Australian Cobberdog Breed: Facts, Traits, Character and Look

Australian Cobberdog Breed_ Facts, Traits, Character and Look
Miniature: 13-16.5 inches
Medium: 16.5-20 inches
Standard: 20-24 inches 
Extra-large: 24-28 inches
Males: 110-135 pounds (50-61 kg)
Females: 99-130 pounds (45-59 kg)
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Colors: Black, Coffee, Silver, Gold, Blonde, Silver Blue, Red, Merle, and More
Suitable for: Families, Emotional Support, People With Dog Allergies
Temperament: Kind, Friendly, Intuitive, Empathetic
More Australian Cobberdog Details: Read below↓

Australian Cobberdog is the name to define a pure breed ‘Labradoodle’ originating in Australia. In Australian slang, a Cobber is a ‘mate.’ The name Cobberdog was chosen because it means ‘dog-friend,’ referring to the breed’s primary purpose as a therapy and assistance dog. It is a role for which it is ideally suited, thanks to its friendly, loyal and loving nature and exceptional intelligence and learning ability.

Like the Labradoodle, the ‘Cobber’ descended from Labrador and Poodle ancestry. From the Labrador side, the Cobber acquired an excellent, consistent temperament that is ideal for a therapy and assistance dog, and from the Poodle side, a beautiful hypoallergenic coat. Yet, despite being bred primarily for these pragmatic qualities rather than for good looks, it is undeniably a good-looking, highly adorable, and charming canine.

Naming your Australian Cobberdog involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Australian Cobberdog’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. Australian Cobberdogs respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

Use any inspiration to choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction than when calling your Australian Cobberdog. It might be a good idea to call the names you like and check your Cobber pup’s reaction. Be creative use different tones for each syllable. Don’t rush; try several, and if your favorite name is too long or too short, add or remove bits until you have composed the perfect unique sound that your precious pup will recognize from a distance.

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What is the History of the Australian Cobberdog?

Many people think the Australian Cobberdog is just a fancy name for a ‘Labradoodle,’ but there are some critical differences between the two. The original purpose of the Labradoodle, which came into being first, was to cross a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle to create a hypoallergenic service dog. However, as the popularity of Labradoodles took off, unregulated breeders jumped on the bandwagon and tainted the Labradoodle’ brand’ by breeding for prettiness and profit.

Beverley and Mellodie, breeders of the Ruthland Manor and Tegan Park Labradoodle Breeding & Research Centres, decided to restore the Authentic Labradoodle’s lost essence. In the late 1980s, the breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, Wally Conron, received a request for a hypoallergenic guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dogs.

After trialing, 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.

The Australian Cobberdog was later created from the original Labradoodle ancestry and strict breeding stipulations and registration requirements. The breed would have a controlled lineage, become officially recognized, and continue to fulfill its original purpose as a hypoallergenic service dog.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Australian Cobberdogs?

A relatively new breed, the Australian Cobberdog was officially recognized as a pure breed in development in 2012. Australian Cobberdogs display a unique sense of intuition. Similarly, their gentle nature makes them great additions for families with children. There’s a sense that these pups have an uncanny ability to connect with humans. The fact that they are a hypoallergenic breed is a bonus on top of it all.

Australian Cobberdogs 



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. He is fantastic with children in general, and 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. Cobberdogs have been selectively bred to have the desired traits listed below.

  • Strong human focus and connection 
  • Calm and centered demeanor 
  • Emotional warmth 
  • Intelligence
  • Sustained eye contact for bonding
  • High intuition to accurately read emotional states 
  • High aptitude for training

Adaptability Level

The Cobberdog is a versatile breed that adapts well to any environment, whether country or city, a small apartment, or a large house, as long as the Cobber gets enough physical and mental exercise. They have no problem spending hours alone waiting for their families to return from work or school; they never get bored and can entertain themselves with toys, playing with sticks, or inventing some exciting activities to pass the time. 

