How much do dogs sleep?

September 22nd, 2005 in Dogs, Pets

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My dogs sleep a lot.  A really lot.  So I decided to see if I could find the real answer to “how much do dogs sleep?” According to Sleep and Dreams in Dogs and Cats:

Under controlled laboratory conditions both cats and dogs sleep about 13 hours per day but they wake up more frequently than people do.

According to Planet Dog:


• Adult dogs spend approximately half their life sleeping,
typically 12 hours a day.

• Some breeds need more sleep than others –
as much as 18 hours per day! (typically larger breeds).

I think mine sleep more than average – closer to the 18 hour limit.  They sleep 8 hours a night with us.  They sleep while we read or watch TV in the evening.  And they sleep all day if we leave them inside.  I’d bet they are only awake 4-5 hours a day during a normal day.

Buy your dog a good bed. Here’s one if they like turning in circles before they lie down.

Photo by mikecpeck.

45 Responses to “How much do dogs sleep?”

  1. bijg says:

    Wow! I put this question (“do dogs sleep alot?”) into Google and came to Your Blog! Thank You, I was worried, and now I am encouraged! I have two Lab Puppies and they sleep alot, I thought something was wrong or they were bored. I am doing my best to keep them happy, we are just so busy! Now I can relax! bijg

  2. Stormy says:

    I think the days that we stay home from work are just exhausting for our dogs. They don’t get their 8 hour nap!

  3. Ross says:

    Phew!
    Our Lab Henry has breakfast at 7, sleeps from 9 until 11, has a walk at 1, sleeps from 2 until 5, eats at 7 and then sleeps from 8, wakes for a bit at 10, then all night until 7 again. To be fair his walks are very active, he spends most of the time running.

    Taryn Reply:
    August 10th, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I have a 2 year old Cocker Spaniel that I got when he was 10 months old. As I learned him & began to develop more of a pattern with him, I’ve noticed that he’s held the same sleep schedule you mentioned above. I was concerned that he was probably bored being in the house since I work from home, so I was constantly trying to buy new toys to keep him entertained & awake, along with allowing him to run around in the backyard during the day at times, if I didn’t take him for a routine walk.

    The only thing that knocks him off schedule is when I have guests; otherwise at night, I’ll see that his eyes are getting red & I’ll make him go to sleep by putting him in his bed or calling him to come & go to bed, which usually he’ll oblige (guest or no guest).

    Since I’ve moved into an apt where this is no backyard, his schedule for the last year has been pretty consistent; almost identical to the schedule Ross mentioned. As a matter of fact his bedtime was about an hour ago…which is rt on schedule & he’s nicely stretched out & knocked out next to me as I type! lol

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for looking into this. My dog and I just moved out my parents house which holds one other dog and four cats. I was worried that my pup slept too much (she sleeps at night when I sleep and then when I’m at work – a good 16 hours). Reading your article it occured to me that she probably did the same thing at home with the other animals. Thanks again.

  5. Pookster says:

    My puppy is 5 months old and it seems she never sleeps anymore during the day – just at night. I actually have to “put her down” for naps! She gladly takes them but, if it’s more than one a day, she gets up (way too) early in the morning! :)

  6. Sarah says:

    I glad to know this. I was going to take my labradoodle to the Vet tomorrow. Thanks

  7. Phil Cowling says:

    Hello,
    We live in a Condo and have had a Schithu dog now for 9 years. He doesn’t get much excercise but he is the most calm and loving companion a person could have.He sleeps most of the day and night. Is this normal.
    I have been with him 24/7 ever since he was born. He gets so frightened if we leave the house with him inside. He will scratch the door, mess, panick and when we come home he is very anxious, shaking, huffing and puffing and you can his mouth is all wet from drewlng.
    He is so faithful and follows where ever I go in the house. He just thrives on love and sleeps with us every night.
    I understand some dogs can suffer from separation anxiety. Several years ago we had no choice but to put him in a kennel for two days as we had no one who could look after him. When we went to pick him up the lady said she was just finishing bathing him as he got so dirty from rolling in his water dish. This sounds very strange and he has never done such a thing. Her husband was very unfriendly and looked like a mean type of guy who wouldn’t have much patience with dogs etc..
    Could that experience have terrified him so much that he gets so upset when we are not in site or knows if we are not in the house.Could this experience in the kennel have caused him so much fright that he has never gotten over it?
    I love the little fella so much and he means the world to mean.When they are sleeping can they have bad dreams about the past or frightning dreams.
    I would really appreciate you if you could answer my questions.

  8. Stormy says:

    It sounds like your dog suffers from anxiety disorder. I would try leaving him confined when you leave. He’s used to following you around the house and so when you aren’t there, he doesn’t know what to do. Leaving him in a cozy kennel will make him feel more secure.
    And yes, dogs dream and they can have good dreams and bad dreams. My favorite is when they dream of running and all their paws twitch!

