Why Do Bulldogs Sleep So Much?

Why Do Bulldogs Sleep So Much?

Bulldogs are always sleeping

If you have a bulldog, what do you think he’s probably doing right this minute? We’re willing to bet most bully owners answered with “sleeping”! Experts aren’t sure exactly why bulldogs snooze so much, but they average about 12 hours of shuteye a day.

A Lack of REM Sleep

Why do bulldogs sleep so much? Here’s one popular theory: Your average human spends about 25 percent of their sleep in the deep Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage. This is because, unlike dogs, humans don’t get the luxury of taking naps during the day and have to catch all their Zs in one long stretch at night. Bulldogs, on the other hand, only spend 10 percent of their dozing time in the restorative REM stage due to their shorter sleep stints. In a nutshell, that means our bulldogs have to log in a lot more snooze time to reap the benefits their humans get during one night of sound sleep.

The Genetic Factor

The bulldog’s wild ancestors were nocturnal, hunting under the cover of darkness and resting while the sun was up. After humans decided to domesticate canines, dogs had to adapt by changing their habits to fit their family’s schedule, and that meant sleeping through the night. Their wild wolf cousins still get to howl at the moon while our bulldogs are nice enough to keep it to a low snore when their owners are in bed.

Bulldogs love sleeping

Snow White’s adorable sleeping puppies.

How Much Sleep is Normal?

The average dog sleeps for 12 to 14 hours a day. Puppies need 18 to 20 hours a day since they wear themselves out running and playing. Older dogs and certain breeds on both ends of the size spectrum need more rest. Giant breeds like Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, Great Pyrenees, and Great Danes clock in the most nap time.

A Dog’s Day

Bulldogs spend 50 percent of the day asleep, 30 percent hanging around the house, and only around 20 percent being active. Unlike their human buddies, dogs are flexible sleepers who can easily pop up when they need to (like when the mailman is at the door) and snooze when they’re bored. A hard day’s work, like that of a police dog or one who herds sheep, means less sleep since they have more to do than the average Chihuahua who lounges the day away on the couch.

When To Be Concerned

While your bulldog’s sleep schedule can vary from day to day, there’s usually no reason to be worried about all the snooze time he’s getting. A red flag would be if your usually active dog suddenly sleeps all day long, if he becomes difficult to wake up, or if he goes the other extreme and is staying awake and anxious most of the time. Then you would need to take the pooch to your veterinarian to rule out any major health problems and help get him back on track.


For more answers to frequently asked questions, visit our Bulldog FAQ page or follow us on Facebook.

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