Sleeping takes an integral portion of a dog’s health. How much a dog sleeps depends on various factors, including age, health, breed, and individuality of the dog. Generally, puppies sleep for about 18 to 20 hours a day, which could be the same case for Golden Retriever puppies. In this article, we will look at how much sleep a Golden Retriever puppy needs.
How Much Sleep Does a Golden Retriever Puppy Need?
A Golden Retriever puppy may require up to 18 to 20 hours sleep, which is vital for growth and development. As they grow older, the sleeping hours reduce to 12 to 14 hours a day.
About Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are big purebred dogs that are energetic, yet extremely gentle. With their long flowing coat, they can be somewhat irresistible. Although they were bred to be hunting dogs, they have a friendly temperament. As such, they are some of the best family dogs compared to other breeds. Golden Retrievers are also smart, loyal, and ready to please their humans.
Golden Retrievers Puppies and Sleep
Adult Golden Retrievers sleep for up to 12 to 14 hours per day. Golden Retriever puppies and older dogs will sleep even longer probably 15 to 20 hours. When not asleep, dogs can just laze around if they have no activity to take part in. However, as pups reach adolescence, they become more playful and their sleep hours gradually reduce.
Importance of Puppy Naps
While adult dogs have a regular wake-sleep cycle, puppies have an “on and off” like sleep cycle that allows them to seamlessly fall into deep sleep while on play mode.
Sleep is essential for growth and development in puppies. During sleep, the brain, central nervous system, nervous system, and muscles develop. Therefore, sleep allows the body to divert energy into growth.
Sleep also provides rest for pups after a long play date. Less hours of sleep could keep puppies active for longer, making them demanding of more playtime. Although it is important for young and developing dogs to stay active, excessive activities could be damaging to their joints. For this reason, moderation should be observed and more sleep encouraged.
Sleeping Stages in Adult Golden Retrievers
For dogs, there are three stages of sleep:
Nap: this is a short period sleep that dogs indulge in during the day when they having nothing to do. While dogs may appear to be deep asleep during naps, their minds are very alert and can wake up at any time. Since they are totally relaxed after naps, dogs can play actively.
Sleep: at night, dogs usually sleep for long hours, depending on several factors, including age and breed. Sleep is the stage between napping and dreaming. For sleep, bigger dogs such as Golden Retrievers tend to sleep more hours than smaller dogs.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement): this is the doggy-dreaming stage, which can be identified by eye twitches, leg movements, and at times, dogs produce muted woofs. Other clues during this phase are breathing fast, running, howling, and whimpering while sleeping. REM is the third step in the dog sleeping stage.
Factors That Make Golden Retrievers Sleep Even More
Since Golden Retrievers are big dogs, it is in their nature to sleep for many hours. Apart from age and breed, there are other factors that could make Retriever puppies sleep even more, including:
1. Hot Weather
Hot weather can leave dogs feeling less active thus they sleep more. Golden Retrievers have a double-coat of fur, which can make them overheat in hot weather. Puppies and older dogs are not good at regulating their body temperature; hence they will be impacted more in hot weather.
You can help to keep your pup cool by taking it for a walk, providing shaded areas, and turning on the AC. If your dog continues to sleep longer than usual in cooler weather, it is time for a trip to the vet.
Golden Retrievers are active dogs that require lots of exercising daily. It is recommended to provide an hour of exercise for your dog to keep it stimulated for other activities. If your dog is not getting the required physical exercise, it will sleep longer. You can keep your Retriever active by taking it for walks, getting a ball throwing device, and buying toys for solo play.
How much are you feeding your pup? Is it too much or too little? Your pup’s diet will determine its level of activeness. If you feed your dog too much, it will be too lazy to play with you. If you feed it less than required, it will be too weak to be active, and as a result, it will sleep more. Also, check what you are feeding your dog as it also affects your dog’s health, and as such, its level of alertness. Ensure your puppy is fed a balanced diet daily.
Lethargy is a common symptom for many illnesses affecting dogs. If the weather is okay, your puppy’s diet and physical exercises are impeccable, then your furry friend could be feeling a little under the weather. This is, especially, true if your dog has shown other symptoms such as vomiting. Instead of waiting out, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.
Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping Tips
At times, your pups will not be in the mood for daytime sleep owing to overstimulation. Puppies are discovering their surroundings, people, and places, which could be very exciting that they may fail to acknowledge their sleep time. In this case, you can help them get a good daytime sleep through the following:
Create a Daytime Schedule
Plan your puppy’s day such that active time is followed by nap time. Essentially, your puppy will always be ready for sleep after a walk or active play. It is perfectly normal for your pup to sleep for thirty minutes to two hours. Follow this schedule to help regulate sleep for your pup.
