Designer Dog or Disaster?

“I wonder, in my retirement, whether we bred a designer dog — or a disaster!” These words come from none other than Wally Conron, creator of the widely popular Labradoodle dog breed in 1989. Conron originally bred a poodle and a Labrador for a blind woman in search of a guide dog whose husband was allergic to dog hair. The result was a new, “hypoallergenic” mixed breed.  



Conron had a difficult time finding a home for the two remaining pups from the litter. He reached out to the public relations department at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, where he was working at the time. He asked them to notify the media of this new “special” breed.


The result was a remarkably popular designer dog. People fell in love with this unique looking, curly-haired pet. Unfortunately, so did many inhumane dog breeders. It didn’t take long for them to take advantage of this new money-making machine. Labradoodles quickly became a global phenomenon and there was going back for Conron.  



Conron openly admits to the damage that has been caused as a result of his seemingly harmless actions nearly 30 years ago. He claims he “created a monster,” and even compared his invention to that of Frankenstein. He recognizes the hereditary and behavioral issues that many of these innocent dogs are facing. He also discloses the various mental and physical problems affecting these dogs.  


At 90 years of age, Wally Conron says that inventing Labradoodles is his “life’s regret.” 


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Emily Konwick

Emily is WildCatFiona's momma. She is a junior at the University of Kentucky studying psychology. When she's not in class, she spends her free time running Fiona's Instagram page. She also loves writing and keeping up with pet-related current events!

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