What Is An Irish Doodle? Irish Doodle 101

Dog breeders have gotten more and more adventurous with their crossbreeding choices recently, and we’re thrilled with all the new types of dogs to love and care for. One of the standout breeds that are catching the eyes of dog parents worldwide is the Irish Doodle. 

what is an irish doodle
What is an Irish Doodle? The 101 on the Irish Setter Poodle Mix

You might have heard some tidbits about the Irish Doodle. Sometimes they’re called “designer dogs” due to their popularity and limited supply internationally. While there’s some truth to that, there’s also so much more to know and love about this gorgeous breed. 

I organized this article in a FAQ-style fashion so you’ll more quickly find the answers you’re looking for. Without wasting any more time, let’s learn more about what an Irish Doodle is!

What Is An Irish Doodle? 

So, first thing’s first: what are the breeds that comprise an Irish Doodle? Just from looking at their soft, wavy, bronze fur and sparkling, intelligent eyes, it could be any number of breeds. The Irish Doodle is a hybrid of an Irish Setter and a Poodle. 

They combine all the best qualities from the two pure breeds. That’s partly why they’re called “designer dogs”–both Irish Setters and Poodles are in high demand. From the Irish Setter, a marvelous reddish coat that makes them stand out. And from the Poodle, you can trace back its super-smart temperament, curly coat, and gentle demeanor.

The history of the two breeds that make up these dogs is long. Suffice it to say, the setter was bred as an Irish hunting dog, and the poodle was a German-French water retriever. Put those two lineages together and you have a poised and curious, gentle, obedient, and alert dog.

irish doodle 101 - facts and images
The low down on the Irish Doodle (Irish-poo)

What does an Irish Setter Poodle Mix Look Like?

There are currently three different sizes of Irish Doodles: standard, miniature, and toy. So, if you’ve had the pleasure to catch sight of one of these dogs outdoors, imagine two other options. People the world over covet all three sizes.

Teacup Irish Doodles are often a cross breed with another smaller dog… so in general if you are after a “purebred” Irish Setter Poodle Mix that is small – go for the Mini Irish Doodle.

A standard Irish Doodle is a large dog (although svelt and skinny in the right light) with a high energy demand.

Just like all cross-breeds, you can’t predict their appearance until they are born. The rule of thumb for F1 generation dogs, the puppy takes after the mother. If the mother has a wavy, long, and somewhat thin fur pattern, you can usually count on your puppy to look similar. 

A bonus: Irish Doodles are pretty close to hypoallergenic. No dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but the Irish Doodle dog breed is excellent for allergy sufferers.

Coat colors aren’t all classic Irish Setter copper. There are white, peach, blue, black, cream, and brownish options too. The standard Irish Doodle with a copper coat demands the highest price. But there are features shared by all: their round head, square muzzle, dark almond or oval eyes, and darling floppy low-set ears.

Since setters are only bred with standard or miniature poodles, height and weight depend on the Poodle parent. 

If the parent is a Mini Poodle or Toy Poodle – you will get a Miniature Irish Doodles weigh between 20-40 lbs and reach 20” max. 

A standard Poodle parent will produce a dog of about 75 lbs and 28” tall.

What Is The Irish Doodle Personality? 

irish doodle cost puppy price
How much would you expect to spend to buy an Irish Doodle puppy?

First things first: Irish Doodles are one of the friendliest crossbreeds we’ve ever encountered. They’re great with kids of all sizes and intelligent to a fault (even though there’s no such thing as a dog that’s too smart!). So, what is an Irish Doodle like? 

Besides their kid-friendly and sharp-as-a-tack demeanor, the next thing to mention is how energetic they can be. 

If you live in a smaller domestic space like a city, don’t worry. Irish Doodles will adapt to your lifestyle–as long as they get some strenuous exercise every day. 

On the other hand, inviting an Irish Doodle puppy into a family with a rural setting is sure to tick off all the boxes for these active dogs. 

They love to please their owners more than anything. This quality makes them perfect companion dogs. Whether they’re living with four hyperactive kids or a single professional in a penthouse, these dogs love to look after you as much as you do for them.

Note: These dogs do not operate well without having friends and owners nearby. They suffer in isolation, so opt for a doggy daycare if you’re going on a long trip.

Which Diet Is Best For Irish Doodles? 

Of course, the first step to feeding your dog the food they need is to buy top-quality kibble. By feeding them the best high-protein food (high-protein because high-energy), you’ll ensure your doodle breed dog is receiving the best treatment. 

Standard Irish Doodles are quite large in person and should be fed as such. We recommend splitting up the daily meals into two meals–morning and evening. Miniature breeds will love a small breed diet. They can become obese quickly with overfeeding, so keep an eye on recommended calories in your food of choice. 

Like all large breeds, standard Irish Doodles are susceptible to bloat. Proper feeding amounts are an easy way to eliminate that threat. 

Feed puppies several times a day (3-4 times daily) up to the age of 6 months. After that, you can begin to wean them off to twice daily. Splitting up the meals ensures their stomach doesn’t overfill and cause digestive issues.

How Do You Groom An Irish Doodle? 

mini irish doodle size
A Mini Irish Doodle is similar in size to Mini Goldendoodle

Thanks to their Poodle parents, fur shedding isn’t an issue (well, not 100%, but Irish Doodles shed very little). While it’s nice not to deal with fur pick-up, you’ll have to remember to brush their coats regularly. We recommend giving your pup one brush per week.

