How Much Do German Shepherds Sleep?

How Much Do German Shepherds Sleep

Sleep is important to humans and animals. Human beings require 8-10 hours of sleep per day, but do German shepherds need more or fewer hours? You might notice that your German shepherd is sleeping most of the time or he is ever alert and awake. So, how much sleep is healthy for your GSD?

A German shepherd should sleep for around 12-14 hours per day. Different lifestyles will greatly affect the number of hours a German shepherd will sleep. An Active GSD will sleep less compared to puppies, and senior dogs.


How much sleep is normal for a German shepherd?

An adult German shepherd can sleep for 12-14 hours. He will not sleep for 14 consecutive hours but they will be small naps in the day and some continuous hours at night.

How long should I expect my German shepherd puppy to sleep?

German shepherd puppies sleep for around 18-20 hours per day. They spend most of their time discovering their environments and they easily get exhausted. Their bodies are in the growing process and need a lot of rest and food.

How Much Should a Senior German Shepherd Sleep?

The more a German shepherd ages, the more sleep he will need. An old GSD can sleep for 16-20 hours.

Effects of different lifestyles on the sleeping time

A dog that works as a sniffing dog, in rescue missions, or the military services tend to work tirelessly. They do not have a fixed sleeping schedule. German shepherds are loyal and easy to train, they will readily work without ceasing to please the owner.

A German shepherd that lives in the house will tend to sleep more than a working dog. He will have lots of time on his own except the training hours.

German shepherds can learn to adapt to any sleeping schedule that the owner will introduce.

Is Your German Shepherd Sleeping Too Much?

If your adult dog is sleeping for more than 16 hours, it can be termed excessive sleeping. If your GSD is almost heading to his prime years it can be the cause.

Your German shepherd can sleep excessively because of an underlying health condition.

 Setting a fixed sleeping schedule can help in regulating his sleep. You should exercise him and give him chew toys to engage his mind.

If your dog continues to sleep excessively, consult a vet.

Is Your Dog is Sleeping Too Little?

Your German shepherd might be sleeping less because he has so much energy in him that needs to be released. This can be solved by exercising him for not less than two hours a day.

If your GSD does not sleep as he should after exercises, you should take him to a vet. The vet might prescribe some medicines like melatonin.

Melatonin assists dogs to sleep better, the dose to be prescribed will be determined by the size of your dog.  

It is not recommendable to give your dog drugs before consulting your vet.

Sleeping Disorders That Affect German Shepherds

  • Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Apnea

Should I Sleep With My German Shepherd?

It is not advisable to let your German shepherd sleep with you until he is potty trained. Once your dog can wake up on his own for potty breaks, you can sleep with him.

It is not conditional to sleep with your GSD but a matter of choice.

Providing your German Shepherd with good sleep conditions

When you first take your German shepherd puppy home from a breeder or adoption center, he will have difficulties sleeping.

Some breeders offer their customers a blanket that the puppy’s mother and siblings scent. The scent makes the puppy think that the mother is around he sleeps comfortably.

You can also be allowed to take your puppy blanket to the breeder before taking your puppy for it to have collected the mother’s scent.

If the above methods are not applicable, you can buy a spray bottle of Dog Appeasing Hormone.

Different German Shepherd Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

Sleeping On the Side

Most of the time, German shepherds sleep on the side. This helps them to relax their feet and it shows that they feel safe in the environment.

Sleeping On Its Front

This position helps them to be alert while sleeping.

Curled up tightly

This position is common in German shepherds in the cold seasons. It helps them to decrease the amount of heat getting lost to the environment.

It also helps them to protect the belly and neck from any attack.

Tail covering its nose

This is another common sleeping style in winter. It protects their noses from cold, wind, and rain.

Close to the owner

Dogs love companionship, by sleeping next to you they feel safe and comfortable.


Sleep is a fundamental need for a GSD. The amount of sleep your German shepherd gets affects his well-being.

You should know the required sleeping hours for German shepherds as per their ages so that you can know when your GSD is oversleeping or not getting enough sleep.



Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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