The standard poodle is the largest of the three poodle size types, and is a tall, large and leggy dog that is instantly recognisable thanks to their woolly, thick coats that are often groomed and clipped into distinctive patterns!
Originally produced in Germany as a water dog, the poodle is more commonly associated with France, where the breed standard was established. The breed is very versatile as a whole, and can turn its paw to a wide variety of working roles including herding and retrieving, and is also good at canine sports such as agility and flyball. The poodle, however, is most widely owned as a good all-round family pet, and is very popular worldwide.
Like all pedigree dog breeds, the poodle can be prone to a range of genetically inherited health problems, and issues that present themselves more within the poodle breed than in most other breeds. In this article, we will look into these in more detail, as well as presenting some data for the standard poodle’s average longevity. Read on to learn more.
Standard poodle longevity
Within the UK, the standard poodle breed as a whole has an average longevity of 11.5-12 years, putting them right in the middle of the average range for dogs of a similar size. It is also worth noting that the stillborn rate and early death (within one week of birth) rate for the standard poodle is lower than the average across dogs of all breeds.
In the UK, the most common causes of death for adult standard poodles were recorded as cancer at 30%, old age at 18%, GDV at 6%, and heart problems at 5%.
Standard poodle health conditions
While the standard poodle is generally a healthy breed of dog that does not suffer from more hereditary conditions than most other breeds, and significantly less than many, the breed is still prone to certain hereditary health problems.
A reasonably wide range of information on general poodle health and health conditions is published by the Poodle Health Registry, providing the owner of the standard poodle with a good amount of data on breed health and illness as a whole.
The three most commonly reported health conditions in descending order as of the 2007 survey by the Poodle Health Registry were listed as Addison’s disease, gastric dilation volvulus (GDV) and thyroid issues.
We will look at these and some other standard poodle health conditions in more detail below.
- Addison’s disease is an endocrine condition that causes the adrenal glands to produce insufficient amounts of glucocorticoids, which can lead to weakness, abdominal pain and potentially, coma.
- Gastric dilation volvulus or GDV is a condition that is common across dog breeds with a build similar to the standard poodle, being large dogs with deep yet narrow chests. GDV is also sometimes referred to as bloat, and causes a build-up of gas within the stomach that is fast in onset and very painful, and can cause the stomach to flip or twist internally.
- Thyroid problems within the poodle breed include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism respectively, meaning either too little or too much T3 and T4 hormone production from the thyroid gland.
- Tracheal collapse can affect the breed too, and is a condition caused by either a weakness or incomplete formation of the rings of cartilage that hold the trachea open, causing it to flatten out and lead to difficulty breathing.
- Epilepsy is another hereditary condition within the breed, which can lead to either petit mal or grand mal seizures, but this condition is often controllable with medication.
- Sebaceous adenitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the lymph nodes and glands, and is relatively common within the poodle dog breed as a whole.
- Juvenile renal disease may present itself in immature poodles, and affects the kidneys.
- Hip dysplasia is a condition that is widely found across many large dog breeds, and while the standard poodle is one dog listed as at potential risk, the condition does not occur within the poodle breed as commonly as it does in many other breeds of a similar size. Hip dysplasia is caused by the malformation of the hip ball and socket joint, and leads to pain and difficulty moving normally. Hip dysplasia can sometimes be corrected or improved upon with surgery.
- Various different types of cancer may affect the standard poodle, particularly in later life, but there is no one particular cancer variant widely found within the breed in particular.
- In terms of minor health issues within the breed, the poodle is rather prone to ear infections and problems with the ears, as their coats do not shed heavily and can cause the hair to grow and clog up the ear canal. This then traps dirt, wax and bacteria, leading to infections and pain, but taking good care of the ears and cleaning them regularly can help to minimise problems.