A Detailed Guide To Golden Retriever Sleep Needs & Positions


Golden Retrievers are among the most popular and most loved dog breed today. They’re charming, spunky, loyal, affectionate, and playful dogs.

For your Golden Retriever to stay happy and healthy, it requires proper diet and grooming, exercising, training, timely medical care, and most importantly, enough sleep.

Most dog owners usually overlook a dog’s sleeping habits. Poor and inadequate sleep can significantly affect your retriever’s wellbeing as they thrive more in sleeping and cuddling with their owners. A full-grown Golden Retriever usually sleeps for about 12-14 hours, and a puppy or senior Golden Retriever can nap for up to 20 hours a day.

Things can be a bit hard for you if you don’t understand your dog’s sleeping patterns and cues. If your dog doesn’t get those frequent naps and good sleeping hours, he may get frustrated, wilder, and even start misbehaving.

Most dog owners usually assume exercising and playing with their furry companions are the main ways to keep them happy. Just as those mental stimulations, exercises, and socialization are critical for your dog’s wellbeing, so is sleep.

Keep on reading to discover how much Golden Retrievers sleep, their sleeping positions and what they mean, and other essential dog sleeping tips and patterns to help your pup snooze adequately and soundly.

6 Different Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Need So Much Sleep

It’s not unusual for Golden Retriever owners to get concerned about their dog’s sleep pattern once in a while. Your pup can spend nearly 3/4 of the day sleeping and gradually reduce this duration as it continues growing older.

While it may sound slightly odd to you how much your dog loves sleeping, to them, it’s very normal.

It needs those naps to rest and grow both physically and memory-wise.

Several reasons explain why your pup naps most of the day. There’re several steps you take to address your dog’s sleeping habit, which may vary depending on what causes it. Some of the reasons affecting your retriever’s sleeping patterns are:

  1. Age

Your dog’s age can contribute more to its sleeping pattern. Usually, puppies and older dogs tend to sleep more than young-adult and middle-aged dogs. Your Golden Retriever will need lots of sleeping time when young and old aged.

Puppies are usually jumpy and hyperactive, and enough sleep helps recharge their burned-out energy. Older pooches require enough sleep because they get tired quickly and need to maintain their bodies’ reduced energy levels.

  1. Nature

Golden retrievers are bigger-sized dogs, and it’s normal for larger dog breeds to thrive on sleep to stay healthy. Large dogs need enough sleep since they require more metabolic energy to sustain their bigger bodies.

  1. Weather

Hot weather can make Golden Retrievers sleep a lot! If your dog begins to sleep more than usual during the hot weather, it could be because the current climate makes him lethargic.

It’s best to keep your dog’s resting area cool and wake them up more in the evenings and mornings when the weather isn’t harsh for him.

If he continues oversleeping even during normal weather conditions, you should take him to the vet for a check-up.

  1. Health

Sometimes, you might assume your Golden Retriever pup loves sleeping when it’s an illness causing the long and frequent naps.

If your dog suddenly starts napping for extended hours, looks tired when awake, and has other symptoms like vomiting, you should immediately take it to a veterinarian.

  1. Boredom

As spunky, energetic, and an active dog, a golden retriever can get uninterested and bored when not engaged in activities and exercises more frequently.

While you might think your dog’s sleeping habit is natural, it can be because it doesn’t have anything else to do.

Golden Retrievers need to exercise for about 40-60 minutes every 24 hours. Usually, your dog will thrive mainly on agility and obedience training, socialization, consistent routines, and other activities to be happy, satisfied, and a good apartment companion.

Exercising your puppy will tremendously aid his physical and mental wellbeing, making him more relaxed, easy to live with, and a fun dog to have around you all the time.

  1. Diet

Diet can also affect how much Golden Retrievers sleep. It can be because you overfeed it or it’s fed stuff it shouldn’t eat.

Try to analyze if their sleeping habits changed after a diet change. You should also ensure people aren’t giving your pup food without your knowledge.

You should feed your dog the right type and amount of food. You can talk to your vet before introducing a new diet to your dog or ask him/her to guide you on the best food type and amount for your dog, which may differ depending on its age and activity level.

How Much Do Golden Retrievers Sleep By Age?

