How Much Do Pitbulls Sleep?

How Much Do Pitbulls Sleep

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For most families with a Pitbull, the dog is an integral family member and practically gets treated like one of the family’s children.

But some Pitbull traits would be alarming if your kids began to exhibit them, such as the tendency for members of this breed to sleep away most of the day. As any Pitbull owner will tell you, though their pooch can be active, energetic, and needs plenty of exercise but they can also spend an almost worrisome amount of time sleeping.

So, just how much do Pitbulls sleep?

A healthy adult Pitbull will sleep for more than half the day, averaging 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily, though they may rest for an additional five to six hours on top of this. Pitbull puppies will sleep even longer, spending 18-20 hours of each day asleep. 

While Pitbulls have some similar sleep mechanisms as humans, there are some major differences, which we’re about to discuss in more detail. It’s common for Pitbulls to sleep much more than their human owners, but in some cases, too much sleep can be a bad sign.

Let’s start by exploring some standard Pitbull sleeping habits, then we’ll go over several specific reasons your Pitbull sleeps so much. 

Pitbull Sleeping Habits

Sleep is essential for your dog’s health, just like it is for yours. However, if you were to mirror your dog’s sleep patterns, you’d have some serious problems on your hands. 

One of the major reasons for this is that dogs and humans experience different sleep cycles. For one, humans are generally monophasic sleepers, which means we get all of our sleep in one long bout. Average healthy adults will spend six to nine hours sleeping each night. 

In contrast, your Pitbull is a polyphasic sleeper. This means that instead of getting all of their sleep at once, Pitbulls get their sleep in shorter bouts spread throughout the day and night. There’s evidence that most dogs sleep for just 45 minutes at a time on average. 

How Many Hours A Day Do Pitbulls Sleep? 

Healthy adult Pitbulls sleep a lot.

When you add up all those short sleep periods throughout the day and night, the average Pitbull will sleep for 12-14 hours each day. 

Furthermore, your Pitbull will likely spend an additional five hours each day just resting. Not actually sleeping, but lying down and relaxing, conserving energy. 

Luckily, this behavior can have a direct positive impact on your Pitbull’s health. Dogs that spend more time resting have been known to exhibit more relaxed and happy behaviors, indicating that there’s a correlation between the amount of time spent resting during the day and your dog’s overall well-being. 

Do Pitbull Puppies Sleep A Lot?

If you thought 12-14 hours of sleep was a lot, then you’ll probably be amazed at Pitbull puppies since they can easily spend 20 hours of the day sleeping. While they’re awake, these puppies will be bursting with energy, but it’s pretty common to see them switch from active to asleep in a matter of moments. 

Why Does My Pitbull Sleep So Much?

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of regular sleeping patterns for Pitbulls, let’s talk about the reasons yours is sleeping so much.

Keep in mind, sleeping for up to 14 hours each day is normal behavior under most circumstances. Sometimes, your Pit should be sleeping even longer, though there are other times when too much sleep can be a sign of something more concerning- more on that later.

Reason 1: It’s Normal for Dogs to Sleep More Than Humans

Depending on your perspective, 14 hours of sleep either sounds incredible or awful. While many remember long nights spent sleeping as a teenager, few adults manage such expansive sleep bouts, averaging six to nine hours of sleep per night instead. 

But your Pitbull buddy requires substantially more shuteye than you do, as do most domestic dogs. On average, adult dogs sleep for 12-14 hours every day

Unlike your sleep, your Pit’s sleep isn’t all taking place at once. Rather, much of it occurs during the day, making it seem like your dog sleeps even more than it really does. You just don’t see when your dog is awake at night, but it’s not sleeping the entire time you are. 

Reason 2: Your Pitbull Is Getting Plenty of Exercise 

As all parents know, wearing your children out with physical activity is a great way to help them get to bed earlier and sleep better throughout the night. The same is also true for your Pitbull. 

When your Pitbull gets lots of exercise, they will spend more time sleeping, recovering from all that fun and physical activity. This is normal. Any dog will sleep longer when they’re more active, and their sleep will be more restful as well. 

Reason 3: Your Pit Is Bored

You might notice that your dog is rarely trying to sleep when you’re offering it something more enjoyable to do. For instance, your Pitbull is probably always ready to play when you are. 

On the other hand, when there’s nothing to keep your Pitty occupied, it will be more likely to sleep off the boring time. After all, your Pitbull probably spends quite a bit of time alone without much to do. 

Teenage humans exhibit the same tendency, often sleeping whenever they don’t have anything more pressing to do, and just as often when they do!

It seems that Pitbulls have more in common with your kids than you might think! Although most teenagers aren’t nearly as affectionate as our lovely Pitties!

Reason 4: Your Pitbull Is Still Young

As an adult, your Pitbull will likely spend more than half of each day sleeping, but as a youngster, that number is even higher. It’s not uncommon for a Pitbull to spend up to 20 hours of the day sleeping when they’re still young, leaving just four hours for all of those Pitbull puppy antics. 

Don’t worry, all that sleep is good for your growing Pit puppy!

It’s vital growth time for your pup’s brain, muscles, immune system, and nervous system. And with all the energy your puppy expends while they’re awake, even four hours of waking time takes a lot of sleep to recover from!

Reason 5: Your Pitbull Has an Undiagnosed Health Issue 

If your Pitbull is sleeping more than normal and your dog is not a puppy, we’re talking upwards of 14 hours of daily sleep here, then there might be something more unfortunate occurring. 

Sometimes, when there’s an underlying health issue, it can cause your Pitbull to sleep excessive amounts. 