Sensitivity Level

The Australian Cobberdog 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. Cobber’s sensitivity and ability to perceive people’s moods and 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. They appear to have intuition, seemingly able to ‘know’ how we’re feeling, and the ability to adapt their behavior accordingly.

Affection Level

Cobberdogs provided with consistent training and socialization from a young age will make great family pets, as it is very affectionate towards children.

Overall Friendliness

They are entirely non-aggressive and have no instinct to bite, even in the early puppy phase. Australian Cobberdogs crave human touch, always wanting to be hugged and cuddled. They have a natural intuition to seek eye contact with humans. The Cobberdog was explicitly bred as a therapy dog, with the designation “Cobber” taken from colloquial Australian, meaning “mate” or “dog-friend.” The Cobberdog’s most significant advantage is its versatility, allowing it to thrive with single individuals and families with young children. The Cobberdog also excels as a service animal. Since the breed’s temperament is calm, family-friendly, and affectionate, it does as well in therapeutic settings such as nursing homes and special education classrooms as in family homes as a playmate and companion dog.


Nipping is a natural instinct of puppies to seek out leadership amongst their siblings. However, once your puppy comes home it should not be tolerated, and training your pup NOT to nip is very important to prevent a nip from becoming a bite. It should be done as soon as possible or you will give up all control over your puppy and they will control you. Parents must also supervise their kids at home for at least the first few weeks when the new puppy arrives, as sometimes kids, in their excitement to play with the puppy can end up pulling and prodding at it to the point where the puppy retaliates.


The Australian Cobberdog is a sociable dog, confident, and always ready to make friends with other animals and humans. They get along well with all kinds of pets, including cats, birds, rodents, and other dogs.

Exercise Needs

Cobbers thrive on close family contact, mental stimulation, and moderate exercise like long daily walks.

Playfulness Level

Australian Cobberdogs are playful, goofy, and provide loads of fun. They are carefully bred for minimal aggression and are very good with other pets. They enjoy nothing more than being part of the family and spending time with them. Cobbers are not dogs to be left in the backyard when all their humans are inside. Instead, let them join the fun inside, and they will give you love, loyalty, companionship, and a lifetime of belly laughs in return.

Energy Levels

The Cobberdog is the perfect family dog and a first-class therapy and assistance dog, needing high energy levels. It will seem enthusiastic and happy but never hyperactive.

Trainability Level

The Australian Cobberdog needs to be a fast learner to become a successful therapy and assistance dog. The Cobberdog is known for its ability to train quickly and learn many tricks and unusual or unique tasks required in its role as a caregiver. Because of the Cobberdog’s intelligence and thirst for learning, he needs plenty of mental exercise to prevent boredom from setting in and to avoid behavioral issues. Beware, the undisciplined Cobber can attempt to outsmart his owner, so he must have a firm but calm, consistent owner. Mental stimulation can include learning new tricks, daily one-on-one playtime, and attending dog training classes.

Intelligence Level

The Australian Cobberdog is very intelligent and quick to learn how to do his work and shows great sensitivity to children, seniors, and everyone in-between. Close family contact, mental stimulation, and moderate exercise keep him content.

Barking Tendency

The Australian Cobberdog has low barking tendencies

Shedding Level

The Cobber does not have a hair coat but rather a fleecy or woolly coat that is soft and silky, odorless 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 colors, including solid black, coffee, silver, gold, blond, silver blue, and red, color combinations, such as merle (chocolate and blue) and parti (a variety of any one of the solid colors with white), and shaded colors (various tones of the same color).

What are the Physical Traits of the Australian Cobberdog?

The Australian Cobberdog comes in four sizes with heights as listed below.

  • Miniature: Between 13 and 16.5 inches
  • Medium: Between 16.5 and 20 inches
  • Standard: Between 20 and 24 inches 
  • Extra-large: Between 24 and 28 inches

The average body weight of a mature male dog is between 110 and 135 pounds and between 99 and 130 pounds for females. The gender of the dog does not affect the Cobber’s size; however, the female Cobber’s complexion is usually slightly lighter than the males.

