Labradoodle: The History Behind the Perfect Service Dog

The story of the labradoodle begins in Australia.

In 1988, the head of the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, breeder Wally Conron, crossbred a standard poodle with a Labrador Retriever. He did so in response to a request for a hypoallergenic guide dog.

The result was a litter of labradoodles. One of the pups in the litter, Sultan, was a smart, sweet, hypoallergenic dog with the intelligence, temperament, and trainability that Conron had hoped to achieve with the crossbreeding experiment. Sultan the labradoodle puppy possessed all of the desirable characteristics from both his parent breeds in a combination that Conron believed would make the mixed breed perfectly suited to life as a guide dog.

Sultan went on to fulfill his guide dog duties and faithfully served a woman in Hawaii for ten years.

Labradoodles as Service Dogs


Sultan's success led other breeders to begin breeding poodles and Labradors. Today, many service dog organizations around the world breed and train labradoodles as guide dogs and therapy pets, but the dogs have also gained great popularity as family pets. As a result of the dogs' growing popularity, breeders have begun conducting multigenerational breeding in an attempt to move the labradoodle from hybrid to official breed status.

Currently, the labradoodle is not formally recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

Health Issues and Characteristics

As it is a crossbreed dog, many of its behavioral characteristics and physical traits are somewhat unpredictable and some common health issues include elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Other health problems may include ear infections! Labradoodles have hairy ears like some other dog breeds so it's important to always have those ears checked when you see the vet. You can always ask your labradoodle breeder if you have any questions about what to ask the vet about over the course of their lifetime.

One interesting note too is they have two coat types. There is a fleece coat type and wool coat type. Both labradoodle breed coat types are beautiful!

Thinking about adding a labradoodle to your pack? Do your research on these intelligent dogs first and find reputable breeders or rescue groups to avoid buying dogs from puppy mills! is great resource for all things labradoodle.

Is there a labradoodle in your life? Tell us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

This post was previously published on May 30th, 2019.

READ MORE: Goldendoodle vs. Labradoodle: What's The Difference?