The Irish Doodle is a crossbreed of two beautiful purebred dogs, the Irish Setter and the Standard Poodle. At a glance, they look like a Poodle sporting a rare coat color. But what truly set them apart and how will you know if they are the perfect crossbreed for you? Read on to get more information about the Irish Doodle.
Irish Doodles originated in the United States during the late ‘80s. However, the name of the first breeder is unknown. They are not recognized by major dog clubs, like the American Kennel Club, but they will always be a welcome addition to international crossbreed registries. It can be registered on major hybrid dog clubs like the International Designer Canine Registry, the Dog Registry of America, and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club.
The majority of the Irish Doodles you will see today are the results of pairing a Standard Poodle and an Irish Setter. However, there are breeders who use the other type of Poodle, the miniature poodle when breeding. Their offspring is called the Mini Irish Doodle. The miniature poodle passes on its height and weight on the pup.
It can grow from medium to large, usually anywhere between 35 to 75 pounds. It is tall like Irish Setters, because it can grow 20-25 inches when full-grown. They are best known for having “furnishings” or long hair that looks like a mustache around their face.
The Irish Doodle, especially the first generation, has a great balance of the wavy coat of the Poodle and the soft coat of the Irish Setter. It’s rare for them to have a coat as silky as the Irish Setter, but they will always get its beautiful color that is unique to this breed.
While it inherited the coat texture of the Poodles, it often sports the coat color of Irish Setters, which are either chestnut or mahogany. It’s easy to differentiate them from other doodle dogs because others don’t come in these beautiful colors.
An Irish Doodle is ideal for people with allergies to dogs. It does not produce dander, especially if it has more of the Irish Setter in its lineage. It has a single coat, so it does not go through seasonal shedding. The coat texture can be a bit rough and wavy although it could be slightly silky if the Irish Setter’s gene is more prominent.
The Irish Doodle should only bathe when needed. It is not recommended to give them a full bath too often. A dry shampoo bath is actually recommended for them since they are quite big to bathe safely and they only need spot-cleaning. They don’t hate water but they might keep moving around.
Be selective, though, when buying a dry shampoo product. Some dogs hate being sprayed on so try to weigh in if it will be a good idea to buy a shampoo in a spray bottle or not. The most important thing of all is to look at the ingredients and assess if they will not irritate an Irish Doodle’s skin.
Because of their long coats, the best brush to use for general maintenance is a wire-pin brush. This type of brush makes removing tangles hassle-free. You need to brush them twice or thrice a week.
When choosing a wire-pin brush, consider one with smooth pin heads so it will not irritate your pet’s skin. Also, get one with a wooden handle so you will be comfortable in using it. There is no need to invest in a rake because they don’t have an undercoat.
Irish Doodles will impress you with their above the average intelligence. They are easy to train and they are often used as watchdogs. Like the Poodles, they could exhibit a wary attitude so it is important to expose them to new faces and places as early as their fifth week.
Early socialization can be achieved by signing up on puppy training classes. Or if you cannot find time for it, taking your pet to a dog park will be a convenient way to expose him to other people and places.
The only drawback about them is the fact that they get bored easily. This is often the reason why they are quite challenging to train. Thus, it is important to incorporate fun when training this dog so they will be committed to their master. If you don’t mind having a dog that requires a lot of activities, an Irish Doodle will be the perfect one for you.
Beyond their intelligence, the best part of owning an Irish Doodle is having a family-friendly pet. The Irish Setter could pass on its extreme friendliness, one of the good reasons why many breeders consider pairing them with other breeds. They are friendly towards young kids and even around strangers.
It’s programmed to hunt so you might find them often running as if they are chasing something. The best way to give them an outlet for their instinctive drive is to introduce a game of fetch. As a sporting dog, it will appreciate any activity that engages his body and mind.
The Irish Doodle lives 10-13 years on average. They are fairly healthy but that does not mean they could not get hereditary conditions from their pets. Keep an eye for the symptoms of the following disorders or diseases because these commonly occur in both the Irish Setters and the Poodles:
- Hypothyroidism – this is a condition wherein a dog’s thyroid cannot produce enough of the thyroxine hormone. As a result, it can make him feel weak or suffer from thinning of the fur. Unexplained weight gain and excess shedding are the other signs of hypothyroidism in canines. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an immune-related disease called thyroid gland atrophy.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – a set of genetic diseases that usually occur in certain breeds, this is comparable to bilateral degeneration of the retina in humans. On the onset of the disorder, an affected dog loses its vision at night. This progresses to the inability to not clearly see even during daytime. If not treated, it can result in blindness.
