Dear Labby: Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?

Share Button

Dear Labby_oldDear Labby,
We just rescued a 12-week old pup from the local shelter. We think he is a Lab/Pit/Boxer mix or at least that’s what they told us. He is so cute and we have lots of fun with him. We’re planning on taking him to puppy classes soon. The only thing that bothers me is that he sleeps all the time. Our other dog, a 5-year old Golden Retriever sleeps about half as much as this puppy. Is there something wrong or is this normal?

Dear Sleepyhead,
Congrats on your new addition and kudos for adopting a dog from the shelter! Puppies naturally sleep more than adult dogs, just as babies do. Seniors too – as Jack and Maggie age (both 11 this year) they are starting to sleep more and more. Maggie sleeps more than Jack because Jack has to monitor household activities, which Maggie doesn’t really worry about. But they sleep a good 15-18 hours per day.

Most dogs get somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-18 hours of sleep each day. They do not have a regular sleep pattern like humans – staying awake for 16-18 hours and then sleeping for 6-8 hours, instead dogs take many short naps throughout the day. Most of their sleeping time is spent in slow wave sleep which allows them to be more alert and to wake much more quickly. They also have deeper, REM sleep like humans do, but much less, only about 8-12% vs 20-25% in humans.

Cute puppy sleeping
Active adults dogs, such as service dogs or working dogs that are awake and working all day, will catch short cat naps whenever they can. I think we all know that dogs can fall asleep most anywhere in a matter of seconds sometimes.

If your pup is active and behaving normally when they are awake, then you shouldn’t worry. Sleep signs to worry about would be:

  • Having difficulty waking up & being lethargic: this may be a sign of a physical ailment and your pet should be examined by a vet.
  • Being restless and not able to sleep: this is likely due to your pet sleeping too much and not getting enough mental or physical activity during the day.

Good luck with your pup!
Additional Reading
Why does my Labrador sleep all day?
The Average Sleep for Dogs
The Average Sleep for Dogs
How Much Do Dogs Sleep and in What Positions


Share Button
Barksandbytes150 We are joining the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop Co-hosted by our friends at 2Brown Dogs and Heart Like a Dog. Grab the badge and join the fun!  


  1. I remember that Easy slept a lot as he was a puppy… and I have to admit that I enjoyed this moments like a gift… LOL

  2. Fabulous advice! And I definitely do not envy a dogs sleep pattern! LOL! I couldn’t imagine sleeping in short spurts throughout the day.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Gone Fishin’ With Bowzer Box: Canadian Pet Subscription BoxMy Profile

  3. Bentley enjoys his shut eye throughout the day. Being a dog is very tiring. BOL!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Las Vegas Sky #52SnapshotsMy Profile

  4. My senior dogs are sleeping more, now, too. But they have no problem jumping up and barking at passing bunnies when they need to.
    Flea recently posted…Getting Ready to TravelMy Profile

  5. Tell them to enjoy the sleepy-puppy phase while they can! Crazy puppy stage is coming up next.

  6. I remember hearing somewhere that puppies grow while they are sleeping. (Let sleeping dogs lie.)
    Anne recently posted…Help! – My Dog Has DiarrheaMy Profile

  7. I remember when we first brought home Rodrigo and Sydney; the sleeping scared me too and I’d often wake them up. My vet calmed my fears and soon I began to appreciate it when they slept. Rodrigo was the worst (as in he wouldn’t sleep). If when I could tell he was exhausted, he would jump all over a sleeping Sydney.

    To get Rodrigo to sleep, I’d take Sydney away (they were baby-gated in the kitchen) to nap with me on the sofa.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…How I Treated Our Dog’s Partial Cruciate TearMy Profile

  8. My dogs insist that they are not sleeping. Watchdogs never sleep. They are just resting their eyes.
    jan recently posted…Pho-dog-raphy? A camera for dogsMy Profile

  9. OMD, a sleeping puppy is a blessing. 🙂

    Interesting to learn about dogs’ slow wave sleep. I feel guilty that Honey wakes so easily when I get up and move around the house. I guess I’ll just have to let go of the guilt and remind myself that she’s wired to catch up on her sleep whenever I leave the house.

    Besides, she gets me back when she sticks her paw in my nostrils at night. 🙂
    Pamela recently posted…Why I Love People Who Love DogsMy Profile

  10. Thank you for this brief and informative article about sleep in dogs. It is helpful for new pet parents who are not sure whether or not they need to take their new pet to the vet for a problem.
    Travel Animal Doctor recently posted…We’ve Got Personality: An Interview with JasmineMy Profile

  11. Sleeping puppies are the best. I remember holding Sampson as a puppy while he slept and thinking I could do this forever. It is the same with sleeping babies. 🙂

    Thank you for joining the blog hop.
    Jodi recently posted…The Importance of Rain GearMy Profile

  12. Lol I’m the opposite, I prefer to stay awake in case there are treats to be had!
    Misaki recently posted…German Shepherd InfographicMy Profile

  13. Thanks Labby for the great advice, but what can I do about my hyper new sisfur Taffy? Can you get Ritylin(sp) for dogs? I wish she would just relax and sleep more like me! Love Dolly
    Dolly the Doxie recently posted…Dolly Packs for BlogPaws 2015 Conference in NashvilleMy Profile

  14. As long as he goes from 0 to 100 mph is a second when you wake him, he is fine!
    Emma recently posted…Garden Hounds At WorkMy Profile

  15. Puppies sleep a lot, especially while they are growing. I say enjoy the down time because it won’t last….lol. Thanks for joining the hop!
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–Testing Like It Is A Training DayMy Profile

  16. I broke down our pups’ daily routine a little while ago & realized they actually sleep about 15 hours every day! Dang!
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…#DogBitePrevention Week: How to Prevent Dog BitesMy Profile

  17. Nellie sleeps more, glory somewhat, Gambler never!
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Keeping Muscles Warm When Training In The Cold~FitDog FridayMy Profile

  18. Labby, tell them “be careful what you wish for” I WISH Jax would sleep more 🙂
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…MEMORIAL DAYMy Profile

  19. I know Sam cat-naps throughout the day which is good for when I come home-he needs the exercise and attention then and (most days) I’m very happy to provide it-good for him, good for me. 🙂
    Monika recently posted…Home of the FreeMy Profile

  20. I’m raising four 5-week old pups – I’m so thankful they sleep 90% of the time, it makes it so much easier.
    Lindsay Pevny recently posted…5 Dog Myths To Stop SpreadingMy Profile

Comments are now closed on this post.