The Labradoodle population is currently experiencing a bit of a PR crisis.
It’s been 31 years since Wally Conron bred Labrador with a Poodle, but the Victorian man has told the ABC podcast, Sum of All Parts, that he regrets the decision to this day.
“I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein’s monster,” he said.
“I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem. I do see some damn nice Labradoodles but they’re few and far between.”
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Initially, the Labradoodle was bred for a blind woman in Hawaii who required the help of a guide dog, but due to her husband’s allergies, she needed a dog which didn’t shed.
“[I was aware of this] poor lady sitting in Hawaii with no guide dog,” said Conran, who was working as the breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia.
At first Conron tried training a standard poodle to be a guide dog, but when that failed he resorted to creating a cross breed. The result was “a dog with the working ability of the Labrador and the coat of the poodle,” he said.
Now look, Conron is definitely correct in saying that there are irresponsible breeders who capitalise on the Labradoodle’s popularity and produce dogs with genetic issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and a bleeding disorder called von Willebrand’s disease.
But we must acknowledge this: IT’S NOT THE DOG’S FAULT.