Poodles are regularly described as a hypoallergenic dog breed thanks to their low-shedding coats – but what about the Irish Doodle?
These designer dogs are a mix between an Irish Setter and a Poodle to create a charming and intelligent dog that is well suited to families.
Irish Doodles encompass some of the best traits of both breeds, as highlighted by their friendly nature, high intelligence and energy levels.
For those with an allergy to dogs, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting a hypoallergenic breed to prevent a flair up.
Nearly 10 per cent of the American population suffer from an allergy to dogs despite being a canine-loving country, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
However, the American Kennel Club clearly state on their website that there is no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog breed.
There are some breeds that are better suited to those with an allergy to dogs than other canines due to their low-shedding fur or coats that can catch dander.
Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. There's no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog in spite of claims that breeders might make. It’s always best to speak with your vet or your doctor before deciding to get a dog if you suspect you may have allergies to pets.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at whether Irish Doodles are considered hypoallergenic dogs.
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What does hypoallergenic mean?
Before looking at whether an Irish Doodle is hypoallergenic, we first need to understand the meaning of the word ‘hypoallergenic’.
It was a term that was first coined by the cosmetic industry to describe products that were less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
So hypoallergenic means “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic. By definition, it doesn’t mean the hypoallergenic product (or pet) won’t cause an allergic reaction, it’s just less likely to.
What is an hypoallergenic dog?
As we touched on above, a hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to cause a reaction than some other breeds.
Even though a dog breed such as the Poodle is described as ‘hypoallergenic’, it doesn’t mean that it’s definitely won’t trigger a reaction.
What the AKC say about hypoallergenic dogs
The American Kennel Club (AKC) make it clear on their website that there is no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog:
“While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are a variety of breeds that do well with allergy sufferers. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat which produces less dander.”
Dander are microscopic pieces of dead skin that are omitted from the dog, although some breeds have fur that catches dander and retains most of it until they’re bathed. That’s not the case for all dogs – though.
What are Irish Doodles?
Irish Doodles are a ‘designer breed’ that have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so. Although it’s unclear when these hybrid dogs were first bred, designer breeds started to become more common in the early 1990s onwards.
They’re a cross between an Irish Setter and Poodle. The result is a medium-sized dog that can come in red, apricot and black, with some white coloring in their coats.
Given the intelligence of Poodles and the friendliness of Irish Setters, Irish Doodles are viewed as well-balanced and sociable dogs that do well in the family home.
To get a better idea of an Irish Doodle’s coat, we need to look at their parents: the Poodle and the Irish Setter.
Poodles are considering low shedding dogs. With a trademark coat that is comprised of tight curls, these dogs don’t leave a trail of hair behind them. Their curls can catch a lot of dander, too.
The AKC lists the Poodle as one of 19 breeds that are generally considered more hypoallergenic than most dogs.
While they’re low shedding, their unique coat still requires a lot of grooming. You’ll need to regularly brush a Poodle’s coat to prevent matting, unless you plan to keep it short.
While some owners can learn how to properly groom their Poodle, others will rely upon a professional groomer. The maintenance of their coats can be quite expensive.
Irish Setters shedding
Unlike the Poodle, Irish Setters are not low shedding dogs. However, they’re not as bad as some other dogs.
The AKC describe these beautiful red-haired dogs as moderate shedders. Their coat needs to be brushed a couple of times a week, while they’ll need occasional baths to keep their hair and skin healthy.
Are Irish Doodles hypoallergenic?
There’s not a simple answer to the question of Irish Doodles being hypoallergenic. Most Irish Doodles are low shedding canines but it can differ with each individual dog.
Ultimately, whether an Irish Doodle is hypoallergenic hinges on whether they take after their Poodle or Irish Setter parent. So while Irish Doodles are often hypoallergenic, it’s not always the case. There’s no guarantee.
When a first generation Irish Doodle is bred with a Poodle, it can create an a second generation Irish Doodle that is made up of 75 per cent Poodle. These dogs are even more likely to be low shedding.
Here’s what Irish Doodle Bubba (@bubba.thedood) had to say on this topic.
A dog that is hypoallergenic was a huge thing to us when deciding on what type of dog to get. We are both clean freaks and it is super nice not having hair EVERYWHERE and a dog that stays clean easily.
Irish Doodle Guinness (@guinness_irishdoodle) has minimal shedding.
Irish Doodles are not a heavy shedders but if their fur gets long they do tend to shed moderately. This is because of the Irish Setter in them, as Irish Setters tend to have long fur and moderate shedding. However, you can easily prevent this by periodically brushing their fur.
A term that you’ll often hear or read when discussing cross breeds is ‘hybrid vigor’.
This is when dogs from different genetic pools are bred to create healthier and longer living canines.
The American Heritage Dictionary define hybrid vigor as the “increased vigor or superior qualities arising from the crossbreeding of genetically different plants or animals”.
Therefore dogs with a varied genetic pool are thought to be generally healthier than pedigree pups.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds
While the AKC say there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, the organisation name 19 dogs that they believe a best for those with dog allergies.
American Hairless Terrier
Coton de Tulear
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Portuguese Water Dog
Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Anything else to consider?
While dogs such as the Poodle and hybrid breeds like the Irish Doodle are often described as hypoallergenic, there are no guarantees that a canine won’t trigger allergies.
While dog hair can play a part, other issues like dander and salvia can cause a flare up just as easily.
If you suffer with asthma or an allergy to dogs, you should seek expert advice and contact your local doctor to talk about getting a canine given even low shedding pups can cause problems.
We advise that you also contact Irish Doodle breeders to learn more about these dogs before taking the plunge and bringing home one of these designer breeds.
Irish Doodles can be moderate to low shedding dogs depending on whether their coat mirrors their Poodle or Irish Setter parents.
Generally, these hybrid dogs are considering to be very low shedders, while some members of the breed do fall into the hypoallergenic category.
However, the AKC make it clear that there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog. Therefore, even a dog that is low shedding like Irish Doodles could potentially trigger an allergic reaction.