Poodles as Pets: Cost, Life Expectancy, and Temperament


Poodles have won over the hearts of many throughout time. Others are still skeptical of this dog breed. To help you understand poodles as pets, I will explain everything you should know about poodles before becoming their owner. Poodles typically live 10-15 years. Poodles are active, intelligent, loyal, and social. Standard poodles cost $700-1,500, while toy and miniature poodles cost around $1,000-2,000. After the initial purchase, grooming and food are the main costs. Below, I will be explaining the details behind what you should be expecting to pay for your poodle. I will also give some details towards how poodles act and what you will need to do as their owner.

Physical Poodle Characteristics

Even though you may have never owned a poodle in your life, you probably can recognize one from a mile away. These dogs are famous in many capacities. Poodles are one of the most prominent show dogs. Poodles have often been seen in the circus performing fun tricks.

Poodle’s coat length is long. Poodle’s hair continues to grow long and curly. This is why poodles are hypoallergenic. Rather than shedding, poodles hair simply grows, giving them the long, beautiful hair that we have often seen.

Poodles coats are also extremely curly. This is perhaps one of their most defining features. The color of a poodle’s coat can vary. However, their coat will always be a solid color, whether it be black, white, gray, or brown. The curly, long-haired coat is typical within all three types of poodles. The three types of poodles vary depending on their size.

  • Standard: largest poodle
  • Miniature: Medium sized poodle
  • Toy: smallest poodle
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These names may not make any sense at first glance. “Standard” is typically used to describe the medium size. However, standard poodles were the original sized poodle. After that, the miniature and toy poodles were bred from the standard poodles. Because of their size differences, these three types of poodles have different heights and weights.

Standard Poodle Miniature Poodle Toy Poodle
Height over 15 inch. 10-15 inch. less than 10 inch.
Weight 40-75 lbs 10-20 lbs. 5-10 lbs.

Aside from these physical characteristics of poodles, there are many more that are typical of all poodles. Poodles have a long face. This means that their snout simply is extended out. Some dogs’ snouts are closer to the rest of their face, similar to how our noses are. However, standard poodles noses are farther out.

Toy and miniature poodles do not have as long of snouts. However, they can also be considered to have long faces. Poodles also have floppy ears. Their ears still have the precious curls to them as they flop downwards. Rather than shedding, poodles hair simply grows, giving them the long, beautiful hair that we have often seen.

The outline of a poodle is a square-like. Their proportions perfectly reflect a square. This gives them a more broad-shouldered look. A poodle’s back is straight rather than curved. Overall, poodles are generally attractive dogs. There is a reason they are the top show dog. Although many people find the toy and miniature poodles to be cuter because of their size, each type of poodle has very similar physical characteristics.

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Poodle Health

Poodles as Pets: Cost, Life Expectancy, and Temperament

One of the main questions that people ask about poodles before they purchase one is how long are they expected to live.

A poodle’s life expectancy is 10-15 years.

In regards to all dog breeds and their life expectancy, poodles are average. Often poodles live long, happy, and energetic lives. Although there is a slight decay later in their life, poodles will have high energy for most of their life. A poodle’s life expectancy is 10-15 years. A poodle in old age may still have much more energy than another puppy with low energy, like a bulldog. Although poodles have a good life expectancy, there are still things you should watch out for to ensure that your poodle stays healthy. I will list some of the most common health issues that poodles have below.

Trouble Area Symptoms
Epilepsy Head Drooling, pacing, confusion, difficulty breathing,
strange movements.
Addison’s Disease Adrenal Glands Depression, anxiety, digestive issues.
Hip Dysplasia Hip Joint Weak limbs, putting rear legs up to hop,
limping, no desire to play or go up stairs.
Chronic Active
Liver Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, depression,
weight loss, increased urination, sluggishness.
Cushings Disease Pituitary Gland Drinking large amounts of water, hair loss,
excessive appetite, change of hair texture,
frequent urination.
Progressive Retinal
Eye Dilated pupils, glassy eyes, running into
things, night vision problems.
Thyroid Issues Thyroid Hair loss, excessive hunger, weight gain,
looking for warm spaces.
Bloat Stomach The dog will be in extreme pain. A dog could
die within a few hours.
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Although it is not guaranteed that your poodle will come down with any of these things, there is always a possibility. It is important that you are aware of these health issues so you are able to spot the symptoms and fix the issues before things become too serious.

These health issues relate to all three types of poodles. However, there are some more health issues that come for only toy and miniature poodles. This is simply because of their size. Although with being a small dog, there are some health risks involved. Because the standard poodle is the original size and has not been bred to be any smaller, they are not affected by the following as toy and miniature poodles are.

