German Shepherd puppies sleep a lot, 15 – 20 hours a day to be more specific. If it’s sleeping more or less than that, then you might want to check in with the vet.
This article covers everything you need to know as a german shepherd owner about GSD puppies and their sleep schedule. It explains the causes for why they sleep so much and what to do if they’re sleeping a lot, or not getting enough sleep.
How much Do German Shepherd Puppies Sleep Normally?
German Shepherd puppies sleep 15 – 20 hours a day. Yes, they sleep a lot.
But after they’re 16 weeks old, the nap time should decrease; not more than 14 hours. If it doesn’t, then you might want to take it to the vet, and check if everything’s alright.
GSD puppies would sleep all day, except when they’re not playing, pooping or eating. It’s the same as human infants.
The bodies of GSD puppies go through a cycle of development in the first 12 months of being born, and hence the long nap time.
What’s the Normal Nap-time Schedule?
Of course, understanding your puppies sleep schedule is crucial to taking good care of it. So that your puppy can grow healthy, and happy.
There’s a Rotating Cycle of Eating, Sleeping, Playing, and Bathroom Breaks
Just like human babies, there’s no fixed sleep schedule for german shepherd pup. There’s just a repeating cycle of eating, pooping, playing and then sleeping.
In the beginning, the schedule is absolutely random. So you’ll have to keep an eye on your puppy and fulfill their needs whenever needed.
But after a while, you’ll start to notice patterns in the schedule. Once you have the schedule figured out, you can work around it to make things easier for yourself.
It May Take a Few Weeks for Your GSD Puppy to Adjust to Your Sleeping Schedule
GSD puppies aren’t inherently used to your sleeping schedule. When you first bring your puppy home, it might confuse you with the odd sleeping hours.
It’ll take some time; maybe a few weeks, for it to get adjusted. Just leave it alone, and it’ll adjust on its own.
Your German Shepherd Puppy Can Wake You Up for Midnight Potty Breaks
What about your sleeping schedule then? Well, your puppy’s schedule won’t match yours automatically.
Your pup might wake you up during the middle of the night, for bathroom breaks. A lot of german shepherd dog owners even get woken up 2 or 3 times.
But, after a few weeks, your german shepherd puppy will get used to the schedule and not wake you up at night at all. Till then, you’ll have to make the extra effort.
What causes the German Shepherd Puppy to Sleep So Much?
Here are the causes behind the lengthy nap schedule of GSD puppies. Some are natural, while others can stir up concern for the owner.
A German Shepherd Puppy’s Body Needs Lots of Growth and Development (Nature)
Fun fact: GSD puppies grow 3 to 6 inches in the first month, 6 to 9 inches in the second month, 8 to 10 inches in the 3rd month and 10 to 12 inches in the 4th month.
Everything, ranging from the muscles, and the immune system, to it’s sensory nervous system to its brain, develops during sleep.
With such an astounding growth rate and development process, it’s no surprise that they sleep 70 percent of the day. And a lot of this growth occurs during nap time.
Poor Diet Can Make Your Puppy Tired and Sleepy
The cause behind your puppy’s extended sleep might not always be positive. Your puppy might also sleep a lot, if it’s not getting enough nutrients and energy.
If your puppy is sleeping more than 20 hours a day, and is exhausted even when it’s awake, it’s worth it to check it’s diet, improve it or maybe change it entirely. It’s advised to consult your vet about it.
Too Much Exercise Can Exhaust your GSD Puppy
Since your puppy is growing at such a fast rate, it’s important to not over exhaust it. I know it can be tempting to play fetch with your new puppy, but it needs it’s fair share of rest to stay happy and healthy.
Most sources recommend 5 minutes of exercise for every month of age. So a 20 minute exercise session should be good for your 4 month old gsd puppy.
Your Puppy Might be Sick
If your puppy is sleeping a lot more than usual and the change is sudden, there’s a high possibility that your puppy is sick.
If it’s lethargic even after waking up, or shows laziness in it’s normal activities, you might want to check in with the vet and make sure it’s doing alright.
Your Puppy Might be Hot
German Shepherds have been gifted with a double coat of fluffy fur, meaning they’re most comfortable in cool weather.
When summer comes around, they’d want their fair share of cool dirt to play in, tree shade, and cold water.
With that being said, if summer’s here, and your puppy is sleeping a lot more than it used to,, chances are; it’s the heat.
Your Puppy is Bored
Boredom might also be the factor behind your puppy’s everlasting nap. If your puppy has nothing to do during the 4 – 10 hours he’s awake, he will spend it napping.
Make sure to keep your puppy busy so it doesn’t get bored and lazy. It’s a good idea to bring him some toys to play with, or leave it in the shady garden to explore things.
