Doodle dogs have become very popular over the last few decades. Chances are you’ve heard of Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Maltipoos, and Yorkipoos…the list goes on!
The popularity of these Poodle mixes encouraged breeders to come up with even more unique combinations.
In this article, let me introduce to you another cute mixed breed called an Irish Doodle.
Irish Doodles are a combination of a standard Poodle and a hunting dog called Irish Setter. They are known for their adorable looks and friendly temperament.
If you’re interested in the Irish Setter Poodle mix, then this guide is for you. Read on to learn all about Irish Doodles and what it would take for you to raise one.
What Is an Irish Doodle?
Irish Doodles are a mix of a purebred Poodle and a purebred Irish Setter. They are medium to large dogs with a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. The idea behind this mix is to combine the intelligence and hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle with the sweet and friendly nature of an Irish Setter.
Irish Doodles are gaining popularity as family pets because of their fun and friendly temperaments. But do not be fooled by their cute toy-dog looks.
They are active dogs that can do well as an athlete and in obedience training. Some Irish Doodle puppies have also become good service and therapy dogs.
As a mixed breed, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and other large kennel clubs.
So far, they are only recognized by mixed breed registries including the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), Dog Registry Of America (DRA), and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
3 Little-Known Facts About Irish Doodles
Before we deep-dive into the traits of Irish Doodles, let me share with you some interesting facts about them.
1. Irish Doodles are a relatively new breed
Irish Doodles only emerged in the last 30 years. This period is still considered pretty short in terms of canine breed history.
This breed is still in development, and most of the Irish Doodle pups sold out there are ‘F1’ which is 50% Poodle and 50% Irish Setter. It will be rare to find an Irish Doodle puppy that came from two Irish Doodle Setter parents.
2. Owning an Irish Doodle can improve your health
As I mentioned in the former section, Irish Doodles can become great service dogs! One Irish Doodle named Barney was even featured in a news report when he served as a diabetic-alert dog for Judge Howard Sturim.
Barney was trained to detect subtle changes in Sturim’s blood sugar through his amazing sense of smell, so he alerts the judge if his blood sugar levels get too low.
He goes with Sturim everywhere and simply curls up at his feet during court proceedings.
3. Irish Doodles come in mini versions, too
It’s hard to believe that there’s an even cuter version of this designer dog. The mini Irish Doodle is created by crossing a miniature Poodle and an Irish Setter.
The resulting pup looks very much like the standard Irish Doodle but is only half its size because the standard Poodle wasn’t used for breeding.
Irish Doodle History and Origin: Where Does the Irish Doodle Come From?
Similar to other mixed breeds, there is no clear documentation of the first Irish Doodle. The exact date and place where the breeding of Irish Doodles began are unknown.
The only thing we know about the Irish Doodle’s origins is that they were first bred in the United States at some point in the last 30 years.
This breed is likely one of the many resulting mixes that came after the Labradoodle became popular in the 1980s.
However, this is not to say that they don’t have a rich heritage. To better understand this Irish Setter Poodle mix, let’s take a quick look at the origins of the parent breeds:
This breed was first developed in the 1800s by Irish huntsmen to help them cover ground in the countryside of Emerald Isle.
These “Red Setters” moved swiftly and gracefully. Not only did they become popular working dogs, but they also made great family companions.
The original ancestors of Irish Setters were red and white, and the solid red Irish Setter only emerged in the 1900s.
Now, they only come chestnut, red, and mahogany. These red coats are what we commonly see in Irish Doodles too.
As we can see, Irish Doodles combine the best traits from hunting/working breeds with a long history. This is evident in the Irish Doodle’s strong build, intelligence, and eagerness to please.
Although they are commonly associated with France, Poodles were first bred in Germany more than 400 years ago.
They were initially developed as retrieving water dogs. Their iconic coat served a practical purpose to protect them in the water.
Today, Poodles are known as companions or show dogs, but they still possess the intelligence and athleticism of retrievers.
These traits, along with their hypoallergenic coats, made them extremely popular as a parent breed for designer dogs.
Irish Doodle Appearance: What Does an Irish Doodle Look Like?
Again, as they are still a relatively new designer dog breed, they do not have breed standards yet. But of course, there is already a common look among Irish Doodles.
Irish Doodles are typically described as follows:
- Head: The head is narrow and elongated, with a long muzzle.
- Eyes: The eyes of the Irish Doodle will be medium to dark brown and either oval or almond-shaped.
- Ears: Their cute ears are long and flappy, usually as long as the face.
- Body: They are medium to large-sized dogs with square frames.
- Coat: The Irish Doodle’s coat is usually shaggy and wavy, but some can have a tighter coat similar to Poodles.
The Irish Doodle coats are commonly red and apricot, close to the Irish Setter colors. But they also come in golden tones, cream, brown, and black.
Most Irish Setter Poodle mixes will have a solid-colored coat, but some may have white markings.
Here are pictures of the different Irish Doodle coat colors:
Red Irish Doodle
Red is said to be one of the most common and preferred Irish Doodle colors. Most breeders prefer to breed red Irish Doodles as it is considered the traditional coat color for the breed. They can be a little more expensive than other colors.
Apricot Irish Doodle
Apricot is another popular color for Irish Doodles. The apricot color is common in many breeds, and it is a light orange/reddish-brown.
Apricot Irish Doodles are often confused with Goldendoodles because this is also a well-loved color of the Golden Retriever and Poodle mix.
Black Irish Doodle
Black is not a rare color for Poodles. However, it is quite uncommon in Irish Doodles mainly because reds and apricots are preferred and are purposefully bred most of the time.
Cream Irish Doodle
Cream is generally a common color in Doodle dogs, but a cream Irish Doodle is pretty rare. They may have darker tones on some parts of their body, similar to cream-colored Poodles.
How Big Do Irish Doodles Get When Fully Grown?
Irish Doodles are medium to large dogs. The male Irish Doodle’s height is around 24 to 28 inches, and they usually weigh 50 to 70 pounds when fully grown.
Female Irish Doodles are 22 to 26 inches tall and will weigh 40 to 60 pounds. This is, of course, different from the size of mini Irish Doodles.
Similar to their parent breeds, they are expected to be fully grown at 18 months. Of course, since there are no standards that breeders can follow, their full-grown height and weight can still vary.
To better estimate how big your Irish Doodle will be, simply take a look at the parents and previous litters, if there are any.
Irish Doodle Temperament and Personality: Are Irish Doodles Good Family Dogs?
This breed combines the intelligence of Poodles and the happy-go-lucky nature of Irish Setters. As such, Irish Doodles make great family dogs.
Irish Doodles are known to be gentle and very friendly, so they would be good playmates to children. However, let me emphasize that it is still important to supervise children when they are with your dog.
Their gentle and sociable disposition also makes them good with other family pets. But like all canines, early socialization is essential.
So start introducing your Irish Doodle pup to other dogs and pets as early as possible, and keep an eye on their interaction to prevent any incident.
Like their parent breeds, Irish Doodles are intelligent and active. They would need lots of exercise and interaction.
Activities like taking a walk in the park or playing games like fetch would stimulate them mentally and physically.
Exercise sessions can also be a good way for them to be socialized with other people. Irish Doodles are friendly, so you should not have problems with strangers.
But like all canines, it will take some training to get them accustomed to interacting with people outside your family.
All in all, if you are looking for a light-hearted dog that likes to hang out with your family all the time, an Irish Doodle will be a good choice.
Their temperaments make them fantastic with pets and other people, but you have to do your part and socialize them early on.
On the same note, do not leave them for long periods of time because they may develop separation anxiety.
READ NEXT: Do Poodles Attach to One Person Only?
Irish Doodle Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Irish Setter Poodle Mixes Healthy Dogs?
Irish Doodles are generally considered healthy. Like other designer breeds, they may benefit from hybrid vigor. However, because this Doodle breed is still developing, you have to look out for diseases common to both parents.
Below are some diseases that Irish Doodles may be susceptible to:
- Bloat: Also known as gastric dilation, this condition occurs when the stomach dilates and food or gas cannot be expelled. It can cause the stomach wall to rupture, and in extreme cases, the stomach will rotate in the abdomen. Bloat can be fatal when not corrected immediately.
- Hip Dysplasia: This condition occurs when the hip joint does not develop correctly and eventually weakens and deteriorates. Hip dysplasia is common in large and giant dog breeds.
- Eye Problems: Unfortunately, Irish Doodles may inherit eye problems common to their parents. Optic nerve hypoplasia, cataracts, and entropion corneal dystrophy are known eye problems for Poodles. Progressive retinal atrophy is also common in both Poodles and Irish Setters.
- Addison’s Disease: This disease is also known as hypoadrenocorticism. This condition occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough adrenal hormones. Since these are essential hormones, the insufficiency will affect normal bodily functions. Addison’s disease is quite rare in canines, but it can be familial in Poodles.
- Von Willebrand Disease: This condition is a blood disorder caused by a deficiency in von Willebrand Factor (vWF). This protein is required for normal platelet binding or clotting. This disease can lead to excessive bleeding if your dog gets injured.
Since they are mixed breeds, it is difficult to predict what diseases they may exactly inherit.
