(LABRADOODLES/DOG BREEDS) Labradoodles are a dog breed mix between a Labrador Retriever and a standard poodle. Now, the dog breeder who created the first hypoallergenic labradoodle puppies regrets creating the labradoodle dog breed – and all of the problems that came along with it. Read on… – Global Animal

Sydney Morning Herald

If Wally Conron had known what was going to become of the labradoodle, he wouldn’t have bred the dog in the first place. It was 22 years ago and Conron, now 81, was working as the breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia when his boss set him a tough task. A blind woman from Hawaii had written asking if they could provide a guide dog that would not shed hair, because her husband was allergic to it.

I said, ‘Oh yes, this will be a piece of cake. The standard poodle is a working dog, it doesn’t shed hair, it’ll be great.’ I tried 33 in the course of three years and they all failed. They just didn’t make a guide dog.

Conron decided there was one possibility left: take his best labrador bitch and mate it with a standard poodle. They created three cross-breed puppies that needed to be boarded out to be trained and socialised but nobody would take them; everyone wanted a pure-bred. And that’s when Conron came up with the name labradoodle. ”I went to our PR team and said, ‘Go to the press and tell them we’ve invented a new dog, the labradoodle.’ It was a gimmick and it went worldwide. No one wanted a cross-breed but the following day we had hundreds of calls from people wanting these master dogs.”

The labradoodle proved to be a brilliant dog for the blind and the woman in Hawaii was happy. So what was the problem?

It’s how the dog has been used and abused and sold under false pretences, Conron says. ”When the pups were five months old, we sent clippings and saliva to Hawaii to be tested with this woman’s husband. Of the three pups, he was not allergic to one of them. In the next litter I had, there were 10 pups but only three had non-allergenic coats. Now, people are breeding these dogs and selling them as non-allergenic and they’re not even testing them.

”All these backyard breeders have jumped on the bandwagon and they’re crossing any kind of dog with a poodle. They’re selling them for more than a pure-bred is worth and they’re not going into the backgrounds of the parents of the dogs. There are so many poodle crosses having fits, problems with their eyes, hips and elbows; a lot have epilepsy. There are a few ethical breeders but very, very few.”

Conron says that despite the fact the dogs have helped so many blind people, he regrets creating the first cross-breed.

‘I released a Frankenstein. … People say ‘aren’t you proud of yourself?’ and I say, ‘not in the slightest. I’ve done so much harm to pure breeding.’

More SMH: http://m.smh.com.au/world/science/regrets-theyve-had-a-few-20101124-187ho.html

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153 COMMENTS

  1. @ Jennifer, please explain why the AKC will give papers to puppy mill dogs please? Doesn't seem very ethical to me.

    @ Snarl, dew claw removal is not a cosmetic thing. Many dogs have them ripped off while playing or walking. Cropping and docking may be unneeded but dew claw removal saves the dog a painful rip later.

    @Deirdre, I believe you would care greatly if you volunteered for a month in a high kill shelter.

  2. There are not a few bad apples. The world is rampant with rotten apples who are breeding dogs for money. No testing, no shots, selling these dogs at four weeks of age. Humans CHOOSE to over populate, animals are being forced to do it by people. Nature regulates itself, humans manipulate it to their bidding. You are comparing apples and oranges.

  3. Sam, They are living creatures and not disposable. Most people dump their pets out of convenience, not because of an actual problem. Most dogs taken to shelters had some kind of behavior problem the owner didn't like and they refused to get training. Pets are not a right and not everyone should have them.

  4. Jenny Polega so you are telling me that no matter what the circumstances are, once a person gets a pet they should keep that pet forever? Forgive me but frankly circumstances can be extenuating, to simply sit there and say that no matter what people should keep their pets is ignorant.

  5. So why is it okay for all people to reproduce? Use these same standards for people, before they are allowed to breed! You know very little about these screenings. For instance, screening for hips (OFA) can be easily manipulated. Most show people are very careful with regard to their breeding. Like with anything, there are a few bad apples. Your absolute statements are ridiculous.

  6. Wendy, to say that "any breeding is a travesty" is shortsighted. Do you realize that if all dogs were altered and breeding were to stop for 10 years there would be virtually no more dogs….at all? Do the math…

  7. wally conron is not to blame.don't regret what you did for these people who are blind with allergies , its these so called breeders who just use dogs to cash in not for the love of animals.they are the bones whove abused it..i would never buy a pure pedigree now , some of the terrible things that are going on to get the perfect best of breed.