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Irish Doodle: Meet The Perfect Family Dog [Breed Guide]

Cartoon Irish Setter next to a cartoon Poodle with text saying "Irish Doodle"

The Irish Setter-Poodle mix, or Irish Doodle, is a Doodle dog that is making waves in the dog world. Known for their sweet temperament and playful attitude, this mix is a perfect fit for any household.

Are you considering adding an Irish Doodle to your home?

Find out if they’re the perfect pup for you in this comprehensive Irish Doodle dog guide.

What Is an Irish Doodle?

You may be thinking an Irish Doodle is a Doodle dog from Ireland. Technically, you’re not wrong. But a real Irish Doodle is actually a mix between an Irish Setter and a Poodle.

An F1b Irish Doodle laying in the grass outside with his tongue out
George, an adorable F1b Irish Doodle, enjoying the backyard (image: @georgetheirishdood).

The Irish Doodle is also called Irish Poo Setter, Irish Setterpoo, Irish Doodle Setter, or Irish Setterdoodle (or spelled as Irish Setter Doodle).

The mix between an Irish Setter and a Miniature Poodle is known as the Miniature (or Mini) Irish Doodle.

History of The Parent Breeds

The Irish Doodle has a rich ancestry. Both parent breeds originated in Europe a few hundred years ago. They were bred for hunting.

Learning about the history of both parents, gives us insight into the traits that the Irish Doodle inherits.

Irish Setter

An adult Irish Setter dog standing in a field
Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is believed to be a dog breed that appeared in Ireland in the 17th century. Irish hunters were in need of an excellent hunting dog. They created the Irish Setter by crossing Gordon Setters, English Setters, and various spaniels and pointers.

The original name of this breed was “Red Spaniel,” and it accompanied hunters during their expeditions. This dog breed was known for its fantastic sense of smell and excellent ability to spot birds.

An interesting fact is that even though the Irish Setter is well recognized today for its rich chestnut color, the first Irish Setters were white with some red or brown spots on their coats [1]

In the United States, the Irish Setter did not exist until 1875, when the first dog of this breed named Echo was imported into the country. This dog became very popular in the US after showing its unique abilities as a gundog and its natural intelligence.

Officially, the Irish Setter was recognized and registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1878. The United Kennel Club recognized this dog breed a little later – in 1914 [2]

Even American presidents owned Irish Setters, including Harry Truman and Richard Nixon [3]


A black-colored adult Standard Poodle standing outside
Standard Poodle

The Poodle is not only one of the smartest but also one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world. Dogs similar to the Poodle were carved in Roman tombs as far back as 30 A.D. You can also see Poodles in many European Paintings of the 15th century [4]

The word “Pudel” comes from the German language and loosely translates to “splash in water.” The Poodle originated in Germany more than 300 years ago.

However, it is the French who are responsible for making these dogs so famous worldwide. The first Poodles were called Rough Water Dogs, mainly serving as hunting companions in Europe. 

In the United States, the Poodle first appeared in the 19th century. The breed started gaining popularity after the Second World War. By the 1950s, the Poodle had become one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States [5]

What Does An Irish Doodle Look Like?

Irish Doodles inherit the coat types and colors of their parents. They often have dense, curly (or wavy) coats of red fur. But they can have all sorts of different colors and markings. The parents are the best way to determine the appearance of the litter.

Irish Doodle dog standing on a log
Rusty, a stunning Irish Doodle, showing nothing but happiness (image: @rusty_deal_the_irish_doodle).

Coat Type

Irish Doodles can have a medium-to-long coat that will be wavy or curly. The degree of “curliness” will depend on generation and the parents.

The coat of the Irish Setter can be described as fine, straight, and glossy. It is longer on the chest, tail, ears, and back of the leg and is shorter in front of the legs, head, and tips of the ears.

Poodles have a long, dense coat that is often curly. It is similar to human hair.

Coat Colors

The Irish Doodle has the potential to be many different colors. However, their coats often reflect a hue of red from the Irish Setter. But they aren’t all this color.

