The average Poodle lifespan is 12 – 14.5 years.
But surprisingly the longest living Poodles of every size reach a similar age! Good care and health testing breeding dogs can help a puppy to join those lucky ones.
A 2010 survey of purebred dogs in the UK included lots of valuable insight into Poodle life expectancy.
118 Standard Poodle deaths were recorded. Of these the median average lifespan was 12 years, but the oldest dog had lived to a very respectable 18 years.
23 Miniature Poodle deaths were recorded. These dogs lived to just shy of 14 years on average. Again, the longest lived dog was 18.
These results for the Miniature Poodle back up an earlier survey which placed their average life expectancy at just over 14 years.
Finally, 20 Toy Poodle deaths were recorded. Their average age was even higher – just over 14.5 years. The oldest dog nearly made it to 19 years old!
The life expectancy among all individual Poodles can vary quite a bit, so remember to look at numbers as a rough guide.
Trends in Poodle Lifespan
This Poodle lifespan range places the Poodle above shorter-lived breeds, and among the average to longer-lived breeds.
Size is a significant factor in canine life expectancy. Small dogs tend to live longer than large dogs, which is borne out across the classes of Poodle.
Average Poodle lifespan increases as they get smaller. Interestingly, the longest lived Poodles of every size reached a similar age.
But who was the longest living Poodle? According to one report, a toy Poodle named Chichi lived to the ripe old age of 24!
Along with size, there are other factors that can impact lifespan. These include: the health of your individual dog and the overall genetic health of the breed.
Let’s look at some common Poodle health problems, and how they might impact overall Poodle lifespan.
Poodle Health and Lifespan
Like other purebred dogs, the Poodle can suffer from some inherited health conditions. These could possibly decrease a dog’s quality of life and shorten its lifespan.
The standard Poodle tends to have a few more potentially serious health problems than the toy or miniature Poodle, so let’s start there.
Standard Poodle Health
The standard Poodle can suffer from inherited idiopathic epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes seizures.
Standard Poodles can be prone to two disorders of the adrenal gland: Addison’s disease and Cushing’s disease.
Addison’s disease (or hypoadrenocorticism) is low levels of adrenal hormones. This causes lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss.
Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) is the opposite of Addison’s. It’s an overproduction of adrenal hormones. This can cause increased thirst and appetite, a bloated stomach, and skin problems.
Standard Poodles can also be prone to a hereditary skin condition known as sebaceous adenitis. Dogs with SA can experience hair loss, scaling, lesions, and infections.
Can these health problems shorten the standard Poodle lifespan? This can depend on the severity of the disease in an individual dog. Affected dogs can live normal life spans with proper medications and ongoing veterinary care.
Miniature and Toy Poodle Health
The smaller sized Poodles generally have fewer inherited health problems than standard Poodles. However, there are a few that new owners should know about.
Like other small dog breeds, miniature and toy Poodles can be prone to some joint conditions. These are known as patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
Toy and miniature Poodles can also suffer from some of the same health problems as standard Poodles. These include epilepsy and sebaceous adenitis. These however tend to be less common in the smaller Poodles.
What about toy and miniature Poodle lifespan? As with the standard Poodle, this can depend on the severity of an individual dog’s case.
Besides a possible shortened lifespan, a Poodle’s quality of life can be greatly affected by a chronic health problem. How can you ensure that your Poodle is as healthy as possible?
Poodle Health Testing
The most important thing you can do is to choose a responsible Poodle breeder who health tests their dogs for inherited health conditions.
Because so many Poodle health problems are inherited, it’s critical that your breeder follows all health testing guidelines that are recommended for the breed.
Health testing can come in the form of DNA tests and examinations performed by veterinary specialists.
When choosing a puppy, ask to see the test results for both parents. Test results should also be registered with a canine health organization like the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Never acquire a Poodle puppy from an online ad or retail pet store. Many dogs sold through these sources come from commercial breeding operations known as puppy mills.
Owners adopting Poodles from animal shelters or rescue groups should be aware that their dog may have an inherited health issue that could require ongoing treatment.
Whether your Poodle comes from a breeder or rescue organization, there are things you can do as an owner to ensure that your dog lives a long and healthy life.
Here are a few tips on Poodle care.
Caring for Your Poodle
One of the most important things you can do to extend your Poodle’s lifespan is to keep your dog at a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
Poodles are generally not known as a dog breed that is prone to obesity. That said, it’s still a good idea to monitor your dog’s weight.
Standard Poodles should weigh between 40 and 70 pounds, depending on gender. Miniatures should weigh between 10 and 15 pounds whereas toys should weigh between 4 and 6 pounds. Feed your Poodle a high-quality diet that’s appropriate for its size and age.
Because the standard Poodle has a deep and narrow chest, it can be prone to bloat. So, be sure to talk to your vet about best feeding practices. This will help to reduce the risk of your dog developing bloat which can be life threatening.
Poodles are lively dogs that require regular exercise. Originally bred as water dogs, many still enjoy swimming. They also enjoy games of fetch and going on jogs or walks with their owners.
Be sure to make tooth brushing a regular part of your Poodle’s grooming routine. Also, take your Poodle to the vet for regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Tooth and gum problems can eventually lead to serious infections that can travel from your dog’s mouth to other areas of the body.
You should also make ear cleaning a regular part of your dog’s grooming routine. Dogs with floppy, furry ears like the Poodle can be prone to ear infections.
Your Poodle can live a long and healthy life no matter what size you choose!
Be sure to get your Poodle puppy from a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs for inherited health problems.
Proper diet and exercise, along with good hygiene can also help to extend your Poodle’s life.
Remember that Poodles can develop certain health issues that may require regular veterinary care and medication. Be sure you are financially prepared to care for your dog over its lifetime, even if problems develop.
Do you know a long-lived Poodle? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!
References and Resources
Adams, V.J., Evans, K.M., Sampson, J., et al. Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK. The Journal of Small Animal Practice, 2010.
Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy. University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center.
Standard Poodle: Hypoadrenocorticism. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, 2011.
Ward, E. Cushing’s Disease in Dogs. VCA Hospitals, 2017.
Hernblad Tevell, E., Bergvall, K., Egenvall, A. Sebaceous Adenitis in Swedish Dogs, A Retrospective Study of 104 Cases. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 2008.
Patellar Luxations. American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Barnette, C. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease in Dogs. VCA Hospitals, 2016.
Bell, J.S. Risk Factors for Canine Bloat. Tufts’ Canine and Feline Breeding and Genetics Conference, 2003.