Australian Cobberdog

Australian Cobberdogs are loving, loyal and highly intelligent dogs that descend from the original Labradoodles. They are ideally suited as therapy and assistance dogs and make great companions.
Recommended forFamilies, those requiring a therapy dog, medical alert dog or assistance dog
Breed ClassificationHybrid
Other namesThe ‘Cobber’ (Australians always abbreviate names!)
Lifespan13-15 years
SizeStandard, medium & miniature
TemperamentIntelligent, sociable, loyal, intuitive, friendly
IntelligenceVery high
Tendency to barkLow
Maintenance LevelMedium
Health RiskThis breed has a medium probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.

Insuring an Australian Cobberdog?

Get award-winning cover with more benefits and up to 80% of eligible vet bills reimbursed. Find out about your cover options.

Get a quick quote

Insuring an Australian Cobberdog?

Get award-winning cover with more benefits and up to 80% of eligible vet bills reimbursed. Find out about your cover options.

Get a quick quote
Friendly red apricot young adult Labradoodle Cobberdog Tongue out mouth open

Breed history of Australian Cobberdogs

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.

Physical description of Australian Cobberdogs

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:

  • Standard: height of 50 to 58 cm and weight of 20 to 35 kg
  • Medium: height of 43 to 50 cm and weight of 12 to 20 kg
  • Miniature: height of 33 to 43 cm and weight of 6 to 10 kg
Weight range6 to 35 kg
Height range33 to 58 cm
ColoursA wide variety of colours and combinatons
Coat lengthMedium

Protect your loved ones

Sign up to get your first 2 months free and start saving on eligible vet bills!
Get a quick quote
Read more reviews

Australian Cobberdog personality and temperament

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.

Australian Cobberdogs with kids and other pets

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.

Australian Cobberdog called Luna in the forest

Australian Cobberdog training and exercise

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.

Energy levelModerate
Exercise requirementsModerate

Get 2 months free for your puppy!

Congrats on your new bundle of joy

To ensure your precious fur baby is covered from the start, we'd like to offer you 2 months free pet insurance in your first year2.
Get a quick quote
Fluffy caramel Australian Cobberdog puppy, laying down side ways. Eyes not showing due long hair. Isolated on white background. Mouth closed_

Australian Cobberdog feeding and nutrition

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.

Australian cobberdog named Luna close up

Australian Cobberdog care and grooming

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.

Health issues for Australian Cobberdogs

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:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a family of inherited eye diseases that can occur in Labradoodles and can lead to blindness. The nerve cells at the back of the eye degenerate over time and will cause cataracts to form. The first sign of progressive retinal atrophy is usually night blindness; this progresses to total blindness over a period ranging from months to years. If there is still vision in the eye, corrective surgery may be an option.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease that affects the spinal cord in dogs, causing progressive hind limb muscle weakness and loss of coordination. Affected dogs gradually becoming incontinent and losing the ability to walk. The condition is ultimately fatal.
  • Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) is a genetic disorder that causes otherwise healthy dogs of certain breeds to collapse after a period of intense exercise. Typically, 5 to 20 minutes of strenuous exercise with extreme excitement induces weakness and then collapse. Although most dogs recover quickly (within 30 minutes), severe episodes of EIC can be fatal.
  • Eye anomalies: Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia & Coloboma (Wheaten Terrier Type) are inherited eye diseases that can affect dogs.

Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.

Pet Talk

Jam packed with news, tips and advice on how to provide the best possible care for your Bow Wow or Meow!

Australian Cobberdog facts!

  • A common quote about the Australian Cobberdog is: “He doesn’t look ‘at’ you, he gazes deeply into your very soul”.
  • They have excellent hearing, which is important in their role as an assistance dog when dealing with all the typical city noises.
  • With a great curiosity for everything human, they always want to be where their humans are, even if that’s in the bathroom!
  • They appear to have intuition, seemingly able to ‘know’ how we’re feeling, and the ability to adapt their behaviour accordingly.
  • They are completely non-aggressive and have no instinct to bite, even in the early puppy phase.
  • They have no need to chew on furniture or destroy slippers; they even treat their own toys well.
  • Wally Conran, the original developer of the Labradoodle, soon came to regret his creation, saying “I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein’s monster”.

Get a quote


10% discount for multiple pets

Free engraved pet ID tag on sign up3

Customer Satisfaction

21 day cooling off
Life-long cover4
GapOnly® & easy claims


Official Home of the Australian Cobberdog:


We're here to help you be a better pet parent

Download our free Rescue Dog guide

Choosing to rescue a dog means giving an animal a second chance in life. This comprehensive guide, developed by professional trainers, aims to help make the transition to life in your home as successful as possible for your dog and your family.
Download guide