What if My German Shepherd Puppy is Sleeping More than Normal?
If your puppy is sleeping more than normal, it’s advised to get them checked by the vet professionally. However, the problem might be solved just by doing these.
Make Sure Your GSD Puppy Gets its Nutrients
A lot of german shepherd owners feed their puppies commercial dry dog food, canned wet foods or a combination of both. While others may prefer feeding them a home made diet. Raw diets are also becoming popular.
Whatever are your and your puppy’s preferences, you have to ensure that they get the right amount of nutrients.
The amount and type of food you have to feed depends on
- Your puppy’s age
- Your puppy’s weight and size
- Your puppy’s conditions
- Brand or quality of food
Remember not to overfeed or underfeed your GSD puppy. It can cause problems later on. Your best bet is to check in with your vet, and ask for diet recommendations.
Make Sure Your Puppy Doesn’t Exercise Too Much
As mentioned above, your puppy might be napping a lot because of too much exercise. So how much exercise should they do regularly?
According to most of the sources, a 5 minute long walk at a time for every month of age should suffice. This means that if the puppy is 2 months old, then the exercise routine should be a 10 minute walk at a time.
Here are the pointers that indicate when to stop exercising.
- Your puppy slows down.
- Your puppy starts panting.
- Your puppy starts laying on the ground.
If you see these signs, then it’s time to pick your puppy up in your arms, and take them home to rest.
Age also plays a role in the intensity of workouts. Here’s what NOT to do, especially in the first 12 months.
- Do not make it run excessively.
- Do not make it exercise on hard surfaces like sidewalks. Grass is the best area for your GSD puppy to exercise.
- Do not let it jump from the couch, furniture, or obstacles.
- Do not let it twist it’s body too much like turning or maneuvering a lot while running.
Light fetch is also fine, after a few weeks. After 12 months, you can increase the intensity of it’s exercise.
Make Sure Your Pup is Having Fun
Your puppy might sleep a lot if it’s bored. So you have to make sure that their brain stays engaged in their waking hours.
- Get your puppy their favourite toys.
- Take time training your puppy.
- Play a variety of games with your puppy.
- Get your puppy contraption toys that make the puppy do something with their paws, or sense of smell, instead of static toys.
- Give your puppy small healthy treats once they complete a task.
This will grow your puppy’s brain to be sharper, happier and clever.
Take Your Pup to the Vet
This is the first option you should be considering if your puppy is sleeping too much or too less. They will help you figure out exactly the reason behind your GSD puppy’s unusual sleep schedule.
What if My German Shepherd Puppy is Not Sleeping Enough?
Lack of sleep may cause your German Shepherd puppy to become aggressive, or even worse, not grow healthy.
Let Your GSD Pup Sleep As Much As They Want
Your puppy might not be sleeping properly because of too many distractions or disturbances in the house.
- Give it a quiet and comfortable room to sleep.
- Make sure you or the kids in the house don’t wake it up too much to play with it.
- Let the puppy sleep whenever it wants or as much as it wants.
No interruptions, just let it have its much deserved peace and quiet.
Make Sure Your Puppy Has Comfortable Environment To Sleep
You may not want your puppy to sleep on the bed, or the couch, due to various reasons like danger of falling or maybe hair fall.
Anyways, make sure your puppy’s sleeping environment is cozy and comfortable.
- Buying a small dog bed or crate for your puppy is ideal.
- Make sure the crate or bed has soft material for your puppy to sleep.
- Make sure the sleeping space isn’t too compact and provides enough space for your puppy to stretch out it’s limbs properly.
German shepherds are hardy animals. They don’t require an overly luxurious bed to sleep. So you don’t have to dig too much into details. Just make sure their bed is soft and comfortable.
Make Sure Your Puppy Has the Ideal Temperature To Sleep
A moderate temperature is the best for a puppy no matter what. Neither too hot nor too cold. Even though German Shepherds can withstand hot weather, it’s recommended to keep them in cool and shaded areas.
- Refrain your puppy from going into direct sunlight.
- Keep it in cool or shady areas.
- Make sure it has access to cool to cold water.
Similarly, anything below 40 degree Fahrenheit or even 50 degree Fahrenheit is too cold for the puppy.
- If winter in your location hits hard, install heaters or a central heating system.
- Prepare cozy blankets for your puppy.
We hope this article helped you work with your German Shepherd Puppy’s sleeping habits and schedule better. Take good care of your puppy’s sleep, so it can grow strong, healthy and happy. Make sure your puppy is sleeping comfortably 15 – 20 hours a day.
Have fun with your cute little puppy!