The Irish Doodle and Goldendoodle are both Poodle mixes, which means they do share some similarities. However, because the Irish Doodle has an Irish Setter parent and the Goldendoodle has a Golden Retriever parent, there are also some marked differences. Both breeds vary in size according to the size of the Poodle in the parentage, but the Irish Doodle does tend to be taller than the Golden.
The Irish Doodle and Goldendoodle are friendly and sociable breeds and have plenty of energy to burn. Both breeds are considered fairly easy to train but it may take more training sessions and repetitions for the Irish Doodle to understand new commands. Both these breeds can make very good companion pets, but there are differences.
Read on to learn of the main differences and to determine which breed is best for you and your home.
At a Glance
Irish Doodle Overview
The Irish Doodle is one of an increasingly long list of hybrid breeds that have Poodle parentage. In this case, the Poodle is crossed with the elegant but hardworking Irish Setter. Because the Poodle comes in a range of sizes, so too do the resulting hybrids, although the Irish Setter parent tends to be tall and slim so while the Irish Doodle might grow to be a tall dog, it won’t usually weigh as much as other similarly tall breeds. The Irish Setter and Poodle parents are working dogs, but the Irish Doodle can make a great companion pet that is living with family and gets along with strangers as well as other animals.
Most Irish Doodles are first-generation hybrids, which means that they have been bred by directly crossing a Poodle and an Irish Setter, rather than breeding two Irish Doodles. This means that the hybrid can take on some features of one parent rather than combining the two.
You may end up with a cross that has the low-shedding coat of the Poodle or the heavy-shedding coat of the Irish Setter. Similarly, the coat can be curly like a Poodle’s or it can be wavy like the Setter. Colors range from the red of the Setter to the apricot and black of Poodles.
Sizes can also range, usually according to the size of the Poodle parent: smaller Irish Doodles can measure as little as 12 inches and weigh around 25 pounds while larger dogs may be as tall as 28 inches and weigh 70 pounds.
Irish Setters and Poodles were both bred as working dogs. Poodles were bred to retrieve while Setters were bred to find and flush out birds. The resulting hybrid can be an effective working dog, too, but, equally, also makes an excellent companion dog or family pet.
They are typically gentle around children and they have more than enough energy to join in games or other forms of family exercise and play. They are also good with strangers and tend to be good with other dogs and animals.
With two working dog parents, including the super intelligent Poodle, it is hardly surprising that the Irish Doodle is an intelligent dog that is considered easy to train. Training should start when the dog is still a puppy and you will need to offer ongoing training to get the best results. This breed can take a few more repetitions to learn new commands, compared to the Goldendoodle, but it is certainly no slouch.
Irish Doodles have deep chests, and like other breeds with this characteristic, they are somewhat prone to bloat. Their size also means they are prone to hip dysplasia, which can be painful and may lead to other problems like arthritis and general joint pain.
Whether the Irish Doodle takes after the Poodle or Irish Setter parent, the coat is going to take quite a bit of care. The Poodle’s coat grows continuously so despite being a low-shedding breed, it needs daily brushing and can benefit from regular cutting or trimming. The Irish Setter has long, luscious hair and is a much heavier shedder than the Poodle. Daily brushing not only benefits the Setter but its owners, too.
Slightly more experienced owners that are willing to put in some extra time on training and are willing to provide daily brushing to keep their friendly, loving, loyal, and energetic Irish Doodle feeling comfortable.
The Goldendoodle is another hybrid with Poodle parentage, but this time crossing the popular breed with the Golden Retriever. The Goldendoodle has been bred longer than the Irish Doodle but it is still likely that many Doodles from breeders are first generation so you can’t be sure exactly what you will get. However, both parent breeds are very popular pets, both have been used extensively as working dogs, and we know a lot about both breeds, which gives us a reasonable idea of what to expect one way or the other.
The Goldendoodle comes in a variety of sizes ranging from around 13 to 24 inches in height and weighing between 15 and 90 pounds, which is a significant variance from smallest to largest. This is because Poodles come in an equally wide variety of sizes from toy or miniature to standard.
