Irish Doodle: A Complete Guide to the Irish Setter Doodle

Irish Doodle Puppy

A happy-go-lucky, over-sized teddy bear, the Irish Doodle is the less common cousin to the Goldendoodle!

Very similar in appearance, but often darker in color, this dog is a result of mating an Irish Setter with a Poodle.

Graceful and athletic with a superb nature, an Irish Doodle dog may be harder to find than their golden cousins, but they are certainly worth the work.

A love of water and elegant agility means they are perfect for active families.

Their friendliness and sociability mean they are equally happy relaxing with their family at the end of the day.

Boasting a low-shedding coat, they are more appealing to those who suffer with mild allergies, or simply those who’d rather a little less hair on their kitchen floor.

Intrigued to learn more?

We’ve got the complete pet parent’s guide to this adorable yet elegant companion below…

What Is An Irish Doodle Dog?

Irish Setter Doodle
Pictured; an Irish Setter (left) and Standard Poodle (right)

The Irish Doodle is a result of mating an Irish Setter with a Poodle.

Breeders had an idea to produce healthy puppies, with the friendly nature of the Setter, and the intelligence and low-shedding coat of the Poodle.

You may expect your dog to be 50-50 Setter and Poodle, but they could inherit more temperament, appearance and/or health from either parent.

Later generations (e.g. f1b Irish Doodle) do however become more predictable.

Let us take a look at them in a little more detail, and the parent breeds are the best place to start.

Irish Setter

Irish Setter

Known as a sporting dog in the US, they are an active breed who need long daily walks with plenty of stimulation.

They are renowned for being affectionate so suit families well.

Many owners will endure their selective hearing – training can be more of a challenge with this cheeky chap.

Setters will grow to around 24-27″ in height and weigh anywhere between 55-75 pounds.

They thrive on human companionship so leave them alone at your peril. Boredom, destruction and distress will ensue! Alternatively, they can become hyperactive in response to stress.


Standard Cream Poodle

The water dog ranked as second most intelligent just behind the Border Collie. Poodles are energetic and sociable.

Initially aloof with strangers, they will soon warm and become their new best friend. They love having a job to do, which is why many find themselves as they were originally intended for – gun dogs.

Poodles have clocked speeds just behind the Whippet which is pretty impressive!

Unlike other gun dogs, Poodles will solve problems independently, so you need to keep one step ahead of these guys in training.

Standard Poodles should be taller than 15”. Miniature Poodles should range between 10-15” in height.

Poodles are loved for their lower shedding coat, making them the breed of choice for mixes.

Mixing the Irish Setter and the Poodle results in an intelligent and athletic dog. They should be happy-go-lucky and highly sociable.

Breed Origin

It is unclear when the first Irish Doodle arrived in the US.

Whilst they are increasing in popularity, their Golden cousins are still more popular.

Kennel Club Recognition and Pedigree

As they are defined as a hybrid (or designer crossbreed), they are not technically a classified breed – simply a mix.

For that reason they are not recognized by any Kennel Clubs. They are however recognized as a breed by the International Designer Canine Registry.

An Irish Doodle’s primary purpose, like many mixes, is to be a companion dog.

Some of these dogs have found their way as therapy dogs, although these are more often Mini Irish Doodles.

As they are a very recent mix, there isn’t currently an owner’s club, but we are sure one will be in operation in the foreseeable future.

Irish Doodle Facts
Size 15-27″
Weight30-65 pounds
Lifespan10-13 years
Breed TypeMixes and more
PurposeCompanion Dog
Suitable ForActive Families, Single Owners, Couples
Color VariationsRed, Golden, Apricot, Brown
TemperamentAthletic, Energetic, Intelligent, Happy-go-lucky, Sociable
Other NamesSettepoo, Setter Doodle, Irish Doodle Setter, Irish Setter Doodle

Irish Doodle Puppies

Irish Doodle Puppy

It may be a little harder to source a breeder for these dogs as they aren’t as common as other Doodle mixes.

But they are certainly worth the wait!

If you’d rather adopt a dog, there are a number of Statewide organizations that may be able to help.

Sourcing an Irish Doodle puppy may not be as easy as first thought, many reputable breeders may even have waiting lists.

An Irish Doodle price tag can vary between $1,000 and $3,000 USD.

