why do dogs sleep so much

You probably notice that your dog sleeps a lot. It is completely normal so quit worrying.

Dogs sleep about half of their lives away. It is not uncommon for a dog to sleep 12 to 14 hours a day and some even sleep up to 18 hours every day. 

Why Does My Dog Sleep So Much?

It's true. Dogs do sleep about half of their lives away but they do not sleep the same way we do. They are always on guard so they are very light sleepers. That is why a dog can jump up when they hear a slight move by you but then they can go right back to sleep almost instantly.

Working dogs

The question usually comes up about working dogs. If they work, how can they get in enough sleep? That's where the difference in their sleep versus our sleep comes into play. Even working dogs will find time to take a nap - they are flexible sleepers. 

That is why a working dog might be working and then in the time they are not needed, they are quickly asleep.

Sure, working dogs will not sleep as many hours as a dog that is a stay in the house dog. Those dogs are more than likely bored and will sleep almost every minute the dog owner is gone. They just have different sleeping habits. 

Not all dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours. There are some larger breeds, such as Mastiffs or St. Bernards that are known to sleep up to 16 or 20 hours each day so don't worry if your dog sleeps lots. They are probably healthy, but if you are worried you should go see a vet.

Sleep Patterns

The sleep pattern that a dog undergoes is not too different from a human's. They enter a slow wave stage of sleep and then gradually enter into the REM sleep that may have them barking or whining in their sleep. This stage could come within about 10 minutes. 

Be careful though. A dog, being a light sleeper, can snap at you because they are awakened from a deep REM sleep. That is why it is best not to get too close to your dog when it awakens.

Many people worry that the fact their dog is bored is what is causing them to sleep more than usual.

There are some things you can do for them such as providing play toys or chewies.

Getting them a companion will keep them busier and cut down on excess sleeping, but then again, you now have another dog to provide for.

Amount of sleep

The amounts of sleep your dog needs all comes down to how old and how large your dog is.

Older dogs need more sleep than younger ones, because their life becomes more difficult and they get tired faster so they can’t stay awake for longer periods of time.

On the other hand young puppies will usually have different sleep time and they will usually sleep at night because they have a lot of energy that they will use to play and explore during the day.

Larger dogs will also spend more time sleeping (like Newfoundlands, mastiffs, St. Bernards and great Pyrenees).

Some common questions people ask?

Why does my dog sleep all day?

If you think dog’s sleep patterns have changed or have gone to an extreme you should visit your vet.

But don’t forget working dogs sleep more as they spend a lot more time being active every day.

So percent of their sleep is going to be way different from dogs that live a more sedentary lifestyle. 

They may sleep a lot out of sheer boredom.

Do dogs get bored sleeping all day?

Dog spend most of their time sleeping. In other words, they sleep more than humans do, but they have a light sleep and they will wake up more frequently than humans.

Many indoor dogs might sleep out of boredom, especially when the owner leaves the house.

Consider keeping them more active by taking them to more walks of giving them interactive toys they can play with, like Tether Tug Dog Toy.

Which breed of dog sleeps the most?

Which breed of dog sleeps the most?

  • Bull dogs
  • Shih Tzu
  • Mastiff
  • Bassett Hound
  • French bulldog
  • Pekingese
  • Greyhound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Saint Bernard
  • Chow Chow
  • Great Dane
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Pug
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Newfoundlands
  • St. Bernards
  • Pyrenees

How many hours does a dog sleep in a 24 hour period?

The average dog sleeps for about 12 to 14 hours per 24-hour cycle. That's just the beginning, though. 

Puppies, who expend a lot of energy exploring and learning may need as much as 18 to 20 hours. Older dogs also tend to need more rest, as do certain breeds.

Related: Why does my dog sleep on my pillow?


One of the very best resources for understanding dogs is in all of the books by Cesar Millan, otherwise known as the Dog Whisperer.

He is one of the most highly regarded experts on dogs. He often states that he does not teach humans how to train dogs.

Instead, he trains humans how to properly interact with dogs. I have found Millan's books to be invaluable in working with my dogs. 

Related: Why does my dog like to sleep between my legs

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