Some of the health issues related specifically to toy and miniature poodles are:

  • Dental problems
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Luxating Patellas
  • Sebaceous adenitis

Additionally, another health issue that is specifically related to toy poodles is Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. As you can see, there are many things that you should be watching out for to keep your dog living its longest life.

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As long as you are aware of these things, you should not have too much of a problem. The biggest problem that could arise with your poodle’s health issues is the owner not knowing. Of course, your dog will not have all of these issues. In fact, they may never run into any of these problems. But, it is always better to be prepared. Regular vet visits is a good idea to make sure your poodle is healthy.

The Cost of a Healthy Poodle

Aside from the bill of taking care of any of these health issues that may occur, there are other costs that will need to be taken care of in order to keep your poodle healthy.

First Vet Visit: $80-100

The initial vet visit that you make is so important for your puppy. The typical cost is $80-100, which is not terrible considering all that it entails. Your puppy’s first vet visit will allow the vet to ensure he/she is healthy. If there are any possible issues your puppy may have, you should find out about them during this visit.

Some of the things the vet will do at this visit are:

  • Weigh the puppy
  • Examine the coat
  • Examine eyes, ears, feet, genitalia, and nose
  • Look at the teeth and mouth
  • Take temperature
  • Listen to his/her heart and lungs
  • Palpate abdomen and lymph nodes
  • Examine feces for worms
Shorkie Poo (Shih Tzu, Yorkie & Poodle Mix)

Your vet also discusses with you your poodle’s history and what you should expect looking forward.

Spaying/ Neutering: $50-200

Aside from those who are purchasing a poodle with the hopes of breeding, it is typical to spay or neuter your poodle. This cost for this procedure will vary depending on where you are getting your dog spayed or neutered.

Typically low-cost vets or human societies will charge around $50-100. These are ideal for those wanting it done for a cheaper price. However, there are also animal hospitals who will do it for a higher price.

Personally, I think that the low-cost vet clinics and human societies do just as good of a job and they are cheaper. They are what I would suggest. However, animal hospitals are always an option as well.

Vaccinations: Free- $100

To keep your dog from obtaining any unnecessary health issues, it is important to vaccinate. There are some vaccinations which you will only need once and others that will be needed more frequently.

The vaccinations available to you will prevent:

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Hepatitis
  • Canine Parainfluenza
  • Heartworm
  • Kennel Cough
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

These can all be prevented with your dog through vaccinations. Some vaccinations that are extremely recommended for your poodle to receive every 1-2 years are DHPP and Rabies Vaccinations. For my dogs, I have always taken them to free rabies clinics.

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Vaccinations will range in prices depending on where you are going. For my dogs, I have always taken them to free rabies clinics. These clinics are amazing because they will vaccinate all dogs and cats for free. They come to many areas at different times.

The only issue that comes with these clinics is that they can become very crowded. You will need to make sure your dog is fully controlled. There will be dogs barking everywhere. However, it is free. So, it is perfect for me and poodles actually do very well in that environment.

Initial Cost of a Poodle

Poodles as Pets: Cost, Life Expectancy, and Temperament

When you are purchasing a poodle, you will find that there is a variety of prices for the same dog. This is because there are many factors involved in determining the price of a poodle. These factors include:

  • Breeder location
  • Litter Size
  • Lineage of the puppy
  • Breeder Reputation
  • Type of Poodle

Toy and miniature poodle litters are typically only around three puppies. Standard poodles are most often double that size. Because of this, toy and miniature poodles are more expensive. There is also a difference between poodles bred to be show dogs and your average poodle.

This is not to say that your average poodle is bad. However, for those who desire to take poodles to show, there is a higher qualification that the puppy must meet. Below is the typical ranges of initial costs for a poodle.

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Average High End
Standard Poodle $700-1,200 $2,500- 5,000
Toy or Miniature Poodle $1,000- 1,500 $1,700- 2,200

The high end of the initial poodle purchase is regarding the show bred poodles. Who you buy your poodle from will also drastically change the price of your poodle. To make this more clear I will list all the places you could get a poodle from in order of price.

1. Purebred Breeder

2. Accidental Breeder

3. Puppy Mill

4. Rescue Shelter

Purebred Breeder:

A purebred breeder will be those dogs that are on the high end or the pricing. These breeders breed specifically for those show-stopping poodles. They have a specific business as a breeder and will make that clear.

Purebred breeders are the most expensive. However, you will know the history and everything you need to about your poodle. Because these breeders have purposely made your poodle, they will have all the details behind their lineage and so on.

