We work tremendously with shetland sheepdogs or shelties and have been doing so for many years. Through all our experiences, we have discovered plenty of traits and characteristics of shetland sheepdogs or shelties.
Although every dog is different, most shetland sheepdogs or shelties actually begin sleeping through the night before they turn one year old (12 months old). For many of them, they begin sleeping through the night around the age of 5 months old. However, it is very case dependent.
We are going to get into some frequently asked questions and give you everything you need to know about shetland sheepdogs or shelties and their sleep habits!
How Much Sleep Should My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Be Getting?
Most shetland sheepdogs or shelties are small, agile, and very active. They are originally herding dogs after all. They are also incredibly obedient, affectionate, and they really love being around their owners and families pretty much all the time. Because of all the energy that they exert, they do need a bit of sleep in order to ensure that they are able to continue being who they are.
If there are reasons for them to be alert, agitated, or excited, your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s sleep schedule may be changed or adjusted. Regularly though, for adult shetland sheepdogs, they typically get somewhere between twelve and fourteen hours of sleep per day. With sheltie puppies however, they generally get somewhere between eighteen and nineteen hours of sleep since they are smaller and get tired more easily.
For any times that you realize that your shetland sheepdog or sheltie is sleeping more than they usually do, they may be facing a health issue or condition. If this is the case, make sure to schedule a follow up or consultation visit with your veterinarian to check on your special little one.
Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Sleep with Their Owners?
Many shetland sheepdogs or shelties love sleeping with their families and owners. They are incredibly affectionate creatures, and a very loving breed. Because of this, they will constantly try to snuggle or cuddle with you. This is certainly important for you to know as a potential sheltie or shetland sheepdog owner.
Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Need a Lot of Sleep?
Like humans, shetland sheepdogs need sleep in order to function. As a new dog owner, you may believe that your dog sleeps far too much, but dogs are not lazy. They simply need more sleep than humans do. Most certainly, dogs become bored if they do not get enough exercise, but on average, shetland sheepdogs or shelties get about twelve hours of sleep per day.
Similar to people, for dogs, including shetland sheepdogs or shelties, sleep contributes to their overall emotional as well as physical wellbeing and health. If they are puppies, they will be sleeping even more. During sleep, shelties are able to recover from wounds, recoup their energy, and overcome sickness or illness.
If your sheltie is sleeping half of the day away in different chunks, they may still spend much of their time lying down. Actually, shelties as well as most dogs are active for only about 20% of the day. This can be different depending on the dog breed, but almost all dogs conserve energy while they lounge, and for this, they then will need to burn that energy with short activity bursts. Then, afterwards, they are again ready for a nap.
Where Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Enjoy Sleeping?
Since shetland sheepdogs are incredibly social creatures and desire emotional human connection, they love to sleep with their owners.
Therefore, you will be able to find them sleeping right next to you most of the time. If not next to you, they will likely sleep on the floor right beside your bed. By having them around you, they will feel more calm and safe while they are sleeping.
Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Sleep on Their Backs ?
Shelties or shetland sheepdogs actually sleep on their backs quite a bit. If you have ever seen shetland sheepdogs or shelties sleep, then you may have noticed their four legs up in the air.
It may not be incredibly unique to shelties since there are a lot of dogs that do this, but ultimately, this position shows and highlights that they are incredibly comfortable with their owner. Hence, if your sheltie is sleeping on their back, that just goes to show how much they truly love you and feel comforted by you.
If your sheltie is sleeping on its back, then he/she is relaxed and has their guard down. Most dogs that show submissive sides are likely very trusting of their owners, at least enough to show them their vulnerable parts, like their stomach, throats, and chest.
An additional reason that your sheltie may lie on their back is because they are looking for ways to cool their belly. Dogs are only able to sweat through their paw pads, which is why they generally pant with their tongue hanging out to cool down.
When they lie on their backs, they actually allow their bellies, or the furless area of their body, to cool down with their paws. If it is a hot day, you can more likely find your shetland sheepdog on their back.
What Different Sleeping Positions Will My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Utilize?
There are plenty of various sleeping positions that your sheltie can utilize. Whichever position that your sheltie sleeps in can actually tell you so much about the way that they feel and what they feel most comfortable with. Many shelties have different sleep positions, such as them being on their stomach, stretched out, on their side, or curled up or on their back.
The most common sleep position, by far, for dogs is the curled up position. Generally, dogs will tuck their paws underneath their bodies and wrap their tails around their faces. This position specifically gives them a lot of awareness, debatably the most, and allows them to protect their vital organs. With this position, dogs can easily and quickly spring onto their limbs.
Additionally, your sheltie can conserve their body heat and stay warm during cold, winter months. This curled up position is a dog’s most guarded sleep position, but you should not worry if your dog decides to curl up frequently. There are many puppies that have been trained to sleep in a curled position since an early age since they tend to curl up with their mother.
Another sleep position that is considered to be guarded is when a dog sleeps on their stomach. This can be seen as similar to when a dog is “down.” With this sleep position, dogs can jump at any moment in the case of any threat. It is important to remember that dogs are incredibly curious creatures and they certainly do not want to miss anything that is happening around them.
When your dog sleeps on its side, they are most likely incredibly comfortable and feel restful. With this position, your sheltie is comfortable with its surroundings and is at ease with its resting. Since shelties’ limbs are free, you can find them twitching or kicking, which means that they are in a deep REM sleep. This is a good thing.
More rare sleeping positions include when your dog is laying on their stomach or stretched out. Sometimes, they can look like they are in a flying position when they are on their stomachs. Although they are still able to spring up in a moment’s notice, most shelties feel incredibly comfortable, restful, and at ease in this specific position.
How Can I Help My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Sleep Well Each Day?
Shelties or shetland sheepdogs can feel incredibly restless during the night, especially when they are still filled with energy. You can consider giving your shetland sheepdog a lot of exercise time and walk them outside for at least two separate times during the day. You can also offer them a lot of toys for them to play with. This can help tire them out, which will consequently give them more restful nights.
You should also make sure that your dog has relieved itself prior to them going to bed. Generally, going on quick potty breaks in the evenings helps. As stated before, you will certainly want to keep your sheltie near you when they are sleeping because this will make them feel more secure and safe overall.
What Does It Mean if My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog’s Sleeping Pattern Is Changing?
If your shetland sheepdog’s sleeping patterns are changing, it may be due to a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons can be fear, boredom, anxiety, etc.
If you see any differences in your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s sleeping patterns, then it is incredibly important to make sure that you speak with a veterinarian. If you are somebody that tends not to be home or you are not around often, then you may want to leave your sheltie some toys around the house to help keep them busy, make them tired, and allow them to sleep better.