As mentioned above, several factors affect a dog’s sleeping pattern, and these patterns tend to change as your dog develops. Here is a sleeping routine for most puppies, seniors, and adult golden retrievers.

Golden Retriever Puppies

Due to their energetic natures, puppies sleep more than full-grown dogs, with shorter sleeping sessions during the day. A Golden Retriever puppy can sleep for approximately 20 hours a day.

Sleep aids their overall development and happiness. Sometimes puppies can ignore their sleeping cues when engaged in fun and engaging activities. It’s best to stop playing with your retriever if you see it’s tired and sleepy.

Poor sleep routines can affect its immune system and overall growth. Having a schedule for your dog can ensure your dog sleeps adequately.

Adult Golden Retrievers

Usually, adult retrievers sleep for roughly 8-14 hours every day.

Senior Goldens

Your dog will start napping more often and for longer hours when it gets old. On average, senior Golden Retrievers need 12-18 hours of sleep daily. To them, it’s more of resting than napping. These rests help maintain their lower energy levels.

Where Do Golden Retrievers Like To Sleep?

All dogs, whether old or young, require a comfortable sleeping area. This area needs to be warm, draught-free, and big enough for the pup. Therefore, you should procure a dog bed that’s comfy enough, fits your dog’s size and sleeping position.

There are several sleeping areas for dogs, including crates, kennels, and dog beds/couches. Any of these options are suitable for retrievers so long as it’s the right size and comfy.

Your pup’s sleeping area needs to be relaxed and comfortable for it to lay down and turn quickly.

If it’s a crate, it shouldn’t be too big as your Golden Retriever puppy may use its corners as an elimination area. You should train it to willingly go to its sleeping location without associating it with a negative experience.

As highly affectionate and loving dogs, Golden Retrievers like sleeping with their owners, which is beneficial. Still, you’d want to ensure it has mastered its sleeping area first and is potty-trained before welcoming it to your bed.

However, if you want to sleep near your pup, it would be best you put its bed in your room instead of sharing a bed with it. A study showed that having your dog sleep in the same room with you is more beneficial than sharing your bed with it.

Sharing a bed with your dog can have adverse effects. Your dog can bring dirt or bacteria, fleas, and ticks in your bed or affect your love life.

How Golden Retrievers’ Sleeping Positions Tell Us More About Them

Generally, retrievers have many sleeping positions that tell more about their ideas, personality, and emotions. If you’re always watching your dog sleep, you’ll notice it has various or specific sleeping positions.

The common factors that can determine your dog’s sleeping positions are the type of sleeping area and environment, their mood, or who’s napping next to them.

The 5 Common Positions In Which Your Furry Golden Retriever Companion Can Sleep Include:

  1. Crazy Legs

Crazy legs describe the position where your dog sleeps with all its legs facing the ceiling. If your pooch assumes this sleeping position, it implies it feels safe and comfortable.

  1. Superman

When dogs sleep this way, they lay on their stomach with the legs stretched out. This position shows how energetic and lively your dog is.

  1. Side Sleeping

Most pups love this position. Your dog sleeps in this position by lying on its side and extends its legs. Most canines sleep this way when they feel relaxed, safe, and are sleeping in a comfortably warm area.

  1. Lion’s Position

When your pup sleeps with his head on its paws, he’s in a lion’s position. Most dogs that rest this way are also ready to play and jump at any time they’re signaled.

  1. The Donut

Your pooch assumes this sleeping posture by curling up like a ball with its limbs tucked very close to his body to preserve his body warmth or when he feels insecure.

If your dog sleeps this way, you should find out why and take the best approach.

For example, you should cover it well if it’s due to cold, or place it somewhere it feels safe and comfortable.

Concluding Thoughts

Dogs need sufficient and comfortable sleep, just like us humans.

Understanding your dog’s sleeping schedule/patterns can help you know how to enable it to get enough sleep or if its sleeping routine is normal or abnormal, and when your dog’s sleeping pattern should be a concern.

If your dog sleeps a lot, you should allow it. If it’s unable to sleep, it’s advisable to find out why and help it in the best way possible.

You can improve your dog’s sleep by ensuring it’s on a proper diet, it rests in a warm and comfortable area, it’s healthy, and it sleeps in a calm environment.

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