Irishdoodle: The Irish Setter Poodle Mix

Irish Doodle Puppy Outside

It seems that every dog lover is a fan of a doodle. These popular Poodle crosses have both the looks and the brains, with the Irish Doodle being no different. An Irish Doodle is a cross between the dashing Irish Setter and clever Poodle and follows suit with other doodles, but they’re not just another of the same old thing. Let’s look at some more details about Irish Doodles to determine if they’re the right dog for you. 

Quick Irishdoodle Facts 

  • Name: Irish Doodle, Irish Doodle Setter, Irish Setter Doodle, Irish Setterpoo 

  • Origin: United States 

  • Size: 22-28” tall, 40-75 pounds; those crossed with a miniature Poodle will be smaller 

  • Lifespan: 10-13 years 

  • Appearance: classic red, wavy hair with a lean, athletic build 

  • Temperament: smart, energetic, potentially stubborn, loyal, loveable 

  • Compatibility: can do well with children and other pets with proper socialization and exercise 

  • Intelligence: intelligent, fast learners that are easy to please 

  • Exercise & energy: Both parent breeds are working dogs meaning this cross will need lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation 

  • Grooming needs: regular brushing and trimming 

  • Training: smart enough to take advantage of novice owners, requires consistent positive reinforcement 

  • Health: hip dysplasia, epilepsy, bloat, eye issues 

  • Highlights: A fun-loving, family friendly, active pup that’s ready for any of life’s great adventures 

What Makes Irish Doodles Great 

  • Energetic  

  • Fun-loving 

  • Love being around family 

  • Outdoor friendly 

What Do Irish Doodles Look Like? 

Both Irish Setters and Poodles have iconic looks-one with deep red luxurious locks and one with primped and pampered curls. The look these two breeds create for the Irish Setter Doodle is nothing less than iconic itself. Most Irish Poodles have the rich red color of the Irish Setter and the wavy or curly texture of a poodle. They also tend to have a loveable beard and mustache framing their always smiling mouth. When it comes to the size of an Irish Doodle, you can get a mixed bag, depending on which size of Poodle was used in the crossing. Standard Poodles tend to create a large size ranging from just under to just over two feet tall and weighing in at 40-80 pounds. Miniature Poodles will, of course, produce a smaller version making them more ideal for tighter spaces. 

What is An Irish Doodle Like? 

Both parent breeds are tough, hardworking dogs that have been successful as hunting companions for many years. That means that you’re likely to end up with an Irish Doodle pup that needs a job to do. They aren’t happy unless they’re serving a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is as simple as supporting a family or as grueling as retrieving ducks. Either way, expect these dogs to be friendly, fun, and energetic, sometimes even goofy. Their intelligence also makes them adept at learning, but inconsistent training can lead them to manipulate their handlers. An Irish Poodle’s loyalty extends to all members of the family, including children and other pets. Many of these dogs readily welcome children and other animals into the mix, especially if they provide exercise and entertainment. Just be sure to properly socialize your Irish Doodle puppy to children and other animals to provide the best experience. 

How to Care for an Irish Doodle 

Irish Doodles may appear easy going, but caring for one is going to take a little time and energy on your part.  

Irish Doodle Grooming 

First comes the hair coat. If you have ever been around a long curly or wavy-haired dog, you know how prone to matting they can be. Regular brushing is essential to keep their hair coats sleek and healthy. Some may also require routine trimming, especially around the face and rear end to help keep them clean and comfortable. Regular teeth brushing and toenail trimming are necessities as well. If you have any questions about how to properly groom your Irish Doodle, don’t be afraid to reach out to your vet or a professional groomer. 

Irish Doodle Training 

While Irish Doodles may be smart and eager to please, they’re anything but push overs. Expect them to test limits and push boundaries with you quite a bit, especially if their training lacks consistency. Using positive reinforcement is often the best way to help these dogs reach their full training potential. Of course, there are professionals there for you if you ever feel stuck with an especially stubborn Irish Poodle. 

Living Needs 

These dogs love to move their bodies and use their minds. This means they do best with a little space to stretch their legs. Houses with fenced yards are often the best environments for them to thrive, but regular walks, hikes, and playtimes are also necessary. That doesn’t mean that an apartment is off limits for Irish Doodles, just that you’ll need to get creative and consistent with an exercise routine that meets their needs. Be sure to set them up with plenty of entertainment options while you’re away as well to help ward off boredom and destructive behavior. 

Feeding your Irish Doodle 

Irish Doodles are large-breed dogs, which means they need to be fed as such. Choose a good-quality large breed formula that will meet their energy requirements as well. If you have a smaller version, choose a food accordingly. If you need help with which food to feed and how much, speak to your veterinarian as it’s important these dogs get their required nutrition in order to maintain a healthy weight. 

Irish Doodle Laying Down

Do Irish Doodles Have Any Health Concerns? 

