Wally Conron bred the first labradoodle, which is a cross between a Labrador and a poodle, in 1989. He had an innocent reason- it was a special request that resulted in a bespoke dog.
Conron, who was a breeding manager, received the request from a blind woman in Hawaii. “She wanted to know if we could come up with a dog that she could use as a guide dog and her husband wouldn’t be allergic to,” Conron told Australia’s ABC News podcast.
At first, he thought a standard poodle would the answer to her quandary, but none of the poodles he trialed had the temperament necessary to be a guide dog. After three years of trying to help the woman, he finally came up with the idea to crossbreed “a dog with the working ability of the Labrador and the coat of the poodle,” he told ABC.
Conron's creation got out of hand because there were three puppies, and he went all out to find homes for the two that weren't needed. Now he says he feels like he's released Frankenstein's monster. Read about the birth of the labradoodle at Gizmodo.
(Image credit: Flickr user mat79)