Labradoodle Creator Regrets His Actions



Are you a Labradoodle lover? Or maybe even an owner? This breed of designer dog has found lots of followers but also has taken its licks as well.

Here’s what Wally Conron, the man tagged for creating the Labradoodle as a breed, has to say about why he’s now regretting his actions.

The Origins

Back in the 1980s, Conron was employed as a puppy breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dog Association in Australia. He was approached by a couple to find a breed that would assist with the vision problems experienced by the wife and the allergy issues the husband had.

Conron took two breeds that fit the bill on both requests: Labs have been leading those with blindness and vision problems for years and poodles are known for their anti-shedding qualities.

Shazam! The Labradoodle was born.

Cross Breeding

Then came the issue: it seems that no one was interested in a Lab mix. No, they wanted a purebred dog. That’s how the name came about – it tricked those looking for a breed into thinking they weren’t getting a cross between two breeds.

Any cross breeding can have issues. Health and genetics play a huge role. And when you start breeding Labradoodles with Labradoodles? All sorts of problems can occur.

If you want to buy a Labradoodle, it’s best to do it first generationally instead of multi-generationally. Get your pup from the cross between a Lab and a Poodle rather than from two Labradoodles.

Why Conron Has Regrets

Although Conron reports he was careful 30 years ago when he first crossbred the dogs, others now are not so responsible. He’s regretful because he believes there are a lot of abandoned and unhealthy dogs because breeders have not been careful to breed first generation pups.

“Instead of breeding the problems out, they’re breeding the problems in,” says Conron. He never thought poodles would end up as the go to breed for anything in the designer canine world but that’s the trend he started.

Puppy mills with so-called breeders interested only in making a buck, are creating the Frankenstein of the dog world. Problems run the gamut from physical to mental and emotional and this ends up, sadly, in lots of euthanized pups.

Labradoodle in grass

Showing Up in Shows

Mixed breeds and mutts are starting to be seen in dog shows like the Westminster Kennel Club show. But they are limited in what they can enter.

Only the agility trials permit crossbreeds, but not in the main event that features only purebreds. And Labradoodles … despite the gimmick that gave them their name … aren’t permitted at the big show.

Praise for Conron

Wally Conron’s authenticity and transparency in his comments has won praise from PETA. Representatives say that they appreciate how Conron is speaking out against the very thing he invented.

Conron has never owned one of his inventions nor does he breed them any longer. He stopped over 20 years ago but still blames himself for opening what he calls a Pandora’s Box of health problems.

If you want a Labradoodle, do your research into the history and science and find a breeder who is using first generation breeding techniques.


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WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.