Litter sizes may vary anywhere between 5-8 Irish Doodle puppies per litter.

With the Mini Irish Doodle (a result of mating a Miniature Poodle with an Irish Setter), the Irish Setter must always be the dam due to the complications found when mating dogs of differing sizes.

When the mating occurs between a standard Poodle and an Irish Setter, it isn’t so much of an issue which parent is which.

Irish Setter Doodle Temperament

The Irish Doodle should be intelligent, friendly and easy-going.

That said, this is only achieved when all their needs have been met. With both parents being athletic and historic workers, they thrive when kept busy. Daily exercise is essential, as is mental stimulation.

Their intelligence means they are super-trainable, and they are usually eager-to-please.

Just be mindful they haven’t inherited their Setter parent’s selective hearing. This could pose more of a challenge.

They are often dubbed clownish and love to play!

Being super-intelligent, boredom will result in destructive behaviors.

They also don’t tolerate being left alone for long periods. They will become distressed and have been known to become expert escape artists!

Compatibility with Families

Single owners can provide everything an Irish Doodle needs.

He can also make a great family dog as families can keep his mind occupied. When raised with them, they are brilliant kid companions.

They can live in multi-pet homes too, providing they have been raised with them.

He would be right at home on a farm or equally with his own yard to romp and play.

Irish Doodles are bred to be adaptable companion dogs, with an easy-going nature, active and trainable. Their training and socialization are crucial in achieving this.


Not renowned barkers, they will generally just bark to let you know something is out of place.

Having hunting lineage, they may choose to ignore you in search of that squirrel.

Irish Doodles are not known for being aggressive, but like all dogs, they do have the ability to react poorly if they haven’t had the correct training and socialization.

Their clownish behavior would never lend themselves to be a guardian either.

Irish Doodle Size, Appearance and Grooming

Full Grown

This dog comes in two different sizes depending on which Poodle is used to mate with the Irish Setter:

  • Standard Irish Doodle
  • Mini Irish Doodle

Minis grow to between 30-45 pounds vs. standards growing to anywhere between 50-65 pounds.

Minis will mature at around 12 months of age vs. standards taking up to 18 months to reach full maturity.


They are athletic in build and elegant in movement.

With a teddy bear dog look about them, some people often confuse them with the Goldendoodle.

Their ears will usually drop as low as their beard (or slightly below) and they have dark brown eyes, making them even more teddy like.

Color Types

They most often come in the Red Setter coloring, some are seen in more golden tones, and have solid coloring, but some are seen with white socks or chests.


Their coat is usually soft and wavy, but some can have the tighter Poodle coat too.

Being a low shedding coat, you won’t find masses of hair on your kitchen floor, but they do still shed!

Grooming Guide

Most owners opt to clip their Doodle’s coat for lower maintenance.

The usual trim is to keep the body and legs short, with a longer face and tail.

Ideally, you should let your Irish Doodle’s coat grow out until at least 6-9 months old before clipping.

If you keep a clipped coat, 2-3 brushes a week is ample to keep on top of it! If you let it grow longer, daily brushing is essential.

The nature of their curly coat makes it prone to knotting and matting; if these form in the groin area or in their paw pits, it can cause pain when they move.

Regularly check their ears whilst grooming your dog too (especially if they like the water). Poodles are renowned for suffering with ear problems, so they should be cleaned as often as needed.

Brushing their teeth several times a week will keep plaque at bay – keeping those pearly whites in tip top condition for all those chews!

Top-Tip: introduce all grooming from a young age.

This makes it a lot less stressful for you, them, and your groomer when you are ready to get that coat clipped!

Irish Setter Doodle Care Guide

Irish Dog

The Irish Doodle thrives in active homes; not surprisingly when you look at both parents.

They aren’t particularly suited to first time owners, simply because their intelligence can run rings around someone who hasn’t got a firm grip on dog training and behavior.

With high exercise and grooming needs too, it is worth weighing up if you can give him what he needs.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Guide 900 calories
Cups of Kibble Two Bowls of Kibble Required per Day

Feed your Irish Doodle the best quality food your budget will allow. High quality foods will ensure his daily nutritional requirements are met.

Whether you choose to feed, wet, dry or raw is a personal choice. Each have their own pros and cons. The most important thing is to ensure the first ingredient listed on the label is a meat source.

