Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Dogs sure know how to sleep!

The amount of time spent napping varies from dog to dog and depends on the dog's age and personality. Counting little naps and longer snoozes, most dogs sleep about fourteen hours a day. Nobody is sure why dogs sleep so much. The amount of sleep that an animal needs depends upon its species.

The various breeds of dogs also seem to have different sleep requirements. Some very large breeds of dogs, like Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and mastiffs, often spend a great deal of their lives sleeping – perhaps up to sixteen or even eighteen hours.

Dogs sleep more than us, but they wake more frequently than we do. How much and when they sleep depends on the level of activity in their environment.

A dog living as a pet in the home is likely to sleep more than a dog that works for a living, such as a search and rescue dog or a dog working on a farm. Dogs are lucky – they are able to adjust their sleep pattern.

Dogs have the same sleep patterns as humans. When your dog first goes to sleep, he enters the slow wave or quiet phase of sleep. He lies still and is oblivious to his surroundings. After about ten minutes, your dog enters the rapid eye movement (REM) or active stage of sleep. He rolls his eyes under his closed lids, he may bark or whine, or may jerk his legs. Incidentally, adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Puppies spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time in this type of sleep, no doubt compacting huge quantities of newly acquired data.

You may think your dog will sleep anywhere, but some dogs are very particular about where they sleep.

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