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Creating a Monster
Labradoodle creator regrets breeding the first “designer dog”

Ever since the Labradoodle led the “designer dog” craze, pet stores have spawned countless spinoffs that include Puggles, Schnoodles and Maltipoos. These mutts fetch hundreds of dollars, while an abundance of mixed breeds continue to wait in crowded shelters.

The Labradoodle dates back to 1988 when Wally Conran of the Royal Institute of the Blind in Australia received a letter from a woman who needed a seeing eye dog, despite her husband’s allergies. In response, Conran bred a Labrador from the Institute’s breeding stock to his manager’s Poodle to combine proven guide dog qualities with a non-shedding coat.

With the subsequent commercialization of the Labradoodle, Conran recently said that breeding the first “designer dog” is the greatest regret of his life and that he wishes he could turn the clock back.

I know Conran feels guilty, but if it weren’t Labradoodles, it would be something else. I believe that everything always comes back to responsible pet care. Until people start doing their research, puppy mills will continue to exist, catering to impulse buys and uneducated consumers. One day its “designer dogs” and tomorrow it will be “accessory puppies” or Dalmatians.

And, of course, the best kept secret remains that “designer dogs” can be adopted from the local animal shelter for a fraction of the price!

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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Submitted by walk the Human.com | July 31 2010 |

Why not invest in a "One-of -a- kind" Shelter friend. If your looking for a unique pedigree-that is where you will find it!

Submitted by Marcella Congdon | October 31 2013 |

Puppy mills are bad, bad but this issue shouldn't be confused with outcrossing: until the AKC puts temperament and long-term health issues into the Champion-making business, outcrosses are a good way to gc for those who for whatever reason won't adopt from a shelter (their Bad). I'm sure every breeder knows a CH dog who has stood at stud for several years and develops seizures or Addisons or XYZ at age 5+.

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