Irish Doodle coats can be mahogany (red), black, brown, cream, silver, blue, white, café au lait, and apricot. Irish Doodles can be solid-colored or multi-colored. They can have unique markings or patterns such as merle, tuxedo, parti, abstract, or phantom.

An Irish Doodle therapy dog sitting outside on the grass
Finley, a darling Irish Doodle that is a certified therapy dog (image: @thefinleybean).

How Big Are Irish Doodles?

The size of an Irish Doodle depends on its generation and parents. For example, a first generation Irish Doodle means that the parents were purebred dogs. If a purebred Poodle was used as the dam (or sire), then the litter size might be different compared to if the Irish Setter was used as the dam (or sire).

Cream Irish Doodle with his legs sprawled out on the carpet
The oh-so-adorable Mr. Ollie, a certified cutie from New Zealand (image: @ollie.the.olster).

Irish Setters are medium-to-large sized dogs. The size of Poodles depends on the type: the Standard Poodle is considered a medium-sized breed, while the Miniature or Toy Poodle is a small dog breed.

Second generation Irish Doodles will differ in size than their first generation counterpart. The same is true for the Miniature Irish Doodle. The standard Irish Doodle is larger than the Mini Irish Doodle.


The average height for standard Irish Doodles is around 25 inches for males and about 22-23 inches for females.

The average height of male Irish Setters is 27 inches, while the average height for females is 25 inches [6]

The average height of the male Standard Poodle is 15 inches (for both males and females), while Toy or Miniature Poodles are usually not taller than 10 inches [7]


Based on the size of the parent breeds, it is reasonable to assume that the average weight of the male Irish Doodle is around 60 pounds. In contrast, the average female Irish Doodle should weigh about 40 pounds. 

The Irish Setter’s average weight is usually 70 pounds for males and 60 pounds for females [8]

The male Standard Poodle is usually 60 to 70 pounds, while the average female Standard Poodle is between 40 and 50 pounds.

Traits and Characteristics

The traits and characteristics of an Irish Doodle

Irish Doodle’s Personality

Since the Irish Doodle is a mix of two dog breeds – the Irish Setter and the Poodle – it inherits features from both parent breeds. Thus, making the Irish Doodle a unique dog breed. 

F1 Irish Doodle laying on the ground with a stick
Cuteness overload: Murphy, an Irish Doodle from Texas, enjoying a nice stick at the dog park (image: @irishdoodle_murphy).

The Irish Doodle can be described as sweet-tempered and intelligent. Doodle dogs inherit their smarts from Poodles, the second-smartest dog in the world.

Irish Doodles are fast learners. This makes them relatively easy to train so long as you follow a consistent program. The sooner you start, the better!

Irish Setters can be high-energy. Doodles are pretty similar, but since they have some of the Poodle parent traits, they are a little less active and do not need as much exercise and attention as Irish Setters, especially when they are older [9]

Irish Doodles love to exercise, play, and go on all types of adventures.

If you properly socialize your Irish Doodle at a young age, they will have no problem getting along with children. This important characteristic makes them excellent family dogs.

They are suitable for young kids due to their cheerful, playful, and energetic personalities. They also get along with other pets, even though they may need a bit more time for socialization with smaller animals and pets [10]

They can be aggressive with strangers if they are not appropriately socialized or feel threatened. Therefore, it is essential to start training them early enough to learn how to interact appropriately with other people [11]

Red and White colored Irish Doodle sitting in the grass wearing a pumpkin bandana
Ruby, an Irish Doodle from TN, melting hearts with her pumpkin bandana (image: @rubyredirishdoodle).

Just like Poodles, Irish Doodles are highly adaptable dogs. Even though they like to run and play, they do not necessarily need homes with a lot of space – they can also adapt to apartment life as long as they receive enough attention, mental stimulation, and exercise daily.

Taking your Irish Doodle for a long walk, running, or jogging daily is recommended. Without daily and regular physical activities, they can suffer mentally and physically.

Almost any climate is fine for Irish Doodles, as they adapt quickly. However, they may be sensitive to extremely cold temperatures and heat.

It is also important to remember that they are social dogs, meaning they want to stay close to their pack/family and should not be left alone for an extended period.

Common Health Issues

There are specific potential health conditions that your Irish Doodle may be at risk for.

