Dogs are normally very energetic animals. In fact, to safely keep one as a pet, one of the biggest requirements will be our ability to set aside time to help them exercise. Otherwise, we will end up with an unhealthy pet with a destructive temperament. Of course, with so many breeds around, being energetic is no longer an absolute rule amongst pet dogs. It’s possible to have a more relaxed breed that is more than happy to chill out on the sofa, making them perfect for families that aren’t too active.
Some breeds are a combination of the two, where they spend most of their day chilling and asleep, but once they wake up, they become veritable furry balls of energy. One such breed known for sleeping more than half their days away is the Dachshund. Now Dachshunds, when they’re awake at least, are known to be energetic and lively, despite sleeping for long periods of time. What is with this contradiction, you ask? Well today, we will be looking into the reasons why dachshunds tend to sleep so much.
What Affects Dachshund Sleeping Behavior?
If you look at any dog’s sleep schedule closely, you may notice that they don’t actually spend that much time being active. On average, most dogs spend at least 10 to 12 hours of their day asleep, whether they’re tucked in for the night or just taking a nap. What makes dachshunds so noteworthy is that they would actually sleep for as much as 14 to 16 hours a day. But why is this so?
There are four stages in a dog’s life: puppy, adolescence, adulthood, and senior. Each stage varies in length depending on what breed the dog is. Dachshunds are considered puppies from birth to six months old, adolescents at 6 months to 1 year and a half, adults between 1 year to 5 years, and seniors from 5 to 6 years onwards. Naturally, depending on which stage your dachshund is in their life, their sleeping requirements will be very different.
Puppies, for example, will spend most of their days asleep, and that would not be unnatural. In fact, it’s not strange to see your puppies sleeping for at least 20 hours a day. Dachshund puppies will need to spend most of their energy growing up, after all. Of course, when they are awake for a short period of time, they are generally very active.
As your dachshund transitions into adolescence and adulthood, it’s a lot easier to catch them awake than asleep. But as they age and enter their senior years at 5-7 years old, they will start to sleep more often again. This is because their metabolism will start slowing down, which is pretty much part of the course of growing old. Senior Dachshunds tend to eat less as well, so they become less energetic and will start gaining pounds at this stage.
Their Natural Tendencies
Dachshunds were originally bred in Germany in the 1500s as hunting dogs, specifically for tracking and chasing down smaller prey, such as badgers, rabbits, and mice. This is a very labor-intensive task, usually involving a lot of running and digging into burrows. It also didn’t help their stress levels much, either, seeing as how badgers do tend to fight back. Naturally, dachshunds would try to save as much energy and relax as they can during their downtime.
This job-specific to their breed has such a profound effect on dachshunds that it has been ingrained into their instincts to rest up as much as they can whenever they are not out on the hunt. Of course, dachshunds are no longer used for hunting, except in some parts of the world, but they still retain this behavior. This is why, if you’ve been observant of your dog’s habits, you’ll notice dachshunds would have short bursts of energy whenever they’re awake but are very easy to tire out. They would often take multiple naps throughout the day as well.
Their Daily Activities
They may have been used as working dogs in the past, but nowadays, dachshunds are usually kept as home dogs. There’s a general rule that the more active a dog is, the less sleep it’ll need daily. Active dogs tend to have better metabolism than inactive ones as a result. Because dachshunds are being kept more as house pets rather than hunting or tracking dogs, then they tend to live less active lives, which ultimately gives them nothing to do other than to sleep. Of course, this doesn’t mean that dachshunds wouldn’t rather be outside living their active lives.
Improving Your Dachshund’s Sleeping Habits
As we’ve mentioned before, Dachshunds are, by their very nature, active dogs. If given the chance, they will try to spend more time being active and awake. If you feel like your dog could be a little more active during the day, then there are a few things you can do to help them out. Click Here To Read This Related Post: Why Do Dachshunds Like to Burrow Under Blankets?
Let Them Out Before Bedtime
Before letting your dog settle in for the night, let them out so they can go pee or poop before going to bed. This will ensure that your pet wouldn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to relieve themselves, giving them uninterrupted sleep. You can let your dog out right as you’re doing your nightly routine and simply have them back inside once you’re about to go to bed yourself.
Less Water Before Going to Bed
On that same note, you should also limit how much your dog is drinking a few hours before bedtime. Naturally, drinking right before bed would lead to your dog wanting to go out to pee, interrupting their sleep. A good practice is to simply cut off their water at least 2 hours before bed. Although many pet owners would be reluctant to deprive their pets of water before bed, it actually doesn’t harm them at all. If they do have health problems, such as diabetes or heart problems, then their water intake should never be limited.
Dachshunds are creatures of habit, and they are relatively easy to train simply by being consistent with their bedtime habits. Once you’ve set up a routine that works for both you and your pet, then you should stick to it. If you can, try not to allow them to wake up in the middle of the night. Try to keep your dog’s potty break right before bed the last one, and they will learn not to bother waking up just to pee. Eventually, your dachshund will follow the routine on its own without much supervision, leading to better sleeping habits.
Keep Activity to a Minimum Before Bed
It may sound like a good idea to tire your dachshund out before bed, but that would actually be counter-productive. Too much activity before bed will only make them more restless and less likely to sleep. Furthermore, heavy activity will lead to a lot of panting, which will then lead to your dog needing to drink, otherwise, they’ll end up getting dehydrated. As we’ve mentioned before, drinking water before bed will usually lead to them waking up to pee. Generally, it’s a better practice to tire your dog out earlier in the day, so by evening, the high they get after exercise would have been gone.
Why is My Dachshund Sleeping More Than Usual?
Now that you understand why dachshunds sleep so much and why you may wonder why your own dog seems to be sleeping more than usual. They might be a fully grown dachshund and you’ve done all you can to maintain a good sleeping routine, yet they’re still sleeping for most of the day. Here are some of the possible reasons why that is:
Dogs tend to sleep more often in places where they are most comfortable. If you keep your dachshund mostly indoors, then it’s very likely that all they’ll ever do is eat and laze around. It’s quite possible that if you do take them outside, your dachshund will be wide awake and alert. If that isn’t possible, you can always give them a more stimulating environment at home. Give them toys to play with or perhaps let them spend time with new people every once in a while.
Just like people, dachshunds can get bored if there’s nothing else to do at home. Naturally, one of the ways they can alleviate this boredom is to get some sleep. A good way to keep dachshunds from falling asleep due to boredom is to keep them entertained. Dachshunds like to dig, so letting them out to play is a good way to provide cheap enrichment.
If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your dog’s sleeping behavior, from sleeping more often to change in their sleeping position in odd ways, then they may be suffering from an underlying health issue. If your dog used to be very active but has started becoming lethargic, then it’s best to take them to the vet to see what’s wrong. Dachshunds that aren’t feeling well will tend to sleep a lot to save energy for recovering.
Signs you should watch out for include lethargy, disorientation, loss of appetite, sudden grumpiness, and excessive sleeping. Dachshunds may also change sleeping positions to ones they usually don’t do to lessen back pain. Click Here To Read This Related Post: Why Do Dachshunds Like to Burrow Under Blankets?