Irish Doodle

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Irish Doodle

40-70 lb
10-13 years
not applicable
Best Suited For
Singles, families with children and other pets, seniors, and those living in apartments or houses with or without yards
Loyal, devoted, quiet, social, intelligent, friendly
Comparable Breeds
Irish Setter, Poodle
13-15 inches

Irish Doodle Basics

Are you looking for a smart, energetic, and family-friendly pooch to bring into your life? Then you’re in luck! Also known as the Irish Doodle Setter, Irish Poo Setter, Irish Setterdoodle, and Irish Setterpoo (Whew! That’s a lot of aliases!), the Irish Doodle is a super cute, friendly, and light-hearted medium-sized crossbreed. That’s right, they have almost any many lovable qualities as they do names. A mix of Irish Setter and Poodle, the Irish Doodle is ideal for anyone seeking a dog that won’t shed a lot and who will be loyal, social, and intelligent. This dog rarely barks and will even get along great with children and pets. In other words, it’s a perfect dog to bring home and make part of your family. After a few days with your Irish Doodle, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without him!

If the Irish Doodle sounds too good to be true, rest assured that it isn’t. These dogs are very real and they live up to the hype! Combing adorable looks and an equally loveable attitude, this crossbreed is becoming hugely popular. After a few minutes spent in the radiant presence of these irresistible pups, you’ll understand why. To find out if this dog would be the right fit for your family, check keep your eyes glued to this page and scroll away. We’ll tell you everything that you need to know about the Irish Doodle and why you need to bring one into your home post haste.

The Irish Doodle is a super cute, friendly, and light-hearted medium-sized crossbreed.


The Irish Doodle is one of the newest designer dog breeds. As it is the case with most of these dogs, the Irish Setter and Poodle mix also doesn’t have much of a history to speak of. Or at least they don’t have a well documented history. Intentionally bred crossbreeds are still somewhat of a novelty in the world of canines. Before the 1980s, when the creation of the Labradoodle opened a whole new world of possibilities for hybrids, all mixed breed dogs were a product of accidental mating. Mutts, although undeniably as lovely as their purebred fellows, simply weren’t as popular or coveted. Thankfully, all of that has changed quite dramatically. In fact, designer dogs can now cost several times more than their purebred parents! It’s amazing how things can change in a few short years.

As a designer dog breed itself, the Irish Doodle was probably first developed at some point over the last 30 years. Similarly, this Doodle hybrid likely had its start in the United States, like most hybrids did. Owing to the difficulties associated with discerning what are mutts and what are designer dogs, there’s no way to accurately pinpoint the time and place of the breed’s beginnings. Breeders simply didn’t think to document that sort of thing until quite recently. However, despite a general lack of information about the breed, the Irish Doodle does have an impressive history…through its parents. The Irish Setter originated in 18th century Ireland, and the Poodle is an even older breed. There have been records of Poodles stretching back as far as 15th century Germany. So there’s quite a rich heritage to the Irish Doodle, even if their exact origin remains a mystery.


The Irish Doodle is a cross between a purebred Irish Setter and Poodle. The Poodle comes in 3 different sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Yet, only two types can be used to develop this designer dog. The standard Poodle is the most common choice, although there are breeders who use miniature Poodle studs with Irish Setter bitches. The result of that unique breeding is the Mini Irish Doodle.

Since this is still a breed in development, most Irish Doodle puppies are first generation or F1 mixes. This means that the mom and dad are purebred. Their offspring can look like a perfect combination of the two or more like one than the other. In other words, the appearance and the traits of F1 mixes are somewhat unpredictable. Yet despite that unpredictability, some breeders prefer them as they believe them to be the healthiest.

Multi-generational breedings are rare, but there are some F1b Irish Doodle mixes that are currently in development. These dogs are a result of breeding an F1 Irish Doodle to a non-related Poodle. In these cases, the Poodle genes are more prevalent (75%), so these dogs are a better choice if you are keen on the hypoallergenic coat and want a more Doodle-like breed.

However, despite the efforts of the breeders to standardize the appearance and qualities of the Irish Doodle, these dogs are still not considered to be an actual breed. The American Kennel Club still doesn’t recognize any of the designer dogs, so your Irish Doodle puppies won’t have official pedigree papers. Sadly, that’s a bias that the American Kennel Club is simply unwilling to drop, despite the fact that designer dogs are growing in popularity every year. Thankfully, there are other options. Instead, ask for a health guarantee and see if you can meet the parents. This is important both to see what you can expect with your own puppy and to eliminate the possibility you’re buying from a backyard breeder (a scourge on the dog breeding industry).

