What Is Old?

It used to be you'd figure out a dog's “real” age by multiplying the number of years he'd lived by seven. The result was supposedly the human equivalent of his doggie age. A seven-year-old dog, for example, was middle-aged, like a forty-nine-year-old human. But it's really more complicated than that. Dogs, small dogs, in particular, can live to be quite old. A twenty-year-old Toy Poodle isn't unheard of. But a 140-year-old human certainly is!

As in humans, each dog's individual health, genetics, and spirit affect how old he seems. A ten-year-old Miniature Poodle with health concerns can seem older than the thirteen-year-old active Miniature Poodle down the street. With that in mind, some generalizations can be made.

The size of your poodle is the main factor in determining “old age.” In general, owners of Miniature and Toy Poodles can expect their dogs to live fifteen to eighteen years. At about the age of twelve, these dogs are considered senior citizens. Standard Poodles don't live as long. Their life span is approximately ten to twelve years, and they can achieve geriatric status starting at about the age of eight.


Listen to your internal voice if you feel that something is up with your senior poodle's health. You know your dog better than anyone and if you sense that something is wrong, take him to the vet for an examination and blood work.

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