With the breed’s history described as being adept at a wide range of working roles, it’s no surprise when the seemingly tireless, constantly alert German Shepherd sometimes appears to snooze through the entire day!
But how much sleep does a German Shepherd need, and how much rest is too much? The quick answer is:
A healthy adult German Shepherd sleeps for 12 to 14 hours a day
If you own a German Shepherd of your own, read on to find out much more about how much sleep this workhorse of a dog breed needs at each stage of its life.
How much sleep is normal for a German Shepherd?
When it comes to a healthy adult pet German Shepherd, sleeping for around 12 to 14 hours a day is the minimum amount to expect.
A German Shepherd does not generally rest for 14 consecutive hours, however. Instead, a German Shepherd will typically take several catnaps during the day, before sleeping through the night.
How long should I expect my German Shepherd puppy to sleep?
Do you have a young German Shepherd pup? If so, you can expect them to sleep for a much longer time each day.
In fact, it is standard for a German Shepherd puppy to sleep for anywhere from 15 to 20 hours each day. German Shepherd puppies often only wake up to eat or go for a walk!
What if my German Shepherd isn’t sleeping enough?
Are you concerned that your German Shepherd is not getting enough sleep? Perhaps your German Shepherd doesn’t sleep through the night, and may even bark in the middle of the night?
If this is so, perhaps your German Shepherd isn’t tired-out enough and needs a way to get thoroughly exhausted during the day.
One way to truly tire a German Shepherd out is to take them for a longer hike, or an extra walk. With the German Shepherd being as loyal as they are agile, your German Shepherd should be all too happy to accompany you anywhere you take them.
Or, for a fun workout, a German Shepherd would also love to play their favorite high-activity games with their owner.
Not only would this zonk them out, playing an exhausting round of fetch or two together would also boost your bond together and raise both your moods.
Fun workout toys for your German Shepheard
Do be aware that a German Shepherd who doesn’t sleep all night long is not necessarily something to worry about.
After all, as we touched upon above, it is common for German Shepherds to take several short naps during the day. With these naps added on, your German Shepherd is likely getting plenty of sleep.
How can I help my German Shepherd to sleep?
With the breed’s long history as a guard dog, police dog, and of course, shepherd, the German Shepherd breed has become one of the most alert dogs there are.
The German Shepherd is always ready to pounce, and quick to respond to any command you give them.
But as a result of this, the German Shepherd can find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. So, what can you do to help your German Shepherd sleep?
Well, making sure to provide a completely dark environment for your German Shepherd to sleep in is a big step in making sure that your German Shepherd sleeps soundly.
You could try covering your German Shepherd’s crate with a blanket if this is where they sleep. Or, if they sleep outdoors, a sturdy kennel with a robust door is great for completely blocking out those streetlights and the sunrise.
But another major factor in how well a German Shepherd sleeps is exposure to noise. When guarding sheep in the past, a German Shepherd had no choice but to learn to sleep lightly and quickly awaken at every unusual sound.
So today, if a German Shepherd living as a pet hears an unusual sound, they are still pretty likely to quickly wake up and bark at it.
Thankfully, it is easy and simple to minimize your German Shepherd’s exposure to unwanted sounds. For example, if your German Shepherd is sleeping indoors, try turning off all appliances you can.
Even a toaster or kettle might make an unexpected click that prompts your German Shepherd’s protection mode.
Or outside, bats, buzzing insects, and all sorts of other things you wouldn’t usually notice could keep your German Shepherd awake. You could have a bat repellent, to keep such animals away.
Giving your German Shepherd a thick-walled, sound-insulated, wooden kennel to sleep in could keep your pooch from being aware of the noises that might keep them awake.
But, as such an alert breed, it is worth considering bringing your German Shepherd indoors where possible, for them (and you) to get the best quality sleep!
What if my German Shepherd sleeps too much?
Maybe you’ve noticed your German Shepherd sleeping for far longer than 14 hours, or your pooch sleeps more than is normal for them. If so, what is the cause of this? And should you be worried?
Well, sleeping more than usual can be a sign that your German Shepherd is recovering from some kind of minor illness.
It is good to let them sleep because sleeping more allows your German Shepherd’s immune system to concentrate solely on fighting off the disease. You can make sure they have a cozy bed and a comfortable blanket
But if your German Shepherd’s increased sleeping habits have gone on for longer than two weeks, your German Shepherd may have an ongoing condition that means they have to sleep more.
This could be Lyme disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or even heartworm, so you must take your German Shepherd to the vet, to find out what is wrong.
My senior German Shepherd sleeps more. Should I be worried?
Of course, if your German Shepherd has started to sleep more, it could also be that nothing is wrong, your German Shepherd is just aging.
As soon as your German Shepherd hits the ripe old age of anywhere from 7 to 9, you can consider them to be a senior, even if many dogs of this agile breed still think they are a puppy at this age!
Along with expecting your senior German Shepherd to sleep more, you can also expect graying around their muzzle and eyes, and a decreased interest in walkies and play.
If this happens, just follow your German Shepherd’s lead on whether they want to get some exercise or would prefer to have another nap.
So, how much sleep does a German Shepherd need?
In truth, there’s no right or wrong answer to the question of how much sleep a German Shepherd needs.
As we’ve detailed above, your German Shepherd may need more or less sleep at certain stages of their life, though if they are working, they may have to consistently make do with substantially less sleep than is recommended as long as they get some rest days.
But mainly, it’s about paying attention to what is normal for them and being able to quickly spot when they are sleeping too much or too little.
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