Food / Diet

A medium sized dog like an Irish Doodle will require a high quality canine diet that will provide him with the energy he needs for daily activity. You can feed your dog wet food, dry food, or a combination of the two. A good place to start is to feed your dog about 2½ to 3 cups of dry food, divided into two meals per day, but see if your dog requires more or less to maintain a healthy weight and energy level. Of course, if you are ever concerned about your dog’s diet and aren’t seeing the results that you expected, it’s always a wise idea to consult your vet. After all, not all dogs are the same and only an experienced vet will be able to identify the specific dietary needs of your personal pooch. So, don’t be afraid to ask your vet at your next checkup. It could make a huge impact on keeping your pup happy and healthy.

Combing adorable looks and an equally loveable attitude, the Irish Doodle is becoming popular.


One of the things you need to consider before adding an Irish Doodle to your family is the fact that these dogs aren’t always the easiest to train. They can be quite unpredictable, especially because the Irish Setter isn’t always willing to be trained and can get bored easily, while the Poodle is generally quite easy to train. So, it all depends on which traits your Irish Doodle inherits from each parent and as previously discussed, that’s unpredictable.

When training an Irish Doodle, you will need to be committed and patient. However, once you succeed at training your dog, he will remember everything that you taught him. The good news is that these dogs are easy to house train. So at least that won’t cause you much trouble. As always, no matter how difficult your Irish Doodle is to train it’s important to focus on positive reinforcement and giddy encouragement. Anything less is too close to abuse. Establishing yourself as the alpha with a gentle touch isn’t just the best approach, it’s the only one to consider.


Potential dog owners should always pay attention to the breed’s weight and size. These parameters can tell you a lot about the pet’s dietary needs and housing requirements. A medium sized breed, the Irish Doodle weighs between 40 and 70 pounds. As such they usually require plenty of free space and room to exercise. The Irish Doodle will best thrive in an average-sized home or a spacious apartment. It is even better if you have a large house with a fenced in yard. This will give your pet the chance to exercise and play all they want. This is an energetic and athletic breed, and their need for exercise needs to be satisfied. Of course, this means that owners of tiny homes and small apartments simply won’t be able to keep an Irish Doodle and expect to provide them with a good life quality. They will feel cooped up, and that’s never good for a dog of this size.

Temperament / Behavior

Once you get to know an Irish Doodle, you will completely understand what all the fuss is about. These canines are affectionate, loyal, and devoted to their families. They are also eager to please and highly intelligent. Plus, they are gentle with other pets and kids, so they make fantastic family dogs, whether you live in a large house or in a modest apartment. These dogs are bred to love and are the perfect match for almost any home.

Even though an Irish Doodle won’t mind meeting strangers, this dog will be attentive and alert and will let you know if he comes across anything that seems suspicious. So, while they will never exactly be a guard dog, they can be a decent watchdog. Of course, this has a lot to do with their tendency to form strong bonds with their owners. This is an affectionate and protective breed, and they will often stand by your side as guardians. Even so, the Irish Doodle is not a violent or aggressive breed. They’ll warn, but rarely – if ever – follow that with a reaction. Both the Poodle and the Irish Setter, the parent breeds of the Irish Doodle, are affectionate and friendly dogs. And these traits are fully transferred to their offspring.

Common Health Problems

Irish Doodles are typically hardy dogs. Much like other designer dog breeds, they may benefit from what’s known as hybrid vigor. This breeding method helps the offspring become more resilient than their parents.

However, hybrid dogs like the Irish Doodle are still susceptible to the conditions that most commonly affect their parents. In the case of the Irish Doodle, those conditions include epilepsy, Cushing’s disease, bloat, Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, Von Willebrand disease, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, eye problems, panosteitis, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, canine atopic dermatitis, osteochondritis dissecans, and sebaceous adenitis. So quite a bit.

Even though a dog’s future health can’t be predicted for certain, whether that dog is a crossbreed or a purebred, keep an eye out for general canine health conditions, such as blindness, deafness, and hip dysplasia, particularly as your dog gets older. Regular visits to a vet are the best way to spot any potential problems before they arrive.

Life Expectancy

The Irish Doodle has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Considering that 15 years is considered as a maximum life expectancy for most dog breeds, the Irish Doodle falls right into that medium category. Of course, 10 to 13 years is quite a respectable age for any dog. This guarantees that you will have an affectionate and friendly companion dog by your side for well over a decade – and that’s not a number to underestimate. Plenty of love and adventures can be crammed into a decade!

