(CNN) – The creator of the labradoodle cross breed said he unleashed unwittingly a « Frankenstein monster. »
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Wally Conron, 90, who worked for Guide Dogs Victoria in Australia when he spawned the first labrador-poodle crossing in 1989, spoke of his regret for having started a trend for designer breeds in an ABC podcast.
« I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein monster, » he said.
His « great regret » is that his invention paved the way for « unethical and ruthless people » to raise dogs without thinking about the health of their offspring.
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According to Conron, most labradoodles are « crazy or have a hereditary problem, » and healthy examples of the breed are « few and far between. »
He believes that people have now gone too far with crossings, which may increase the risk of a dog’s congenital disease, particularly over generations. In the podcast, he put special contempt for the new rottweiler-poodle hybrid, known as rottle or rottie-poo.
Conron’s original purpose in crossing a labrador with a standard poodle (which has a fur that does not fall off) had been to provide a guide dog for a blind woman in Hawaii whose husband was allergic to dogs.
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The resulting litter of three was small, but one of the puppies did not cause the husband’s allergies and was sent to Hawaii to be his guide dog.
Since no one wanted the two remaining puppies, Conron asked the public relations department in his work to spread the message of this new breed. Labradoodles quickly became popular in Australia and beyond.
Now, designer races have become widespread, but also criticisms of the consequences. Labradoodles, for example, can develop health problems common to labrador retrievers and poodles, such as hip dysplasia and eye disease.
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Colin Tennant, a British canine behavior expert with 45 years of industry experience, told CNN: « In essence, you are blindly breeding and altering the genetics of the line without prior knowledge. »
Although Tennant said he has no problems with the crossing in general, he said breeders should pay more attention to the dog’s health.
An example, he said, was the bichon frize, whose eyes fill with tears. « He must be in agony all the time, » he explained. « They breed the flat face so that they look humanoid because it seems attractive to us, regardless of the permutations we are producing with respect to the welfare or health of the dog. »