Standard Poodle Lifespan: How long do Poodles live?

Poodle Lifespan: How long do Poodles live?

Did you decide to add a Poodle to your family? Whether you pick a Standard, Miniature or Toy Poodle, these dogs are guaranteed to bring you a lot of joy. Loyal, loving and highly intelligent, they take their owners’ hearts by storm. As you are preparing for your Poodle puppy, you might wonder: How long do Poodles live? The short answer is that the average life expectancy for Poodles is 11-15 years, depending on their size and health.

Today we will look at what determines the length of your Poodle’s lifespan, as well as how you can make sure your Poodle lives as long as possible!

What is a Poodle’s lifespan?

The Poodle’s lifespan is first and foremost determined by his size. The American Kennel Club recognizes three distinct types of Poodles: The Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle.

Across all dog breeds, large and giant breeds live the shortest, while medium and small dogs live longer lives. This is due to the fact that large dogs actually physically age faster than small dogs! The Poodle is no exception to this rule.

Miniature Poodle Lifespan

  • A Miniature Poodle will live about 15 years, with a range of 14-17 years. Miniature Poodles are between the Standard Poodle and the Toy Poodle size-wise. A full-grown Miniature Poodle weighs about 10-15 pounds.
  • Their smaller size makes them live longer than the Standard Poodle – following the rule that smaller dogs tend to live longer.

Standard Poodle Lifespan

A Standard Poodle’s lifespan is around 12 years. Some dogs may pass away as young as 10 years old, while others may live to be 13 or even 14 years. Standard Poodles are the largest Poodle breed, with a full-grown Standard Poodle reaching up to 70 pounds for tall and heavy males.

standard size poodle lifespan
standard size poodle lifespan

Toy Poodle Lifespan

Toy Poodles have an average life expectancy of 16 years, with the range being 14-18 years. As a very small dog, Toy Poodles are lucky to have a long lifespan if you care well for them. They are very healthy small dogs that often enjoy daily exercise and games of fetch even in old age.

Life Expectancy for the Klein/Moyen Poodle

The median lifespan for is 13.5 years, with a range of 12 to 15 considered normal

As you can see, both Toy and Miniature Poodles have the same life expectancy, while the Standard Poodle does have a somewhat shorter life span.  And the Klein/Moyen (a European size) falling in the middle.
miniature poodle vs toy poodle lifespan
miniature poodle vs toy poodle lifespan
Despite this general statistic, there are many Poodles of all different sizes that live well into their teens and it is not uncommon for a Poodle to live into his or her twenties. In fact, a well-documented case involves a Poodle born in 1908 that  lived a long, happy life of exactly 28 years and 218 days, passing away in August of 1937.

What do Poodles usually die from?

When a Poodle passes away, what is most often the cause?

Heart disease & Cancer

Health issues that commonly affect the Poodle breed – but are not necessary fatal – are:

  • Gastric dilatation volvulus AKA bloat (can be dangerous fatal and most often seen in Standard Poodles, however with good feeding methods, exercise methods and knowing to look for early signs, can be treated in many cases)
  • Thyroid issues
  • Tracheal collapse (most common with Toy Poodles, not fatal in and of itself but can moderately to severely lower quality of life)
  • Addison’s disease (not often fatal if caught early and proper medication and treatment is given)
  • Sebaceous adenitis
  • Juvenile renal disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bladder stones
  • Cancer

While it is impossible to prevent your dog from having cancer or experiencing heart disease, a healthy lifestyle, daily exercise and regular vet visits can increase the chances that he will live a long and healthy life. Annual or semi-annual visits to your veterinarian will catch any potential issue early and make it easier to treat.


As you can see, a disturbing number of deaths of both the Toy and Miniature Poodle were related to trauma. Trauma encompasses any fatal injury to the body including polytrauma (affecting more than one body part), chest, abdominal and extremity trauma.  For the Poodle, fatal trauma can occur in 1 of 3 ways:
  • Accidental trauma caused by humans: Again, it is sad to say that especially for Toy Poodles and to a lesser extent, younger Miniature and Standard Poodles, accidental death due to being stepped on, dropped or in some cases, even being sat on! Again, in many cases these deaths could have been avoided.
  • Blunt force trauma: This is a non-penetrating injury due to impact. For dogs, in most cases this means being hit by a passing car. There are also cases of dogs falling down staircases, falling off decks, being a passenger in a vehicle that is in an accident, etc. It is unfortunate that for all 3 varieties of Poodle dogs, this avoidable cause of death is responsible for at least 10% of cases.
  • Physical attack: The 3rd category encompasses Poodles that receive fatal injuries when attacked by another dog.
The 2nd element to take note of is that cancer is among the top 3 leading causes of death for all types of Poodles and for the Standard Poodle, gastrointestinal issues at a top concern, which includes Bloat.


