Are you considering bringing an Irish Doodle dog into your family?
An Irish Doodle, also called a Setter Doodle, Setter Poodle mix, or Irish Poodle, is one of the newer hybrid or designer dog breeds that are so popular today.
There are pros and cons whenever you cross two purebred dog breeds to create a new hybrid dog mix like the Irish Doodle.
It is important to be aware of both the benefits and potential drawbacks before you make the long-term commitment to your new Irish Doodle dog!
Read on for the most up-to-date information about Irish Doodle personality, temperament, grooming, training, and health!
Purebred dogs and designer dogs – the controversy & the science
If you are reading through this article and you have never seen an Irish Setter cross Poodle mix up close before, well, they are really cute!
You can visit this breeder site to see adorable Irish Doodle pictures.
To dog lovers, hybrid dogs like Irish Doodles are not so unlike the always-popular mixed breed dog, or mutt!
In purebred breeder circles, however, there is some opposition to hybrid dogs, because breeding two purebred genetic lines together dilutes each gene pool accordingly.
Canine biologists champion such dilution in the name of hybrid vigor, which states that genetic diversity can strengthen the health of future canine generations.
The Irish Doodle – a Poodle and Irish Setter mix
So what is an Irish Doodle?
The Irish Doodle, or Setter Doodle as this hybrid dog is sometimes called, is a cross between a purebred Irish Setter and a purebred Poodle.
The introduction of the Poodle purebred parent dog is what makes the Irish Doodle dog particularly interesting.
Poodles are bred in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Depending on the size of the Poodle parent, you may get standard or mini Irish Doodle dogs!
Origins of the Irish Setter
Not surprisingly, the Irish Setter hails from Ireland.
President Richard Nixon had an Irish Setter that was named Timahoe, after the place where the President’s Irish ancestors lived.
The Irish Setter is a gundog extraordinaire, but this dog is best known for his fire-engine-red coat.
In fact, the breed was originally called the “red setter” for this reason!
Origins of the Poodle
The Poodle’s extravagant show clips often make this keenly intelligent and athletic dog appear like a prima ballerina on a football field.
But the Poodle has a long and noble lineage as an expert hunter and athlete, with a specialty in water retrieval and duck hunting.
The purebred Poodle today is bred in standard, miniature, and toy sizes. The standard purebred Poodle weighs 40 to 70 pounds.
The miniature Poodle weighs 10 to 15 pounds, and the toy Poodle weighs 4 to 6 pounds.
What Is the Irish Doodle dog like?
As a cross between two noble, attractive, intelligent, and athletic working dog breeds, the Irish Doodle is nearly guaranteed to showcase each of these wonderful qualities and more.
Size, Height & Weight of an Irish Setter Poodle mix
The size, height, and weight of your Irish Doodle may vary quite a bit depending on the size of your dog’s Poodle parent!
A standard Irish Doodle adult will likely stand anywhere from 15 to 27 inches tall and weigh between 35 to 55 pounds.
In contrast, an Irish Setter mini Poodle mix will likely stand between 15 and 25 inches and weigh between 20 and 35 pounds.
This can be a particular hard hybrid mix when it comes to predicting adult weight and height.
Your best bet is to learn as much as you can about each parent dog to work out how large your Irish Doodle may grow!
Appearance, Coat & Grooming for an Irish Setter and Poodle mix dog
The Irish Setter has an eye-catching long, flowing coat.
This purebred dog’s coat is fine and silky and can easily begin to develop tangles or mats.
Also, the Irish Setter’s ears flop over the ear canals, which cuts off air flow and circulation to the inner ear.
For this reason, the Irish Setter really needs brushing and grooming at least every other day to keep the coat and the ears healthy.
For working Irish Setters, daily brushing and grooming is vital to keep the coat tangle-free and the ears free from infection.
The Poodle’s thick, wiry, water-repellent coat is about as close as any dog breed can come to a truly hypoallergenic (non-shedding) coat.
But this dog’s coat can grow out quickly and will mat if you don’t keep brushing and grooming it.
