Cobberdog and Labradoodle are Not the Same!
The breed advisory committee operates to protect and promote the breed into the future including soon launching evaluation programs ,judges training schemes and numerous promotional programs. They have some work still to do on the basics – finalising the breed standard and health requirements etc but give them time and you will see surprising progress.
Remember we also have an associated clubs program where breed clubs can set up and have affiliation which are able to participate to go to work in the promotional and event organisation and management for the breed. The breed advisory committee replaces the parent club not all breed clubs.
Part of developing a breed to get it to a breed recognition situation is isolating the gene pool and that for now is the biggest challenge as many breeders are educated by animal rights loonies who have never bred a dog and their obsession with new blood and no line breeding with low COI. Is an obstacle. This makes it more difficult to set type and have lines which breeders can outcross to etc. and work toward breed recognition.
The other major challenge in taking the breed through to recognition is in conveying that the gene pool must be limited and foundation dogs of quality better identified at first and that labradoodles are simply not interchangeable because they may have some ancestors in common with modern Australian Cobberdogs. Every one accepts that a West Highland White, a Skye and a Scottish terrier have ancestors in common, that any breed was at one time something it is not now and that most breeds started out with only a few foundation dogs but we have labradoodle breeders who want to sit on the fence rather than commit.
We need people who are passionate about developing the Australian Cobberdog and being part of the foundation of taking it through to breed recognition – not those who don’t commit and want to hang onto the past [ALD] and keep what we are trying to do in limbo.
The future for the breed is fantastic and exciting and soon you will see strategies being put in place to help in more obvious ways to move the breed forward. There is much work going on in the background as the breed committee had much to cover to set the ground work as they began working.
Australian Cobberdog Traits and Characteristics. Unique, precious and worth protecting
* The ultimate Therapy Dog and family companion, wise and gentle
* Goofy fun nature, they love to make you laugh!
* Sensitive affectionate loving, empathise and respond intuitively to human emotion
* Sociable and non aggressive, patient with children
* Intuitive, eager to please and thrive on training
* Seek a deep connection with human eyes
* No Shedding, No doggie smell even when wet
* Respond best to Appreciation training methods
* Three sizes - Miniature Medium and Standard
There should be no difference other than their size. I have heard that some breeders are telling their puppy buyers that smaller sizes are more hyperactive. This should not be so. Breeders may need to take a closer look at their breeding programs.
* Can be too smart and mischievous for their own good and need early training to reach their full potential
Can the Original Recipe Be Repeated or Repaired?
My vision for what I wanted to achieve has never wavered. When I saw some unique characteristics appear in some of my early dogs and puppies, such as a desire for human eye contact, and powerful intuition I determined to selectively bred for these traits. I knew I wanted the dogs to be able to behave in a particular way and to work at specific tasks mostly suited towards Assistance Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Medical Alert Dogs. I wanted a non-shedding coat which was easier to care for than many other non-shedding breeds. Most of all I wanted the finished result to be predictable so everyone who was seeking unique specific qualities in a dog could be confident in what they were getting. To accomplish this, I carefully selected dogs which had the desirable qualities , 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.
Plus, what would be the point in attempting to re-invent the wheel along with all of its disappointments and failures along the way?
Any infusion has to be able to be shown to potentially bring something that will carry the breed closer to the desired outcome for the breed, or it becomes a backward step. Since MDBA recognition, NO infusions are permitted without strict adherence to the MDBA's processes. This mandate also applies to me, which is exactly as it should be.
When Will the Australian Cobberdog 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. Otherwise there could be no consistency and generations of non-typey dogs would be produced which would at best slow down progress, or even halt it altogether.
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. My own (Beverley's) belief is that the most successful way is to regularly back track to individuals who have proven in themselves as well as in their progeny, that they excel not only in health and physical attributes but in emotional ones as well - the Heart and Soul of the breed
FOR HISTORY NERDS
The Australian Labradoodle ( not to be confused with the Labradoodle which is 1st cross lab to poodle) was the brainchild of my daughter Angela Mellodie Cunningham of Tegan Park fame ( now Mellodie Woolley of Tegans) when she decided ( correctly as it turned out) that Labradoodle founder Wally Conron had quit his experimental cross breeding program too soon. I caught Mel's enthusiasm and independently we each set up our own breeding and research centres here in Australia with F1 breeding stock we individually purchased from hunting enthusiast Mr Don Evans. Don was already unofficially crossing Poodles with Labradors for his hobby of water fowl retrieving. But in those days, it was heavily frowned upon to cross-breed and there was nowhere a cross breed could be registered by a kennel club.
Sometimes Mellodie and I worked together, but it became increasingly obvious over time that there were philosophical differences in our approaches, that were not able to be resolved. I heard nothing from Mel for several years until one day she contacted me to say that she was fighting cancer, and wanted to mend fences. Naturally my mother's heart leapt for joy and I welcomed her back with open arms! She told me that the animal activists had persecuted her like they had done to me, and that she had stopped breeding dogs for years past, and hidden away with her family on Russel Island off the coast of Queensland.
During our separation, I had clung to my passion, but was broken-hearted at what had happened to the Australian Labradoodle. I decided to gather together remnants of my non corrupted bloodlines wherever I could find them, and add some healthy infusions to correct the problems brought about by careless breeding.
In 2011 I had submitted an application to the MDBA to accept my rescued breed into their Pure Breed in Development program. It took about 7 months for the MDBA Board to fully investigate the bad press published about me by the animal activists and to go through the extensive data I had submitted with my application. Then one day they advised me that my breed was acceptable but not if it bore the word "labradoodle" in its name. My dogs had been such a source of comfort and companionship during some tough times, that they were my true cobbers (best buddies in Australia) So the Australian Cobberdog was officially born.
In 2015 my daughter called me. She was crying on the 'phone, saying how much she was missing breeding dogs. I encouraged her to start again, but she said she couldn't afford breeding stock.
I was delighted to offer her as a gift, Rutlands Wh Amelia, a young but experienced breeding female whom she accepted. I then sent her frozen semen also as a gift, from several of my top stud dogs. She has not looked back and I am happy I was able to bring her joy.