- Hip Dysplasia – this is the term for the abnormal formation of the hip socket. In its advanced stage, hip dysplasia can be extremely painful that a dog will find it reluctant to move. While it is genetic, certain environmental factors such as doing strenuous activities can worsen the condition.
- Epilepsy – the cause of idiopathic epilepsy, a genetic condition, is not yet identified. The other causes of epilepsy are head trauma, brain tumors, poisonous substances, bacterial or parasitic infections, and heat stroke. Health problems such as liver and kidney disease as well as having low or high blood sugar are indirect causes of seizures. Anticonvulsant medications are the most popular conventional treatments for canine seizures.
- Gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV- more commonly known as bloat, it happens when the stomach is twisted and becomes filled with gas. The cause of this condition is still unknown despite the fact that there are already a number of theories about it. Like large dogs, the Irish Doodles often end up as one of the sufferers of it. This is also due to the fact that this mix is a combination of two large purebreds that are more prone to it than any other breed.
When dealing with a breeder, you may ask proofs of health screening so you will be aware of any genetic condition your Irish Doodle has. The important certifications to have are distinctive eye screening exams and hips exams.
As a highly energetic dog, the Irish Doodle needs a high-performance formula. Opt for dog food made of bioavailable or easily digestible proteins and low amounts of complex carbohydrates.
An Irish Doodle puppy should be given puppy formula, in amounts right for his age and activity levels. To help your pup grow healthy and happy, make sure he gets enough of the nutrients he needs from his food.
An ideal formula for pups is 30% protein with enough fat content to supply his energy. Of course, you want the protein to be easily digestible for the pup. That means you have to check if the meat ingredient is actually whole meat. The main ingredients should be quality meat, like beef and chicken.
Since we mentioned the ideal formula should have enough fat, it’s worth noting that not all fat sources are dog-friendly. Chicken fat and safflower oil are loaded with healthy fats, like the Omega-3 which is good for overall health.
If you think it’s time to switch from formula to human food, you may offer fruits and vegetables but keep them at a minimum. As carnivores, your dog will thrive in a well-balanced diet that is not just entirely animal-based protein. You may offer grains, too but in small amounts only.
Dogs love most fruits, but better be careful because not all fruits are safe for them. Grapes should be avoided because it can poison them. Likewise, avoid sharing raisins with your pooch. The other stuff to avoid are chocolates, macadamia nuts, garlic, and onion. Sugary snacks, salty foods, and spicy ones are also a big no-no.
Remember, serving human foods to dogs should be done moderately. This is to avoid gastrointestinal distress especially if you are introducing something new to them. When sharing meat, make sure they are prepared accordingly and well-cooked because raw food may contain bacteria that can upset a dog’s stomach. Although most dogs can tolerate raw, some dogs cannot tolerate it.
When you are in doubt about what to feed, always consult your veterinarian. This only serves as a guide on what to avoid and what you may give, but do note that every pet is different. Some pets have a more sensitive stomach than others.
Apart from that, we have to remember that one’s activity level is not the only thing we are looking at when feeding dogs. We also need to consider their life stage and their health condition, if there is any. Their appetite is also one thing to keep in mind because some dogs tend to be picky when it comes to food.
Your Irish Doodle may be a highly energetic being but it does not need a great deal of exercise. Two short walks each day, one in the morning and one at night, will be enough for him to be on top of his shape. If you cannot manage to go outside, help your buddy burn some energy by playing a game of fetch with him.
Tips before Getting an Irish Doodle
If you are decided to find an Irish Doodle breeder, be reminded that not all of the breeders you will find online are reliable. As much as possible, spend time visiting the kennel to observe how they run their premises. Obviously, protruding rib cages in dogs is an indication that it is malnourished.
Reliable breeders will not let you bring home a pup until it is more than 12 weeks old, because pups as young as this need to mature in the company of their litter and their mother. Speaking of mother, the breeder should be honest to tell about the condition of its parents. This way, you will know what to expect with the pup you are trying to adopt.
The Irish Doodle is one of the best crossbreeds for any pet parent, but they are usually compatible with families. With their charm, intelligence, and non-shedding traits, they will be types of dogs anyone would love to have as pets. Because of this, many pet parents still want them even if they are quite expensive.