As a puppy you may feed 3-4 meals per day this is to avoid over-stretching his small tummy and to reduce the chance he brings it all back up again when he decides to play zoomies straight after he’s eaten!

Adult meals are usually reduced to two per day, morning or lunch and evening meal.

Always have clean, fresh water available to drink. Remember to clean his bowl out too! That film that forms in the bowl is home to some risky bacteria!

Exercise Requirements

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 60 to 120 minutes
Activity Level This is a high activity dog breed

Having two active parents, it’s no surprise that the Irish Doodle also loves to be busy!

Upwards of 60 minutes exercise per day is essential. When fully grown, they love hiking, trekking and swimming and consequently make the perfect addition if you love the great outdoors.

They pick-up sports like flyball or agility super-quick if you are interested in doing a little more with your dog.

For the standard Irish Doodle, stick with the 5-minute rule until they are fully matured:

  • 5 minutes walking per day per month of age.

Also avoid excessive hikes, treks or running until their growth plates have had time to fuse. Like all larger breeds, they are at a higher risk of developing skeletal disorders if not monitored in their younger years.

Whilst they are super-trainable, they can inherit their Setter parent’s selective hearing, so recall isn’t always infallible.

Because of this it’s better to be safe than sorry and walk your Irish Setter Doodle on-leash in busy areas.

Irish Setter Doodle Training

Irish Setter and Poodle

Like all dogs, the Irish Setter responds best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training. Early and continued training and socialization is a must.

If we think of what happens in the brain when dogs learn; every time they carry out a behavior a path is created in the brain. The more it is repeated, the stronger the path becomes.

We need to repeat the behavior we want them to demonstrate, and not the behavior we don’t want to see.

See an unwanted behavior? Replace it with it wanted behavior.

Expecting an unwanted behavior? Pre-emp it and ask them to perform a wanted behavior.

For us to have the happy-go-lucky pooch that the Irish Doodle should be, they need to be socialized well as a puppy.

We are talking about introducing them to everything the world has to offer – noises, smells, sensations – everything in moderation!

Known Health Problems

It must always be remembered with any cross-breed, the puppies will only be as healthy as their parents.

This is why responsible breeders are so important. Any puppies run the risk of inheriting any genetic health issue from their parents.

Like the parent breeds, Irish Doodles can suffer with orthopedic issues. For that reason, they should have the following tests carried out:

  • Elbows
  • Eyes
  • Hips
  • Patellas

The Standard sized can suffer with both hip and or elbow dysplasia too and the Mini can suffer with luxating patellas due to their smaller size.

Eyes issues are common in Poodles so this is a risk is any size Doodle.

The aim for the Irish Doodle is to widen the gene pool, by moving further way from particular health issues stated above.

Irish Doodle Dog Summary

The Goldendoodle (pictured) is the Golden cousin of this mix.

The Irish Doodle, was first bred to be friendly, athletic and adorable!

Looking like an oversized teddy bear, this guy will melt the heart of many.

Before you run out the house to adopt this dog, remember both parents were workers.

He is intelligent. He thrives in an active home, where he will have daily exercise and stimulation. He doesn’t bode well alone and this will result in boredom, destruction and distress.

Depending on whether you opt for a mini or a standard, their size can vary, if you have a smaller home, the mini weighs in around 30-45 pounds. If you have a little more space, the Standard can weigh up to 65 pounds.

Either way, he will fit in with the family and when raised with them can tolerate other pets too! Sometimes aloof with strangers, this guy is incredibly loyal when he gets to know you.

Feel free to share your comments about this beautiful Doodle mix in the comments below.

Other Poodle Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other Poodle mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

Poodles Mixes

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. We have a four month Irish Doodle and he is everything mentioned above but perfectly adorable. We had an Irish Red Setter when our children were young and he was the most friendly gentle dog regardless of his size, everyone knew him and he loved it. His hearing as said above was very selective especially when chasing anything flying above him. Our Doodle we hope will have the intelligence of the poodle, and so far we believe she has. She was quick to house train and retrieve balls, and recall is good so far, but is full of mischief and we need to be in a room with her and make sure everything is safely away from reach. We do not regret for one minute buying this breed, our life is better for it. In UK this breed is not common, but I feel it will be in the future.

  2. We are expecting a litter of Irish doodles in mid September ready to go to their families in mid November 2021.

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