Provide Your Puppy with a Sleeping Spot
Your puppy needs a safe place to lie down in the morning and at night. Pick a quiet place in your house where you puppy can sleep undisturbed. A crate or a dog bed can be a suitable sleeping area for pups. When its sleep time, show your puppy its sleeping spot. Although it will take time for your dog to get used to it, eventually, it will.
Don’t Let Your Puppy Get Overly Tired
When you notice your puppy is tired, do not allow it to continue to play no matter how much it’s enjoying playtime. Overstimulation and exhaustion contribute to erratic behavior, which could be hard to correct later on. Instead, encourage your pup to sleep to get the rest it requires for the next playtime.
Let Your Puppy Sleep
Puppies are so hard to resist, especially when they are sound asleep. However, as an owner, you will have to resist the urge to cuddle your puppy to sleep or letting it sleep on your lap. If not, you puppy will become reliant on you to fall asleep, which is not healthy. Let your puppy sleep soundly and ensure every household member does that too. Be on the lookout for when it wakes up as it will need you to take it outside.
At nights, the following tips will be useful;
Create a Bedtime Schedule
Like for daytime sleep, create a nighttime schedule. This will help train your puppy on its bedtime routine, which will help both of you have a great undisturbed night sleep. Some hours before bedtime, have a playtime and cuddle session with your puppy. Take it out for some potty time to avoid any disturbance during the night.
Have Toys in the Crate
The crate that you have picked for your pup’s sleeping should be inviting. You can do this by adding a soft toy that your puppy can chew on for comfort during the night. A baby blanket with the smell of the pup’s mom could be an excellent addition to the crate. To pay more attention to your pup, you can have it sleep in your bedroom.
Ensure Sleep Area is Quiet and Dim
Your pup’s sleeping area should be quiet and dim to encourage it to sleep more. Keep TV volume down to avoid disrupting your pup’s sleep. For rooms that get early morning light, using blackout shades could be a good idea as it will allow your pup to sleep more. You can also cover wire type crates to make it darker to encourage longer sleeping hours.
Don’t Give in to Whining at Bedtime
Although you have established your pup’s bedtime routine, your little furry friend may not want to follow it through. Therefore, you may notice whining, howling, or barking during bedtime. That should not dissuade you from the schedule as it is expected. Instead, you can help your pup or pups to love their routine by rewarding them with a treat when they enter their crate. In the long run, they will learn.
Interruptions Are Bound to Happen
Like human babies, puppies may not sleep throughout the night without some interruptions. You will have to wake up once in a while for a potty break or a midnight snack. If your pup’s crate is in your bedroom, you will be able to respond to its needs fast. For a potty break, take her outside and calmly bring her to her crate.
What to Expect with Golden Retrievers
As your Golden Retriever pups grow, there are facts that you will have to live with. Some not so fun, but if you love this breed, it will be no inconvenience at all.
Golden Retrievers are fluffy, and with that, you should expect some shedding. These dogs shed all year long while heavy shedding takes place in Spring and Fall. Therefore, if you have allergies or can’t deal with shedding, this dog is not for you.
2. Not Good Guard Dogs
With their sweet and gentle temperament, Golden Retrievers are too friendly, which is not a good quality for a guard dog. These dogs can befriend strangers as they are enthusiastic in meeting new faces. Therefore, keeping burglars away cannot be assigned to these dogs.
3. They Can Knock Down Small Children
Golden Retriever puppies are large, bouncy, and energetic, thus they can easily knock over small children. In this case, you should always supervise them around children. Their energetic and playful nature is seen in their love for running and jumping around.
4. They Require Plenty of Exercise
This breed is pure energy, especially when they are still puppies. For this reason, they need to be exercised and provided with mental stimulation daily to help them stay calm and happy. With plenty of exercise, Golden Retrievers stay active and free from behavioral disorders.
5. They Are Messy
Golden Retrievers are messy dogs. They love mud puddles and don’t mind shaking it off from their long mane. They also love chewing anything their canines can get on to. If this is not part of your bargain when getting a dog, then don’t get this breed.
Golden Retrievers are delightful dogs to have around your family. They are friendly and playful and can double as your children’s best friend as well as your loyal companion. Although they have some few shortcomings, having a Retriever in your home can be a wonderful experience. As a big dog, this breed loves its sleep, and you as the owner should facilitate it to ensure your Golden Retriever grows up healthy and happy.