The original breeder of labradoodles says he regrets creating the breed and the craze that followed.
Wally Conron, 90, first bred a labradoodle for a blind woman in Hawaii. She needed a guide dog, but her husband was allergic to Labrador retrievers. He bred the labradoodle for her.
The resulting litter of three was small, but one of the puppies didn’t trigger the husband’s allergies and was sent to Hawaii to be her guide dog.
As no one wanted the two remaining puppies, Conron asked the PR department at his work to spread the message of this new breed. Labradoodles quickly became popular.
Conron says the invention is his “life’s regret” and he hasn’t “got a clue” why people are still breeding them today.
He says others are abusing the breed to make a quick buck.
“I opened a Pandora box and released a Frankenstein monster,” Conron said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s podcast “Sum of All Parts” last week.
According to Conron, the majority of labradoodles are “either crazy or have a hereditary problem,” with healthy examples of the breed “few and far between.”
He believes that people have now gone too far with cross-breeding, which can increase a dog’s risk of congenital disease, particularly down the generations.
Designer breeds have become widespread, but so has criticism of the consequences. Labradoodles, for example, can develop health problems common to Labrador Retrievers and Poodles such as hip dysplasia and eye disease.