How Much Sleep Should a German shepherd Have? (A Comprehensive Guide)

How Much Sleep Should a German shepherd Have?

Sleep is an integral part of the life cycle of every animal-like German shepherd and us human beings. Consequently, it’s often a query for most pet enthusiasts who enquire of how much sleep a German shepherd should have. And that’s what we want to answer in this section.

German shepherd will need 12-14 hours of sleep in a day. Such a sleep duration will and always have lots of benefits for the dog.

Likewise, lack of sleep on your dog will still have adverse effects, which can take a toll on your dog’s lifestyle.

Why is sleep important for German shepherds, and how long should a puppy or a senior German shepherd sleep?

Hold on to learn more.

How Much Sleep Should a German shepherd Puppy Have?

A German shepherd puppy will need 18-20 hours of sleep. Puppies will need such an amount of sleep at such an age as it helps their metabolism and growth occur. Of which such processes are rampant during this age.

If deprived of their sleep during their younger years, these dogs may not have healthy adulthood.

How Much Sleep Is Enough For Adult Dogs?

Adult German shepherd dogs can sleep for 12-14 hours. Such a duration doesn’t mean the dog will sleep for 12 -14 straight hours. They can have short naps during the day and later have long slept sessions during the night.

Additionally, we know German shepherds are more prevalent in the police department. Their intelligence, boldness, and loyalty have seen them become the most dependable of all police dogs.

With their expertise, these dogs are used as search and rescue dogs (SARD). For example, during hurricanes or bomb raids, you will often find GSDs being used as SARDs.

Also, some German shepherds are used as bomb detective dogs by the army.

Such examples of German shepherds with lots of responsibilities on their shoulders often have interrupted sleeping schedules.

You will find that they cannot sleep much as duty can come calling at any time.

Such German shepherds receive training on how to endure high-stress situations.

You will even find these dogs having a sleeping time of 6 hours in 3 days.

How Much Sleep Is Enough For Senior Dogs?

Senior dogs whose bodies have seen better days may sleep more. Most senior dogs have retired from their official duties. Thus they will tend to sleep for longer hours.

Why Is My German shepherd Sleeping A Lot?

Dogs like German shepherd can sleep for 12-14 hours. What if one day your dog’s cycle changes and he sleeps for more than 16 hours. What could be the reason?


The number one cause of excess sleep in German shepherds is sickness. A sick German shepherd will tend to sleep more to regain energy and rebuild the immune system. It’s also the same scenario when you get a bout of flu. Your body will request some extra sleeping hours to strengthen immunity.

Your dog can also be having painful joint issues like hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis. These conditions will make your dog immobile, and as an instinctive behavior, your dog will tend to sleep a lot.

Your Dog Exercised A Lot

What happened the last time you did some tiring exercises? You had a good night’s sleep. Right? Such a scenario can also happen on German shepherds. German shepherds will need an average of 45-90 minutes of exercise a day.

Ensuring your dog is well exercised is essential. Otherwise, any pent-up energy in your dog may make lead to sleepless nights.

Also, overexerting exercises can make this dog sluggish, thus causing it to sleep a lot.

Your Dog Is Bored

Boredom can cause a German shepherd to sleep a lot. If let’s say your dog has been in the crate since the morning and no interactive toy for him around, he will be bored. The dog will sleep excessively to burst off the boredom.

If you see your dog is sleeping a lot, then perhaps he’s bored. You can get some toys and see whether he will cheer up.

It’s The Food

Have you changed the dog’s diet, and all from nowhere, the dog has slept excessively? Then look, probably it’s that new kibble you have introduced.

Also, some poorly made dog food might cause our dog to sleep a lot.

It’s The Heat

German shepherd dogs have a double coat that enables them to withstand cold temperatures. Sometimes when it is hot, the GSDs will feel much more comfortable and then become sleepy.

If the heat is bothering the dog, get a shade or a cool place where your dog can sleep and avoid instances of a heatstroke which may be fatal.