And, although some Goldendoodles do combine the curly coat of the Poodle with the straight coat of the Golden, giving a looser curl than the Poodle, some will take on the coat of one of the parent breeds.
The friendly, loving, and loyal Golden Retriever tends to come out in the Goldendoodle hybrid. It will get along with all members of the family, including children and other pets, and will gladly greet friends and strangers with a wagging tail and a playful attitude. The Goldendoodle loves to be around its people and this can lead to separation anxiety if this breed is left alone too long.
The Golden Retriever is used extensively as a therapy dog as well as a guide dog and in a variety of other service roles, even being used in search and rescue roles and as a bomb detection dog.
The breed is popular for these roles not only because it is friendly and loyal to its handler but also because it is level-headed, sympathetic, and a quick study. Goldendoodles, like Golden Retrievers, are recommended for first-time and novice owners for these reasons.
Goldendoodles are somewhat prone to hip dysplasia, which means that the hip bone is restricted from sitting in its socket properly. It can cause lameness and may lead to other conditions. Like the Irish Doodle, the breed is also more likely to develop Addison’s Disease compared to other breeds. Addison’s Disease is a hormone imbalance that can cause weight loss and a host of gastrointestinal complaints.
The Goldendoodle has similar care levels to the Irish Doodle because it will tend to have a very similar coat that requires daily brushing to keep it healthy and manageable and to prevent excessive shedding.
First-time and novice owners, as well as more experienced keepers looking for a dog that is easy to train and that is loyal, loving, and enjoys spending time with its humans.
There is already a long list of hybrid breeds that list the Poodle as one of the parent breeds. They are popular in the creation of hybrid breeds because they are friendly and intelligent but also because they come in a variety of sizes. The Irish Doodle and Goldendoodle are just two examples, and there are many others with seemingly more appearing every day. Another reason for the popularity of the Poodle in hybrid breeds is they are said to have hypoallergenic coats.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Hypoallergenic means that something is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. In the case of dogs, there are numerous proteins secreted by dogs that can cause reactions. These are present in urine and sweat but are also found in dander and hair.
Dogs that shed a lot tend to cause allergic reactions because the hair and dander are not only on the dog but are usually found on furniture and even floating around rooms. Poodles barely shed which means that there is less hair on furniture. While Poodles can still cause allergic reactions in people, the reactions tend to be less severe and less frequent, although it really does depend on the sufferer and their level of interaction with the dog.
It is also worth noting that just because a Poodle is used in the breeding of a hybrid breed, it doesn’t mean that the coat will take on the low-shedding properties of the Poodle parent. This is especially true of first-generation hybrids, or those that are direct descendants of the Poodle and another parent breed.
First-generation hybrids can take on the properties of either parent dog, rather than a combination of the two. By the second generation, breeders have typically identified first-generation hybrids with desirable traits and will then breed these to create more desirable second-generation dogs, and so on.
Poodle hybrids are still relatively new and because there are no breed standards, there is no guarantee that you are getting a second or subsequent generation of the hybrid. You can ask the breeder to get a better idea.
Exercise and Care Requirements
All three parent breeds used in the breeding of Goldendoodles and Irish Doodles are working dogs. This means that they do require plenty of exercise, and they can do very well when given a task to perform or are provided with routine work to complete. It also means that if you are unable to provide an absolute minimum of 60 minutes of decent exercise a day, these breeds might not be suitable for you. A poorly exercised Goldendoodle can start to show signs of destructive behavior and other unwanted behavior, so exercise is important.
Which Breed Is Right for You?
Irish Doodles and Goldendoodles are hybrids that combine Poodles with other desirable breeds: the Irish Setter and Golden Retriever, respectively. The two hybrids both tend to be friendly and social dogs that are reasonably easy to train and respond well to commands. They do need socializing, as do all breeds, and they will benefit from early and ongoing training. They also need good amounts of exercise.
Although they can be “hypoallergenic” dogs, it is worth checking with the breeder to determine what generation of Doodle they are first, and bear in mind that there is no such thing as a dog that is completely hypoallergenic because all dogs produce the proteins that cause allergic reactions.
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