The Labradoodle first came about when in 1989 a man named Wally Conron bred a Poodle to a Labrador in the hope that he could produce a guide dog for a blind lady from Hawaii that wouldn’t trigger her husband’s allergies. Labradors, as we know, are used worldwide to aid the blind and Poodles have a wool coat that doesn’t seasonally shed like other dogs and can be more suited to allergy sufferers. Conron, who worked as Breeding Manager for the Royal Guide Dogs Association in Victoria, Australia, went ahead and bred one of his best Labradors with a Standard Poodle, the mating of these two different breeds produced a litter of three puppies, only one pup was deemed suitable and termed allergy friendly for the purpose it was bred for. No one had bred a Labrador to a Poodle before, at least not on purpose, but it gave rise to the many different crosses being produced today and not always for the right reasons and often with total disregard for parentage, size and temperament. It is because of this disregard that Conron has made it known of his regret, not of the mating that he did but because of those that have since jumped on the bandwagon with the Groodles, Jackadoodles, Roodles and quite a few other oddly named crosses.
Contrary to popular belief Wally Conron was certainly not the first to coin the name Labradoodle. Indeed Sir Donald Campbell owned one called Maxie in the 1950’s and in his 1955 book “ Into The Water Barrier” it is named as and referred to as such.
Sir Donald Campbell (left) and his Labradoodle, Maxie.
PIcture kind courtesy of http://www.racingcampbells.com