Labradoodle1

Labradoodle inventor full of regret, is now like the Oppenheimer of dog inventors

Feb 6, 2014

For the first time in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show’s 138 year history, mixed breeds are finally being allowed into the competition. Which is very nice and inclusive of them. Sadly, mutts will only be allowed to compete in the “agility” competition, because Westminster has no “standards” with which to judge how attractive they are. Those “standards” of course, are the reason the St. Bernard went from running around rescuing people in the Swiss Alps with barrels on their necks to being so big that they get overheated if they work too hard and being super prone to disease.

07 e1391725708379 Labradoodle inventor full of regret, is now like the Oppenheimer of dog inventors

And, um, whatever the hell it was that happened to the Bull Terrier:

01 Labradoodle inventor full of regret, is now like the Oppenheimer of dog inventors

Anyway, mixed-breed mutts are one thing–designer dogs, like labradoodles, puggles, schneagles (which I think I just made up) and other varieties specifically bred for specific reasons–are another. The designer dog craze has left shelters with a lot of “designer dogs” that didn’t quite come out right, which means people don’t adopt them and then they get euthanized.

It all started when Wally Conron, a dog breeder in Australia, first “invented” the Labradoodle. He’d invented it for a couple that needed a hypoallergenic seeing-eye dog. Because so many people wanted purebreds only, Conron decided to name his frankendog the “labradoodle” and market it as a “new breed” of dog. People, naturally, went nuts.

Ever since then, there’s been a craze for these so-called designer dogs. But Conron is not proud of what he hath wrought, and regrets ever having created the labradoodle.

Via Salon:

Conron said there are far too many unscrupulous people eager to make a buck at a dog’s expense. Rather than check the history and science, he said “horrific” puppy mills are springing up and producing unstable dogs that go unwanted and eventually are euthanized.

“Instead of breeding out the problems, they’re breeding them in,” he said. “For every perfect one, you’re going to find a lot of crazy ones.”

That’s a concern Conron has echoed in the past, blaming himself for opening a “Pandora’s box” and creating a “Frankenstein.”

Personally, I think it’s gross to buy a “purebred” or “designer dog”–particularly those bred in puppy mills–when there are so many in shelters that need adopting. Why would you spend thousands of dollars on what you think is a fancier dog, when you can literally just go out to a shelter and adopt one? I mean, unless you want your dog to compete in beauty pageants like Westminster, which I think we can all agree is a bizarre pastime anyway.

Main image: Groomblog
Dog before and afters: Dog Behavior Science

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