Designer dog breeds have become more popular over the last 30 years. What would have once been considered “mutts” are now highly coveted companions!
This trend has introduced more breeds to the world, including all the different kinds of Doodles we see today.
While the most popular of the Doodles in the Goldendoodle, let’s see how it stacks up against one of its cousin breeds: the Irish Doodle.
A potential dog owner may consider a Goldendoodle or Irish Doodle breed dog if they are looking for a long living, active, social and trainable dog. And there is a chance it may have a non-shedding hypoallergenic coats!
Origin of These Poodle Mix Hybrids
Both the Irish Doodle and Goldendoodle are “designer breeds,” meaning they are the deliberate breeding between two different breeds of dogs. Breeders will do this when trying to mix physical or personality traits from different breeds together. This is how we ended up with all the Doodle breeds we have today!
The shared parent between the Irish Doodle and the Goldendoodle, the Poodle, has a hypoallergenic coat. Given the rise in known pet allergies, this trait was desirable for families that wanted a canine companion but didn’t want to agitate allergies at home. Doodles adopt this trait from their Poodle side, making their coats perfect for these families!
However, that’s where the similarities end for these two Doodle breeds. Their ancestry splits from there, depending on which designer dog breed you’re talking about.
Irish Doodle Origin
Irish Doodles are a mix between Poodles and Irish Setters. The Irish Setter has a long ancestry, going back to the 1800s in, you guessed it, Ireland. Breeding setters became common for hunting companions, great for finding, or “setting,” game and birds being hunted. Nowadays, the breed is known for its upbeat personality and energy.
The breeding process of an Irish Doodle involves mixing a purebred Irish Setter with either a purebred standard Poodle or a purebred mini Poodle. The size of the Poodle parent helps determine what size of Irish Doodle you’ll get when the puppies grow up.
Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club doesn’t currently recognize the Irish Doodle as an official purebred breed, so it’s not possible to get a fancy pedigree right now.
Much like Irish Doodles, Goldendoodles are a mix of another breed with a Poodle. In this case, the other half here is the Golden Retriever. It’s not clear if the Goldendoodle came into being in 1969 or the 1990s when the designer dog trend started to pick up, but this breed is still new compared to its parents!
The Golden Retriever goes back to the United Kingdom in the 1830s, where it was first recorded in a breeding journal kept by Scottish gamekeepers. They were initially bred for hunting and retrieving waterfowl. But today, Golden Retrievers are active and energetic companions.
Much like Irish Doodles, the Goldendoodle is a mix between two purebred parents. It’s also not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as a purebred breed for an official pedigree.
Temperament of Irish Doodle Vs Goldendoodle
It’s an understatement to say that both of these breeds are highly affectionate, loyal, and dedicated to the family that adopts them. Both Irish Doodles and Goldendoodles are very intelligent as well.
Where these breeds differ is in their activity preferences and approach to strangers. Irish Setters tend to prefer a moderate amount of exercise in their day, while a Goldendoodle will be more than happy to go for hour-long walks and play sessions. Also, while both breeds are usually fine around strangers, an Irish Setter will be attentive around strangers while the Goldendoodle will try to get every person they meet to play and run around with them.
That’s not to say the Irish Setter won’t be friendly with strangers. The Goldendoodle is just much more gregarious than its Setter cousin! You’ll sometimes see recommendations to have a fenced-in yard for your Goldendoodle just so they don’t run off and try to meet every stranger that walks by.
It’s best to introduce them to strangers and other dogs while they are puppies to get the most out of these breeds’ social personalities. That way, they have a chance to get used to interacting with strangers in a friendly and gentle manner.
Trainability of Goldendoodles Vs Irish Doodles
How readily the breed takes to training is another place where these two types of dogs differ.
Most Goldendoodles will take to training with no problem. This is because both the Poodle and Golden Retriever side of their ancestors were bred to be highly trainable.
Goldendoodles will do well in both obedience and agility training thanks to their eager-to-please personality and desire to burn their high energy. 20-minute sessions are said to work best for Goldendoodles, along with positive, giddy reinforcement of behaviors.
The Irish Challenge
Irish Doodles can be a little tougher. Irish Setters are tougher to train than retrievers, so the mix of the two breeds conflicts somewhat. Your experience with your Irish Doodle will depend on if the dog takes after their Setter or Poodle side more.
Staying patient and consistent with the dog, as well as doing positive, giddy reinforcement, will get there in the end.
Food Needs Comparison
Both of these breeds are medium-sized. An adult Irish Doodle will reach between 40-70 pounds as an adult, while an adult Goldendoodle will be a little bigger at 50-90 pounds. The range here accounts for size differences in the sex and individual growth of your Doodle.
For many dry foods, that will mean 2.5-3 cups of food split into two meals each day will keep your adult Doodle well-fed and happy. You’ll need to double-check the feeding recommendations for your dry food of choice. Not all kibble is created equal, after all!
