Just How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need Anyways?


A devoted pet parent, pet store manager and animal shelter volunteer. Read more about me here.

If you’re new to owning a dog, or if you’ve noticed your dog sleeps too much or too little, you might be wondering “how much sleep do dogs need?”

We’re here to answer that question for you, and provide you with some of the reasons why your canine might be sleeping too much or too little so you can rest easy. Read on and we’ll be bring together the information needed to answer your vital question.

So… How Much do Dogs Sleep?

Most dogs will sleep for between twelve and fourteen hours each day, while puppies will sleep for significantly longer, often up to an astonishing eighteen hours each day. It will, of course, depend also on the breed of your pet but for most dogs the breakdown of their day will look something like this:

  • 50-60% of the day is spent sleeping.
  • 20-30% of the day will be spent resting and inactive but awake.
  • 20% of the day will be spent doing all those high energy things dogs love to do.

Obviously, some canines won’t quite fall into this perfect format for the day since they vary as much as people. What you should be watching for, if you’re concerned about your dog’s health, is sudden changes in their habits.

Working dogs in particular, such as herding dogs and police dogs, will spend much less time sleeping during the day due to their environment. They adjust rather quickly to this kind of schedule, and it isn’t particularly hard on the dog. Their sleeping patterns will soon come to sit closer in line with their handler’s for the most part.

As a general rule, larger breeds will tend to sleep more than smaller ones which will probably be on the lower side of things. You also want to keep in mind that as your dog ages, the cycle will continue, very old dogs will sleep nearly as much as puppies and during adolescence your dog will be much more active.

What Causes Them To Sleep More?

If your pet’s sleeping schedule suddenly changes drastically, or if they sleep significantly longer than the average of 12-14 hours, you’ll want to take a close look at a couple of different factors. There’s a ton of different problems that can arise, ranging from malnutrition to depression.

Your best bet in most cases is to take your dog to a vet if you suddenly notice them sleeping a lot more than normal. In many cases it may be something with a quick fix, like an inadequate diet, but it’s always good to seek outside help in order to make sure that there’s no serious issues.

Listen to the creepy malamute in the video, he makes a lot of good points about the kind of serious issues that can cause this aberrant behavior.

As stated earlier, a dog’s sleeping habits can vary quite a bit depending on breed and activity level. What’s most important is to make sure you’re well aware of your dog’s normal sleeping patterns so that you can see the deviations.

Maintaining Optimal Sleep Levels

Most of us work during the day and might only see our canine companions in the morning and at night so you might consider investing in something like the NestCam so you can monitor them during the day and determine the amount of sleep they regularly engage in. You can easily check one of these from your phone, and just kind of note the times during the day that your dog is sleeping.

If you work from home, or are currently unemployed and you find yourself concerned with your dog’s sleeping patterns, just take some notes during the day and within a few days you should notice the times they’re asleep and when they’re awake. Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit.

If you find your dog is sleeping too much, but doesn’t appear to be ill there’s two easy options to take. The first is to make sure they have both adequate stimulation and exercise during the day. This means taking your dog for walks and leaving them with some entertaining toys like the day. 

Many people don’t know it, but dogs actually enjoy puzzle games which can keep them occupied for extended periods of time and provide them with positive reinforcement. This can help stave off depression and give your pet something fun to do during the day.


It looks like you’ll no longer need to ask yourself “how much sleep do dogs need” after all. As each dog is unique, the only time you really need to concern yourself with how much your dog is sleeping is when there are sudden changes in their sleep cycle. This can indicate a wide variety of problems. 

At any rate, we hope we’ve answered your question about how much sleep a dog needs adequately and gave you a couple of hints in the right direction if your dog’s sleeping has caused you any concern.

If you liked this article, or have some further input, please leave a comment below.

About the Author

A devoted pet parent to two lovely creatures – Charlie the Cat and Jimmy the Dog – a full-time assistant pet store manager, and an animal shelter volunteer. I've gathered knowledge about pets for almost a decade, and it all started in a small store called Jack's Pets.

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