  9. sarah says:

    do you know what animal sleeps the most? a cat i know it is really hard to believe my teacher told me that and at first i thought that it was a beaver but i was wrong so any way that picture is really cute =) and well, i’ll talk to you later! bye

  10. Stormy says:

    I heard that bats and koalas sleep about 20 hours a day! On the flip side, elephants and giraffes sleep very little – 2-4 hours a day.

  11. Hi, i have a 4 month old Lab/Kelpie/Staffordshire cross, and a 5 month old Jack Russell/Aust Silky cross. Both sleeps a lot, way more than i remember my other dogs doing that. I know it is normal for puppies to sleep a lot, but at what age should this wear off?
    Also, my JRT/Aust Silky is perpetually exhausted or sleeping. He takes a long time to learn commands, and gives me the impression that he refuses to listen. I am wondering whether this is a personality trait or whether he has some sort of disorder, since JRTs are really active breeds and he seems to have none of it. I have taken him to the vet, and the vet says nothing is wrong but honestly, i am a little unconvinced.
    It would be much appreciated if you could offer some advice. Thanks a lot.

  12. Stormy says:

    I think dogs sleep whenever there’s not anything exciting going on. Give them something to do (like swimming, playing fetch, walking or hunting) and they’ll stay awake all day. Give them a quiet house and they’ll use the time to sleep.
    So if your dog is in a very active environment and still sleeping a lot, I might worry. If he’s in a quiet home, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  13. Nezrom says:

    Glad to know it is normal for dogs to sleep long hours. We have a boston terrier and a great dane. They usually go to bed around 9 or 10 and wake up between 8 and 10 the next day. Ofcousre they take their naps too during the day.

  14. Anonymous says:

    wow finally i fond the answer to my mom’s question. she always thought that why does my dog sleep all day while she is in the computer, or why isn’t she play full. but now i know why i can finally prove to my mom the real answer this time.
    (p.s) i have a girl pointer mix

  15. Hina says:

    I have a german shepherd puppy who is about 8 months. We went home for christmas from college and I guess it was because she was in a new environment (my parent’s house) but she hardly slept at all. Then, after awhile she would just sleep anytime she got the chance. It was kind of a rapid change. Could it be that she’s just getting used to their house and our activities or should I be worried about something else?

  16. Stormy says:

    Hi Hina,
    I bet she was just getting used to their house and all the activities. I had a dog who wouldn’t eat and would run around like crazy whenever we went to a new place. It would take a day or two for her to settle down and adjust. (She was very happy during that time – just too busy to eat or sleep.)
    Stormy

  17. Jeannie says:

    Hi my poodle J.J is now, 6 1/2 months, and he was the most playful dog, up to last week. He is sleeping all the time and has no interest in playing. I am so worried. We took him to the vet 3 times. He had blood test stool sample test and an X-ray done, the x-ray because he threw up a couple of times. Anyhow all his tests were normal but he still has no interest. When someone comes home then he gets excited and will play for maybe 5 minutes and go back to sleep. This is a sudden change in J.J and we are very worried we can’t figure out whats wrong. Any suggestions?

    Maureen Reply:
    May 30th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I was wondering what you found out about your poodle J.J. My dog Rox (a Catahoula) started going through the same thing about a week ago. Blood tests and x rays for her also came back normal. It seems that all she does is sleep. She’s 8 1/2 months old. Did J.J just continue to sleep a lot or did you find out that he was really sick? Thanks.

  18. Kathy says:

    Wow, am, I relieved I really thought my son and I were doing something wrong as our puppy does sleep a lot, I chalked it up to growth spurts, so it is probably that and being normal as well. I knew cats slept lot but I honetsly cannot remeber any of my other dogs sleeping this much. Probably as I was not home as much then as I am now.
    What a relief….
    As to the Poodle named J.J. I think you are in the same fix as us, growth spurts nd it being normal for the puppy, as I was told as long as he/she is eating, pooping/pissles and plays they are normal, also check the nose if it is cold he is fine, if it stay warm then there may be a problem, or so I have been told.

  19. Derek says:

    I have a 11 month old Border Collie and he only sleeps when I do and even then it is him who makes me get up when he decides we have had enough. Sometimes we only get about 5 hours and he decides that’s enough. He is a lovely dog though.