As a paw parent to an Irish Doodle, what you can do is help your dog live a healthy lifestyle and take them to your vet regularly for preventive care.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Breeding Irish Setters and Poodles Together
It is no secret that designer breeds like Irish Doodles have both fans and critics. If you’re still unsure about getting a mixed breed dog, I’ve listed some advantages and disadvantages to help you make your decision.
Let’s take a look at a few benefits of combining these two breeds. These are some of the reasons why Irish Doodles and other mixed breeds are appealing to a lot of people.
- Lower risk for some genetic diseases: The main idea of hybrid vigor is that mixing two breeds would produce healthier puppies. According to PetMD, combining two genetically different dogs lowers the risk of diseases that may come from two recessive alleles.
- Unique temperament: Different Doodle mixes cater to varying needs and preferences. In the case of the Irish Doodle, breeders focused on combining the personality and intelligence needed for great companions or family dogs. Because they have a hunting and working heritage, Irish Doodles can also become good service dogs. The result of the Irish Setter Poodle mix is a cute and cuddly dog that you can also count on for serious tasks.
- Minimal shedding: This is a common reason why Poodle mixes are very popular. Not everyone can tolerate shedding and hair all around their household, and some people are simply allergic. The Irish Setter Poodle mix produces an adorable wavy coat that sheds minimally and isn’t high maintenance.
Now let’s run through some cons of mixing these two breeds. For some people, these can be overlooked. But for others, these can be a real cause of concern.
- Unpredictable diseases: Although studies show that mixed breeds have a reduced risk for some diseases, there is still a chance that your Irish Doodle pup will inherit some from its parents. The bad news is that you will never know which one, so you have to be on the lookout for all the diseases common to Poodles and Irish Setters.
- Risk of losing desirable traits: When breeds are mixed, it is uncertain which parent they will take after more or what traits they will inherit. It is never guaranteed that you will only get good genes. This concern is worsened by puppy mills or irresponsible breeders whose concern is only to profit from the popular Poodle mixes.
- Varying sizes and looks: Irish Doodle puppies have similar looks, but their overall appearance and build can still vary from litter to litter. They do not have standard heights and weights yet, so you might get a smaller or larger dog than you expected. Your Irish Doodle’s appearance may also differ from the ones shown previously.
Before purchasing an Irish Doodle puppy, make sure that you have weighed these pros and cons carefully. Do your research on both parent breeds, and talk with other owners of mixed breed dogs about their experience.
How to Take Care of Your Irish Doodle?
If you have your heart set on an Irish Doodle, then you must do all you can to prepare yourself for life with your new canine companion.
Here are some basic tips on how you can take care of your Irish Doodle:
Feeding and Diet
Your Irish Doodle would need a high-quality diet. Ask your breeder about the sizes of the previous litters so you can evaluate what kind of food you should buy.
Remember that different sizes have different nutritional requirements. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your vet.
As puppies, they would usually need three to four meals a day because of their energy level. You can reduce this to two meals when they reach adulthood.
Freshwater should also be available to your Irish Setter Poodle mix at any time. If you can, you may also choose a treat to feed your pup in between meal times.
Cleaning and Grooming
It is not difficult to maintain and groom an Irish Doodle because of its non-shedding coat. Their fur would only need brushing twice or thrice a week.
But if you’re a person who wants to keep their coats longer, then daily brushing would be better. Watch out for the ear hairs as they may cause dirt to build up.
Like all breeds, you would need to clean their ears and brush their teeth regularly. To make your routine easier, introduce grooming at a young age. Make sure that it is a positive experience for your Irish Doodle puppy.
Training and Exercise
Standard Irish Doodles are intelligent dogs. However, this does not mean that you should spend less time training them. Training and socialization should start as early as possible.
It will take some effort, but training them would make things a lot easier for you wherever you go.
You can see it in this video of a well-trained Irish Doodle:
Some owners say that the training process would be a bit easier if your Irish Doodle leans towards the Poodle temperament. But if your pup is more like the Irish Setter, then it would need a strong leader.
This is because Irish Setters tend to get bored or distracted easily, and they have a high activity level.
Because this breed comes from dogs with a hunting heritage, they may inherit the need for activity. But do not worry because they don’t need intense exercise.
Standard Irish Doodles would be happy with walks and playing games, but they could also do well in activities like swimming and trekking.
It’s best if you can have them participate in agility competitions to develop their skills even more.
Irish Doodle Puppy Prices & Expenses: How Much Does an Irish Doodle Cost?
In general, designer breeds can be more expensive than purebred dogs because they are not as common. Irish Doodles are a bit rarer than other Poodle mixes.
Depending on your area and your breeder, the price of an Irish Poodle puppy can be anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. Mini Irish Doodles would be a bit more expensive than standard ones.
