In an interview that sounded eerily like the story of Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the Labradoodle expressed deep regret in creating the breed, the original "designer dog" that started the modern day trend.
Wally Conron developed the Labradoodle when he was working for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. He needed to develop a service dog with the appropriate temperament as well as one that would not trigger a reaction in people who were allergic to dogs. And there, the Labradoodle was carefully created.
Now, Conron sees the damaging effects of the craze for the breed he created. Today's mixed breed designer dogs are not always created with the same careful breeding in mind, as many backyard breeders and puppy mills take advantage of people's desire for the breed, cutting corners and focusing more on profit and less on improving the health and temperament of the dogs they create.
Conron blames himself for opening "Pandora's Box" and creating a "Frankenstein." He urges families looking into a designer breed to choose their breeder carefully, and never purchase a puppy from a pet store, a backyard breeder or any breeder that is not concerned with the dog's well-being.
Better yet, check your local shelter or rescue group. Even designer dog breeds end up homeless, neglected, and abused. Furthermore, spay or neuter your pets (or if you choose not to spay/neuter, be a responsible pet owner and keep your dog properly contained) and don't add to the existing pet overpopulation problem.
Since the start of the designer dog craze, breeds have started to include such mixes as the "Aussiedoodle," "Maltipoo," and the latest joke from the Super Bowl--the "Doberhuahua."
When bred properly and carefully, designer dogs like the Labradoodle can make fantastic family pets, and will live up to the high standards that Conron originally intended. But do your research beforehand and you'll end up with a dog with a better temperament who will not suffer the damaging effects that dogs from puppy mills and backyard breeders so often do.