Clearly dogs sleep more than humans. How long do dogs sleep? You can check whether your four-legged friend is sleeping well, and also learn how to provide him a comfortable bed.
1 – HOW LONG DO DOGS SLEEP?
Dogs sleep more hours than humans. Normally between 12 to 14 hours per day according to AKC. If they are bored, they tend to sleep more. Large dog breeds tend to sleep more than smaller ones. In contrast, dogs that have jobs to do, tend to sleep less. This is the case of the working-dog group, as service dogs, protection dogs, or police dogs.
As a reference, my 8-year-old Wire Fox Terrier has slept 13,6 hours on average in the last week. I know this thanks to the activity monitor attached to his collar. His daily rest and sleep are, of course, related to the activity time he has. If we are doing some hiking or long walking, he will be more near 12 sleep hours. However, if this is a long working day for me and my family, he may take more sleep!! What a paradox. They live like a King!!
2 – FROM 12 TO 20 HOURS, DEPENDING ON THE AGE
Puppies, until 1 year old, 1,5 in large breeds: Puppies grow extraordinarily quickly in the first year. Physical development is impressive. The larger the dog, even more, impressive for me. They will also learn the basics of socializing, relationship, playing, etc… Puppies have lots of energy. When they are awake, they play, they move, they bite… then they eat a lot according to their proportion, and they sleep a lot. They can sleep between 16 to 20 hours per day. Do not worry! If they sleep a lot, but they are active, everything is fine. You also need the energy to teach them how is life with humans and other dogs.
Adult dogs, older than 1 or 1,5 year: Since they are fully physically developed, they do not need to sleep so much as before. They tend to sleep between 12 to 14 hours per day.
Senior dogs, older than 8 years on average: Age to become a senior, depends on breed and dog condition. We need to think in senior dogs, like the ones that are losing physical or mental conditions. Senior dogs have less energy, and also they enjoy a lot lying around. They can sleep until 18 hours per day.
Take these hours as reference. You can track how many hours does your dog sleep using a dog activity monitor. They provide great information, not only about how much and when your dog sleeps, but also how he is doing against similar dogs (breed and age population).
You can check Fitbark 2 Review to see some screenshots of the provided information.
=> BE AWARE: If your dog sleeps more than the reference volume according to his age, and get up tired or sleepy. This is a symptom that something is not running well on them. Please take him to the Vet.
3 – DOG SLEEPING PATTERNS AND POSITIONS
Dogs have a different sleep pattern than humans. They rest or sleep more than half of the day, but do this distributing it among the day. Normally 50% of that time at night, while we are sleeping, and the remaining sleep along the day, in valley moments. As really active or playtime is around 2 hours per day. The rest of the time (8 to 10 hours) they are awake but mostly lying and relaxed.
If a dog is getting good sleep, then he will be ready for the next day. According to scientific studies, good sleep helps them to learn more quickly (memory-wins-when-dogs-sleep). Just common sense, imagine how is your day when you have a night of bad and short sleep… Same with dogs.
Sleep pattern is a key indicator of your dog’s health. Watch out their sleeping time! If there is a relevant change in the sleeping habits and hours of your dog, you should check with the veterinarian. It is a clear symptom that something is not going well. Maybe he is getting some pain? It could be also a behavioral topic, in case your dog is alarming at some risk. Anyhow, it is important to look at it and try to solve it.
Also quite interesting to learn about the most common dog´s sleeping positions. Easier if you check this 2” video on Youtube (<4”, more than 9 million views). Take them as indicative, but likely you will find the positions most preferred by your dog.
4 – DOG SLEEPING BED
Dogs are able to sleep at every place. You can see them simply lying on the floor. This may be good on a hot summer day, but probably not so nice on a cold winter day. But, if we want to take care of our four-legged friend, we need to provide them a comfortable place to sleep. They will sleep and feel better.
This is particularly relevant if your dog is getting old. Senior dogs may suffer from some pain in joints or arthritis, a good bed can provide great relief to them. A bed that cushions the body of your dog is a great idea for all dogs, but even more for senior ones.
A bed, a mat, or pat. You may have different ones, placed at different locations of your home. For instance, if your dog is using a crate, then one needs to be there.
My recommendation is that your dog has 2 beds. One located at his preferred sleeping zone, likely your bedroom or living room. Another one at the entrance of your home. Normally your dog will use one at night for the long sleep time (normally the bedroom or living room one), and the other (entrance one) for resting and sleeping along the day. And of course, if you let your dog do so, they will also enjoy our sofas, furniture, and beds.
Why have one at the entrance of your home? This is a place that dogs like to be. There is a lot of traffic in this area and is the door to going outside. They can, therefore, control what is going on, and normally dogs like to do that by instinct. Therefore it is a good idea to provide some comfort to your dog, letting them rest on a soft mat.
Anyhow, sooner you will know your dog´s preferences. He will tell you where he prefers to be. If this place is fine for you, then you can place there his mat or pat, for the daytime.
At night, when all the pack is back at home, likely he will want to be with you. I would suggest you get him a comfortable bed that you place in your bedroom or your kid’s bedroom, so he sleeps there. As much comfortable, the bed is, more likely that he sleeps on it, versus jumping on the bed. They are clever guys!!
Do not worry to place your dog´s bed in your bedroom if you want. According to Mayo clinic study, our quality of sleep can be reduced when a dog is sharing our bed (above all large dogs), but not when they sleep in our bedroom.
5 – TRACK YOUR DOG SLEEP WITH A DOG ACTIVITY MONITOR
As already mentioned, if your dog sleeps more or fewer hours of what should be normal for his breed and age, you should check with your Vet.
In the aside image, you can see the weekly report from Pintxo, from February 23rd to February 29th. Pintxo is carrying it attached to his collar in the last couple of months.
This tiny device, provides me and my family, great information on the activity level of Pintxo and his sleep & rest.
So, that week, on average Pintxo slept 14 hours and 42 seconds… Ranging from 16 hours and 1 minute on Monday to 11 hours and 30 minutes on Saturday, February 29th.
In my case, if in one week I would see that Pintxo is moving from 14 hours average to 16 or 17, I would be on alert, and likely visit the Vet. If this pace continues in the second week (you get the daily sleep information), sure I will visit the Vet, since something would be happening to him.
You can see the correlation, between more exercise and less sleep. In general, dogs love exercising. However, if they do not have a better option, they may decide for rest and sleep.
Fitbark 2, classifies the activity in Playtime (typically running and walking outdoors), active time (dog does some movement), rest time (basically they are lying or sleeping).
Also, they track the deep sleep quality of Pintxo, tracking particularly his movements for 4 hours slot (default hours from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m). This score is %. 100% is the maximum. Pintxo is normally between 80% to 90%.
If you are interested to learn more about the benefits of dog activity monitors, you can read the following post.
Do you have any experience you would share? Any questions on the topic? Feel free to write your comment below. I will come back to you.
Take care of yourself and your dog!
2 thoughts on “How Long Do Dogs Sleep”
Very informative and insightful post. I do not have my own dog but I do have friends and work colleagues who have dogs, and I think they could really benefit from your post and your site.
I have encouraged them to read through your work and comment on your posts. I have also advised that if they have any questions then they should contact you.
Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work.
All the best,
I am really happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Sleeping is a key activity both for dogs and humans.
Normally we give that for granted, until we get some health issue.
Take care and stay healthy,