|Families, those requiring a therapy dog, medical alert dog or assistance dog
|The ‘Cobber’ (Australians always abbreviate names!)
|Standard, medium & miniature
|Intelligent, sociable, loyal, intuitive, friendly
|Tendency to bark
|This breed has a medium probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.
Australian Cobberdog is the name to define a pure breed ‘Labradoodle’ originating in Australia. In Australian slang, a cobber is a ‘mate’, and the name Cobberdog was chosen because it means ‘dog-friend’, referring to the breed’s primary purpose as a therapy and assistance dog.
In the late 1980’s, Wally Conron, at the time the breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, received a request for a hypoallergenic guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dogs. After trialling – and ruling out – Poodles, who have the right coats but the wrong temperament, he decided to cross a carefully selected Poodle with a working guide dog Labrador, and the first ‘Labradoodle’ litter was born.
After some initial media publicity brought the new crossbreed to the public’s attention, the demand for this new ‘designer dog’ skyrocketed way beyond Conran’s expectations and, much to his dismay, quickly became a victim of its own success. With no breeding standards or criteria, anyone could breed a Labradoodle by crossing any old Labrador with any old Poodle and sell the pups for a large sum, with no regard for their hereditary quality.
Unfortunately, the Labradoodle became an unpredictable breed with widely varying characteristics, even between puppies within the same litter. Their temperaments varied significantly, and many were not hypoallergenic. Poor breeding techniques have resulted in some significant health concerns, including hip dysplasia, eye disease, epilepsy and allergies.
For these reasons, some concerned breeders went back to the original origins and long-term vision for the Labradoodle to start again, this time with strict breeding regulations and registration criteria in place. A new name was required to distinguish it from the Labradoodle, and thus the Australian Cobberdog came into being.
The Australian Cobberdog is descended from the original, genetically sound strains of the Australian Labradoodle and was officially recognised as a pure breed in development in January 2012 by the Master Dog Breeders and Associates (MDBA) Global Pure Breed registry. Only registered MDBA breeders that guarantee a breeding programme that complies with the breed standard can issue the Australian Cobberdog pedigree.
According to the MDBA, the founders of the Australian Cobberdog made many hard decisions to ensure the health, predictability of temperament, characteristics and management requirements of their breed have been optimised. Breeders are required to genetically, rather than visually select, parent animals for their good health and consistent temperament, traits and characteristics, resulting in healthy and consistent puppies. The result of these stringent requirement is a healthy, identifiable and predictable breed of hypoallergenic dog that is reliably suited to service, therapy and assistance work – thereby continuing Wally Conran’s original mission.
The Cobber does not have a hair coat, but rather a fleecy or woolly coat that is soft and silky, odourless even when wet, non-shedding and allergy friendly. It may either be wavy or ringlet, with more defined curls. The coat doesn’t shed, and the skin doesn’t peel or flake, meaning that it doesn’t affect most people who usually have an allergy to dogs.
This fabulous coat comes in a variety of colours, including solid black, silver, coffee , blond, gold, silver, blue and red, colour combinations, such as Merle (chocolate and blue) and parti (a combination of any one of the solid colours with white), and shaded colours (various tones of the same colour).
The breed is available in 3 different sizes:
|6 to 35 kg
|33 to 58 cm
|A wide variety of colours and combinatons
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The Australian Cobberdog was developed for his even temperament and kind, friendly, intuitive and empathetic nature. He is therefore the ideal dog both for families and those in need of a therapy or assistance dog.
You will struggle to find fault with the Cobberdog’s nature. He is sociable, trusting, enthusiastic and joyful, and is always eager to please. Active, with a comical goofy nature, he can be mischievous; he loves to play the clown and make people laugh. Friendly, loving, attentive and obviously loyal to his own family, he is entirely non-aggressive.
He is a very intelligent dog who will meet your gaze and look deeply into your eyes, seemingly with an incredible combination of wisdom, understanding and curiosity, as if he is trying to read what you expect of him. His sensitivity and his ability to perceive people’s moods and to understand who needs care make him an excellent therapy and assistance dog for those who have difficulty interacting, including small children, the elderly and the physically challenged.
This is a very versatile breed which adapts well to any environment, whether city or country, large house or small apartment – as long as he gets enough exercise, both physical and mental. He has no problem spending hours alone waiting for the family to return from work or school; he never gets bored and can entertain himself by playing with a toy or stick or inventing some interesting activity to pass the time.
The Australian Cobberdog is fantastic with children in general, and when working as a therapy and assistance dog, has provided exceptional physical and emotional support to children with conditions such as anxiety, autism, Downs Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Cobber gets along well with other dogs and pets of all kinds, including cats, birds and rodents.
Close family contact, mental stimulation and moderate exercise keep the Australian Cobberdog content, and he thrives on a long daily walk. Daily one-on-one playtime, learning new tricks and attending dog training classes are all good ways to keep him stimulated.
Because of his intelligence and thirst for learning, he needs plenty of mental exercise to prevent boredom from setting in and to avoid behavioural issues. He can attempt to outsmart his owner if undisciplined, so it is very important that he has a firm but calm, consistent owner.
To become a successful therapy and assistance dog, it is essential to be a fast learner, and the Cobber is known for his ability to train quickly and learn a multitude of tricks and unusual or special tasks.
The Australian Cobberdog should do well on a high-quality, well-balanced diet that is appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior), size and activity level.
Although they don’t tend to be greedy eaters and rarely overeat, Cobbers may become overweight, so it’s important to monitor their calorie consumption and weight level and adjust their diet accordingly.
Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
The Cobberdog’s coat is a soft, luxurious and smooth textured wavy or curly fleece, single coat. It is characterised by very low to no shedding and very low to no odour making it allergy-friendly.
While it does require some grooming, the coat is relatively low maintenance. Curly coats are denser than wavy coats and need regular grooming with a slicker brush at least every two weeks and a trim, scissoring or clipping to keep tidy around two to three times a year.
The Australian Cobberdog gets a clean bill of health as it has been meticulously DNA health screened for successive generations, with carriers of known diseases removed from the breeding programs of MDBA registered breeders. Breeding dogs are required to be DNA Health Screened for the following disorders:
Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.
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Official Home of the Australian Cobberdog: http://australiancobberdogs.com.au/