Why Does My Golden Retriever Sleep So Much?

Golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the world.

They are known as a friendly breed who love people and will be eager to greet you when you walk through their door.

However, there is another side to this breed.

While they seem like they are always happy to make friends with you, they can also be very lazy and may find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

This makes them perfect pets for older adults or anyone who wants a pet that is easy to care for.

If your golden retriever is a big sleeper then don’t worry.

It’s not something to stress over.

However, if you want to know why your golden retriever sleeps so much, read on to learn how to get your dog to stop snoozing!

Why do golden retrievers sleep so much?

When a dog sleeps, it undergoes an involuntary process called REM sleep.

The brain goes into REM sleep during deep sleep.

When dogs go into deep sleep, they experience a dreamless sleep state.

During REM sleep, the dog’s eyes move back and forth rapidly and their limbs twitch.

Dogs also produce a lot of saliva while sleeping which helps keep them cool.

While a golden retriever may appear to be asleep all day long, they actually spend about half of their time sleeping.

Golden retrievers usually fall asleep at night, but they can also nap during the day.

When golden retrievers are young, they tend to sleep more than other breeds.

Their bodies still require a lot of rest to grow and develop properly.

Because of this, they need to sleep almost every single day.

As they age, however, their body becomes stronger and healthier.

Therefore, their need for sleep decreases.

Once they reach adulthood, golden retrievers only need to sleep about 15 hours per week.

The benefits of sleep for golden retrievers

There are many reasons why dogs sleep so much.

Some breeds just need more sleep than others.

The golden retriever is no exception to this rule.

They are a breed that was bred to work all day long, and now live comfortably at home.

As such, they often require a lot more sleep than other breeds.

While some breeds will usually only need one nap per day, golden retrievers will often require two naps during the day.

If you’re wondering why this is, then you should take a look at what makes up a golden retriever’s body.

These include:

  • A large heart
  • Long legs
  • Narrow hips
  • A thick coat of hair

These characteristics mean that golden retrievers tend to be active animals.

As such, they need a lot of exercise to keep themselves fit.

They also need to burn off all the calories they consume from food each day.

This means that they tend to eat more than average-sized dogs.

And while this isn’t an issue for the majority of golden retrievers, those who are overweight can struggle to lose weight.

This is where the benefits of sleep come into play.

Since these dogs spend so much time asleep, they don’t have any energy left over for food.

This means that they are less likely to put on weight, which is great news for owners who want to keep their dogs slim.

And since golden retrievers are naturally curious and energetic by nature, they also tend to bark a lot more than other breeds.

This means that they also need to go outside regularly to relieve their boredom.

How much sleep do golden retrievers need?

It depends on what kind of golden retriever you have.

If you have a golden retriever that was bred specifically to be a hunting dog, then they may only need about four hours of sleep per night.

This means they can wake up at any time during the day and go back to sleep again until it’s time to feed them again.

On the other hand, golden retrievers that were bred for companionship might need more than eight hours of sleep each night.

These dogs tend to feel sleepy at all times of the day and will often nap in the afternoon.

There are also some golden retrievers that are a mix between these two types.

Some of these dogs will still require a lot of sleep but some of them may be able to function just fine without napping as long as they get enough rest.

Signs that your golden retriever is not getting enough sleep

While golden retrievers are often considered to be an active breed, they can also be very lazy.

If your dog is a big sleeper, it could mean that they are tired and need some extra rest.

The following are signs that your golden retriever might not be getting enough sleep.

  • Your golden retriever is constantly yawning
  • You notice your dog is having trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Your dog is slow to respond to commands
  • Your dog seems lethargic and lacks enthusiasm
  • Your dog does not seem interested in playing
  • Your dog becomes aggressive towards other animals
  • Your dog starts to become overweight

If you notice any of these signs, it could be time to consider helping your golden retriever get more sleep.

Read on to learn how to help your dog get more sleep.

Tips for getting your golden retriever to sleep more

There are some things that you can do to help your golden retriever to get better at sleeping more often.

If your dog snores or has trouble breathing, you should take him to the vet right away.

The sooner your dog gets checked out, the easier it will be to fix any underlying health issues.

For example, if your golden retriever has allergies, you can treat them by giving them allergy medication.

Another common reason for your golden retriever to sleep too much is due to anxiety.

When dogs feel stressed, they tend to go into hibernation mode which means they won’t wake up until the stress goes away.

You can address this issue by making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and play time.

If your dog is a heavy snorer, it might be best to keep them indoors and away from other animals while they sleep.

If you think that your golden retriever is just being lazy, try putting them outside in a fenced yard.

Once they realize that they can’t escape, they will probably start waking up earlier and get ready for the day.

Below are some tips for getting your golden retriever to sleep more often.

When to see a vet about your golden retriever’s sleep habits

The first thing you should do if you think your golden retriever is going to sleep too much is to check with your vet.

There could be any number of reasons why your dog is sleeping so much.

When in doubt, contact a vet as soon as possible.

They can help you figure out what is causing your dog’s excessive sleeping.

Some of the more common causes of excessive sleeping include:

  • A medical condition
  • Boredom
  • Lack of exercise
  • Anxiety
  • Dietary changes
  • Too much caffeine
  • Tiredness
  • Pain
  • Stress

In some cases, your dog may just be naturally inclined to sleep a lot.

If this sounds like your situation, there are a few things you can try at home to help your dog get more sleep.

The first thing you should do is start by making sure your dog gets enough exercise.

Exercise helps dogs burn off excess energy.

If you notice that your dog is constantly yawning, you might want to increase their activity level by giving them extra playtime each day.

You can also give them a new toy to keep them busy while you are trying to catch up on some work around the house.

Another way to help your dog get more sleep is to limit the amount of time they spend watching television or playing video games.

Try setting aside a specific time every day where your dog doesn’t watch TV or play video games.

These activities will only add to your dog’s boredom and cause them to feel even more tired.

If all else fails, you can talk to your veterinarian about finding an alternative solution to getting your dog more restful sleep.

Some medications may help relieve your dog’s anxiety or pain.

You can also talk to your vet about adding supplements such as melatonin to help your dog sleep better.


While golden retrievers do tend to sleep more than other dogs, it’s not something that should cause you concern.

If you think your dog is too tired to go outside, take them for a walk around the block to help wake up.

Alternatively, try giving them some treats before bedtime to encourage them to get up.

You can also use a crate to keep them awake during the day.

When they hear someone coming into the room, they will start barking to let you know they are ready to play.

You can also buy a sound machine to play at night to help them stay alert.

This will only work if your golden retriever is used to listening to music or playing with toys.

Otherwise, it might just confuse them and they will fall asleep again.

Megan Turner

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *