Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much? – How Many Hours A Day Do Dogs Sleep?

All joking aside, our beloved four-legged friends do love their naptime don’t they. Why shouldn’t they? We tend to leave them alone all day long while we go out to work. It’s little wonder they head off to their baskets in a huff. Dreaming of chasing cats and gnawing bones is a damn-sight better than pinning at the door waiting for their master to return.

Estimating exactly how long dogs sleep however is pretty difficult. How long is a piece of string? Depends on the string of course. How long do dogs sleep? Well, it depends on the dog, silly!

As I’m sure you’ve notice, pooches come in a helluva lot of different sizes, from those tiny Pomeranians you see peeking out of handbags to those monstrously proportioned Irish Wolfhounds bounding across the heather-covered moorland.

It’s not just the size and breed of a dog that dictates how much sleep they require. The rest requirements of any pooch are also dictated by age, health and the exercise opportunities available to them. A otherwise healthy Springer Spaniel who never gets taken for a walk may need much less sleep than an almost identical dog that goes on a 10 mile run every morning with their marathon running owner.

So the quick answer is that it depends. But of course that isn’t very interesting is it? So below I’ve taken a look at the sleeping habits of number of species well-known in the dog-owning community for their tendency to, let’s just say, be a little lazy.

The Pug

With their little beat-up faces and sticky out tongues, the Pug cannot help but bring a smile to all but the frostiest heart when they wander into a room.

Pugs have something of a reputation for enjoying nice long naps. Often snoozing for far longer than any burst of activity they have engaged in justifies. But is this justified? Well, yes. An adult pug will sleep for anything up to 14 hours a day. But this isn’t too much more than any other breed. The little dog’s reputation for laziness is probably more to do with it’s habit for snoring than anything else.

Due to having a narrower windpipe and nostrils than most other breeds of dogs, Pugs tend to be prone to breathing difficulties. They also have what’s known as a long soft palate in their throat. The combination of these physical elements leads to a lot of noisy breathing and disproportionately loud snoring. It’s not their fault. Give the little guys a break.

I for one think the snoring just makes them cuter. The farting however, well, the farting isn’t so cute. Come of pugs, sort it out you stinky little chaps!

The St Bernard

Immortalised as slobbering loveable giants by the family-friendly Beethoven movies series of the 1990s. St Bernards, or ‘Beethovens’ as I still call them are a seriously big dog. Big like a bear big. As a consequence of their stature they tend to do everything in a larger than life fashion. This includes eating, shedding and yes, sleeping.

Yep, St Bernards love a good sleep. Many owners of the oversized pooches report that they beloved pets will sleep for much more than the average 14 hours a day. Clocking in at between 16-18 hours a day. Not only that, puppies of the breed have been reported to need anywhere between 18-20 hours a day.

That’s not sleeping, that’s hibernating. We shouldn’t be too surprised, they do after all look like bears, so it stands to reason they sleep like them too!



Newfoundlands, or Newfies as their owners like to call them, are similar in stature to St Bernards and unsurprisingly need a similar amount of sleep. Such is their fondness for a good nap they together these two breeds are often referred to as “mat dogs” because of they are well, always asleep on the mat.

Just like fellow gentle giants St Bernards, Newfies tend to require a few hours more than the average of 14 hours a day, anywhere between 16-18 hours in fact. How much more exactly very much depends on the individual dog and how much exercise, or mischief, they get up to.

German Shepherds

Dogs bred to be active working animals like German Shepards or even Labrador Retrievers tend to require much less sleep than your average stay-at-home pooch. Police dogs and service dogs will tend to get less sleep because, well, they are at work most of the day. But it’s also thought that they naturally require a bit less sleep than your average animal.

Quite often less than 12 hours will be enough to keep these majestic beasts going.

Well, there you have it fellow dog-lovers – that’s how much dogs sleep a day. Our precious pets do a lot for us, the minimum we can do for them is let them get a little rest. After all, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie!

Leave a Comment