Training
Since they both come from working dog ancestry, both the Aussiedoodle and the Labradoodle are highly trainable and quick to pick up new commands.
You can begin short training sessions with them soon after after bringing them home.
Use force-free, positive reinforcement training. Modern dog trainers know that positive reinforcement training is the quickest, most effective way to teach dogs good behavior.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle Health
Both the Aussiedoodle and Labradoodle are healthy dogs overall.
Aussiedoodles have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years, the Labradoodle 10 to 15 years.
However, there are some conditions that affect all three parent breeds, which makes these two mixes particularly vulnerable to inheriting them:
- Hip dysplasia. This malformation of the hip joint can be very painful and cause arthritis.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). PRA is a degenerative eyes disease that eventually leads to blindness.
Australian Shepherds are also at risk of cataracts.
Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to hypothyroidism, the muscular disease known as Labrador Retriever myopathy, and diabetes.
Finding a healthy puppy
To avoid adopting a Labradoodle or Aussiedoodle puppy which suffers any of these conditions when they grow up, make sure they come from fully health tested parents.
Good dog breeders are happy to share the details of the health tests their puppies’ parents had, and the certificates of the results.
Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle – Which Dog is Right for Me?
Are you still deciding between the Aussiedoodle vs Labradoodle?
It’s a tough decision as these are both highly intelligent, adorable dogs that need lots of exercise and attention.
Between the two, Labradoodles are a bit more laidback, and typically require somewhat less activity on a daily basis.
If you have young children and other pets, Labradoodles may suit you better due to the Aussiedoodle’s herding instincts.
If you have a very active outdoors lifestyle, or want to get involved with agility training or dog sports, then the Aussiedoodle may be the better choice.
With any mixed breed puppy, the best way to get a feel for whether they’d suit your household is to meet both of their parents and consider how happy you’d be with either of them.
Over to you!
Which mix do you prefer – Labradoodle or Aussiedoodle?
Let us know and tell us why in the comments box down below!
References and Further Reading
Vredegoor, D., et al, “Can f 1 levels in hair and homes of different dog breeds: Lack of evidence to describe any dog breed as hypoallergenic” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2012
Rettenmaier, JL, et al., “Prevalence of canine hip dysplasia in a veterinary teaching hospital population,” Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2005
Petersen-Jones, SM, “A review of research to elucidate the causes of the generalized progressive retinal atrophies,” The Veterinary Journal, 1998
Weissl, J., et al., “Disease Progression and Treatment Response of Idiopathic Epilepsy in Australian Shepherd Dogs,” Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 2011
Mellersh, CS, et al., “Identification of mutations in HSF4 in dogs of three different breeds with hereditary cataracts,” Veterinary Ophthalmology, 2006
Strain, GM et al., Prevalence of Deafness in Dogs Heterozygous or Homozygous for the Merle Allele, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 2009
Bley, T., et al., “Genetic aspects of Labrador retriever myopathy,” Research in Veterinary Science, 2002