Rutland Manor and Tegan Park
Our first story starts in Australia in about 1996.
Two women, a mother and daughter want to expand their pet shop and breeding business. One of them has a brilliant idea, “Let’s breed labradoodles!”
Now this was an obviously bad idea, all the people who had tried it were giving up, the labradoodle dogs shed and were too big and bouncy for most families and were not often suitable as Guide Dogs.
So they set about how to make it profitable. First thing was to forget breeding labradors with poodles, too big and they shed a lot. Secondly, they didn’t groom their breeding stock anyway and so they realised that a poodle covered in hair doesn’t look like a poodle any more but crucially sheds very little.
Then came the real break through, lets sell them as “hypoallergenic” and call them “Australian Labradoodles”. They already had small poodles and shihtzus and cockerpoos in the breeding sheds and so they went out and bought a job lot of labradoodles from an ex breeder. None of these had pedigrees of course, they were a right old mixture, but mated to poodles, poodle crosses and cockerpoos the size and shedding was reduced.
By 2001 they were managing to sell a few Australian Labradoodles but the shedding was a real problem so they ditched the original labradoodles and stuck to the nearly poodles they were breeding and mated them back to poodles. A few experiments were tried such as breeeding with Irish Water Spaniels, which are very like poodles anyway to the untutored eye and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.
By 2003, business was looking good and their separate businesses were booming. Sales over the internet made life very easy as no one needed to visit the kennels now called Rutland Manor and Tegan Park Breeding and Research Centres. They even started to sell breeding stock abroad in a old fashioned Puppy Pyramid Selling Scheme, promising huge returns on the buyer’s investment in their high priced Australian Labradoodle. Buy the bitch for 22,000 AUD and breed her from her first season for 7 litters straight and you will make a fortune. Generally speaking the buyers didn’t make a fortune and some were quite horrified at what arrived by airfreight, a poor scared little dog in not the best of health. Some breeders even started to see that the pedigrees were a sham and that the dog they had bought was simply not as described, either a throwback to the shedding doodles or quite simply a very poor excuse for a poodle. Still they had 22,000 rea$on$ not to expose the founders of the Australian Labradoodle breed and nearly all kept quiet and bred the dogs, even mating them back to poodles themselves to maintain the lie.
The Rutland Manor and Tegan Park Breeding Machine was relentless eating up dogs and demanding more and more fodder as demand hit the skies and the two factories spewed out a 1000 puppies a year between them. Of course new material was always required and obtained through the local papers and even bought wholesale from bigger puppy farms and delivered by the lorry load.
Here comes our first document, an invoice. Please click on it to reveal the truth about the breeding and sale of Australian Labradoodles at Tegan Park Breeding And Research Centre
As you can see there is no careful comparing of pedigrees and suitability, just buying a number of dogs to fulfil the market and sending back bitches that are no longer profitable and excess puppies.
It’s a cross breed, right? So at least you will get a healthy dog full of “hybrid vigour”. Well maybe not according to this little note from Tegan Park to ACA Banksia Park Farm, telling of the litter from a bitch with poor hips.
This same story was repeated in the other Breeding and Research Centre at Beverley Manners’ Rutland Manor. Puppies were bought in from the other puppy farms when orders couldn’t be filled and either bred or sold as Australian Labradoodles with an impressive and entirely fake pedigree.
So what did you get when you bought one of these designer dog puppies now fashionably renamed Australian Service Dog? We all love a puppy so of course the puppy was adored by the new family, but did they get what they paid their thousands of dollars for, a dog with a careful breeding programme behind him, from nothing but the finest stock?
I don’t think so.