Labradoodle 'Inventor' Calls the Crossbreed His Biggest Regret

dmbaker/iStock via Getty Images
dmbaker/iStock via Getty Images

Many inventors regret their most famous inventions: The scientists behind the atomic bomb, the creator of the AK-47, and, as he recently revealed on a podcast, the dog breeder behind the Labradoodle.

"I opened a Pandora's box and released a Frankenstein['s] monster," 90-year-old Wally Conron told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, calling the designer dog breed his "life's regret."

According to the BBC, the Australian breeder created the Labradoodle in 1989 to meet the specific needs of one couple from Hawaii. The wife was blind and needed a guide dog, but her husband was allergic to the type long hair found on typical service dogs like labs. Conron's solution was to crossbreed a poodle with a Labrador. That way, his clients would have a dog with the obedience and temperament of a Lab and the short, curly coat of a poodle.

The experiment produced some unintended consequences: Labradoodles are prone to a number of health problems, such as epilepsy and hip dysplasia. They're also incredibly adorable, which has been enough to make them a popular pet breed despite their genetic baggage.

Since the inception of the Labradoodle, designer crossbreeds have become a hot trend in the dog world. Conron says that the practice has encouraged breeders to cross poodles with "inappropriate" breeds, prioritizing cuteness and novelty over the dogs' wellbeing.

Health issues aren't exclusive to Labradoodles. Many designer dogs are more vulnerable to hereditary diseases that make life harder for both the pooches and their owners. That's one more reason to adopt instead of shop—even if it means the dog you take home doesn't have a catchy breed name.

[h/t BBC]

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Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

Like babies, dogs can be hard to read in the medical ailment department. Are they listless because they’re tired, or because they’re sick? What’s behind their whining? And can they suffer that most human of debilitating conditions, the headache?

Gizmodo polled several veterinarians and animal behavior specialists to find out, and the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Although a dog can’t express discomfort in a specific way, particularly if it doesn’t involve limping, animal experts know that canines that have diagnosed brain tumors or encephalitis can also be observed to have a high heart rate, a sign of physical pain. According to Tim Bentley, an associate professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at Purdue Veterinary Medicine, administering painkillers will bring a dog’s heart rate down. If signs of physical distress also decrease, a headache was likely involved.

Unfortunately, not all dogs may offer overt signals they’re feeling some brain pain. According to Adam Boyko, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, dogs instinctively try to mask pain to avoid showing weakness.

Ultimately, dogs have many of the same central neural pathways as humans, which can likely go awry in some of the same ways. But the kind of persistent headaches owing to head colds or hangovers are probably rare in dogs. And while it goes without saying, they definitely don't need any of your Advil.

[h/t Gizmodo]