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Creator of the 'labradoodle' says inventing the breed is his 'life's regret'

© Purple Collar Pet Photography   A poll of 30,000 Telegraph readers voted the Labradoodle their favorite dog breed in 2015 - Moment RF

By Jamie Johnson, The Telegraph

The man who created the ‘labradoodle’ says inventing the breed is his “life’s regret” because they are either “crazy” or plagued by health problems.

Wally Conron, an Australian dog breeder, first cross-bred a Labrador and a Poodle for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair, but says it “opened up a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein's monster.”

Today, breeders are not adhering to good practice and producing dogs with health problems, he says, while a “bandwagon” effect means that some are trying to cross inappropriate breeds in an effort to create their own ‘designer dogs’.

© Ragnar Schmuck / Getty   Jeremy Clarkson, Graham Norton and Tiger Woods all own Labradoodles

Speaking to the Australia Broadcast Network, he says that producing the labradoodle is his "life's regret" and he hasn't "got a clue" why people are still breeding them today.

Born in 1989, Sultan was the world’s first labradoodle, created by Mr Conron because it was hypoallergenic and had a good temperament.

He had received a letter from a woman in Hawaii who needed a guide dog that would not exacerbate her husband’s allergies.

As breeding manager at the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia, Mr Conron took three years to perfect the crossover. 

He described the labradoodle as "a dog with the working ability of the Labrador and the coat of the poodle".

The breed shot to popularity soon after.

“I could not visualise the publicity that a crossbred dog would get,” said Mr Conron.

“Cars would stop and people would get out of the car and say to me, 'excuse me what sort of dog is that?' I'd say 'it's a labradoodle!''

Previously he described the name as a “gimmick” because at the time “everyone wanted purebreds.”
And then the celebrities piled in. 

Jeremy Clarkson named his Dodger, Graham Norton is a doting father to Bailey, and Tiger Woods takes Yogi out golfing.

A poll of 30,000 Telegraph readers voted the Labradoodle their favorite dog breed in 2015, with more than 1,000 more votes than greyhounds, in second place.

Boosted by the publicity, certain breeders around the world wanted to keep up with the demand for the designer dog, and that’s when the problems began.

“I realised the reason for these unethical, ruthless people was to breed these dogs and sell them for big bucks,” he said.

In accelerating breeding, good practice was not always observed and the health of the breed has been undermined, says Mr Conron. 

“I opened a Pandora's box and released a Frankenstein's monster. When I'm out and I see these labradoodles I can't help myself, I go over them in my mind.

“I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem. I do see some nice labradoodles but they're few and far between,” he added.

He has said before that: “instead of breeding out the problems, they’re breeding them in. For every perfect one, you’re going to find a lot of crazy ones.”

Further adding to his worries are the “unscrupulous breeders crossing poodles with inappropriate dogs simply so they can say they were the first to do it,” he says.

“I just heard about someone who wanted to cross a poodle with a rottweiler. How could anyone do that?” He told the Associated Press.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine all of this would happen.”



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Home Magazine: Creator of the 'labradoodle' says inventing the breed is his 'life's regret'
Creator of the 'labradoodle' says inventing the breed is his 'life's regret'
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