Do German Shepherd Puppies Sleep A Lot
Dog Care Tips · Dog Training Guide

Do German Shepherd Puppies Sleep A Lot? 3 Major Reasons

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 20, 2023 by Linda Michaels

Sleep is a basic requirement for all dog breeds and for the same reasons.

Some have adapted themselves to lesser hours of sleep than others owing to their physical needs and lifestyle.

During their growing years, a dog will need more sleep than an adult to sustain its rapidly changing body which requires additional time for the growth of different tissues.

Do German Shepherd Puppies Sleep A Lot? - Infographic

Do German Shepherd Puppies Sleep A Lot?

During their puppyhood, which can last up to 24 months, German Shepherd puppies sleep anywhere between 15 to 20 hours a day. Yes, you read that right.

This is because their body is changing rapidly and it is during sleep that most of the growth occurs. They need that much sleep for proper brain development, muscle, and body growth.

Benefits of Proper Sleep for GSD Puppies

Here we discuss exactly why a GSD pup needs this excessive amount of sleep and how you can help him get that easily.

1. Brain Development

It is primarily during sleep that a mammal’s brain develops. Without getting into the nitty gritty of science, all the neural links that are required for an adult brain to function, are formed during sleep.

As a result, dogs that get enough sleep during their pup years turn out to be smarter than those who for some reason, couldn’t. 

2. Muscle Growth

During exercise, the muscles are under stress. They accumulate all sorts of metabolites from body movements and sleep helps the body get rid of these.

That is why the muscle sores you get during intense exercise get relieved by a day or two of sleep.

Moreover, Muscle fibers break and regenerate in an endless cycle resulting in stronger and bulkier muscles. This breaking occurs during physical activity and the regeneration part occurs during sleep.

This means that it is not just for the mind but also for the physical health of your pup, sleep is pivotal.

3. Body Growth

The hormone responsible for the natural growth of the body and its physical transition from a pup to an adult is secreted primarily at night.  

Although the final size of your GSD pup will also be affected by genetics and diet a lot, the role of sleep should not be disregarded.

Tips for German Shepherds to Sleep Better

Here are some tips to help make your GSD pup sleep better at night:

1. Exercise

German Shepherds are almost unmatched in their energy drive and playfulness. Hence, a good amount of physical activity is necessary for every GSD.

Exercising a pup will not only keep it fit but also help it sleep better. This would lessen the arousal from sleep periods and the overall quality of sleep will be greatly improved.

As a general rule, a GSD pup needs 5 minutes of exercise for every month of his age, twice a day. That is to say, for a 2-month-old pup, 10 minutes of exercise twice a day would be sufficient to keep it healthy.

However, some GSD pups are better off with less exercise than others. This is based on your dog’s overall health and mood and it may vary from time to time as well.

2. Sleeping Cradle

For young pups, a comfortable cradle is recommended during sleeping hours. You should place it near your bed for two good reasons;

You can cater to them when they get awakened from their sleep for hunger, defecation, or any other need.

Also, they will get accustomed to the scent of your body and your surroundings. This makes your bond with the pooch even stronger.

I have explained where your GSD pup should sleep in the below video!

3. Activity Before Sleep

Any activity done outside before the German Shepherd puppy sleep will allow them to relieve themselves. Consequently, they may not need to wake up during sleep for defecation or urination.

Also as mentioned earlier, any activity before sleep would help them get a better and more relaxed slumber.

4. Maintain A German Shepherd Puppy Sleep Schedule

Puppies cannot sleep well when their sleep is not based on a pattern. Maintaining a proper sleeping schedule is very important for your pup. Random sleeping hours disrupt their circadian rhythm and can lead to them being restless and anxious throughout the day.

Make sure they go to sleep and come out of their cradles at more or less the same hours each day.

5. Nutrition

Just as with humans, a healthy diet would ensure a healthy sleeping cycle. A GSD Puppy’s diet may vary depending on the exact age. 

Below are the lists of fruits and vegetables that german shepherd can and can’t eat.

  1. Fruits that GSD can/can’t eat
  2. Vegetables that GSD can/can’t eat

Consult dog nutrition experts for a proper diet and nutrition plan for your pooch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s jump to some important questions about GSD sleeping.

How long can GSD puppies control their pee?

Learning bladder control is a slow and gradual process. In the beginning, GSD pups have no control over their bladder and they will relieve themselves whenever they’re full.

By the age of 20 weeks, a GSD pup develops some control and will be able to hold its pee for about 2 hours. 

This is an excellent time to train your pup where to pee and where not to.

Are GSD good family dogs?

German Shepherd is a breed of versatility. Its intelligence and loyalty coupled with friendliness towards the family and especially the kids, make it an excellent choice as a family dog.

However, due to its high energy level and prey drive, proper training and socialization are required for the domestication of a GSD.

Can a German Shepherd be left alone during the day?

German Shepherds are not good at tolerating loneliness. When left to their own senses, they develop negative behaviors such as barking, chewing, and destroying household items. 

To stop them from developing such behavior, it is necessary to have someone present for them for most of the day. It can be you or a family member that the dog has socialized with.

You might need to consider a pet sitter if you live alone and cannot be near your GSD for 8 hours or more in a day.

German Shepherd Puppies Sleeping – Conclusion

During the growing years of their lives, GSD puppies require a lot of sleep. This comes in between 15-20 hours of sleep a day.

However long this period may seem, this is the natural requirement for these pups to develop their brains and grow their bodies. Hence, maintaining a proper amount of sleep and a sleep pattern becomes essential for their health.

A better sleep cycle can be maintained by providing them with a cozy and separate sleep environment so that they do not get disturbed during their sleeping hours.

Also, taking care of their diet and nutrition is important for better sleep.

You may want to make them sleep near you for a better bonding during their growing years.

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