For instance, canine narcolepsy can cause your dog to sleep far more than average, in bouts that occur rapidly and without warning. Sleeping too much can also be a sign that your Pitbull is stressed, particularly if the extra sleep is a sudden departure from your dog’s normal sleep behavior. 

Are Pitbulls Lazy?

When a person spends an inordinate amount of time just lounging around doing accomplishing little to nothing throughout the day, we generally think of them as lazy individuals or someone who’s suffering a bout of severe depression. You shouldn’t apply the same thinking to your Pitbull though. 

First of all, what else does your Pitbull have to do today?

A Pit’s life is quite simple. Provide love and enjoyment to the humans of the family, keep everyone safe by scaring off the mailman and potential intruders, and sleep off the rest of the day to avoid boredom. 

Think about it. When you’re not directly playing with your dog, it doesn’t have much else to do. Sure, it can eat some food and drink from its water bowl, but that’s not going to consume much of the day. Some Pitbulls do become adept at entertaining themselves through a variety of amusing antics, but even that can only take up a small portion of the day. 

Unless your Pitbull is working the farm or has some other job to do, there just isn’t that much to take care of.

In contrast, has your Pitbull ever turned down an opportunity for playtime or a jog through the park? Or even some time in the water? Any time you reach for the leash or a toy, your Pit probably starts to jump around, filled with so much excitement that its body can no longer contain it all. 

Once you get out and start playing, your Pitbull will no doubt outlast you in the energy department every time. Pitbulls have enough energy to play for hours. Even if you’re a great athlete, taking your Pitbull on a run can make you feel like your endurance is second-rate at best. 

Pitbulls are definitely not lazy. They spend so much time sleeping because there’s not much else to do, but if you give your Pit another option, they’re practically guaranteed to take you up on it. 

Are Pitbull Puppies Lazy?

While we can let adult Pitbulls off the hook for sleeping away half the day, puppies are another story.

There’s simply no excuse for sleeping off 20 hours of the day! That just leaves four hours for fun and excitement, which obviously isn’t enough. 

All jokes aside, Pitbull puppies really need all of that sleep to recover from the crazy amounts of energy they expend when they are awake, plus all of the efforts taking place beneath the skin that are required to keep them growing into the much larger dogs they’ll be soon. 

There’s a pretty stark size difference between an adult Pitbull and a puppy. All of that growing takes a ton of energy, so Pitbull puppies have to spend lots of time sleeping to facilitate such growth. And if you’ve ever seen just how excitable Pitbull puppies can be, then you understand that these little pooches can expend a whole lot of energy in those few hours they are awake!

Signs Your Pitbull Is Experiencing Sleep Problems

As we’ve discussed, it’s healthy and normal for your Pitbull to sleep far more than would be healthy or acceptable for you to sleep. Even so, there are some telltale signs to look out for that could indicate your Pitbull is experiencing sleep problems or other health issues that can affect sleep. 

One sign of an underlying sleep problem is if your Pit seems to fall asleep immediately and out of nowhere.

For instance, your Pitbull is playing one minute and suddenly asleep on its back the next second. That could be a sign of canine narcolepsy, and you should get your vet’s opinion on the behavior. 

Another sign of sleep problems is if your Pitbull is sleeping for more than 14 hours per day. Granted, if your Pitbull is younger than a year, then this is probably just because it’s still a puppy and puppies require more sleep than adults. But for adult Pitbulls, sleeping more than 14 hours each day can be a sign of a health problem such as being overstressed.

On the other hand, if your Pitbull isn’t sleeping as much as it should be, then it might be displaying entirely different symptoms. Pitbulls that are restless or beginning to show lethargic, grumpy, or disoriented behavior could be missing out on important sleep they need, and a veterinarian should be consulted in case there’s an underlying issue.

How To Help Your Pitbull Sleep Better

Quality sleep in sufficient amounts is just as important for your Pitbull as it is for you. Therefore, if your dog isn’t getting as much sleep as it should be, you’ll want to do whatever you can to help. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to help your Pitbull start to get better sleep. 

One thing you can do is to get your dog a supportive dog bed, which can help keep your dog more comfortable, aiding in quality sleep. A good bed can improve your dog’s sleep in many ways, including offering ample support for their joints, which can help to reduce problems like arthritis and dysplasia.

My go-to pick for a Pitbull dog bed is the Furhaven Orthopedic Memory Foam Bed which you can check on Amazon by clicking here. It has an ergonomic contour to fit a pup’s body and comes with cooling gel to make it extra comfortable.

I can tell you that my Pittie certainly seems to enjoy it!

Another great way to help your Pitbull get better sleep is to add some more physical activity into your dog’s regimen. This could be in the form of additional playtime such as a good game of fetch or tug-of-war, or it could be an extra walk or two during the day. The more energy you help your dog to expend during the day, the more it will have to sleep in order to recover. 

If all else fails, you can speak with your veterinarian. It’s unlikely, but there’s a possibility that an undiagnosed medical condition could be causing your Pitbull’s sleep problems. In that unfortunate case, your vet should be able to identify the issue and help with a solution. 

Closing Thoughts

It might seem like your Pitbull is spending an awful lot of time sleeping, but even if it’s sleeping for more than half the day, nothing is amiss. Pitbulls, like most domestic dogs, spend far more time sleeping than humans do. 

The average adult Pitbull will spend 12-14 hours asleep each day, plus approximately five more hours spent resting. Puppies can sleep even longer, spending as many as 20 hours of the day asleep.

Even though this seems like a lot of time, it’s normal for your adult Pit. Besides, your Pitbull doesn’t have much else to do during the day. You should only start worrying if your Pitbull is sleeping far more or less than 12-14 hours as this could be an indication of a health issue that needs attention.