Wally Conron, first breeder of the Labradoodle, says his creation is his “life’s regret”

By on September 27, 2019

In the beginning, cross breeding dogs had the best intentions. One breed was mixed with another to take advantage of each dog’s inherent specialties. Some dogs are great hunters, others shepherds, etc.

An example: Wally Conron, now 90 years old and speaking about his career in this CBS News article, bred a lab with a poodle in an attempt to create a better guide dog. He cites the experiment as his life’s regret, saying he “Opened a Pandora box and released a Frankenstein monster.”

Cross breeding can, like in this case, create a more useful animal. It does, however, come with risks. Healthy Labradoodles, he says, are few and far between, and breeders today don’t consider the health risks, calling the breeders “unethical, ruthless.”

Puppy mill puppies are often either “designer” dogs like the Labradoodle. People hope to get a that dog doesn’t shed, has the perfect temperament, or has just the right physical attributes. Designer dogs can meet these criteria. And in the mills these dogs are created, conditions are typically conducive to sickness. Add the genetic health risks, and that is a formula for creating really sick dogs.

“Why people are breeding them today, I haven’t got a clue,” Conron had said. Animal advocates know why. Dissonant dog buyers don’t seem to care or haven’t been educated.

A USA Today article recently gave some largely anecdotal accounts of happy Labradoodles and their owners. One veterinarian indicates in the article that cross-breeds are healthier than pure bred dogs, which contradicts Conron.

Even with the best of intentions, these things happen, creating problems. And understanding the health problems that result is yet another reason for puppy mill advocates to educate and fight commercial breeding that disregards animal well being to profit financially.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply