Most Pitbull owners who ask “How much do Pitbulls sleep?” are worried that their dog is sleeping too much.
That’s because every Pitbull really loves his sleep – but sleeping too much could be a sign of health issues too.
You might also want to know about Pitbull sleeping so that you can plan their (and your) routine better.
This article will cover topics that include how much sleep and rest Pitbulls need, how to help them sleep well, what might be wrong with them if they’re sleeping too much, and how to build your Pitbull’s healthy sleep routine.
Do Pitbulls Sleep A Lot? How Much Should They Sleep?
Did you know that a lot of Pitbull owners are so worried about the amount of time their dogs spend snoozing that they consult veterinarians?
If their dogs really are sleeping too much, they actually have a very good point. Excessive sleeping could mean that a dog is ill.
All the same, Pitbulls, though vastly energetic when they’re awake, are also very fond of sleeping. Here’s how much a healthy Pitbull sleeps on average.
Pitbull Puppies And Sleep
Just as human babies spend more time sleeping than adults do, so Pitbull pups need lots of sleep to help their growth and development. Pitbull pups sleep intermittently and they sleep a lot.
An 8-week-old pup spends about 20 hours of his day sleeping.
From 10 to 12 weeks old, expect 18 to 20 hours’ sleep a day.
From 14 to 16 weeks, your pup sleeps about 18 hours a day.
From here on in, sleep begins to gradually taper off towards 12 to 14 hours.
Adult Pitbulls And Sleep
From 9 to 10 months onward, Pitbull pups adopt adult sleep patterns. They will consist of up to 20 sleep cycles a day (a human goes through 4 to 5 sleep cycles) with a total of 12 to 14 hours spent sleeping.
Don’t confuse resting with sleeping, however. Pitbulls are perfectly happy spending about 6 hours just relaxing and not doing much.
If you think that’s a lot of rest in an active dog breed, remember that those intense bursts of activity are interspersed with relaxation – just as they should be!
Senior Pitbulls And Sleep
As your Pitbull passes the prime of his life and enters his golden years, he will also start sleeping more than he did before.
It’s normal for elderly dogs to gradually return to sleep levels of up to 20 hours a day. Do have your elder dog’s health checked out, however.
Although getting more sleep is normal in older dogs, including Pitbulls, age-related health issues could be at least partly to blame and they may require treatment.
How To Help Your Pitbull Sleep Well
Good quality sleep is as important as the amount of sleep your dog gets. Help him to get the most of his sleep time so that he’s at the peak of his energy when it’s time for physical activity.
Fond of sleeping though they may be, Pitbulls that don’t get an outlet for their energy won’t sleep as well as they should.
Help your dog to sleep better by enjoying walks together and include some strenuous games that will give your dog more exercise than can be had from a walk with you setting the pace.
Games of fetch, tug-of-war, and play with a flirt pole will help take the edge off his energy. Pitbulls are intense and they don’t do half-measures.
When it’s playtime, all their energy goes into it. Then, they need rest, and of course, some serious napping is part of that.
A Good Sleeping Environment
Your Pitbull needs a quiet space with a comfortable temperature to sleep in.
If your Pitbull is outdoors at night and gets too cold, he won’t be able to sleep and may start barking or getting up to mischief simply to keep warm.
During the night, his sleeping quarters should be dark or very dimly lit so as not to disturb his circadian rhythm – a natural sleep-wake rhythm that says light means its daytime.
A comfy dog bed supports his joints and gives him a place he knows is all his own.
Should You Let Your Pitbull Sleep With You?
Dogs sleep very lightly, and your Pitbull has strong protective instincts that will keep him extra-alert when you’re sleeping.
Whenever you move or make a sound, you’ll disturb his sleep, and since he’s “guarding” you, he won’t sleep as well as he would when he’s on his own.
While it’s not an absolute no-no, it’s better not to sleep with your Pitbull.
Allowing him to sleep somewhere that’s fairly near you, however, is a great idea because your Pitbull will feel more relaxed and at ease if he knows you’re nearby.
Consequences Of Too Little Sleep
Dogs have been compared to human toddlers when rating their mental and emotional development.
Have you ever had to deal with an overtired toddler? Grumpiness, acting out, and temper-tantrums are par for the course. Dogs get that way when they don’t get enough sleep too.
You absolutely do not want a grouchy Pitbull. It isn’t good for your dog’s health, it’s potentially bad for your relationship, and if he loses his temper, your dog might even become dangerous.
Does Your Pitbull Sleep Too Much? Possible Reasons
There are several reasons why a Pitbull may sleep more than he should. If it’s just once in a while, there’s probably nothing to worry about. It could be that your dog just feels like a little lie-in.
The weather might also have something to do with it. You’ll notice that on rainy days, all dogs tend to sleep a little more than usual, and when it’s a really hot day, they’ll also tend to be drowsier than normal.
Here are a few more reasons why your Pitbull may be sleeping more than you’d expect.
Pitbulls handle boredom in several ways, including by letting off steam in activities you don’t approve of.
But sometimes, they just sleep because there’s nothing better to do. While this might seem convenient for you, it’s a bad sign.
You may need to change up your dog’s routine to include some more stimulating activities both with you, and on his own.
If you haven’t been spending much time with your Pitbull and he sleeps a lot, there’s a good chance that your neglect is all or part of the reason.
Recovery After Excitement Or Strenuous Activity
A busier-than-usual day for your Pitbull could mean that he’s super-sleepy for some time afterward.
Perhaps you had an extended walk, run or outing with your dog, or tested out a new toy. Maybe, you had guests over, and your PItbull enjoyed some extra attention or was simply more alert and excited because of the visitors.
Whether it’s physical or mental fatigue, your Pitbull will want to recharge his batteries, and if he already missed a nap or two after a change in routine, he’ll settle down for a good, longer-than-usual sleep.
We touched on this when looking at sleep and your Pitbull’s life stages, but it deserves another mention here.
Puppies and elderly dogs always sleep more than adults do.
It’s usually perfectly normal, but if you notice that your Pitbull has lost his appetite or he seems listless when he ordinarily isn’t, he might be unwell. Let’s discuss that next.
Health Issues That Might Make Your Pitbull Sleep Too Much
If your dog is ill, no matter what the complaint, he will sleep more than normal. You’ll notice other signs that he’s lost his mojo and zest for life.
Get him to a vet fast! During recovery, he’ll also sleep more than he usually does, but at least you’ll know the reason.
However, you might notice that although your Pitbull seems well enough in other respects, he’s still sleeping more than he normally would.
If it seems like a regular thing, there may be longer-term heath issues that require attention. Here are some of the most common ones.
Obesity: There’s no denying that a fat dog can be a beautiful dog, but it also isn’t a healthy one. If your Pitbull is obese, he will sleep too much just because everything he does takes more effort. Pay attention to his diet and increase his exercise.
Diabetes: Yes, dogs can and do get diabetes. As with humans, it can be life-threatening, so do have it checked out. Although being overweight is a risk factor, your dog can develop diabetes without being overweight, so don’t rule it out just because your Pitbull has a healthy weight.
Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland will make your dog listless and lacklustre. Your veterinarian can do a blood test to check for an underactive thyroid, and if your Pitbull has hypothyroidism, the treatment is straightforward though long-term.
Canine Depression: Is your dog depressed? Solving the problem may be up to you. If he sees too little of you and doesn’t get enough play, attention, and positive affirmation, your dog can become depressed. He sleeps because being awake doesn’t seem worthwhile. Make it worthwhile!
Anxiety: Pitbulls hate being confined all on their own. If you keep your dog locked away from you during the night or are inclined to cage him for extended periods (never a good idea with Pitbulls) he will be anxious.
This anxiety means that he can’t sleep properly until he feels that things are “right.” And that may mean that he’s wakeful except when he’s with you.
With things finally being as they should be, in his opinion anyway, his exhaustion takes over and he sleeps when he can be near you.
How to Build Your Pitbull’s Healthy Sleep Routine
The key word here is “routine”. Pitbulls are as fond of a predictable daily routine as any other dog, and possibly even more so.
That means keeping to a schedule that your dog can learn. Your Pitbull will set his “inner clock” to match that routine, and you’ll notice that he’s always ready and waiting, especially when it comes to the parts he likes best.
Let’s look at a possible routine for an adult Pitbull.
Morning Workout And Feed
In the mornings, your dog is due for both food and exercise. However, don’t feed your Pitbull too soon before or after his morning workout.
He should eat an hour before exercise or an hour afterward. Which you choose is up to what suits you best.
The morning’s exertion will set your Pitbull up for the first good nap of the day. Start with 30 minutes’ walk and round that off with about 15 minutes of strenuous play.
During The Day
It’s always good if there’s somebody home who is willing to pay attention to a Pitbull during the day.
If they can fit in a little light play in between his two main workouts, it definitely won’t do any harm. Ideally, your dog shouldn’t be on his own for more than four hours, six at a stretch.
While he’s on his own, having something to play with can help to relieve boredom. Puzzle toys give your dog treats, so they’re extra popular.
While he’s figuring out how to get at those treats, he gets mental stimulation and physical activity. Chances are, he’ll enjoy another nap after that.
It’s time for another big exercise session! Your Pitbull will be happy and excited, anticipating the fun that’s to come.
Give him another 30-minute walk (it’s good for you too) and then let him blast off the rest of his energy with running, jumping and playing with you in the yard for another 15 to 20 minutes. Withhold food for at least an hour after that.
Remember that we said Pitbulls like about 6 hours of rest that isn’t really sleep? Yours will enjoy hanging out with you in the evenings, and he’s likely to be a restful companion.
When it’s time to sleep, he’ll probably head off to bed on his own after an outdoor potty break, but he’ll be extra pleased if you come and say good night!
Keep your own routine predictable. Knowing your sleep times helps your dog to adjust his activity times to match.
However, if he’s restless during the night, do investigate. Dogs never do things for no reason. Try to figure out what’s making your Pitbull uncomfortable.
Pitbulls are energetic dogs, but they also love to rest and sleep in between – and dogs sleep more hours than humans do.
Should you wake your dog if you think he’s sleeping too much? There’s wisdom in the adage “Let sleeping dogs lie.”
Let’s do a quick recap. How long do Pitbulls sleep? 12 to 14 hours is normal. Time spent resting, but not sleeping, amounts to 6 hours in total.
Your dog won’t sleep or rest all these hours at once. About 75 percent of his sleep happens at night, and the rest goes to nap times. Since naps often follow exercise, you can use this to help your dog build routine.
By keeping your dog to a healthy daily routine that includes tons of attention, exercise, and play, he’ll develop good sleep patterns.
Watch out for signs that the environment you’re providing or health issues are affecting your Pitbull’s sleep, and get help if you’re worried!