Accidental Breeder:

These breeders are the ones that are not trying to make a business out of breeding. They have simply had a dog who got pregnant. The dog may have gotten pregnant from a neighborhood dog. Whatever it is, the breeder will not have all the information. Because these dogs have not been bred on purpose, they give you a puppy will little information behind it. However, these puppies will likely be just as good as any.

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Puppy Mill:

The puppy mill is just how it sounds. These puppies come from people that are simply trying to make money from breeding dogs. They breed lots of dogs. Your dog will be just one of the many. There could be health problems due to the methods the breeders use and the treatment of the mothers.

Rescue Shelter:

This is my personal favorite spot to obtain a poodle from. Rescue shelters are the cheapest place where you can purchase a poodle. Although there is not always a poodle in the shelter, there will likely be a poodle in some shelter in your area. These shelters often give the dog all the necessary shots and anything that needs to be done before they give the dog to you.

This is extremely beneficial because it will save you from a lot of the health care expenses for your dog. I have found some of the most fun and most loving dogs inside of rescue shelters. They may not be as fancy as purebred poodles, but they are pretty great.

Extra Poodle Costs

Aside from the purchase of your poodle, there will be other fees associated with owning your poodle. Obviously, in my opinion, the costs associated with owning a poodle are worth it. However, it is important that you know what to expect before purchasing a poodle.

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Here are some of the costs of owning a poodle and their prices.

Food $35-45 a month
Food and Water Bowls $20-30
Crate $70-80
Training $250-600
($25-100 per class)
Dog Bed $50-65
Toys and Treats $40-60
Grooming Supplies $70-80
Collar $5-20
Poop Bags $10-20
Leash $5-20
Gates $15-60

These are some general prices to things that just about every poodle owner will need. And, of course, there could be more than that depending on your dog.

Poodles as Pets: Cost, Life Expectancy, and Temperament

Every poodle is unique. They each have their own issues and things that they love. There will be different things that you may need for your poodle. Although a lot of the things listed above seem like a one-time purchase type of a thing like a collar and a leash, you will find that even those may have to be purchased again.

Depending on the material, they may wear out quickly. Although some materials will last a long time, it is likely that you will still need a replacement at some point. The cost of your dog will depend on how much you feel you need to spend on them.

The cost of your dog will also depend on how much you feel you need to spend on them. For some, poodles are simply animals and don’t need anything other than their food and water. However, others love to spoil their animals. They treat their poodle like their child. Many people lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

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Wherever you are, I would suggest setting a budget for your monthly spending on dog supplies. This will simply keep you on track to make sure you aren’t making an impulse purchase just because your poodle was a good boy/ girl.

Poodle Grooming

Possibly one of the biggest differences between having a poodle as a pet in comparison to other dogs is the cost of grooming. Many dogs do not require a lot of grooming. For instance, the golden retriever that I owned only needs to be brushed through every so often. However, poodle hair is more similar to our hair than it is to dog fur.

Poodle hair is constantly growing. Although this makes poodles amazing for those with allergies, it makes it quite a hassle to groom the poodle. Because poodles hair is always growing and very curly, it is easy for their hair to become matted.

If you are unfamiliar with matting, this is where your dog’s fur becomes tangled up in with a mixture of dirt and dander to clumps of hair. Depending on how long it is before the mattes are taken care, your poodle may have to be shaven bald in order to get rid of the mattes. Also, along with the mattes, your poodle could get skin infections. The mattes irritate your dog’s skin.

Because poodle’s hair so easily mattes, it is imperative that you brush through their hair daily. A poodle’s coat cannot be neglected without creating issues. To keep a poodle’s coat healthy and clean, the poodle will need to be clipped often. To begin with poodle grooming, I would take your poodle to a professional dog groomer.

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These poodle grooming visits will typically cost between $35- 140 depending on where you take the poodle and what kind of grooming is necessary. After you have seen your poodle groomed a few times, it is safe to groom your poodle at home.

Some supplies that you will need to groom your poodle at home are:

  • Dog Shampoo
  • Dog Conditioner
  • Clippers
  • Slicker Brush
  • Trimming Shears
  • Bristle Brush
  • Dog Grooming Table

Although the dog grooming table is not a necessary purchase for grooming your poodle, it will make your life a whole lot easier. First off, the table is the perfect height for grooming a dog. And, it will help restrain your dog to be still. There are many different types of haircuts that are done on poodles. These haircuts simply have a differentiation between where the shortest hair lengths are.