  • Genetics are strong – not just when it comes to appearance (such as certain colors like the Parti Poodle), but also as it pertains to temperament, health and life expectancy! If you acquired your Poodle from a breeder, check with the breeder how long your dog’s relatives lived.
  • Knowing how long your dog’s grandparents, aunts and uncles lived will give you an idea of what life span you can expect for your Poodle.

Healthy Lifestyles for Long Lives

It is sad that canines do not have life spans that are comparable to humans, since we consider our pets to be our family members and losing a dog is a heartbreaking experience. However, there are many steps that an owner can take to help extend the life span of the Poodle.
While these elements should be implemented when a Poodle is a puppy, it is never too late to start!
female standard poodle life span
female standard poodle life span
Feed your Poodle the healthiest food possible
It cannot be overstated how terribly unhealthy cheap, manufactured food can be. Fillers, artificial coloring, artificial flavors and nasty preservatives are found in many. In worst case scenarios, the ‘bottom of the barrel’ of commercial dog food can contain: Non-meat parts from chicken, pigs, sheep and cattle (this can include lungs, udders, tumors and diseased livers among other shockingly nasty elements), dead animals and “downers” (animals that were deemed too ill or injured to be slaughtered for human consumption).
Even with some very well-known manufactured brands, there are legal levels of contaminants that may not do much harm when ingested for a day… or a week…or a month. However, over the life span of your Poodle, here is a list of what could be building up in his/her system:
  • Bacteria & bacterial toxins – Due to delays in animals being brought to the rendering plant, carcasses can become contaminated with Salmonella and E. Coli. While processing kills that bacteria, endotoxins are sometimes not completely eradicated and manufactured dog food is not tested for these.
  • Mycotoxins – These are toxins from mold or fungi.
  • Chemical Residues – Grains that are judged to have large levels of fertilizers and pesticides residue too high for human consumption can be legally used in dog food.
  • GMOs- Genetically modified plant products that may cause liver and kidney damage.
  • Acrylamide – A carcinogenic compound.
  • Many brands contain preservatives (expected shelf life of dry dog food is 12 months due to high levels of preservatives). Worst is butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propylene glycol and ethoxyquin. For these antioxidants, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, interactions, or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal. Propylene glycol is banned in cat food (it causes anemia) but it is still permitted in dog food.

Keeping all of this in mind, please choose a high quality food such as Orijen, Whole Earth Farms or opt for home cooking, remembering to be highly diligent to give your Poodle a full and complete vitamin and mineral supplement each day.

Brush Your Poodle’s Teeth

Not only does tooth decay bring about the very real possibility of infection entering into the blood stream, when an older dog loses teeth or has decayed teeth, this lowers his quality of life. Also See: Dental Care

Be Aware of the Water that Your Poodle Drinks
Many owners do not think about this element. Time to fill the dog’s water bowl? Simply turn on the kitchen tap. But doing this can mean filling that bowl with nasty elements that can be very detrimental to the dog’s health and potential shorten his or her life span. In MANY areas, there are legal limits of factory run-off, pesticides and bacteria found in tap water. Over the course of a Poodle’s life, who knows what terrible effects these things will have and what diseases may result from years of ingesting them. Please play it safe and connect a filtering system to your kitchen tap.
Exercise  your dog
A well exercised Poodle is a healthy Poodle! Dogs are not meant to live sedentary lives and daily moderate exercise is strongly recommended. With this said, very excessive exercise can be harmful (strenuous walking during hot weather without breaks for water and rest in the shade, etc.) and particularly for Toy Poodles jumping from heights, etc. can lead to legs, knee, hip and/or back issues.

Regular exercise is extremely beneficial to all Poodles. In regard to emotional health:

  • It helps a Poodle release pent up energy, which makes for a more relaxed, happy dog once back home
  • Owners who take advantage of long walks to instill heeling commands and to incorporate socialization training will find that daily walks lead to a better-behaved puppy or dog, which can be looked at as improving quality of life.
There are many physical, health benefits as well. When a Poodle receives regular exercise, it helps to prevent:
  • Some types of cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Becoming overweight
With humans, exercise has been proven to aid in the growth of new brain cells and build connections between brain cells (essentially allowing one to learn at a faster, better pace) and there is some promising studies that point to this being true for canines as well.
Spay/neuter your dog

There can be some debate regarding the issue of spaying and neutering, however it is overwhelmingly clear that spaying eliminates the chance of a female developing ovarian cancer – which is fatal in 50% of dogs – and decreases her odds of developing breast cancer. With males, neutering will eliminate the odds of developing testicular cancer (if done before the age of 6 months).