    Angela Reply:
    September 3rd, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Derek:
    We have a 1yr old BC and he is a cattle dog. He always has herding on the brain or chase the rubber ball. He can be very active, so active that we have to make him stop and rest. Then when my husband doesn’t have to work cattle, he leaves him in the house with me. He will sleep most of the time alot of times on my lap(yes he is 48lbs)until my husband comes in from working and is jumping all over him with excitement. The thing we notice is if he sleeps all day, he will move around at night, chew on things and whine to go out to chase critters. If he works cattle (even run along side the 4whlr) he will sleep through the whole night. Plus he is soo smart its scary sometimes.

  20. Lisa says:

    I have a 9 week old goldendoodle. He sleeps a lot! Definitely 18 hours. When I wake him up he plays for about 5-10 minutes and then lays down again. He’s also only eating about 1/2 what the recommended amount. Do you think he is OK? It’s only his 2nd day with me. He goes to the bathroom like he eats all day.

  21. Doris says:

    I have a 7 to 8 wk old Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle X). Only had him for 3 full days, but he doesn’t sleep unless we put him in his kennel. Then cries, but that is getting less and less already. It is important puppies get lots and lots of rest. My vet said they will sleep up to 90% of the day even. It is not unusual for them to go through spurts of being very active to very sleepy. Biggest thing is when they are in a busy environment is to make sure they get the sleep they need. My puppy did have a parasite which could be part of not sleeping. Has to go potty a lot.

  22. Marian says:

    My dog, a terrier cross, sleeps maybe for a max of 8-9 hours a day . . . I sometimes wish he would sleep more. He is now 13 and shows no sign of slowing down, or wanting to sleep more. Like the border collie above, he wakes us up in the morning!

  23. Adrianne says:

    I have a 6 month old Dachshund/MinPin mix who wakes with me around 7, crates all day (likely sleeping & playing) and starts drowsing right after dinner sround 7 or 8. I am nervous she sleeps too much, but it seems I can relax knowing that her wakeful hours with me are fairly active and playful. Thanks!

  24. Acceb Kidrah says:

    I was also worried that my dogs were bored but now I am very happy they are normal. Two months ago I adopted a French Mastiff/Chocolate lab. She is so active but when she naps she is very serious about it. It takes a lot to rouse her.
    Our other lab, Teddy is 11 and he takes naps with her, but he’s always ready to go, “outside”. Don’t say that word in passing because both the pups will jump up and expect to be put in the backyard. LOL we seriously need a doggy door.

  25. Megan says:

    I have a 2 year old Boxer/Chow Chow mix and I think he has more of the lazy Chow in him b/c he sleeps probably close to 16 hours a day. He sleeps when we sleep at night, 7-8 hours, is home while we are at work (probably sleeping at least 1/2 the time) and then falls asleep around 8:30 until we go to bed at 10 or 11. If I initiate play he is always excited, and loves walks, but also loves his sleep! I was nervous about the boxer part of his mix b/c I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to give him enough exercise, but he is totally fine with a 30 min walk each day and a few 15-20 min romps in our backyard. He’s a great dog…I think dogs just sleep a lot, and as long as they are getting the social time they need with you while they are awake, there should be no worries about when or how much the sleep.

  26. Lorry Jayne says:

    I have two Shiba Inus and Man! They sleep a lot. I feel like they are depressed or bored or something. On days where we just go go go, you can tell because they love it at the time but the first chance they get they are laying down. At least now I dont feel like I am creating some lazy dog who just eats and sleeps… What a bad life huh?

  27. Kathleen says:

    I think some of you may be surprised at the nocturnal wonderings of your dogs. I have a 6 year old pekingese / terrier mix who I always thought slept about 18 hours a day. She would sleep for 2-3 hour stretches about 3 times a day and then what I thought was 8 hours a night. Turns out she only sleeps 2-3 hour stretches at nights also – she gets up and wonders around for an hour or two in between.

  28. Luca Titan says:

    I have an 8 year old Italian Greyhound and a 4 year old mini dachshund. I agree with the person who said that it depends on what activities are available for them. I rarely leave them alone for more than 6 hours, and I think that they sleep most of that time (they don’t seem to eat the food in their dishes). But if I have guests when they would normally be lounging, they run around and play, kind of showing off and joining in. Sometimes I have parties with about 100 people, and they stay awake all day watching me prepare, then all night during the party. On cold winter days (especially when there’s salty slush out there) they can sleep almost all day and night, with a few toilet and food breaks. I’m 60 and am a bit more skittish now about slipping on the ice so I don’t take them out every day, but when I do get them outside they are sooooo happy to be able to do their pee mail!

  29. Cleo P says:

    I have a 6 year old boxer. She normally sleeps between 18/20hrs a day.