Aside from the cost of the puppy, you should expect to spend at least $300 to $400 for initial supplies like food, toys, dog crates, and the like. You should also consider the cost of vet checks which could cost you $65 to $170.
There are other optional expenses such as pet insurance, spaying/neutering, and professional training.
All in all, owning an Irish Doodle would not come cheap. Your Irish Doodle will live with you for at least ten years, so consider these expenses carefully.
Places to Find Irish Doodle Puppies for Sale or Adoption
As established in this article, Irish Doodles are not yet as common as other Doodle dogs. Finding a reliable breeder near you might take a while.
However, getting a healthy and well-raised Irish Doodle pup will be worth all your effort.
Most breeders sell F1 puppies that come from an Irish Setter and Poodle. Some may also sell F1b puppies.
These are Irish Doodles mixed with a Poodle, so they are more Poodle-like. You might encounter this during your search.
Here is a list of Irish Doodle breeders you can get in touch with if you want this cross to be your family dog:
- Irish-Doodles (Crockett Doodles) – Irish-Doodles belongs to a network of Doodle breeders called Crockett Doodles. They breed standard red and apricot Irish Doodles, as well as miniature Irish Doodles. Crockett Doodles handles all applications. You have the option of placing a deposit once your application is accepted. This will allow you to pick an Irish Doodle from upcoming litters.
- Oakhill Farm Doodles – Oakhill Farm Doodles has been in the breeding business for 25 years now. They breed standard and miniature Irish Doodles, and they also produce medium-sized Irish Doodles from a Moyen Poodle parent. Purchasing a puppy from them comes with a two-year health warranty, a puppy care package, 30-day pet insurance, and lifetime breeder support.
- Mckenzie’s Doodles – Mckenzie’s Doodles has been breeding Doodle dogs since 2004. They post their scheduled litters well in advance, and you have to send them an email to express your interest. If you are lucky enough to get on the list on time, they will require a deposit. A “pick out pick up” day will be scheduled when the puppies are at eight weeks, so you would only have to visit them once.
If you find yourself on very long waitlists, you can also consider adopting. Irish Doodles may be a bit more difficult to find in rescues, but there are also a lot of similar Doodle dogs in need of new homes.
You may find an Irish Doodle for adoption in these sites/organizations:
- Doodle Dandy Rescue – This Texas-based rescue organization has helped over 300 Doodle dogs in just two years. All the dogs in their care spend a minimum of three weeks in their foster homes to ensure that their needs are addressed first. Doodle dogs available for adoption are posted on their website.
- Mid-Atlantic Poodle Rescue – Mid-Atlantic Poodle Rescue helps Poodles and Poodle mixes like the Irish Doodle. Their organization is run by volunteers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Their application process starts with submitting an application form. Subsequent steps will include a telephone interview, reference checks, and a home visit.
- Petfinder – This website lists dogs of all breeds in need of adoption, including Doodle dogs. As of writing, there are no Irish Doodles on their site yet, but there are other Doodle mixes you can choose from. You can contact the organization handling the dog on their individual information pages.
Adoption fees will vary per organization, but usually, it is only up to a few hundred dollars.
Getting and raising an Irish Doodle would take time, commitment, and money. Take time to learn more about this Doodle mix and carefully evaluate if an Irish Doodle is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Irish Doodles Shed?
If you do not want dog hair all over your house, this breed would be good for you. Despite their long, wavy hair, Irish Doodles shed minimally.
If you want to keep their coats long, regular brushing and grooming would be essential to keep the shedding at a minimum.
Are Irish Doodles Hypoallergenic?
According to PetMD, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. The allergens dogs produce are also on their skin and salivary glands.
However, because Irish Doodles almost have a non-shedding coat, they would be a good choice for people with mild allergies.
Do Irish Doodles Bark a Lot?
One remarkable trait of Irish Doodles is that they are relatively quiet dogs. They rarely bark and would probably only do so when something is wrong. This is also a reason why they are said to be good for apartment living.
Are Irish Doodles Good for First Time Owners?
Because Irish Doodles are intelligent and friendly dogs, they might be good for first-time owners. But your pet’s overall well-being is affected by nature and nurture.
If you are a novice owner, the key is to prepare well and get your Irish Doodle puppy from a reputable breeder.
Mixing an Irish Setter and Poodle gives Irish Doodles the traits to be great for families with children and other pets.
Aside from being good family dogs, their intelligence and strength can also make them do well as service or therapy dogs.
Your Irish Doodle will be quite unique because they are still a breed in development.
Therefore, their looks and temperament can vary, but of course, their personalities will also be affected by their environment and human families.
If you are looking for a fun and easygoing family dog and you think you can meet their need for activity, it would be hard to go wrong with an Irish Setter Poodle mix.