Cocker Spaniel Sleep Habits: What’s Normal (And Not Normal)

Cocker Spaniels do sleep more than the typical dog but that isn’t a signal anything is wrong. Adult Cocker Spaniels will sleep around 12 to 14 hours a day while the majority of dog breeds sleep between eight to 13.5 hours a day.

Cocker Spaniel puppies, depending on the age, will sleep up to 22 hours a day. They need that to recharge as they spend the rest of their time playing, eating, and going to the bathroom.

Why Do Cocker Spaniels Sleep As Much As They Do?

Cocker Spaniels aren’t unlike most canines, who typically sleep more than humans.

In the wild, dogs exert a lot of energy hunting and playing so they often snooze during the day to recharge their batteries. These traits carry over with domesticated dogs. 

Cocker Spaniels exert a lot of energy during the day. They like to run and play so they need sleep to restore their energy. 

Cocker Spaniels, by nature, are work dogs and need to move and do stuff! They will spend their day “working” as much as possible, which makes them tire quickly.

If there isn’t any play activity scheduled and a Cocker Spaniel feels ignored, they will also create their work by chewing through household items out of boredom. 

Some dogs, Cocker Spaniels included, will sleep more during the day if their owners are at work or doing something else.

This is out of pure boredom. You will know it’s boredom once they instantly perk up at words like “out” and “walk.”

Cocker Spaniels give their all to playtime! It wears them out so they sleep hard when it’s over.

Cocker Puppy Sleep Needs

Puppies need the most sleep of all. An 8-week-old Cocker Spaniel puppy will sleep between 18 to 22 hours a day! It may seem unusual, but it isn’t. Remember, human babies spend most of their time sleeping also. 

As your Cocker Spaniel puppy grows, his need for sleep will decrease some but a three-month-old puppy still requires around 15 hours of sleep. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) states this sleep helps develop a puppy’s immune system, ensures proper muscle development, and even helps maintain his central nervous system. 

Adult Cocker Spaniels & Sleep

Adult Cocker Spaniels will reduce their sleep to around 12 hours a day, and it could be more if they are highly active. The more active they are during waking hours, the faster and longer they will sleep!

Older Cocker Spaniels Sleep Requirements – Like Puppies, They Need More

As your Cocker Spaniel ages, he will sleep more just as older humans will take more naps and sleep longer.

Older dogs are similar to puppies in that they exert a lot of energy just to do basic things like eating or going to the bathroom. 

Some problems to look for in older dogs that start sleeping even more than usual are arthritis, swollen glands or dementia

Do Cocker Spaniels Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Cocker Spaniels are like many dogs and can sleep with their eyes open. While this tends to freak out some dog owners, it is very common for a couple of reasons. 

Dogs have a “third eyelid” named the nictitating membrane. It is a pink-looking membrane that can be seen covering the eye as the dog sleeps. It keeps the eyeball moist.

Some people think they are seeing eyeballs while their dog is sleeping but are actually seeing this third eyelid. Don’t worry, it retracts when the dog wakes up. 

A second reason for dogs sleeping with their eyes open is that is their natural dreaming position. Many dogs have their eyes open some if they are dreaming.

If your dog is twitching his legs and making small barking noises, he is dreaming and is in a deep state of sleep. 

The eye-opening during dreaming is a protective measure. In the wild, a dog in a deep dream state is vulnerable so they developed the ability to open their eyes some and keep their ears attuned to their surroundings. 

What Can Help a Cocker Spaniel Puppy Sleep Through the Night?

Sometimes, puppies don’t sleep through the night. This is normal as puppies sometimes wake up wanting food or to go to the bathroom. There could be other reasons why a puppy won’t sleep at night including:

  • They miss their mother or littermates. 
  • They are a little fearful of their new surroundings. 

The good news is you can do things to help your puppy adjust and sleep better at night. 

  • Give them some food and water before bedtime. A full tummy will help them sleep. 
  • Take them out to the potty right before bed. Puppies have small bladders and need to go more often.
  • Crate train them. Creating a safe place for your puppy can make them feel comfortable so they fall asleep and sleep longer. Here’s a helpful starter crate kit on Amazon for you to check out.

  • Make sure their bedding is clean and comfortable. Here is where every dog is different as some prefer soft bedding while others like floors.

What Helps a Senior Cocker Spaniel Sleep More Comfortably?

Understanding your older Cocker Spaniel’s needs is important to help them sleep more comfortably. 

Provide some extra bedding if they are becoming more cold-natured and make sure the temperature is comfortable for them.  You may switch to memory foam for their bedding if they have arthritis. 

The key thing for older dogs is a difference in their sleeping routines. These can indicate a health problem. Some of these include:

  • Sleeping sitting or standing rather than laying down, which could indicate a respiratory or heart problem. 
  • Sleeping in different places. 
  • Wandering around at night could indicate dementia. Not waking up to sounds could indicate hearing loss. 


Cocker Spaniels aren’t that different from other dogs in many of their sleep habits but they do sleep a little more than other breeds. Remember they are high-energy, work dogs and not getting the right amount of playtime will disrupt their sleep patterns.

Besides each breed being a little different, each dog has its own personality. It’s important to get to know your dog’s unique personality to understand what is normal for him and how to meet his needs.

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