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Dogs and Sleep "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"

Updated on November 6, 2017
Just Ask Susan profile image

Susan is a published poet and short story writer. Her expertise is in cooking and healthy living. She hosts a canine recipe blog.

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Although the idiom “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” is meant as don’t talk about something because of certain things that have happened in the past that caused problems, just let it be. However why disturb a sleeping dog? Let him just lie there.


The average adult dog that is a pet will sleep 12-14 hours a day depending on the breed of the dog and how active he or she is. A Giant breed such as a Newfoundland will sleep 16 – 18 hours a day.

The working or search and rescue dog naturally sleeps less than a pet does due to the work it is performing on a daily basis.

As dogs age the older they get the more they will sleep.

Dogs Sleeping on Their Backs

Does your dog sleep on his back with his legs spread or up in the air? The reason for dogs sleeping like this is that they have less hair on their stomachs and when they get hot, sleeping on their backs tends to cool them off.

Is Your Dog Bored?

If your dog is sleeping out of boredom this can be rectified simply by playing with him more and providing longer and more frequent walks.

Awakening a Dog

When dogs are asleep many times they will move around a lot, whimper or even bark. Do not let this alarm you and it is not recommended to wake them. They are more than likely dreaming and having a good time. Some people that have woken up a sleeping dog have been bitten, as the dog was startled. This is a good reason to let a sleeping dog lie.

Dogs Sleeping Too Much

Should you become aware that your dog is sleeping more than he or she normally does it can be a sign of hypothyroidism (under active thyroid), which is treatable with medication. For any health issues or concerns you may be having regarding your pet always be sure to talk your veterinarian or animal health care provider.

Sleeping in Packs

Dogs in the wild sleep in packs so when your dog sleeps in the same room with you this is natural, as to him, you and he are part of the dog pack and dogs prefer to be in the presence of others.

© 2011 Susan Zutautas


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    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Sylvia, Nice to meet you! What kind of dogs do you have?

    • boutiqueshops profile image


      6 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      Followed you over here from tsu; Always happy to find another dog lover. My pampered pups all sleep together and it's so sweet, since they are now adults; five large dogs all sleeping is a huge grown up puppy pile. LOL

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Alicia and Stella, So glad that you enjoyed this hub. Thanks so much for your comments.

    • Stella Faleskes profile image

      Stella Faleskes 

      10 years ago from Kiev

      I liked ur hub a lot , its interesting and helpful ;)

      also i loved the pics :D

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoyed your hub and I loved the photos - especially the first one, which reminds me of my dog! The dogs that I have owned often dream. It's interesting to watch their movements as they sleep.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      debbie Dogs are the best! thanks for reading.

    • debbieraken profile image


      10 years ago from Malaysia

      I love Dogs and i love this post. The puppies in the circle are so cuteeeeeeee :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Sue. That is Maggie or Magz at the top on the couch and Bruce is usually on the floor. They just call me when they want food :) Just like the kids.

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 

      10 years ago from Indiana

      I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who hates to move my animals when they look so comfortable!

      I call my dogs Jack and Molly. They call me "sucker". :)

      (congratulations on your 100 score!)

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      dearabbysmom They sure do look comfortable. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

      Darknlovely Thanks for stopping by to read and glad you enjoyed it.

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image


      10 years ago from NewYork

      I enjoyed the hub, thank for sharing

    • dearabbysmom profile image


      10 years ago from Indiana

      Nothing more peaceful than seeing a dog flopped out on its back after a day of good ole exercise. Enjoyed this hub, thank you!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      RH I look forward to reading it. Tell Dave to be nice to the dogs they are family too :)

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Susan - you are so quick and clever! Now why didn't that occur to me? I will try to write a hub about that! That didn't even enter my mind - you are so smart! Thank you!! (see why I need friends like you?) haha! That's great!

      Dave told me to kick them off the couch but since fhey are so small - I had mercy! Lol!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Cardisa My male newfoundland dog is like that. When my husband and dog start snoring at the same time I get no sleep.Dogs are great. Thanks for reading.

      suzie thanks so much. They are pretty cute.

      golfgal Thanks I know what you mean.

      RH Please write a hub about the study. I would love to read it. I usually have to kick mine off the couch to get a seat lol.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I had to slide a dog across the leather sofa to have a seat last night! All three dogs were in their favorite spots (they all are under 10 lbs). I just made room for me in the middle:)! Dogs really do dream and I have seen studies on this! It is really interesting!

    • profile image

      golfgal - Lisa 

      10 years ago

      Hey Susan, Those pictures look like my house!!! As I sit here, my animals all laying around me, I laugh. Peace.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      10 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I love the circle of sleeping pups. Fun Hub.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      10 years ago from Jamaica

      I have seen dogs sleep with their ears pricked up, and one dog I know, Murdock, he snores so loudly you need ear muffs. It takes forever to wake him.

      I love dogs, great hub.


    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wes Thanks for sharing :)

      Thanks Pamela

      JS Thanks for your comments and sorry about the loss of your Dalmatian.

      Dale You are up early today. Funny when I saw the picture I too thought of Esther Williams. Thanks for stopping by to read.

    • hillrider profile image


      10 years ago from Mid-west United States

      Susan, I believe even Esther Williams would appreciate the "synchronized sleeping" puppies picture ...

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Great information! You really know your dogs! I liked the pictures, too. I had a Dalmatian some years back; had to put her down when she was 11 for medical reasons. Someday I will get another dog when I have the right place to live. I will probably adopt as I did once before. Great job!


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Dogs are such great pets. I enjoyed your hub.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      10 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I'm reminded of a guy who'd been traumatized by a beating. He'd suffered a serious head injury in a fight. He told everyone to never touch him to wake him up. Sure enough, the administrator of the rehabilitation program tried to shake him by the shoulder to wake him.

      The man had developed a reaction to this, he woke throwing punches in the air when touched while sleeping.

      I wonder if he'll ever marry. . . .LOL!

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      dahoglund yes the giant and large breeds do tend to sleep quite a bit. Thanks for reading and for your comments.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I've learned quite a bit about dogs sleeping habits recently. As you say, sometimes it is from boredom, others seem to just naturally sleep a lot, like greyhounds.

    • Just Ask Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      RTalloni thanks so much for reading and for your comments.

      Bill Thanks, I wrote this today because last night Al got home pretty late from work and one of the dogs was sleeping so soundly he didn't move when the front door opened. Al had to actually reach down and pet him to wake him up.

      It is amazing how smart they are especially when they know it is walk time.

    • WillStarr profile image


      10 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent Hub Susan.

      My dogs will go from sound asleep to wide awake if I open the hall closet door where I keep their leashes. They know the sound of that particular door!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Now we know the reason for the old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie." Good info.


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