Just like the Irish Setter, the Poodle’s long ears flop over the ear canals, making the likelihood of ear infection more common.
Opting for a short coat clip can help with the daily grooming and brushing duties, but you will still need to pay close attention to regular ear cleaning to avoid infection.
While it is never an exact science figuring out what traits an Irish Doodle hybrid dog may inherit from either purebred parent dog.
You will need to commit to regular (at least every other day or so) brushing, grooming, and ear cleaning for your Irish Doodle dog to keep skin, ears, and coat healthy and clean.
However, depending on how much your Irish Doodle puppy inherits from her Poodle parent, you may also find you have a low-shedding dog that won’t trigger pet allergies as frequently.
Personality & Temperament of an Irish Setter Golden Doodle
The Irish Doodle personality lends itself very well to family life.
These dogs are smart, social, and come from a long history of partnering very closely with people at work and at home.
The Irish Doodle temperament has a strong drive to please and their natural intelligence make these dogs easy to train and very responsive for service and therapy dog work.
Here, you may be wondering if it is better to pick an Irish Doodle vs Goldendoodle, which is another popular Poodle hybrid dog (this time crossed with a Golden Retriever).
Interestingly, the Golden Retriever, like the Irish Setter, has a working dog background as a gundog, a water dog, and a retriever dog.
So you can’t really go wrong with either hybrid dog breed, and you will discover that many Irish Doodle breeders also breed Goldendoodles, likely for this same reason!
Health Issues of Irish Doodles
The most challenging aspect of choosing a hybrid dog like the Irish Doodle is not knowing what health issues a puppy may inherit from either purebred dog parent.
For this reason, it is vital to learn all you can about health issues and required/recommended health tests for both parent dog breeds and ensure the breeder you work with has screened and cleared parent dogs of preventable health concerns.
Health Testing for Irish Setter and Poodle mix dogs
The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends testing purebred Irish Setter dogs for hip dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, and progressive retinal atrophy.
CHIC recommends testing purebred standard Poodles for hip dysplasia and eye issues.
Optional tests include thyroid, cardiac, and dermatopathology.
Miniature Poodles should be tested for hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and eye issues.
Toy Poodles should be tested for patellar luxation and eye issues.
Socialization & Training Needs for an Irish Setter Doodle dog
Both Irish Setters and Poodles are naturally intelligent and athletic with friendly dispositions.
Both are possessed of naturally high energy levels and enjoy lots of daily exercise and play time.
For these reasons, you will want to begin socialization and training your Irish Doodle right away.
Not only will the enrichment of daily training sessions help to build your bond with your new dog, but it will ensure your friendly, sociable pup learns quickly how to be a productive member of your family and the greater community.
If your time and schedule permits, you will also find your Irish Doodle to be an eager and excellent participant in rally, agility, dock diving, retrieving, show ring, K-9, and service and therapy dog training.
Is the Irish Setter Poodle mix a good family dog?
With appropriate socialization and training, both the standard or miniature Irish Doodle can make an amazing family dog even for families with young children.
However, since the Irish Doodle will likely inherit the high prey drive of both working dog parents, this may not be the best pet dog if you have other vulnerable family pets!
How to Pick Irish Doodle puppies
You can count on Setter Doodle puppies being very cute!
The most important facet of choosing Irish Doodle puppies is to pick a reputable and responsible breeder to work with, one that will do all required and recommended purebred parent dog health tests to breed healthy puppies.
Should I get an Irish Setter cross Poodle mix?
The Irish Doodle hybrid dog makes a wonderful pet dog for an owner with the time and interest in keeping this active, athletic, and friendly dog enriched and engaged!
References and Further Reading
- McAteer, K., et al, “Irish Setter Dog Breed Information,” American Kennel Club (AKC), 2018.
- Bianca, R., et al, “Poodle Dog Breed Information,” American Kennel Club (AKC), 2018.
- Glickman, L., DVM, et al, “The Irish Setter Club of America National Health Survey,” Irish Setter Club of America, 2003.
- Carneal, T., “Health Concerns,” The Poodle Club of America, 2016.