Australian Cobberdogs shed either no hairs or very little during the transition from puppy to adult. They are naturally hygienic and have no unpleasant odors. Cobbers have soft and silky coats that are never spongy and come in two possible types listed below.

  • Wavy hair: This wave falls with movement and is easily finger-combed. It is curlier when it is short, but the wave extends and relaxes when left to grow.
  • Ringlet hair: This type has more defined curls that fall in spirals, forming ringlets. When cut, the curl intensifies, and the coat appears denser.

There are three distinct coats within the Australian Cobberdog breed, including fleece, combination, and wool. Each creates a unique appearance and has its own benefits to consider.

  • The Fleece Coat 

Fleece coats are notoriously wavy and silky to the touch. They also repel dirt and are resistant to lingering odors that are common in other breeds. An Australian Cobberdog with a fleece coat enjoys minimal shedding.

  • Fleece/Wool Combination Coat:

The coat if grown long looks like long spirals, truly beautiful but must be cared for by a groomer who knows how to brush or cut this type of coat. Brushing or cutting this coat too much or too often can change the texture of their coat for the worse, so be careful how much and how short your Australian Cobberdog gets cut when groomed.

  • The Wool Coat:

Pet lovers who own an Australian Cobberdog with a wool coat are generally able to avoid allergy concerns. While the wool spirals are certainly beautiful, this coat sheds minimally and is free of most odors. Maintenance is made simple with a wool coat, as well. The time between washings can be extended, thanks to an odor-free coat.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Australian Cobberdog?

The Australian Cobberdog should be fed a high-quality dry food formulated for its size. Miniature Cobberdogs need a different formula than the large or giant variety. It would be best to consider annual expenses related to the maintenance of a Cobberdog and its wellbeing before bringing one home. 

The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $3,000 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,700 a year. 

The estimated annual cost of having a medium-sized dog like an Australian Cobberdog is $650 for food and medical expenses only, excluding toys, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc. 

Typical monthly expenses are listed below. 

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. An Australian Cobberdog’s hair does not shed and continues to grow, and it is up to their owners to decide whether to grow or cut their furry friend’s hair. Those who choose the shorter hair look will likely have to include the fees of a professional groomer in their monthly dog-related expenses. Daily brushing of the Cobber’s coat is essential.

The Australian Cobberdog is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. The Australian Cobberdog has a moderate risk of obesity, especially if working dogs become house pets with insufficient exercise. Daily walks should be on the schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together.

How Long is the Australian Cobberdogs Lifespan?

The Australian Cobberdog has a long lifespan for a large breed dog, typically living between 13 and 15 years.

What is the best diet for Australian Cobberdogs?

Your dog’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Australian Cobberdog’s diet on the size variety of your pup. Miniature Cobberdogs have unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout their different life stages, compared to medium, large, and giant.

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as their Cobberdogs grow. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Cobberdog from the table; all it does is add weight. Instead, follow the advice below to ensure your Cobberdog friend’s optimal health.

Australian Cobberdogs need food that contains animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. Base your Cobber’s nutrition on its activity level and demeanor to ensure its food contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

The number of cups of food required daily will again depend on the size Cobber you chose. Follow the package instructions and split the daily food into several meals to avoid life-threatening bloat. Another matter to consider is the life stage of your Cobber because puppies, adults, and senior Cobbers have different nutritional needs. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

An example of a premium dry dog food is Instinct Raw Boost Kibble. Below is a list of the benefits offered by the 14 Instinct. Raw Boost Recipes

  • Protein-Packed: With responsibly sourced real meat as the first ingredient, these recipes are packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles.
  • Omegas 3 and 6: Naturally occurring omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits help support immune health.
  • Probiotics: Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics are included to support your dog’s digestive health.
  • Raw Coating: Instinct crushes and tumbles their freeze-dried raw with their kibble, ensuring raw is on every piece.

Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food with Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces are made without fillers, and these recipes are made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, or artificial colors or preservatives. When Armant Dogs are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Instinct Raw Boost is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should an Australian Cobberdog Puppy Eat? 

The Australian Cobberdogs come in four different sizes; however, they have the same nutritional requirements. It is crucial to divide their food into several meals per day. Puppies under 12 weeks should get four bowls of food per day. When Australian Cobberdogs become three months old, owners can feed them three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Australian Cobberdog puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Australian Cobberdogs should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • Australian Cobberdogs with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is the exception because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the common health problems of Australian Cobberdogs?

The Australian Cobberdog breed 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 before registration for the following disorders:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA-prcd
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse
  • Copper Toxicosis

What are the nutritional needs of Australian Cobberdogs?

The nutritional needs of an Australian Cobberdog include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Cobberdog are listed below.

  • Protein: Australian Cobberdogs need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain essential for Cobberdog’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Australian Cobberdog’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Cobbers need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Australian Cobberdog sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Australian Cobberdog puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of Australian Cobberdogs.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health. Other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Australian Cobberdogs are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for an Australian Cobberdog’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Cobberdogs.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Australian Cobberdog?

Before starting a search for an Australian Cobberdog puppy, ensure you know where not to buy a puppy. Following the initial success achieved with Labradoodle breeding, a vast range of breeders who are not governed by regulations or standards continue to mass-produce Labradoodle Puppies, often advertising the pups as Australian Cobberdogs.

In some cases, other breeds have been introduced into the lineage. This has resulted in inconsistencies in appearance, temperament, and health of the resulting puppies, making them largely unsuitable as service dogs; nevertheless, they continue to be highly popular and lucrative, sold as a ‘designer breed.’

If you are considering bringing an Australian Cobberdog home, you have a choice of buying a puppy from a reputable, registered breeder or adopting an older retired Cobberdog. Various breeders and other organizations are keen to assist potential buyers or people who want to adopt. Reaching out to any of the entities below can prevent heartache after buying a “fake” unhealthy puppy from a puppy mill or an online scammer.

  • Australian Cobberdog breeders provide clients in Europe, the U.K., Canada, and the USA.
  • Highlands Australian Cobberdogs has been breeding Australian Labradoodles and Australian Cobberdogs since 2007. They would be happy to help answer your questions. To buy or initiate the adoption process for a puppy. 
  • Spring Hills Australian Cobberdogs
  •  Animal Rights and Rescue Canada
  • Northern Rivers Animal Services
  • COBBERDOGKING Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona

The Australian Cobberdog is descended from the original, genetically sound strains of the Australian Labradoodle and was officially recognized 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 program that complies with the breed standard can issue the Australian Cobberdog pedigree.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you can buy or adopt an Australian Cobberdog from abroad, not all countries allow the import of adopted dogs. Those whose countries allow the importation of Cobberdogs may find the logistics challenging. Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Australian Cobberdog is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel.

Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet. The same process applies to importing rescued dogs.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Australian Cobberdog?

Early Australian Labrador genes were used along with other breeds to develop Australian Cobberdogs and Australian Labradoodles, distancing themselves entirely from those bred by unregistered breeders chasing profits.

The only dog breed close to the Australian Cobberdogs is the Australian Labradoodles, both recognized as breeds in development.

The similarities between the two breeds are listed below.

  • Incredibly empathic
  • Intelligent 
  • Intuitive
  • Easy to train
  • Great as service dogs with young children
  • Perfect family dogs
  • They love to be the clown
  • Fun and playful with children indoors and outdoors 
  • Can settle in the house
  • Generally quiet and calm.
  • Loyal to their family
  • Friendly with strangers
  • Happily share the home with young children, other dogs, cats, and other pets.

The Australian Cobberdog and the Australian Labradoodle are excellent service dogs living in homes with autistic children, special needs, mobility assistance roles, and classrooms with children and adults with anxiety. more about Australian Labradoodle.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.