Dogs usually sleep when their people do. Those who have guardians that work eight hours per day likely sleep a lot while the guardian is gone. Dogs that are lucky enough to have their guardians at home during the day likely sleep less because they have the opportunity to be more active. No matter what our lifestyle is, our dogs acclimate to our schedules when they first come into our homes. I work from home and see my lab sleep a lot, so I was I wondering how much should dogs sleep.
How Much Should Dogs Sleep?
Our dogs adjust to our lifestyles. People that are very active usually take their dogs with them while walking, running, or hiking. Other dogs have jobs and can work long hours. Most dogs are just members of the family and some of these have sedentary lifestyles.
Working dog breeds like pointers, German Shepherds, and Border collies tend to sleep less. These dogs sleep fewer hours because they don’t have the time to sleep very much. If a dog is working, it’s sleep patterns will likely be the same as it’s guardian.
The passive working dogs like sheepdogs and Great Pyrenees have less strenuous jobs. They can guard our homes or work places, but they usually protect our livestock. These dogs sleep more because their main jobs are at night. Dogs that watch our homes and work places will likely have the time to take naps while on duty.
ON AVERAGE DOGS SLEEP 12 TO 14 HOURS EACH DAY
On the average a dog will sleep from 12 to 14 hours per day. My 13-year-old greyhound mix sleeps more than 14 hours per day but she wakes up if she hears a noise outside. She knows the sound of the mail truck and announces it each day.
The age of a dog has a lot to do with sleep patterns. Puppies can sleep up to 18 hours per day. They need a lot of sleep and so do senior dogs. Puppies play so hard when they’re awake and of course they are growing so they need more sleep. Senior dogs sleep more just like senior people do. Seniors need more sleep to help them function during the day
Larger dog breeds can sleep up to 18 hours per day. Many dogs like Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Newfoundland’s love to snooze. My 11-year-old lab is 88 pounds and she loves to sleep. She can snore like a buzz saw.
LIFE EVENTS CAN AFFECT DOGS’ SLEEP PATTERNS
Life events can affect how much dogs sleep. Loss of a guardian or canine companion can make a dog depressed. Depression can make dogs sleep a lot. When my cock-a-poo passed in 1994 my shepherd mix mourned for weeks. She would hide in a corner behind a chair and sleep most of the time.
Another life event, like moving to a new house might disrupt a dog’s sleep patterns. The chaos of moving out of the old house and into the new can create some confusion for our dogs. Once the dogs are settled in with their own beds or crates, they will acclimate and their sleep patterns will resume.
DOGS’ GET LESS REM SLEEP THAN WE DO
One factor that explains why dogs sleep so much is that dogs are in rem sleep only 10% of the time. Humans experience rem sleep 25% of the time. Due to this small time of deep sleep, naps help dogs catch up on their rest.
Dogs sleep patterns differ between breeds, activity, and lifestyle. If your dog sleeps a lot, it’s nothing to worry about. However, if you see a drastic change in your dog’s sleeping habits that concerns you, take them to your veterinarian to have them checked out.
OUR DOGS LOVE TO SLEEP WITH US, ESPECIALLY IF THEY KNOW THAT WE NEED THEM
I sometimes wonder if we love our dogs because they sleep a lot. A dog makes a great napping partner and there is no better nurse to comfort a sick patient than a dog.