How Much Sleep Does a Great Dane Need?

How Much Sleep Does a Great Dane Need

The minimum sleep for a Great Dane is 12 hours sleep a day, and 18 to 20 hours every day until they are 3 months old.

If you’ve recently adopted a Great Dane puppy, chances are you are looking forward to spending days hiking or romping in the park with them. The Great Dane can be quite an energetic breed at times after all, without being hyper, although every dog is an individual, of course.

But for a breed that has a reputation for having stamina and being energetic and bouncy, how much sleep does a Great Dane need? How many hours each day is it normal for your Great Dane to spend napping? When should you be worried? In this post, we’ll answer these questions and more.

What age is Your Great Dane?

First of all, what age is your Great Dane? If they are a very young puppy, it is completely normal and healthy for your Great Dane to sleep for anywhere from 18 to 20 hours every day until they are 3 months old.

A Great Dane’s body is developing and growing incredibly rapidly at this early stage, after all. They don’t need much exercise at this stage, either.

When they get a little older, your Great Dane puppy will still like to sleep for quite a long time every day – at least 14 hours a day, though around 18 is normal too.

Why Does a Great Dane Puppy Need So Much Sleep?

All puppies need to sleep for an extortionate amount of time daily. This is very important for their growth and for proper development. However, Great Dane puppies have a lot more growing to do compared to some other puppies.

Even by the standards of other fellow large breeds of dogs like the Labrador or Golden Retriever, the Great Dane has much more growing to do in a shorter space of time.

Also, did you know that the Great Dane was originally bred to hunt boar? In this occupation, the Great Dane would sprint rapidly after boar, fight with their prey fiercely, then spend the rest of their time in a deep, long rest to keep themselves in prime condition.

Today’s Great Dane has had most of their more aggressive traits bred out. But, due to their previous hunter life, they still retain the need for a great deal of daily rest.

When Will Your Great Dane Stop Sleeping So Much?

Well, like most dog breeds that grow to become very large, the Great Dane technically remains as a puppy for a much longer time than smaller breeds of dog typically do.

This means that you have to continue feeding them the appropriate large breed puppy food for a longer time than you would with a smaller breed dog because they will keep growing and developing for a much longer time.

But this prolonged growth also means that your Great Dane will keep sleeping for at least 14 hours a day until they are two years old. However, even when they are an adult, a Great Dane will likely sleep for 12 hours a day.

What is Normal Sleep for a Great Dane?

Does your Great Dane flail around or bark or growl in their sleep? Do they act like they’re fighting another creature off in their sleep, or do they seem distressed?

Don’t worry about this – it’s completely normal. This means that your Great Dane has entered the REM stage of their sleep

Did you know that dogs are polyphasic sleepers? This means that they sleep for shorter periods of time for multiple periods throughout the day. The Great Dane is included in this polyphasic sleeping habit.

Most dogs, including the Great Dane, have three sleep cycles in a day.

When Should You Be Worried About Your Great Dane’s Sleep?

Most pet owners have a good idea of what is normal behavior and sleep for their pet, and quickly notice when anything is amiss.

If your Great Dane sleeps in the same bed or room as you, chances are you have some idea of how often your Great Dane moves around, makes noises, or even leaves the room during the night. You probably also keenly notice the times in which your Great Dane has abnormal or low quality sleep.

So when should you start to worry about how much sleep your Great Dane is getting? Well, anywhere drastically under 12 hours is pretty unusual for any adult dog.

But, as we’ve previously mentioned, most dogs sleep in 2 to 3 separate fragments during a 24 hour period, doing most of this sleeping during the day.

Therefore, don’t be surprised if your Great Dane appears to become suddenly nocturnal, sleeping less and less during the night – they’re still probably getting their minimum 12 hours in somewhere during the day.

But even if you’re absolutely sure that your Great Dane is getting far less than their recommended minimum of 12 hours sleep, don’t worry too much about this either, unless it is truly far less than they should be getting.

This is because the quality of your Great Dane’s sleep is also a major factor in how much they will need to sleep. Sometimes 6 or so hours of extremely high-quality sleep are really all your Great Dane needs.

What Can Affect Your Great Dane’s Sleep?

Many a Great Dane owner will tell you about the strange contorted napping positions their Great Dane sleeps in on a daily basis.

Some like to sleep with their whole upper body dangling off the sofa, while others prefer to sleep with their hind legs sticking off the back of their bed, even though it provides ample room for them to stretch out.

Still, others just insist on sleeping on the floor, even when you provide several other much softer alternatives.

But if you are worried about your Great Dane’s sleep, it’s worth going out of your way to provide an adequately darkened environment, free from noise that could disturb them.

As well as this, a dedicated, soft, and spacious dog bed like this will help your Great Dane to get into a comfortable and restful state, ready for bedtime.

How Can You Measure Your Great Dane’s Sleep?

Perhaps you measure your own sleep with a fitness tracker watch like a FitBit. Did you know that there are some fitness trackers for dogs out there that can indicate and help you to notice negative changes in your Great Dane’s sleep early on?

These include the FitBark and Whistle GO & GO Explore, amongst others. Each has its own unique design and other advantages.

Or you can use a camera to record what your Great Dane does – or doesn’t do – when you are out.

There are pet-oriented surveillance cameras out there on the market, but other cameras or even apps will do just as well for keeping an eye on your Great Dane’s sleeping habits and other behaviors.

By Michelle McDaid

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