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The Inventor of the Labradoodle Is Filled With Regret

Illustration for article titled The Inventor of the Labradoodle Is Filled With Regret
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Humanity has spawned many puzzling creations, like chicken-flavored nail polish and these shoes. Up until this point, I hadn’t considered labradoodles among the weirder things we’ve thought of, or even the weirder dogs we’ve thought of. (That’s pugs.) But the inventor of the Lab-poodle hybrid sorely regrets unleashing his ungodly creation upon humanity. It is, in fact, his life’s regret.

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“I realized what I had done within a matter of days,” guide dog breeder Wally Conron said on the ABC podcast Sum Of All Parts. What had started as Conron’s clever solution for a blind woman in need of a guide dog but allergic to Labrador fur quickly spun into a sensation. After Conron offloaded one labradoodle puppy to the woman with the allergy, he found himself with two extras—the problem was, nobody wanted them. That’s when he came up with the term “labradoodle,” a catchy name good for PR that quickly blew out of control.

As a professional, Conron said he’s found that others replicating the labradoodles often cared more about making money than creating healthy puppies. From ABC:

“I realised the reason for these unethical, ruthless people [was] to breed these dogs and sell them for big bucks,” Wally says.

The popularity of the labradoodle was overwhelming and Wally became increasingly concerned about the quality of the breeding process being adopted. Thirty years on it still haunts him.

“I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein’s monster,” he says.

Wow, Frankenstein’s monster came out of Pandora’s box, and it was a labradoodle? I don’t know, I worked in an office with one once and he didn’t strike me as the nightmare scourge Conron describes. He mostly looked like a floppy red statement rug who occasionally peed on the floor. I guess I was wrong!

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

nerdybirdy

This article doesn’t even touch on why the creation of the labradoodle was a problem aside from the usual “they’re being bred by people just in it for the money” issue of dog breeding.

The bigger problem with the creation of the labradoodle was the absolute wave of demand for mixed breeds with adorable names. Cockapoo, cockadoodle, cavoodle, maltepoo, schnoodle, borador, chorkie, chug, zuchon, shichi, pekeapoo, lurcher, longdog, lug.. okay some of these are poor examples, but the point is the same. Before the labradoodle, these were just mutts. Nobody was breeding them on purpose. But now they are. Now we have puppy mills for labs, border collies, and boradors. And while there is often a benefit to mixing breeds, more puppy mills is never a good thing.

On top of that, these boutique breeds are a complete unknown when it comes to behavior traits and medical issues. Combing two breeds that are well known to have hip dysplasia is highly likely to result in a very expensive, miserable dog with a cute breed name. Combining an anxious dog breed with an aggressive dog breed is a surefire way to get a small dog that bites out of fear.

“But it’s soooo cute and it has such a fun name” is basically its reason for existing and that’s terrible. There are already appropriate breeds for people with allergies, pets are not a made-to-order service. Drives me fucking nuts.

Adopt a god damn dog, don’t buy one.