The most common poodle haircuts are:

  1. Lion Cut
  2. English Saddle Cut
  3. Modern Cut
  4. Puppy Cut
  5. Dutch Cut
  6. Lamb Cut
  7. Teddy Bear Cut
  8. Kennel Cut
  9. Town and Country Cut
  10. Cupcake Cut

Although these are the most used poodle cuts, there are many more out there. The fun thing about having a poodle groomed is that you can mix it up. Your poodle does not always have to look the same. However, most people find the haircut that they love and stick with it.

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To help you understand poodle grooming and clipping, I will give a brief guideline of how a poodle’s hair should be cut. A poodle’s coat cannot be neglected without creating issues.

1. Use Scissors to Get Rid of Excess

Before beginning the actual clipping, I like to go in with scissors. With the scissors, I just cut off the top excess layer of hair. I don’t trim too low to where I am touching the skin. I simply take off a curl.

2. Shampoo and Condition

After all the excess hair is gone, I like to go through and clean the coat of hair with shampoo and conditioner. This ensures that there is no knotting and tangling going forward.

3. Clip the Hair Evenly Around the Whole Body

Once the poodle’s hair is clean, it is time for the clipping. Depending on what type of haircut you would like for your dog, simply decide on the largest size you will need to go in cutting with.

4. Clip Certain Sections Shorter

This again depends very much upon the hairstyle you want. But, depending on the haircut you would like, you will clip certain spots shorter. You may have many different lengths left to cut or only one. Once you have completed these steps, you will have a good looking poodle with healthy hair.

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You will just need to remember to brush your poodle’s hair through as the hair grows to prevent matting.

Poodle Temperament

Every dog breed has certain tendencies towards traits simply because it is in their genes. Beyond that, every dog displays these traits differently. Before you own a poodle, it is likely that you would want to get to know them a little bit better.

To help you understand poodles and their personality, we will go back to their history. Poodles were originally bred in Germany to be water retrievers. The name poodle actually comes from the German word Pudeln, which means to splash around. Because of this, poodles are great swimmers and naturally playful. They have an incredible amount of energy, which makes them very active dogs.

Some of the best qualities about poodles from their temperament are:

  • Alert
  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Trainable
  • Instinctual
  • Outgoing
  • Friendly
  • Playful
  • Bond quickly with family members
  • Rarely act in aggression
  • Great watchdog
  • Engage well with people
  • Empathetic

Because of these things, poodles are great pets. Poodles can get along very well with many people. Although they are not as friendly with strangers, they will warm up to strangers after time. However, with the poodle’s owner, he/ she will be extremely attached.

Poodles cling onto their owner. Because of this, they do incredibly well with positive reinforcement and encouragement. However, because of this, they also have separation anxiety. Due to many of their traits, poodles have some negative associations that come with their personality.

  • Sporadic Barking
  • Very sensitive
  • Can be extremely stubborn
  • Requires lots of exercise
  • Separation anxiety
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Due to the fact that poodles connect well with humans, they are very empathetic. But, they are also aware of your tone. With poodles, using a harsh tone does not get you very far. To train your poodle properly, they will require lots of positive reinforcement.

One of the best features that a poodle possesses is their intelligence. In the list of dog intelligence rankings, poodles are placed in second place behind the border collie. Their intelligence rating was discovered by Stanley Coren. He spent years studying dogs based on three types of intelligence.

  • Obedience Intelligence
  • Instinctive Intelligence
  • Adaptive Intelligence

Poodles do very well in each of these categories. The main reason for this being an appealing trait is that they are extremely easily trained.

In comparison to other dogs, which take hundreds of repetitions to learn something new, poodles can be trained within five repetitions. For these reasons, poodles have been used in circuses for many years. Poodles are very well suited in most homes. This breed is extremely flexible and able to cooperate in any household.

One of the best features that a poodle possesses is their intelligence.

How to Live With a Poodle

Now that you have learned all of these things about poodles, I am sure you still have questions about how to take care of a poodle and how he/ she will fit into your home. For that purpose, I will give you a few pointers of how to live with a poodle.

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Give Your Poodle Lots of Play Time

This is perhaps one of the most essential tips I can give you. When you give your poodle the play time that they need, you guys will get along much easier. You do not even have to be playing with your poodle, they will run laps happily.

It is recommended that you give poodles at least 40 minutes of exercise every day. Personally, I think that an hour is the least amount of time that your poodle needs to play.

Include Your Poodle in Activities

Because poodles have separation anxiety, they do not do very well when left alone. If you simply take your poodle out with you, even for the most boring activity, he/ she will be much better off.

Spend Time Training

Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs. But, they do not automatically know what is right and what is wrong. Because of this, you should always be sure to praise what they do right and chastise what is wrong. You should also take your poodle to training school. This will ensure that your poodle is able to use his/ her intelligence in the right way.

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