Labradoodle creator says the dog is his 'life's regret', compares them to 'Frankenstein'

Labradoodle.
Labradoodle. Photo credit: Getty

The creator of the first-ever labrador-poodle crossover has described the cuddly breed as his 'life's regret'.

Wally Conron, who invented the labradoodle mix in the late 1980s, said in an ABC podcast that he hasn't "got a clue" why people continue to breed the dogs.

"I've opened a Pandora's box... I released a Frankenstein," the Australian told ABC.

While the popular pooch may look far from monstrous, Conron is concerned that copycat cross-breeding is responsible for a number of not-so-cute health problems. 

"People are just breeding for money," he said.

"Unscrupulous breeders are crossing poodles with inappropriate dogs, simply so they can say they were the first to do it."

The former breeding manager was inspired to create the cross-breed when he received a letter from a blind lady in Hawaii, BBC reports. The lady said her husband was allergic to long-haired dogs, motivating Conron to create a guide dog suitable for those with allergies.

In 1988 to 1989, Conron came up with the solution of a dog with the "working ability" and gentleness of a Labrador and the low-shedding coat of a poodle. A Labrador retriever and standard Poodle were reportedly crossed for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia in the state of Victoria.

A dog from this first litter reportedly worked as a guide dog for the woman in Hawaii for years.

Although the breed has gone on to be successful, Conron said he never intended the labradoodle to become "a bandwagon". He's disappointed that his goal to breed healthy dogs has not been continued by followers of the 'trend'.

Conron told ABC he unfortunately finds many Labradoodles to be "crazy" or afflicted with a  "hereditary problem".

Not everyone has agreed with Conron's qualms. A number of passionate labradoodle owners have refuted his claims, saying Labradoodles are gentle, calm-natured and loving companions. 

A UK vet told the BBC that labradoodles are "happy, healthy dogs" and that he hasn't observed any major health problems in the breed.

"They do seem to make good family pets," he told the outlet.

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