Why Does My Golden Retriever Sleep So Much?

By John Martin - August 6, 2021

Golden Retriever sleeping

Though it may sometimes seem strange to us, it is normal for dogs to sleep for 11-12 hours a day. This is in addition to small resting phases or naps in between periods of activity. This is truer for Golden Retrievers who are known to sleep a lot, especially during the daytime.

But why does your Golden Retriever sleep so much? Let’s find out!

Golden Retrievers Sleeping Decoded

Though it is natural for dogs to sleep for long durations during the day, there may be certain reasons that are behind your Golden Retriever falling asleep frequently. Here are a few reasons that explain why.

It Is a Natural Personality Trait

The first and the most obvious reason for this is that they are programmed like that. Nature demands that Golden Retrievers sleep for 11 hours daily, at least on average.

Sometimes, it can even stretch to 14 hours of sleep a day. This may extend further if you have a puppy or an old dog. Therefore, if you have a Golden Retriever, you should get accustomed to these sleeping patterns.

Golden Retrievers Will Sleep More in Hot, Humid Weather

Have you ever wondered why you turn lethargic on warm summer days and all you want to do is to take a nap during the day? Well, it is perhaps because the heat makes the activity seem impossible.

It works not very differently for dogs who also tend to get lethargic and lazy during hot and humid weather. So, if you notice a change in your dog’s sleeping patterns once the weather changes and gets hot, you know why!

You need to be careful during these times and ensure that your Golden Retriever doesn’t stay out in the heat for prolonged periods. Walk the dog in the early morning and late evenings.

Make sure the dog has ample shade or access to cooler parts of the house else the heat may even get to the dog. However, if the prolonged sleep cycle continues way beyond the hot weather, you should get in touch with a vet to check if all is well.

Also Read: Are Golden Retrievers Smart?

Your Golden Retriever Is Unwell

Sometimes if the dogs are unwell, they tend to sleep a lot. This could be because of a number of serious and non-serious problems such as fatigue, food poisoning, or an injury.

If you notice a sudden surge in your Golden Retriever’s sleeping patterns, and can’t find a logical reason for the same, you must take your pet to a vet for proper investigation.

Your Golden Retriever Is Bored

It may seem surprising but chances are if you are not engaging your Golden Retriever properly, s/he may get bored and prefer to sleep.

Golden Retrievers naturally are inclined to high levels of activity and enjoy being engaged in sports and fun activities.

Anything less than an hour of exercise could be a bummer for your Golden Retriever. In fact, inactivity may leave the dog understimulated and bored. Hence, you will find your dog sleeping incessantly.

Your Golden Retriever’s Diet Is Suddenly Changed

We are what we eat and this isn’t just true for humans. Even dogs are what they eat and changes in their food patterns can impact their behavior and sleeping patterns.

It could be a diet that is inducing sleep or food items that are making your dog lethargic that may lead to your dog sleeping more than usual.

It could also be that your Golden Retriever is eating things not meant for it. Someone else might be feeding this in case you aren’t around all the time.

You should keep a strict check on what your dog eats and doesn’t eat and if you notice changes, please consult a vet on the connection between food and sleep.

Your Golden Retriever Is Either Too Young or Too Old

It is incredible how a Golden Retriever’s sleeping patterns mimic humans. Haven’t you seen babies sleeping for 12-16 hours and the same goes with older people? They love their sleep and aren’t ashamed of it.

Well, it is the same with dogs and particularly Golden Retrievers. If your dog is a puppy and too young, chances are s/he will sleep more. Furthermore, an aging Golden Retriever will also be sleeping for long stretches of time during the day and night.

Young puppies are growing and therefore use sleep time to build muscle. Hence, it is not uncommon to see young Golden Retrievers sleep for more than 15 hours.

For older dogs, sleep time is the best time to recover from the fatigue of moving around and getting some much-needed rest after prolonged periods of activity.

Also Read: Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs?

Tips to Ensure Your Golden Retriever Sleeps Well

Now that you know that Golden Retrievers love to sleep and that it is medically normal for them to do so, you should ensure that your dog sleeps peacefully. Here are a few tips to do that.

Let It Sleep

There is nothing wrong with the Golden Retriever sleeping for long stretches so let your dog sleep peacefully and don’t disturb its sleep unnecessarily.

While you are at it, you should double-check that their environment is comfortable and the lights are optimized and the place isn’t too hot or humid. This will ensure the dog sleeps peacefully, rebuilding and recovering from the day’s activities.

Keep a Check on Their Diet

This is a key consideration for a pet parent. You should be careful of what you feed your dog and if there is someone who also feeds your dog in your absence and if yes, what do they feed the dog.

Things that are harmful or not particularly beneficial must be kept off-limits for the Golden Retriever. This will not only ensure healthy sleep patterns but also good overall health for your dog and fewer diseases and ailments.

Things such as the dog’s age must be considered while designing a diet chart. If you feed your Golden retriever packaged food, make sure it is healthy and okayed by a vet.

Monitor the portions carefully. The trick is to feed the right quantity of food, not too much and not too little.

Lastly, certain foods such as ice cream, chocolate and nuts that dogs can choke on should be kept away from your Golden Retriever at all costs.

How to Ensure Your Golden Retriever Sleeps at Night?

Some people complain that their Golden Retriever doesn’t sleep at night. Well, you can do this by maintaining a routine and also by giving your dog ample physical stimulation during the day in the form of exercise and activities.

You should also make it a habit to take your dog into their sleeping area as soon as it is night or late evening.

If you follow this, slowly the dog will become accustomed to the schedule and routine of it thereby embracing healthy sleeping habits i.e. sleeping at night.

If your dog is particularly restless and doesn’t like sleeping at night, you may take the help of rhythmic sounds to calm it down. They are known to help dogs, but consult a vet before doing this.

Golden Retrievers and Sleep: When Should You Get Worried?

If there are sudden unexplained changes to your Golden Retriever’s sleeping patterns, you must be worried and take cognizance. You must consult a vet and check if there are any injuries and illnesses that you must be aware of.

Also Read: Do Golden Retrievers Bite?

The Final Word

Golden Retrievers are known to sleep a lot and it is something they are naturally programmed to do. This is because, during sleep, they regain strength and make up for the day’s fatigue and activity while younger puppies also regain strength. If a dog doesn’t sleep well, it is a cause of concern and you must immediately take notice.