USA Today published a report that found that in states that have the highest rates of spayed and neutered dogs, those dogs also live the longest lives.
  • Male dogs that are neutered live 18% longer than their unfixed counterparts.
  • Female dogs that are spayed live 23% longer than their un-spayed counterparts.
Keep Regular Vet visits
  • There are 2 staggeringly sad elements when it comes to veterinarian visits. The 1st is the sheer number of dog owners who do not bring their pet to the vet unless there is a serious issue. Many dogs have met an earlier death simply because an issue was not caught in the early stages when medical intervention would have saved the dog’s life.
  • The other element is owners who hem and haw, unsure about what to do when their dog is ailing, injured or showing signs that something is wrong. When you take on the responsibility of having a dog, this means that you bring in a new family member – certainly a family member that deserves to be seen by a medical professional when there is a problem.
  • Arrange for yearly visits, keep up with follow-up visits and bring your Poodle puppy or dog to the vet (or at least call) if you have any doubts regarding his or her health.
  • If a vet does not seem to be running enough tests for a particular issue, if you feel that he/she does not do a good job of explaining issues or if you feel in any way that your Poodle would benefit from a different veterinarian, do not hesitate to obtain a second opinion or to change vets. Following these guidelines will certainly improve your Poodle’s life expectancy.
Prevent Trauma
  • Since the study conducted by the University of Georgia (spanning 20 years) found trauma to be among the top 3 leading causes of death for Poodles of all sizes, taking steps to prevent accidents is a must.
  • Whether your older dog has never run away or your puppy appears to want to stay close, please do not take any chances. ANY time that your Poodle is outside the house without being in a safe, enclosure, he/she should be on leash. There should never be an exception. In addition, all members of the household – especially young children – should be taught how to properly handle a puppy and these lessons should be repeated often.
  • Owners need to always be aware that a dog can swiftly move in their walking path and that even well trained dogs will have times of being curious and try to reach unsafe areas. Finally, being extra attentive when crossing the street with your Poodle or puppy or dog will go far in helping to prevent this avoidable cause of death that leads to so many Poodles to die at a young age.
Help avoid Bloat
  • Those with Standard Poodles will know the dangers of bloat (which is the 2nd leading cause of death for all large breeds and a deep concern for the Standard Poodle breed). Owners understand the importance of proper feeding, how to time exercise and so forth.
  • However, a professor of genetics at the University of Ottawa believed that bloat was caused by a dominant gene and came to the conclusion that 50% of Standard Poodles that had 1 parent that experienced bloat, would themselves develop this often fatal condition. More research must be done in this regard, however owners are wise to always follow feeding & exercise recommendations, as well as remain diligent in regard to noticing any potential early warning signs.

Treats & Bones

Of course you want to spoil your Poodle, but don’t let treats cut his lifespan short! Your dog should not eat large quantities of treats. A high-quality, nutritious dog food should be the majority of his food intake, and any treats should only be a small addition. Many store-bought dog treats contain flour, preservatives, fillers and even sugar! Keep treats reserved for special occasions only.

Many bones are not safe for dogs either. They can splinter and get lodged in their throats. You should not give rawhides, chicken bones or deer antlers to your Poodle to avoid them getting stuck in his throat or intestines.

When Is it Time to Let Go of an Ailing Poodle?

Approximately 25% of dogs die peacefully in their sleep; this means that for a large portion of the other 75%, owners will need to make an ‘end of life” decision.
This is by no means an easy decision and it is at this time that it is suggested to look at quality of life. When an older, ailing dog is having difficulty breathing or is in near constant pain and medical intervention is unable to help, a brave owner will agree to take on the pain of losing his/her dog to allow the animal to be free from suffering.

Poodles are a rather healthy breed. Depending on your Poodles size, his lifespan will reach from 12 years for Standard Poodles up to 16 years for Toy Poodles. Most Poodles will eventually die from cancer or heart disease. While you cannot prevent this, regular vet checks and a healthy lifestyle will go a long way to increasing the length of your Poodle’s life.

Life expectancy is partially determined by genetics as well. If you got your Poodle from a breeder, ask them how long his relatives lived to get an idea of your dog’s life expectancy.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.