How Much Sleep Does An Australian Shepherd Need?


My dog is an Australian Shepherd. I adopted her and have had her for a little while now. She sleeps a lot, and I wonder if this is normal for her or if it is something I should be concerned about.

I wanted to know how much sleep my Australian Shepherd needs, so I did a little digging and found some interesting information about sleep and dogs.

How Much Sleep Does An Australian Shepherd Need?

An Australian Shepherd needs around twelve to fourteen hours of sleep in a twenty-four-hour period, depending on their activity level and how much energy they have or have burned throughout the day, though there are some factors that may make your Australian Shepherd sleep more or less.

An Australian Shepherd is quite an energetic, enthusiastic dog breed that will need a lot of exercise and activity to feel fulfilled and settle down at the end of the day.

Depending on how long you have had your Australian Shepherd, they may have adjusted to your lifestyle and sleep habits.

This means that they will sleep the number of hours that you do and then catch up on whatever they need throughout the day to reach the twelve to fourteen hours in the form of power naps.

Not all dogs are the same, and there will undoubtedly be some Australian Shepherds that need less than twelves of sleep and feel perfectly recharged, and then there are others that will need much more than fourteen to feel their best.

What Affects How Much My Australian Shepherd Sleeps?

Many factors play into how much sleep any dog needs, including their age, as puppies and seniors need more. Some other factors like health issues may have them taking longer naps and sleeping in from time to time.

If a pet parent is lucky enough to exhaust their Australian Shepherd completely, they may find that the dog needs more than the typical amount the next day and sleeps in a bit or takes an extra nap.

Even still, some Australian Shepherds that work a lot during the day or have very particular jobs to do, like herding, will likely miss out on some sleep and sleep less in a twenty-four-hour period.

Australian Shepherd puppies will need close to twenty hours of sleep in a twenty-four-hour period to feel charged and ready for a day of fun and excitement due to all that growing and developing they are doing.

Whatever the amount of sleep an Australian Shepherd needs and gets, it may be the only time their pet parents get a break, so they should use it wisely.

Australian Shepherds are a hard-working dog breed created to herd; herding for them is so ingrained in their persona that pet parents may find them herding anyone and everyone they can on instinct.

As a working dog breed, they have a lot of energy which some pet parents can have a hard time channeling if they are not as active.

With this activity level, one might think that they need a lot of sleep to go with it. In some cases, that may be true; in other cases, they may need considerably less sleep or the average amount that most other dogs get.

On average, most dogs, regardless of breed, will need about twelve to fourteen hours of sleep that can be broken up in various ways to fit into the lifestyle and activity level of their family members.

Many things can change how much sleep this dog breed needs from one day to the next, including their activity level, what they are doing, food, health, age, and who they are as an individual dog.

Australian Shepherd puppies will naturally need more sleep due to their age, growth, and all the development they are going through. Likewise, seniors will need more for their aging bodies that sometimes have health issues.

The best chance for peace at night for a pet parent of this breed is to ensure that they are exhausted, which can be a challenging task to do in and of itself.

Although dogs of this breed are often hard-working and have jobs or tasks to do like herding, these dogs sometimes miss out or lose the extra sleep that they might need because of their work, but this usually suits them just well since they are so lovely and happy.

Do Australian Shepherds Sleep A Lot?

This answer depends on the individual dog, but this breed as a whole does not sleep a lot in most cases. They are a working breed, thrive, and feel their best when working, performing some tasks, or being active.

Some dogs of this breed, puppies, seniors, pregnant females, those dogs with health issues or injuries may sleep more than the other dogs of this breed but not always. So if one could look at a dog and calculate a number for how much energy a dog has on a scale of one to ten, the Australian Shepherd might be a nine on that scale, perhaps even a 10.

What Do If My Australian Shepherd Won’t Settle Down?

What you should do if your Australian Shepherd has so much energy, he doesn’t settle down is make a point to increase his activity throughout the day so that he’s more tired when you want downtime with your Australian Shepherd.

On nights where he is fully wound and has trouble falling asleep, it may be better to give him something to do, like play with a mentally stimulating chew toy while you relax and unwind for your day. 

Whether a toy or one last trip outside, diversions can be just the ticket to helping him finally settle down. If that doesn’t work, and he still seems to have more energy. Make a mental note to adjust his activity level for the next day and endure the night as best as you can.

Simple games and other leisurely activities can provide enough stimulation for an over-energetic Australian Shepherd that doesn’t want to unwind but allows the pet parent some peace and relaxation after a long hard day themselves.

It can also be helpful at the same time to become really, really boring.  If they think that you might be of some entertainment or they can behave in a way that will have them getting what they want, some fun, they may continue for much longer than if you get boring.

The Australian Shepherd is a hard-working dog breed, but they are also brilliant, and they will quickly learn patterns and what works or doesn’t work. Intelligent and strong, these dogs will quickly know what is expected of them during training but may or may not follow through in real life if they are so bored they are looking for trouble.

Having the right mindset that leaves no room for negotiating will get the job done at the end of the day. Keeping calm, being a bit boring, providing diversions, and being firm and uncompromising might just do the trick.

If that doesn’t work and your sporty Australian Shepherd starts getting into trouble like chewing things, it might be a good idea to remove them to their crate if they have one. But don’t be surprised if they aren’t tired that by morning things look vastly different than they did at bedtime inside the crate.

What If My Australian Shepherd Only Naps For A Very Short Amount Of Time?

If your Australian Shepherd doesn’t nap at all but closes his eyes for a few seconds and then perks up for a go at things again, it can mean that he hasn’t been exhausted mentally or physically, simply put, he just isn’t exhausted enough yet.

If your dog seems to move or open his eyes when there is movement, sound, or activity around him, he isn’t sleeping but merely taking a small rest break. For this dog, more activity might be necessary to completely exhaust him and help him rest easier.

Still, some dogs of any breed that, like humans, don’t generally need a lot of sleep. They have energy, eat well, drink enough, play hard, behave well, but they just don’t need a lot of sleep, so they have a hard time unwinding or letting go of the day.

If you are lucky enough to have an Australian Shepherd like this, grab yourself some strong coffee and plan on adjusting your sleep to power naps when you can until he is properly trained to behave and not cause trouble because he is bored. It also doesn’t hurt to have many unique toys and games handy for when you need them, fast.

Australian Shepherd Sleeping

Australian Shepherds are a unique dog breed that is full of energy and lots of love. They enjoy spending time with their family “pack” and having fun.

While they do sleep, it can vary from dog to dog, exactly how much they need, which can also be true from one day to the next.

Embracing who they are and learning to live together while teaching them obedience can go a long way to helping them learn to calm down and sometimes get more than the typical twelve to fourteen hours of sleep dogs typically need!

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer loves animals! Jennifer used to work in animal rescue but she brought too many of them home so she had to stop. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge for all kinds of pets. She has been part of the Embora Pets team since 2018.

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