Why do dogs sleep so much?
Dogs really know how to sleep, they sleep a lot! Did you know that most dogs spend more that fifty percent of their day sleeping? Basically, dogs would sleep from 12 to 14 hours a day but some breeds are known to sleep more. The sleeping behavior of the dog depends on a lot of factors. The age, the personality, the breed as well as the activity of the dog counts a lot for the number of hours spent sleeping.
Sleeping dogsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Reasons why dogs sleep a lot
Generally, dogs sleep all day when they do not have anything else to do. Oftentimes these dogs are left leashed alone in the yard and the family would see the dog only during meal times. Dogs that are left alone at home all day are also known to sleep a lot. Humans would do this too when there is nothing better to do.
The sleeping nook of the dog
The place where the dog sleep also counts a lot on the number of hours spent sleeping. Primitive animals used to sleep in dens and on the forest floor. Some are known to bed on snow. These primitive dogs would trample the vegetation and the snow to make the bed comfortable. Domesticated and pampered dogs are given a comfortable and peaceful place where they can sleep. Most often they have blankets or a padded crate or dog bed to sleep on. Some are even allowed to sleep on the master's bed. The comfortable bed and the ideal temperature make the dog sleep soundly for a much longer time.
The notion that the dog would sleep anywhere is a misconception. Even primitive dogs have to choose where they are going to sleep. Alpha dogs always choose a higher place to sleep on. Domesticated dogs that don't have a dog bed would sleep under the strains, under the tables or on the couch. Sleeping in these chosen places gives the dog security.
How do dogs sleep?
Just like humans, dogs have the slow wave sleep (SWS) phase and the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The dog is on the SWS phase when it is very still and breaths deeply. When the dog is jerking the leg and rolling the eyes under closed lids the dog sleeping deeply and under the REM phase.
Commonly, puppies sleep together. A dog trying to conserve body heat curls its body to sleep. A tightly curled body means that the dog is not sleeping, as to sleep the dog must be relaxed. A dog that sleeps on its back with the feet up is not clowning and making you laugh. The dog is trying to cool the body since the stomach is not covered with dense hair.