Should Excessive Sleeping Bother You?

If you cannot understand what is causing your dog to sleep a lot, consider consulting your vet. However, if the causative is not life-threatening, then there is no need for worry.

Instead, remember this.

  • Make the bed comfortable.
  • Don’t awaken the sleeping dog.

Why Is Sleep Essential For Puppies And Adults German Shepherds?

  • In puppies, sleep enhances growth.
  • Enhances the rate of concentration and remembrance
  • Beats exhaustions and helps the dog become energized- such is essential for military or police German shepherds.
  • A good sleep of 12-14 hours for your German shepherd will help keep its immune system fit.

Common Sleeping Patterns for German Shepherds

German shepherd Sleeping When Coiled – Doughnut Sleep

Suppose you see your German shepherd sleeping like that while coiled like a ball. In that case, it signifies he’s confident of his surroundings and also wants to conserve the already minimal temperature around.

German shepherd sleeping on One Side

Such a sleeping pattern is much common- dogs will sleep like this to stretch after they are tired to relax their muscles.

German shepherd sleeping with the Head On Top of the Legs

Germans shepherd sleep like that to show they are alert and are not dead asleep, unlike the doughnut sleep pattern.

German shepherd Sleeping Upside Down

Such a sleeping pattern signifies subordination or excitement. And it shows the dog is confident with what is around.

Sleep Problems in German Shepherds

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway of the dog becomes obstructed or constricted. Such a dog will provide a horrifying sound that may keep anyone in the house awake.

Sleep apnea may occur in every life stage of the German shepherd.

Mostly this condition occurs in obese dogs. If you note your dog is producing such a horrifying sound during the night, consult or contact your vet. The vet may recommend some measures to ease up this situation.

The vet may recommend weight reduction strategies for your dog, inhalations to open up the nasal passage for your dog, or even surgery.


Narcolepsy is a non-life-threatening and painless condition that may occur in any life stage of the German shepherd.

Often this condition occurs when there are low levels of Hormone hypocretin. It’s this hormone that enables dogs to have regular sleeping patterns.

Dogs with such a condition will collapse anytime and start sleeping even if they are in an activity like running or swimming. Later on, the dog will wake up as if nothing happened.

Such a condition has no treatment.


Insomnia is the inability of a dog to sleep, and it can occur for several reasons.

Some reasons are:

  • Lack of exercises
  • Painful condition – some painful joint issues or general body health issues can make your German shepherds not sleep

What To Do If You’re German Shepherd Is Sleeping Little.

Make The Bed Comfortable

Let the dog become comfortable on the bed- don’t let your dog sleep on cold concrete; it’s not right. You can place some thermal bottles in the bed to make your dog comfortable.

Exercise the Dog during the Day

Enhance your dog’s sleeping habits by letting it exercise during a hot day. Walk with your dog, swim, or even play fetch. Doing so will see you burn all your dog’s pent-up energy that may be troublesome.

Establish a Routine for Your Dog

Let the dog have a specific sleeping schedule – although it can be challenging, bit by bit, and in the long run, you will have positive results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do German Shepherds Like To Sleep With Their Owners?

Depending on their bringing up, some German shepherd will love to sleep on their owner’s bed. However, some don’t love sharing their beds with anyone.

Should I Sleep with My German shepherd In My Bed?

If you see it right, you can decide to sleep on the same bed with your German shepherd. However, be ready to clean up the fur and dander that will fill your beddings.

All in all, I would not recommend you to sleep with your German shepherd in the bed.

Foremost if you are allergic to a dog’s dander, you may find it hard to sleep as the dog’s fur may cause you to sneeze or cough. And it may be messy.

The Exit

As always, if your German shepherd is a family dog, ensure he gets 12-14 hours of sleep. Sleep will make your dog grow and have a healthy body and mind.

Consequently, if you note your dog is not sleeping enough, consider investigating what’s the issue. If you cannot get what’s wrong, talk to your dog’s veterinary.

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