A premium dry food is recommended for Poodle mix dogs to ensure they get the nutrition they need to grow strong and maintain their health. The best dog foods for a Goldendoodle are dry, and heavy on protein.
Still, if you’re ever unsure about what to do for feeding your Doodle specifically, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian! They can always help you get on the right track when it comes to food choices and feeding routines.
Exercise Requirements Irish Doodle Vs Goldendoodle
Since both of these Doodle dog breeds have hunting dog lineages, some exercise needs to be mindful of these dogs; this is also another place that these breeds differ from, as they have different exercise requirements to stay happy and healthy.
Irish Doodles are lower maintenance with exercise, as they only need around 30 minutes a day of mild activity. This could be taking them out for a walk or jog, or even some games of fetch over the day. This makes them great dogs for those in an apartment since you won’t feel like you need a spacious yard for your Irish Doodle to run around in.
Irish Doodles enjoy swimming, snow, and running.
The energy challenge of a Goldendoodle
Goldendoodles are different, though. It’s recommended that they get up to three different 30-minute exercise rounds throughout the day. Much like Irish Doodles, this could walk or fetch. Still, don’t be surprised when your Goldendoodle keeps bugging you for playtime at all times of the day. They like to burn off their energy!
You will rarely encounter a lethargic Goldendoodle.
Coats and Grooming of the Irish Vs Golden Doodle
Both Irish and Goldendoodles have hypoallergenic coats. That means that neither of these breeds will shed very much or leave much in the way of dander.
However, while the Irish Doodle won’t need excessive grooming to keep its coat healthy and shiny, the Goldendoodle’s coat requires a little more care.
Most Goldendoodles would stand to have their coat brushed daily to make sure it stays untangled and unknotted. Professional grooming that includes a bath every other month will help keep your Goldendoodle’s coat nice and beautiful, as well!
You can do much of the grooming at home, just by picking a quality Doodle coat brush and a pair of electric grooming clippers strong enough for the dense non-shedding coat. (Examples of Goldendoodle electric clippers)
For both breeds, it’s also worth checking around their ears and the pads of their feet for long hairs. Doing this every six weeks, along with trimming their nails, can help keep your Doodle looking great and remove places where dirt can accumulate.
Comparing Health of Irish and Golden Doodles
Irish Doodles and Goldendoodles benefit from something called “hybrid vigor.” This is when two different parents combine their DNA to make something that is stronger or more resilient than themselves.
Given that the designer breed is still new, we don’t know if this vigor lasts much longer than the first few generations.
This also doesn’t mean that Doodles have no health issues. They can be susceptible to the same kinds of conditions that their parentage is. You’ll want to make sure that you keep up with your dog’s vet appointments and take recommendations from your vet to heart.
Since both of these breeds share a Poodle parent dog ancestry, you’ll want to be on the lookout for any issues surrounding bloat, the thyroid, as well as epileptic tendencies. These are some of the common health issues found in Poodles and have been seen in Doodle breeds.
Most Doodles live for an average of 10-13 years. That’s a lot of time to make fun memories with your dog, so make sure that health issues don’t eat away too much of that time!
Price and Buying Tips No Matter Which Breed You Pick
Most breeders will charge around $1000-$3000 for a Doodle puppy, depending on which Doodle you want and the breeder themselves. This wide range also accounts for different services the breeder might provide, such as litter preferences, guarantees, and puppy care packages.
Buying a Goldendoodle will cost 1500-4500 USD depending on size and how hypoallergenic the reputable breeder is. (See average Goldendoodle prices)
An Irish Doodle is rarer – so expect to pay $2000+ from a quality breeder. If the Irish Doodle is a happy accident rather than from a breeder -this cost can be far lower.
So you are paying thousands for a puppy…
Since that’s a lot of money, there are a few things you can do when talking to your Doodle breeder to make make sure you’re adopting a healthy, well-loved puppy:
- Ask To Meet The Puppy’s Parents: Checking with the breeder to see if you can meet the puppy’s parents gives you a chance to see what condition the dogs are kept in. You’ll want to keep an eye out for any physical health issues with the parents. If you see happy, energetic, and well-groomed dogs, you should be in the clear!
- Get A Health Guarantee: Most reputable breeders will be willing to give you a guarantee of the puppy’s health for a short period after adoption. This is essentially the breeder promising with certainty that the puppy you adopt isn’t going to develop health issues because of the breeder.
If you can lock up both of these things, then you can feel confident that you’re bringing in a happy and healthy new member to your family.
When it comes to Doodles, there’s no wrong choice if you’re looking for a companion that is devoted, energetic, and intelligent.
While Irish Doodles may be a little lower maintenance than Goldendoodles, a Goldendoodle makes a great companion for someone with an active lifestyle and energy to burn themselves!
They’ll help your house feel like home no matter which one you choose, so check with Doodle breeders in your area and see what sort of companion you could bring home today!