About The Australian Cobberdog by its Co - Developer Beverley Manners
AUSTRALIAN COBBERDOG STATS
What a Cobberdog is NOT, is an Australian Labradoodle with another name! You will hear this somewhere, but it simply is not true!
What a Cobberdog IS, is a relatively new pure breed - recognised in January 2012 as a Pure Breed in advanced development - sprung from the roots of the Australian Labradoodle - PLUS developed further by carefully selected infusions for specific reasons at particular stages of development. Like most other Pure Breeds, it is different to the breed/s from which it originated.
Just as the Skye Terrier, the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier, who all came from the same root stock have their own individual identifiable pure breed status so has the Australian Cobberdog. A portion of shared background ancestry does not negate individuality!
Selective breeding for specific temperament, traits and characteristics has resulted in a consistent and predictable healthy, and identifiable pure breed more suited to Service, Therapy and Assistance Dog work and with a thinner silkier non shedding and allergy friendly coat for lower maintenance.
Australian Cobberdogs come in three sizes - STANDARD - MEDIUM and Miniature and two distinct coat types, the Wool and the Fleece (curly or wavy) with the most desired and highly prized being the softly flowing Wavy Fleece. As of 2017 the Wool coat will start to be phazed out.
What went wrong with the Australian Labradoodle?
The Australian Labradoodle became a victim of conflicting and damaging paths taken by numerous breed specific pedigree registries run by either inexperienced, or self serving breeders. These split groups quickly sprang up across the world, in response to the developing breed's popularity. Each registry still runs with its own differing set of rules, policies and selection criteria, which has in turn created divides in many different directions for the base gene pool and reduced the Australian Labradoodle from a promising new breed, to a cross breed which is no longer consistent in its behaviors and character traits.
On the other hand, The Australian Cobberdog is protected for the future by registration with only the one international Registry body - The MDBA - which works closely with the Parent Breed Club to ensure world wide synchronisation of breed type including hereditary health status, temperament, nature, intuition, sound conformation, and coat type to name only a few. If a breeder is representing their dogs as Cobberdogs and they are not MDBA registered, then they are not Cobberdogs and the breeder is misrepresenting them either intentionally, or through lack of knowledge.
Can the Original Recipe Be Repeated or Repaired?
At some point not far into what they were doing, Tegan and Rutland - the founders of the breed - developed a clear idea of what they were trying to achieve, based on the characteristics they saw in some of their dogs and puppies. They knew they wanted the dogs to be able to behave in a certain manner and to work at specific tasks mostly suited towards Assistance Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Medical Alert Dogs. They wanted a non-shedding coat which was easier to care for than that of many other non-shedding breeds. They wanted their finished recipe to be able to be predictable so everyone who was seeking unique specific qualities in a dog could be confident in what they were getting. In order to do this, they carefully selected dogs which had the desirable qualities they wanted to keep, and any added 'ingredient' or infusion was done with a specific purpose in mind, and just as importantly at very specific periods in the development.
WAS A LONG, EXPENSIVE AND SOMETIMES HEART BREAKING JOURNEY
Some breeders think that as long as one of the breeds used by the founders is brought in at any point, or even starting again at the beginning, will bring the same results. Few who have returned to adding a dog belonging to one of the 'parent breeds' to develop their breeding programs, have helped the breed to progress. Any infusion has to be able to be shown to potentially bring something that will carry the breed closer to the original breed founders' desired outcome for the breed, or it becomes a backward step.
WHEN WILL THE STUD BOOK CLOSE?
Before the Stud Book is closed, the breed needs to have a wide genetic base on which to build future generations. The challenge is that fresh bloodlines introduced, must be genetically rich in specific traits unique to the breed. The health and width of gene pools can be and often are, impacted by politics, differing views of what is the best path to take to get to the desired goals ( that is assuming that breeders have any goals) differing views of what the desired goal/s should be, and numerous other variables.
Consequently, breeding with dogs which have Tegan or Rutlands bloodlines is no assurance of the quality of the ensuing progeny and has no bearing on whether the puppies produced will exhibit the true characteristics of the Australian Cobberdog.