Curly poodle hair can get matted and even knotted if you forget to brush Irish Doodles weekly. For all the poodle owners out there, they know how tangled poodle hair can get. A good brush that penetrates the undercoat is a great way to keep their fur soft and shiny.

Like grooming Poodles, you can choose to keep their fur natural or clip it. Either way, they won’t shed much. Clipping their coat can make weekly brushings easier, though.

Finally, you’ll have to look after their ears. Floppy eared dogs are prone to infections in their ears due to dirt and germs that build up there. This is true for all Poodle mix designer dog breed. See our guide on Cockapoo ear care for an example of the type of extra work you are in for as the pet parent to an Irish Doodle.

Ask your vet for specific instructions on ear care if infection forms. Usually, all you’ll do is check for ear mites and periodically trim ear hair.

7 Irish Dog Names for a Irish Doodle

Irish names for dogs used to be very popular, and though the trend may have died down a bit, my enthusiasm for these lovable Irish-themed monikers has not. So if you’re a dog lover who wants to pay tribute to your Irish heritage while picking out a perfect name for your beloved pup, we have you covered.

  • ANNIE – This Irish dog name is the female form of Anthony, but it also means “gracious” or “full of grace.” How fitting for an adorable pup!
  • PADDY – Pronounced like Patty. The male version of Patricia and Patrick, this name can be used for either gender. It’s from a Gaelic word meaning “to please” or “to make happy.”
  • ROSIE – A common nickname in Ireland that goes by many variations including Rosemarie, Rosetta, Rosa Maria, and even Rosamond (sometimes spelled rosemond). They all mean Little Rose. Isn’t your canine pal small enough to be called Little? 😉 If not then consider other names that mean rose, like Rosalind or Rosa.
  • OSCAR/ORLA – This dog name is a variation of both the female Irish name Orla (meaning “golden princess”) and the Norse god named Óðinn. Perfect for a Goldendoodle or light coloured Irish Doodle!
  • FIONA– White fair-haired girl. Perfect if your pup has white fur! 😉 If not then it might still provide inspiration since one translation means “white princess” while another says that it translates into “fair”
  • BRADY – The Irish surname Brady is a variant of the Gaelic name Ó Brádaigh, meaning “descendant of Ó Bradaigh.” It is sometimes translated as meaning “broad chested” – perfect for a Standard sized Irish Doodle
  • SHAY/SEAMUS – This classic Irish name can be converted to suit either a male or female Irish Doodle. It is a not-so-sublte nod to Ireland!

How Much Exercise Do Irish Doodles Need? 

On average, the Irish Doodles we’ve known and loved need at least one hour of strenuous activity per day. Ninety minutes is even better–it’s hard to overwork one of these furry athletes. 

Remember that one of their parents is a high-energy bird hunting dog, the Irish setter.  The legacy of athleticism stems from that side of the family. But you don’t need to teach your pup to hunt in the woods to tame its need to run. Daily walks in populated areas, swimming, or jogging are all great for your Irish Doodle. Combining socializing with exercise is also good–find a local dog park for a solution.

One way to ensure that your lovable pup is obedient is to exercise them enough. Irish Doodles are naturally well-behaved, but they can act up if they haven’t gone for a run recently.

How Easy Is It To Train An Irish Doodle? 

Training Irish Doodles, thankfully, can be a breeze. As long as you start training them early in puppyhood, their fantastic setter memory and high-IQ poodle DNA will take care of the rest.

Since setters and poodles have such different behaviors, it’s not 100% predictable to count on them having all the above behaviors. You’ll have to learn from your pup and follow their unique behavior tics and biases to find the best obedience training for them.

If there is one word we would use to describe what causes an Irish Doodle to (rarely) misbehave, it would be boredom. This crossbreed lives on social stimulation. Keep that in mind before adopting an Irish Doodle. If you’re usually away from home for longer than a workday, these dogs might not be a perfect fit.

Are There Any Common Health Issues?

One of the benefits of owning mixed breed dogs is their superior health. At least compared to pure breeds. Irish Doodles don’t have many hereditary disease risks. But what are Irish Doodle’s common health problems?

To stay ahead of any possible health scares, stay in touch with your vet. They’ll tell you to look out for:

  • Bloat (in standard sizes)
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Skin diseases like alopecia
  • Epilepsy
  • Cushing’s disease, and
  • Eye disorders 

With good health, Irish Doodles can live to a ripe old age of 10 to 14 years.

how to play tug of war with dog
Simple steps guiding you how to play tug of war with dog

Final Takeaways

There are many reasons why some owners and breeders call Irish Doodles a “designer dog.” Their coats are unmatchable in color and texture. After solid obedience training, they’ll rarely let you down. They’re like Einsteins in family situations, with kids, and on the street. And those are just a few reasons. 

Though the price of a top standard Irish Doodle can set you back anywhere from $1,500-$2,800 depending on the breeder, we think that the cost is dwarfed by the years and years of intelligent care and fun this gorgeous dog will bring you. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Irish Doodle and other mixed-breed dogs, check out our long list of breed-101 pages online. We adore the Oodle Life, and we invite you to take the journey with us. Owning an Irish Doodle is undoubtedly one of the best places to start!