As a Great Dane owner, you have undoubtedly witnessed your big buddy seemingly sleep the entire weekend away. You’ve sat watching him/her sprawled unapologetically across the sofa snoring away without any sense of shame or guilt. How can they possibly sleep so much? Are they staying up all night engaged in some covert activity of which you are unaware? Are their daily walks and time outdoors so exhausting that they must recoup their energy with excessive sleep? Is there something wrong? Are they sleeping too much?
While to us humans the sheer volume of time that our Great Danes spend sleeping may seem alarming, there really is no need for concern. In fact, if your Great Dane were sleeping less than 12-14 hours a day it would be unusual and if they were way below that mark, you may want to schedule a visit with your vet.
Great Danes (and other large breed dogs) are notoriously avid sleepers. As a puppy, your Great Dane will likely sleep eighteen to twenty hours a day and as an adult will still spend twelve to fourteen hours a day napping. If your Dane is older, it is not unusual for them to sleep for sixteen to eighteen hours every single day.
WHY SO SLEEPY?
As young puppies, Great Danes are constantly growing and at a rate much faster than most dogs. This rapid growth consumes a lot of energy, and that energy needs to be restored with quality sleep. While most dogs are growing out of the puppy stage at six months to a year, your Great Dane remains in puppyhood into its second year of life – and yes, they are still growing.
As your Great Dane reaches adulthood, they tend to be more active with regular walks and playtime. This extracurricular activity absorbs some of their sleep time and they will generally sleep less as adults, but not much. Your adult Great Dane will still be napping twelve to fourteen hours a day to recuperate from all that playtime.
As your Dane grows older, they still require daily exercise, but likely less rigorous. They also require more sleep and will often settle into a sleep routine that involves sixteen to eighteen hours of unapologetic snoring.
WHEN SHOULD YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR DANE’S SLEEPING HABITS?
As was stated earlier, a Dane that does not spend the vast majority of the day sleeping may be cause for concern. On the other hand, the amount of sleep required is directly proportional to the quality of sleep they get. Eight to ten hours of high-quality sleep may suffice for an adult Dane but would be highly unusual for a puppy or senior.
If your Great Dane appears far less tired than you at bedtime or is restless at night, it may be a sign of anxiety or other underlying health condition. A dog in pain may have trouble getting comfortable and will often show signs of restlessness. Changes in environmental conditions can also affect your Dane’s sleep. If it is too cold (or hot), a change in household routine, or guests in the house there is the potential to disrupt typical sleep patterns.
If you notice sudden changes in the sleeping patterns of your Great Dane, it would be wise to take them in for a check-up. It is likely nothing, but it is always best to rule out any physical or mental anomolies.