  30. Abby Doodle says:

    My sweet baby was 1 in January she sleeps all the time but she’s playful in between and eats and is totally healthy. She’s prissy and she likes to sleep on our lap whenever she gets the chance. . Lol . She’s a small golden doodle . I was worried too. I went to the vet thinking something was really wrong and they said nope you just have a big napper. If She gets her walk in everyday and plays hard and eats and goes to the bathroom normal she’s fine. The diagnosis she’s spoiled rotten ;) how do we leave her in a kennel for vacation and or home alone out of the kennel for the day? What are some tools to help her become more independent . She literally will not leave our side when we shower, or go anywhere.

  31. nancy says:

    I have a 6-year old shi tzu who seems to be sleeping all the time except when we’re out walking. As soon as we get in the house, she flops on the floor or on his part of the sofa and off he goes to dreamland. In his first years, I really thought there was something wrong with him but the vet said that he’s just one of those dogs who sleep a lot. I try to interact with him or take him out for walks as often as I can as it seems these are the only times when he is alert. He sleeps about 18-20 hours a day.

    Judy Reply:
    December 16th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I’m quite certain that my 2 Shih Tzus sleep approx. 16-18 hours per day and have since they’ve been younger. They are 11 years old now. I sometimes worried too, but then I’ve read that they are opposite of humans…..16 hrs of sleep and 8 hours awake, and a human 8 hrs of sleep and 16 hours awake.

  32. Jen says:

    I have a min pin puppy Ollie. He sleeps at least 18 hours a day. I don’t leave him home alone much. The last time I left him I only wish he would have been sleeping he was alone 4 hours and he chewed on the mini blinds that are in the window in my girls room. It’s the only way he can see the front door. The blinds were in pieces everywhere. We will not be replacing them for fear he may hurt himself on the cording. So I know he’s sleeping when I’m home but not when he’s left alone.

  33. Alisha says:

    I have a 2 month old black pug. He sleeps all night with me. About 9pm until 6:30-7am. I take him out to do his business, bring him back in and feed him then we both go back to sleep until 10 or 11. We wake up, go out again then I give him lunch. Again, he just follows me wherever I go in the house and sleeps. This sleeping, bathroom outing and food cycle continues throughout the day. He is definitely asleep more than he is awake. When he can’t see me or I’m in the bathroom or something, he just cries and scratches the door. Is this normal? Is there anything I should do??

  34. Bree says:

    @Alisha, my puppy does the same thing but he has separation anxiety. We’re taking him to the vet tomorrow to see if there is anything we can do to help because we’ve literally tried everything there is.

    I came here because my 10 month old Choodle pup will sleep from around 8pm-7am (probably around 11pm-7am in the crate, between 8 and 11 he just kind of naps on and off). Then he goes back to sleep after eating and pottying from around 8am-12pm. He’ll stay up with me for a few hours, nod off a little around 4 and wake up again around 5. Then he passes out again at 8. I was worried he was bored or depressed but I do play with him when he’s awake. I’m glad to see this is normal!

  35. GB says:

    I am so glad I found your site – feel much happier now having read all the posts.
    My lab/collie (now 8 months) was extremely active until about a month ago. Now sleeps practically all the time… He loves going for his walks – runs off lead and loves playing with other dogs he meets. Then occasionally he will have a playful half hour or less, chasing toys but most of time just sleeps!
    Seems to have a job to drag himself up sometimes but if a walk is mentioned he soon jumps up so I am guessing he is just being a little lazy at times.
    Usually eats his food well but over Christmas has had meats and now turning away from his Autarky.

  36. Just got a Shih Tzu puppy. Was worried he was sleeping too much but from what you say here it sounds about right…Guess we will just have to wait a bit longer then to hug him lol

  37. See says:

    I have an 8 week old min pin that always seems to wake up at 2am wanting to play. How do I get him to sleep threw the night with me?

  38. Jamie says:

    We were getting worried about our 9 week old yellow lab. She sleeps all day. I am still concerned about how little she likes to run around, but this gives me some hope. Cheers.

  39. corrynina says:

    I have a 3 1/2 year old Belgium terv shepherd. He doesn’t sleep, he waits..lol.. Talk about high energy!
    On my work days I take him for a walk in the morning and then a dog walker takes him out about noon when I get home a take him to the park and then for another walk before bed, he is exhausting but I love him to bits.

  40. Linda Kraan says:

    I recently rescued my pet from a kill shelter….she is the sweetest and delightful companion I could have….but she sleeps and sleeps and sleeps…..I am glad this is normal because I was losing sleep over it……!!!

  41. Jo says:

    I have a five month old lab. He sleeps a lot and I am getting worried. He is smart and Very well mannered but he does seem lazy. He is growing a lot and is going to he big judging by his paws. I keep thinking there may be something wrong as I don’t recall my other kab sleeping this much as a puppy. When we walk he is happy and active. Maybe he’s content (or bored) at home. I just can’t tell.