If you are looking for a Goldendoodle you may be wondering about the average Goldendoodle lifespan, plus questions like;
- Do Goldendoodles have a long or short life?
- Is there something you can do to improve the lifespan of your Goldendoodle?
- What affects how long goldendoodles live?
Join us as we look to see approximately how long you can expect a Golden doodle to live and the factors that go into their lifespan.
A Dog’s Lifespan
I love dogs, but the one thing I don’t like about dogs is that their lives are just too short. It’s heartbreaking to watch a dog die. Since I have lived with dogs most of my life I have gone through many heartbreaks.
We only had our Golden Retriever Rescue for less than four years when he died from Leukemia at approximately 9 years old. Although he was an adult when we adopted him we expected to have him around for longer than that.
So now, whenever I look at getting a new dog I also look into how long they are expected to live and what can be done to help them live longer lives.
A Golden Retriever’s Lifespan
According to the American Kennel club the average Golden Retriever’s lifespan is just 10 to 12 years old. However, back in the 1970’s Goldens routinely lived to be about 16 to 17 years old.
So what changed? One of the causes is the Golden Retriever’s high rate of cancer. They have a higher rate of cancer than any other breed in the country. In fact, more than 60% of Goldens will die from cancer each year.
The most common cancers are bone cancer, lymphoma and a cancer of the blood vessels. Though no one knows the exact reason for the high rate of cancer there are studies that indicate it might be related to the dog’s genetic makeup though much more research needs to be done.
A Poodle’s Lifespan
Poodles on the other hand live an average of 12 to 15 years depending on the size of the poodle. Smaller poodles like the mini and toy poodles can live between 10 and 18 years. Whereas larger poodles like the standard and moyen poodle will live for a shorter time period. But these are just averages. The oldest poodle on record lived until they were 28 years old.
Clearly, poodles have a longer lifespan than the Golden Retriever, but that is one of the many reasons the Goldendoodle is so popular. By breeding the Golden with the Poodle, the offspring should enjoy a longer life than the typical Golden.
In a response to a reader’s question about why golden retrievers are so susceptible to cancer, Dr. D. Barry Starr, a Geneticist at Stanford University suggested that part of the solution was to bring in new blood lines to the closed lines of the Golden Retriever.
So how long does a Goldendoodle live?
According to Golden doodle breeders, the average lifespan of a Golden doodle is between 10 to 15 years.
- Standard Goldendoodles have a slightly shorter lifespan than 10 to 14 years.
- Medium Goldendoodle live on average 12 to 15 years.
- Mini Goldendoodles live longer. Their lifespan is on average 12 to 16 years
But there are many factors that go into the length of a dog’s life. Things like breed, size, heritage, weight, nutrition, living conditions, disease, and environmental issues will all affect the lifespan of a Golden doodle.
If you want to determine how long your Goldendoodle may live, you need to keep reading to look at all these factors.
How breed affects the Goldendoodle lifespan
As we saw above different breeds have different lifespans. Part of the difference is the size of the breed, but we will go over that below. The other part is due to genetics. Some dog breeds are more prone to have certain health conditions than others. Purebred dogs are more likely to get diseases that commonly affect their breed due to the closed gene pools associated with purebreds.
Closed gene pools are caused by the desire to keep a certain look or trait. Golden Retrievers all look alike because they are all descended from the Golden Retrievers that were first bred in Scotland. If these ancestors had genes that made them susceptible to certain health conditions then those genes are passed down to future generations.
How do Goldendoodle Generations affect a Goldendoodle’s life Expectancy?
When researching the Goldendoodle you may hear the term Hybrid Vigor. Hybrid vigor is the belief that mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds. While this is often true it may not apply to all Goldendoodles.
Dogs that enjoy hybrid vigor typically have multiple breeds that make-up their genetic composition. When a dog’s genetic makeup comes from several different breeds there is less chance that they will end up with two recessive health genes that can lead to health problems.
On the other end of the spectrum are purebred dogs. As we mentioned above purebreds come from closed gene pools. Meaning that purebreds of a certain breed can trace their heritage back to a few ancestors. Therefore there is a greater chance of inheriting two genes that are related to genetic health issues.
In the case of the Goldendoodle, which are bred using two purebreds, Poodles and Goldens share some of the same health issues, like Hip Dysplasia, Eye Disease and Degenerative Myelopathy. So in these cases being a mix of two pure-breeds does not lessen the chance of the dog inheriting one of these conditions.