They include the following:

Hip dysplasia. This condition usually occurs during the growth stage in canines. The main factor leading to this condition is genetic, which is hereditary. Other factors can magnify this genetic predisposition, including improper weight, excessive growth rate, and unbalanced nutrition.

The symptoms of hip dysplasia vary and depend on the inflammation level and the disease stage. But the most common symptoms include decreased range of motion, decreased activity, loss of thigh muscle mass, limping, noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscle mass, and others [12]

Epilepsy. It is a relatively common neurological disorder that affects about 0.75% of the dog population. It is characterized by outbursts of electrical activity that scatter through the brain. When signals are propelled down the nerves, they create havoc in the dog’s body [13]

Cataracts and other eye disorders. Eye problems are common for Irish Doodles, as they inherit them from Poodles and Irish Setters. One of the most common eye health issues an Irish Doodle may develop, especially when a dog gets older, is cataracts. Cataracts are known as a defect in the lens that can lead to erosion of vision and blindness [14]

Canine atopic dermatitis. Irish Setters often suffer from this skin allergy known as “atopy.” Therefore, Irish Doodles can develop this condition as well. It develops allergic symptoms after exposure to allergens or substances like pollens, molds, weeds, or fungi. You can usually notice inflammation and itching in the dog’s underarms, feet, face, and groin [15]

How long do Irish Doodles live?

The Irish Doodle has an average lifespan of 12-14 years.


Do Irish Doodles like to swim?

Yes, Irish Doodles are very active dogs and like physical activities, including swimming. Also, swimming can be a beneficial low-impact activity for Doodle puppies when they are still growing. 

Do Irish Doodles shed?

Most Irish Doodles have soft and curly coats like their parent Poodles. Poodles do not shed at all and are known for their hypoallergenic coat. This means that Irish Doodles are not heavy shedders either. Since their second parent is the Irish Setter, a moderate shedder, Irish Doodles can shed a little bit.

Shedding can occur more frequently if their coat gets too long. Therefore, professional grooming is very important and should be repeated every 4-6 weeks.

How much does an Irish Doodle cost?

The cost of an Irish Doodle puppy can range from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the breeder. It is recommended to research and compare different dog breeders to ensure they have a good reputation, use the best breeding practices, and sell healthy puppies. A reputable breeder is worth the extra cost!

How often should you bathe an Irish Doodle?

Bathing is important for maintaining your dog’s beautiful and shiny coat. However, there are specific bathing requirements you should follow. First, there are certain things you need to take into consideration when deciding how often you should wash your Irish Doodle: 

  • The activity level of your dog. Does your Doodle spend a lot of time outdoors? Do they like playing in a park, running around, rolling in the dirt, and swimming in a lake or pond? If yes, more frequent bathing is important – at least once a month. 
  • The length of your dog’s hair. Longer hair also requires frequent washing because it can trap debris, dirt, dust, and other things that can cause human allergies. 
  • Skin conditions, including allergies. If your dog has any skin conditions or allergies, they will dictate how often your canine should get a bath. You can always ask your vet for advice regarding the frequency of bathing. 

How often should an Irish Doodle be groomed?

As mentioned above, regular grooming helps keep the coat of your dog clean, shiny, and healthy. Therefore, regular grooming is necessary. On average, professional grooming is needed every 4-6 weeks.

Are Irish Doodles calm?

The Irish Doodle is quite a calm dog breed. They are intelligent dogs and rarely bark. However, as mentioned in the article, they may be aggressive with strangers if they are not trained and socialized correctly. Also, they may bark when left alone for a long time because they tend to experience separation anxiety

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for an intelligent, active, playful family dog that gets along with all your family members, the Irish Doodle is a perfect choice. In this article, I covered all sorts of things about this unique designer breed:

  • History of the Parent Breeds
  • Traits & Characteristics
  • Personality
  • Common Health Issues
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Now it’s time to start looking for Irish Doodle puppies!

Kevin is a proud Bernedoodle owner and Doodle dog fanatic. Read how a chance encounter with two Bernedoodles spurred a lifelong passion here. If you want to get in contact with Kevin, you can send him a message.

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