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How Much Sleep Should Australian Shepherds Have? FULL Guide

From how much sleep is enough to the different kinds of sleeping positions your Aussie might assume, this article covers everything.

How Much Sleep Do Australian Shepherds Need?

aussie sleeping

In general, adult Australian Shepherds need about 12-14 hours of sleep per day. Puppies may need up to 18-20 hours of sleep per day to support their growth and development.

Australian Shepherds need a certain amount of sleep to stay healthy and function properly. But the amount of sleep each Aussie needs depends on age, size, and activity level.

4 Reasons Your Australian Shepherd Sleeps A Lot

Four reasons why your Australian Shepherd may be sleeping more than usual:

  1. Age:
    As dogs get older, they tend to sleep more. This is normal and not usually a cause for concern.
  2. Activity level:
    Dogs that are more active during the day may sleep more at night to rest and recover. If your Australian Shepherd has been particularly active, they may be sleeping more to replenish their energy.
  3. Health issues:
    If your Australian Shepherd is sleeping significantly more than usual or if they seem excessively tired or lethargic, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. Some medical conditions, such as anemia, can cause dogs to sleep more.
  4. Stress:
    If your Australian Shepherd is experiencing stress or anxiety, they may sleep more as a way to cope.

If you’re concerned about how much your Aussie is sleeping then it’s best to give your veterinarian a call to explain the situation.

Is My Aussie Sleeping Too Much?

Aussie adults in their prime (2-7) shouldn’t really be sleeping for more than 16 hours per day. If they are, it’s best to investigate why this is happening.

It doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem if they sleep this much, so long as it’s justified.

Still, a health issue could be a play, so it’s worth consulting with your veterinarian.

Related: Puppy sleeps a lot & won’t eat: what this means…

Australian Shepherd Sleeping Positions

Notice your Aussie changing their sleeping positions? Just like us, dogs can sleep in a variety of positions. Some common positions that Australian Shepherds might assume include:

  1. On their back:
    As mentioned earlier, this position allows a dog to relax completely and may be more comfortable for them.
  2. Curled up:
    Dogs may curl up in a ball when they sleep, with their head tucked under a paw and their tail wrapped around their body. This position helps them stay warm and feel secure.
  3. On their side:
    Dogs may sleep on their side with their legs stretched out. This position allows them to relax completely and may be more comfortable for dogs with arthritis or other joint issues.
  4. On their stomach:
    Dogs may sleep on their stomach with their legs stretched out behind them. This position allows them to stay cool and may be more comfortable for some dogs.
  5. Sitting up:
    Some dogs may sleep sitting up, with their head resting on their paws. This position allows them to be alert and ready to respond to any sounds or movements.

It’s important to note that every dog is different and may have their own preferred sleeping position.

Some dogs may change positions throughout the night, while others may have a consistent position that they always sleep in.

Why Does My Australian Shepherd Sleep On Their Back?

We get a surprising amount of questions from Aussie owners about their furry friend sleeping on their back with their legs sprawled out. So let’s explain this sleeping position in more detail.

There are a few reasons why Australian Shepherds (and other dogs) might sleep on their back:

  1. Comfort:
    Sleeping on their back allows a dog to relax completely and may be a more comfortable position for them.
  2. Cooling:
    Dogs have sweat glands on their paws and stomach, so sleeping on their back may help them cool off.
  3. Trust:
    Dogs that feel secure and trust their environment and the people around them may be more likely to sleep on their back. This position leaves a dog’s vulnerable belly exposed, so they may only do it if they feel safe.
  4. Health:
    Some dogs may sleep on their back due to health conditions such as arthritis, which can be more comfortable for them.

Where Should My Australian Shepherd Sleep?

There are a few factors to consider when deciding where to allow your Aussie to sleep in your home:

  1. Safety:
    Choose a location for your Aussie’s sleeping area that is safe and free from hazards. This may include avoiding areas with heavy foot traffic or places where your dog could be tripped over or knocked over.
  2. Comfort:
    Your Aussie’s sleeping area should be comfortable, with a soft surface for them to lie on and enough room for them to stretch out.
  3. Security:
    Dogs, especially those that are anxious or timid, may feel more secure if they have a place to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed. Consider providing your dog with a crate or a small, enclosed space where they can feel safe and secure.
  4. Accessibility:
    Make sure that your Aussie’s sleeping area is easily accessible to them. If you have a large home, you may want to consider having multiple sleeping areas so that your dog can rest wherever they are.

Ultimately, the best location for your Australian shepherd to sleep will depend on your circumstances and the needs of your dog. It’s important to find a location that works for both you and your Aussie and to establish a consistent sleep routine to ensure that your dog gets the rest they need.

Should Aussie Puppies Sleep In a Crate?

In the beginning, it’s a good idea to have your Australian shepherd puppy sleep in their crate until they are sufficiently house trained.

The crate will act as a safe place for them, and you won’t have to worry about where they are and what they are doing.

Once your puppy is fully house-trained, which is usually by about 10-12 months, owners can start successfully allowing their Aussie to sleep outside of the crate without any significant issues.

It’s still recommended to leave the crate door open, as some Aussies may find that their crate is still their favorite place to be.

When Do Australian Shepherd Puppies Sleep The Whole Night?

The age at which an Australian Shepherd can sleep through the night can vary depending on the individual dog.

Some Australian Shepherds may be able to sleep through the night as early as 8-10 weeks of age, while others may not be able to do so until they are several months old.

One of the biggest factors affecting uninterrupted sleep is their bladder size and potty habits. It’s important to remember that pups have small bladders and need to go outside to use the bathroom frequently.

Having a good bedtime routine with your Aussie can speed up the process of them being able to sleep the whole night.

This includes taking them outside plenty of times to pee before bed, as well as stopping treats and food at least 3 hours before bed, and cutting off water from about 1-2 hours before bed.

Thanks for reading!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.