But there are other health conditions that only affect one of the breeds and not the other. In these cases the F1 Goldendoodle will have less of a chance of being affected by the condition.
Since the F1b Golden doodle is a cross between an F1 and purebred, they will have an elevated risk of the diseases that affect the purebred that was used for the cross-back.
As you get into future generations there will be an increased risk of developing breed specific health conditions since we can’t predict which genes will be passed down to the off-spring.
Health Testing also affects a dog’s lifespan. Puppies that are born from health tested parents and grandparents will have less incidents of genetic health conditions than puppies whose parents are not health tested.
The best way to ensure that your puppy does not carry an increased risk of genetic health conditions is to get them from a breeder that does extensive health testing on parent breeds and the generations before them.
Does size affect the Goldendoodle lifespan?
Yes. As with all dog breeds the larger a dog is, the shorter life span they will have. If you look at the Bernese Mountain dog, their lifespan is only 5 to 8 years. But if you look at the tiny Chihuahua their life expectancy goes up to 20 years.
It’s believed that a larger dog will put more strain on its body and therefore tend to wear out or age quicker than a smaller dog.
Research comparing size and age-related mortality in dogs shows that larger dogs die younger because they age significantly faster than smaller dogs.Professor Mark Elgar
Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behavior, University of Melbourne
Since a full grown mini Goldendoodle is much smaller than a Standard Goldendoodle they will probably outlive them.
Other factors that affect how long a Golden doodle will live
So far everything we talked about involved the Goldendoodles genetic makeup. But there are other factors that can affect the life expectancy of a Goldendoodle.
1. Weight – Can shorten the Goldendoodle lifespan
A study found in the American Veterinary Medical Association Journal looked at over 50,000 dogs across 12 popular dog breeds showed that the lifespan of overweight dogs were up to 2 1/2 years shorter than their counterparts with a healthy body weight.
New research with data provided by Banfield Pet Hospital found that the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to 2 1/2 years shorter, on average, than the lifespan of dogs with a healthy body weight.American Veterinary Medical Association – January 2019
Although poodles were not included in the study, the Golden Retriever was. On average healthy Golden Retrievers lived approximately 1 year longer than Golden’s that were classified as overweight.
While one year might not seem like a long time, that is close to 10 extra years to a human. Plus the 1 year is an average which means some healthy weight Goldens will live longer than a year as compared to the overweight Goldens.
2. Nutrition – how it affects the Goldendoodle lifespan
Not only does your dog’s weight affect their lifespan, but so does what they eat. Diets high in fatty foods can lead to an increased risk of pancreatitis. Make sure to feed your dog a balanced diet with healthy treats.
Where your dog spends most of their time will affect how long they live. Dogs that are kept in a home with a caring family will live longer than a dog that is left outside on their own. Although I could not find a study that qualifies this statement, my own experiences show that dogs that live outside age faster than dogs that are sheltered from excessive heat and cold.
Plus dogs are social animals so being alone for long periods of time will cause added stress.
Now that’s not to say they don’t love being outside, because they do. But they want you to be there too and only when the weather is appropriate.
4. Environmental concerns can affect the Goldendoodle lifespan
Environmental concerns that can shorten your dog’s life includes pesticides and fertilizers that contain harmful ingredients if ingested by your dog. It also includes dangers that lurk in puddles, like oil, gas and antifreeze.
Make sure to keep your dog away from potential dangers.
Regular exercise is important for a long life in both dogs and humans. Exercise not only helps to keep a dog at a healthy weight, but it also boosts the immune system, increases cardiac strength, and provides much needed mental stimulation for the highly intelligent Goldendoodle.
6. Regular Visits to the Veterinarian
It’s important to take your dog for annual visits to the veterinarian. This ensures they will be up-to-date on their vaccines and also will help find any health concerns before they become life-threatening.
7. Proper Dental Care
Proper dental health is also essential for a dog to live a long life. Plaque and tartar build-up can lead to periodontal disease. The bacteria that contributes to gum disease can enter the dog’s bloodstream and damage major organs. Poor oral health can shorten a pet’s life span by three to five years.
Goldendoodle Lifespan Resources
- Goldendoodle Association of America
- Why do small dogs live longer than big dogs? By Professor Mark Elgar, Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behavior, University of Melbourne
- Ask the Geneticist: Why are golden retrievers so susceptible to cancer?: Answered by By Dr. D. Barry Starr, Stanford University