Every dog breed has their own semi-special set of health concerns to watch out for, and that includes cross breeds. Fortunately, cross breeds tend to be a bit healthier than their purebred parents, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely in the clear. Here are some issues to watch out for. 

Hip Dysplasia 

Being a large breed pup, Irish Doodles may have orthopedic issues including hip dysplasia.  This is something that affects how the hip joints grow and develop that can result in debilitating pain and osteoarthritis.  

Hip dysplasia can be managed medically or surgically depending on how severe it is, but truly the best way to deal with hip dysplasia is by preventing it. Since it is a genetic disease, breeding dogs should be screened using proper radiographic evaluation. This helps ensure that puppies from those breeding dogs will be less likely to have hip dysplasia and other orthopedic issues. Talk to your vet if you have any concerns about hip dysplasia in a newly acquired Irish Doodle puppy or how to find a reputable breeder that checks for it. 


Another large dog issue is bloat when the stomach fills with gas that can’t readily escape. As you can imagine, this can be very uncomfortable for a dog, but the bigger deal is that it can progress to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. This is when the stomach fills with air and then twists around on itself, potentially cutting off blood supply to the organ. 

Large breed, deep chested dogs are more prone to this issue and should be suspected any time a dog, including an Irish Doodle, shows up with stomach pain or abdominal distention. This is an emergency situation, so seek veterinary care immediately. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy  

Both Irish Setters and Poodles have a higher risk of developing the eye disease progressive retinal atrophy. This genetic disease will gradually lead to blindness in affected dogs. There is no cure, but there are screening tests that should be performed on any breeding adults. 


Another disease that’s more prevalent in both parent breeds is epilepsy. This is a neurological condition that causes seizures which can vary in duration and frequency depending on the severity. Epilepsy typically shows up in younger dogs and often without a known cause. Lifelong medication may be necessary to help control seizures.   

How to Help Keep Your Irish Doodle Healthy 

The best way to ensure that you’re getting the healthiest Irish Doodle possible is to ensure you’re using a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder prioritizes healthy dogs that meet breed standards, with proper health testing, socialization, and careful placement of pups in loving homes. Avoid puppy mills that prioritize profit over dog well-being.  

Keeping your Irish Setter healthy also includes regular veterinary care. Whether you’re talking routine annual exams or regular checkups for a lifelong condition, veterinary care can get expensive. That’s where purchasing pet insurance can come in handy. Pet health insurance is there to help cover some of those unexpected costs that can arise with owning an Irish Doodle. And an optional non-insurance wellness plan can even cover some of the more routine costs including vaccinations and preventatives. 

History of Irish Doodles 

This is a relatively new cross when compared to other dog breeds that have been around for hundreds of years. The Irish Setter Poodle cross came about in the United States somewhere in the 1980s or 1990s. During this time, cross breeds were becoming all the rage, mainly cross breeds with Poodles to create the popular Doodle options. Cross breeding became popular as a way to nab the positive traits of a couple of dog breeds while hopefully decreasing the negative traits. Many types of Doodles were developed, including Sheepadoodles, Labradoodles, and Goldendoodles. 

Since their creation, Irish Doodles have earned the reputation for being an intelligent, friendly, family-oriented crossbreed. 

How Do You Get Your Hands on an Irish Doodle? 

With their relative newness in the dog world, Irish Doodles may be a little more difficult to find than other cross breeds. You may need to search far and wide for a reputable breeder or rescue, but don’t give up, they’re definitely out there. You may start by talking to your veterinarian and then searching for Irish Doodle organizations that list breeders in your area. 

If adoption is more your style, you may have to wait a while for one to come on the market, but contacting your local shelters would be a good first step. You may also contact a national rescue organization that will be able to expand your search area.   

Frequently Asked Irish Doodle Questions 

Do Irish Doodles shed a lot? 

You may have heard that Poodles are a hypoallergenic breed, meaning they won’t trigger your allergies to dogs. While there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog breed, Poodles do come close. They tend to shed less and produce less dander than other breeds and they often pass those traits along to their Irish Doodle offspring. However, remember that low shedding often means more frequent grooming, and some Irish Doodles may still cause allergies. 

Do Irish Doodles bark a lot? 

Irish Doodles often possess high intelligence and awareness for their surroundings, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily alert you to any dangers. This may in part be due to their hunting backgrounds. No matter the reason, Irish Doodles tend to be quieter dogs, meaning they should fit in well in most any neighborhood.  

Can Irish Doodles be left alone? 

Irish Doodles are not ideal for long periods alone. Their strong attachment to their humans, combined with intelligence and high energy, can lead to destructive behavior if left unattended. If your work schedule requires extended absences, consider alternative breeds or plan for solutions like dog walkers, doggy daycare, or providing plenty of mental stimulation before you leave.