Of course, you can’t fully rely on these estimates. To reach that max lifespan, your pet will need all the help you can offer. They depend on you, and that’s a fact! To that end, you will need to provide ample care throughout their life: regular vet checkups, a healthy and balanced diet, tons of exercise, and heaps of love and affection. In the recipe of a long and carefree life, these are the most important ingredients.

Exercise Requirements

The Irish Doodle doesn’t need a lot of exercise. Instead, a moderate amount of daily activity, through games like fetch and a walk or a jog, will help keep your dog happy and in great shape. If you do have an enclosed, safe yard, you can even let your pooch play freely outside when the weather permits. It won’t be too hard to keep these doggos in shape, which is why they can be a good choice for urban dwellers in apartments, as long as they are active and spend time outdoors.

The Irish Doodle is the ideal dog to take to the park once per day for a short bit of fun and games. They are playful, goofy, and energetic, and will love to engage in games such as fetch or frisbee. Around half an hour of these games in the park, and you will satisfy this breed’s need for exercise. If there is no opportunity to go to the park every day, a simple and brisk walk on the leash will certainly do the trick!

Irish Doodles are affectionate, loyal, and devoted to their families.

Recognized Clubs

Many of the most loved cross breeds and designer dogs still lack the official recognition of the leading world dog breed registries. This is common with dogs that are not purebred. Likewise, the Irish Doodle is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, as it is considered to be a hybrid breed. However, this breed is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR). It is a good start, after all, and a sure path towards a wider recognition for this widely loved breed. 


Every doggo’s biggest pride is their coat. And no matter whether it is smooth, shaggy, short, or long, that coat needs to be kept spic and span. And for this majestic breed, a maintained coat is a big thing. It gives them their famed elegance, beauty, and something to boast with. Irish Doodles are perfect dogs for those who don’t want to be cleaning up fur around the house and in the car all the time. The Poodle is popular because it hardly sheds, so the Irish Doodle will also feature a coat that is long, wavy, and shaggy and that sheds minimally and doesn’t require a lot of grooming to keep it under control.

Still, there is just a tad bit of work that needs to be done in order to maintain this type of coat. Your best bet is to adopt a steady routine over the week, giving your pet just a light brush every day to prevent matting and tangles. That way you can maintain a tidy look and get rid of all the excess hairs, even if there are just a few of them. Add to this routine a visit to the groomers about once a month, and an occasional bath when needed, and you are guaranteed to have a tidy, hygienic, pretty, and healthy doggo! Just don’t neglect these needs as you will have much more work to do later on.


In the life of every dog, the first two to three months are the most delicate period of their lives, when they are the most vulnerable. Keep in mind that these puppies can be fragile very early on. And as they can be so incredibly cute, everyone will want to be around them, cuddle them, snuggle them, and all that goes with that. You will have to avoid these situations. Such eager attention from kids and adults can stress the poor puppy, scare them, and leave them frightened of people and large crowds. Best wait a month or two, before allowing your puppy into the wide world.

But as soon as the fragile days are done, you should encourage socialization. It is very important for puppies. Irish Doodle puppies and adults have a strong desire to be around their human families because they enjoy getting as much love and attention as they possibly can. So it’s a wise idea to spend as much time with your puppy as possible. You should also allow him to meet a variety of people and other pets that ensure that he grows up to be a friendly and confident adult. It will be easy to socialize them too, since any human who comes near your Irish Doodle will fall in love almost instantly. With socialization and a lot of interaction and play, your pet can grow up into a smart, obedient, playful, and friendly animal. In stark contrast, a neglected puppy without socialization can grow up into an aloof, anxious, aggressive, and lethargic pet. And remedying that state can take years of hard work. 

That said, these dogs can occasionally be difficult to train. They have a bit of a stubborn streak, after all. So, it is best to start training as early as possible. Pack leader training and obedience training can be used early on to socialize your puppy and get him accustomed to meeting other pets and people. Remember that puppies tend to soak up all the information that you give them. They are eager to learn, and their brains are quickly developing and memorizing. So arm yourself with a bit of patience and tasty treats, and begin that training early on. Laying down ground rules for the future is very important, if you want a steadfast four-legged friend by your side. 

Photo credit: Kenta Young/Flickr; Randy Stewart/Flickr

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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