There have been many inventors throughout history that later come to regret their inventions – Robert Openheimer who was the father of the atomic bomb, the inventor of the AK-47, and most recently, the dog breeder responsible for bringing us the Labradoodle.
90-year-old Wally Conron, recently revealed on a podcast that he saw the designer dog breed as his “life’s regret,” and told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that, “I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein’s monster.”
According to the BBC, the Australian breeder Conron first bred the Labradoodle in 1989 in order to meet some specific needs of one Hawaiian couple. The wife was blind and needed a guide dog, however, the husband was allergic to the type of long hair that is typical of certain service dogs, such as labs. What was a well-intentioned solution, Conron crossbred a Poodle with a Labrador in order for his clients to have a dog that had the obedience and temperament of a Lab and the short, curly – and hypoallergenic – coat of a Poodle.
However, the experiment –like all experiments sometimes do – came with some unintended consequences, mostly in terms of health problems. Labradoodles are prone to such ailments as epilepsy and hip dysplasia. Despite their genetic flaws, the Labradoodle is a highly popular breed as they are very adorable and make great pets.
Since the birth of the Labradoodle, the designer crossbreed trend has become very popular in the dog breeding world. Conron cautions that the practice of some breeders to cross poodles with “inappropriate” breeds prioritizes a breed’s appearance over their wellbeing.
Health issues aren’t just reserved for Labradoodles. There are many designer dog breeds that have become vulnerable to hereditary diseases and ailments that can make life harder for both the dogs and their owners.
That is why it’s so much better to adopt than to shop since most “designer crossbreeds” are really just overpriced mutts. And rescuing a dog from the pound is always the much kinder and responsible thing to do.