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12 Irish Doodle Pros & Cons You Should Know

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Cute Irish Doodle

When adopting any dog, it is important to look at both sides of the coin. Often, people only discuss the positive aspects of a dog breed, but all dog breeds also have some downsides you can consider. No dog breed is perfect, though some breeds may be better for your lifestyle than others.

With this in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of an Irish Doodle. This mixed breed is becoming more and more common, but it is still quite a bit rarer than most other dog breeds.

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1. Beautiful Appearance

These dogs are quite beautiful, which is why many people are drawn to them. They’re known for their striking appearance and curly hair. However, they do vary a lot, so you never quite know what you’re going to get. Not all of these dogs will even have long, curly hair.

While these dogs can be very beautiful, we do not recommend buying them based on their appearance alone.

2. Friendly and Affectionate

These dogs are often exceptionally family-centered. They love to be around their people and are happiest when surrounded by their family. They’re often pretty affectionate and loving. Their gentle nature makes them a great choice for children, as well.

Of course, socialization does matter a lot. You should introduce these dogs to many people and places to ensure they grow into confident adults. This is true of all dogs, though.

irish doodle puppy dog outdoors
Photo Credit: Joca de Jong, Shutterstock

3. Playful Nature

On top of being affectionate, these dogs are often pretty playful, too. They love to interact with their humans and often enjoy being around their humans wherever possible, which includes during playtime. They often bond through play, especially when they are younger.

That said, the activity needs of these dogs can be quite high, which is something that’s important to keep in mind! (We will discuss this more below.)

4. Intelligent

Because of their Poodle parents, these dogs are usually pretty smart—usually. Their intelligence can vary, as they are a mixed breed. However, for the most part, they tend to be pretty smart. Therefore, they’re easy to train and tend to pick up on good behaviors relatively quickly.

5. Active

These dogs are pretty active. Both parents were bred for work, so these canines tend to have plenty of endurance. This allows them to keep up with more active families and can encourage their owners to be more active, too.

Of course, this also means that they have to be exercised regularly and consistently. Otherwise, they can become bored and hyperactive.

Irish doodle running on the beach
Image Credit: Edwin Butter, Shutterstock

6. Loyal

Irish Setters are incredibly loyal and devoted to their owners. They form very strong emotional bonds and tend to be exceptionally close to their family. While they aren’t guard dogs in any sense, they still form strong bonds and may be protective in some instances.

Many people like loyal dogs, but there are some downsides that we’ll discuss below (like a higher rate of separation anxiety).

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7. High Energy

As we’ve discussed, these dogs are very active. While that may be seen as a pro for some, it can be a con for others. It can be incredibly stressful for more laid-back families to deal with active dogs. Many underestimate the activity needs of these dogs and overestimate how active they are themselves.

You should plan on getting these dogs at least 1 to 2 hours of exercise each day, which can take the form of walking and playing.

8. Potential Destructiveness

Due to their high energy levels, these dogs are prone to destructiveness. They’re also very intelligent, which means that they can easily become bored. When this happens, the dog may try to make their own fun, which tends to involve tearing something up.

These dogs are generally pretty easy to care for. However, they do require a lot of work. You need to commit time daily to their exercise needs and mental stimulation. Otherwise, they may become destructive.

brown and white irish doodle running at the beach
Image Credit: Joca de Jong, Shutterstock

9. Shedding

You’ll often see it advertised that these dogs don’t shed. However, that is not the whole truth. In fact, these dogs can shed quite substantially. It just depends on what traits they inherit from their parents. Some may have more Poodle-like coats and hardly shed at all. Others will shed quite a bit.

If you’re set on getting a dog that doesn’t shed, then this breed isn’t for you. As a mixed breed, their traits do vary quite a bit, and that includes shedding. Keep this in mind when you’re adopting a puppy.

10. Stubbornness

While these dogs are very smart, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the easiest dogs to train. In some cases, they may know exactly what you’re saying but may decide not to listen to you!

These dogs tend to get most stubborn between 1 and 3 years of age. Based on this information, you should prepare to deal with less command following during this time. However, it is important to continue with training, as this may help reduce the amount of stubbornness your dog has.

Irish doodle dog running
Image Credit: Joca de Jong, Shutterstock

11. Grooming

While these dogs do have beautiful coats, they require a decent amount of grooming! The exact type of grooming will depend on your dog’s coat. As we’ve stated, they inherit traits from both their parents, so their coats can vary a bit. Some may require professional trims, while others may not. Frequent brushing is often required, either way, to prevent mats and reduce shedding.

Grooming these dogs can also be a bit confusing, as you may not know exactly what kind of grooming they need. We recommend working with a groomer to help determine the daily and weekly grooming your dog may need at home.

12. Separation Anxiety

Some of these dogs will have separation anxiety, as we’ve touched on briefly. Simply put, they may get very attached to a person or two. When those people aren’t around, they may get anxious. This derives from their human-oriented nature and loyalty. They just like to be with their people!

For this reason, we highly recommend teaching your dog to be alone from an early age. Crate training can be helpful for this, but the basic premise is to ensure that your puppy is alone for certain periods, even if it is for a very short time.



These dogs can make great family pets. However, it is also important that you understand how much work they can be. They don’t do well when left alone for long periods, and they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Simply put, they require a substantial amount of time each day, so be sure you can devote that amount of time to their needs.

That said, these dogs can make great family pets if you care for them properly! It’s just important that you’re honest about whether you can meet their needs or not.


Featured Image Credit: Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock

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