Shetland Sheepdogs, also known as Shelties, are a breed of small, active, and agile herding dogs with a large undercoat of fur. These fur babies are extremely affectionate, obedient, and love to be around their owners all the time.
Unless there is a reason for them to be agitated, alert, or there is a lot of excitement going on in the home, your Sheltie will regulate its own sleep schedule and get the right amount it needs. For an adult dog, this will be between 12 and 14 hours per day and about 18 or 19 for a puppy. If you notice that your Shetland sheepdog is sleeping more than usual, this could indicate a health issue which should be discussed with your vet.
If you own a Sheltie, you’ll find that they love to sleep next to you all the time. If you’re considering getting a Sheltie, there’s no doubt these pups will make a great addition to your home! Read on for more information on the sleeping habits of these great dogs.
How Many Hours a Day Does a Shetland Sheepdog Sleep?
If you are a new dog owner, you may think your dog is sleeping way too much, but your dog is not lazy, they just need more sleep than you do. Of course, dogs can become bored without enough exercise, but Shetland Sheepdogs sleep an average of 12 hours a day.
For dogs, same as humans, sleep is a crucial part of their physical and emotional wellbeing. If they’re puppies, they could sleep even longer. It’s during sleep that your pup can recover from any wounds, sickness and of course recoup their energy.
Even when your Sheltie sleeps half the day, which it won’t do in one stretch of time, by the way, they’ll still spend a lot of time lying around. In fact, dogs are only active about 20 percent of the day. This differs a bit by breed, but most dogs are conserving energy as they lounge around and then need to burn that energy off with short bursts of activity. After that they’re ready for a little nap again.
Where Do Shetland Sheepdogs Like to Sleep?
Shelties are an extremely social breed and as a result have an emotional connection with humans. These pups love to sleep next to their owners, so you may find them sleeping next to you, or on the floor beside your bed. Having them around near you will help them to keep calm and feel safe while asleep.
Do Shetland Sheepdogs Sleep a Lot?
Yes, these dogs love sleeping and will try to catch a wink whenever they can! Keep in mind that pups tend to sleep more than humans do, roughly 12-14 hours per day. Puppies can even be sleeping for up to 18 to 19 hours a day! If they are asleep peacefully, just let them lie and try not to wake them up with loud noises.
Why Do Shetland Sheepdogs Sleep on Their Backs?
If you’ve ever seen a Shetland sheepdog sleep, you may have noticed that they sleep lying on their backs with their four legs stuck up in the air. It’s not exactly unique to Shetlands. Many dogs do this and it indicates that they are very comfortable with their owner. When these pups are sleeping on their backs, it’s a sign that they are relaxed and have their guard down.
Dogs who show their submissive side likely trust their owners enough to show the vulnerable parts of their body such as their chest, stomach and throats.
Another reason your Sheltie might lie on their back is for belly cooling reasons. Dogs only can sweat through the pads of their paws, which is why they typically pant with their tongues out to cool down. By laying on their backs, they allow their bellies, the furless region of their body, to cool down along with their paws. If it’s one of those high temperature days, you may find your Sheltie on its back.
Different Sleeping Positions and Its Meaning
The position that your dog sleeps in can tell you a lot about how they feel and what they are comfortable with. Many Shetland Sheepdogs vary in sleeping positions such as on their stomach, on the side, stretched out, on their backs or curling up.
By far the most common position for dogs is curling up. Typically, a dog will tuck their paws under their body and wrap their tail around their face. This position gives them the most awareness and protection of their vital organs. In this position, a dog can spring up onto their limbs quickly.
Your pup can also conserve body heat to stay warm during winter months. Although this is the most guarded sleeping position, don’t be alarmed if your dog curls up frequently. Many puppies have been trained to sleep in a curling position from an early age when they curl up around their mother.
Another guarded sleeping position is when dogs sleep on their stomach. This is similar to when a dog is in a “down” position. In this sleeping position, a dog can jump up at any moment’s notice in case of a threat. Dogs are extremely curious animals and they don’t want to miss out on anything that is going on around them.
If your pooch likes to sleep on their side, they are likely very cozy and restful. In this position, it means your dog is comfortable with their surroundings and can rest at ease. Since their limbs are free, you may find them kicking or twitching meaning they are in deep REM sleep.
A more rare sleeping position is when your dog is stretched out and laying on their stomach similar to a flying position. Although they can spring up at any moment, dogs feel extremely at ease and restful in this position.
Helping Your Shetland Sheepdog to Sleep Well Every Day
Shelties like other dogs may feel restless at night especially if they still are full of energy. Consider giving your pooch plenty of time to exercise by walking them outside at least 2 times a day and having plenty of toys to play with.
Also ensure they have relieved themselves before bed. Typically going on a quick potty break in the evening helps. As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to keep your pup near you when sleeping because it makes them feel safe and secure.
Things that Change How Much Your Shetland Sheepdog Should Be Sleeping
Typically Shelties who are younger and overweight tend to sleep longer. For most dogs, if they are sleeping under a normal routine of 12-14 hours, there shouldn’t be any concern.
However, if their sleeping patterns change because of anxiety, fear, or boredom, you may want to speak with a vet. If you’re someone that isn’t home or around often, you may want to leave toys around to keep them busy.
Benefits of Sleeping with Your Shetland Sheepdog
Sleeping with dogs isn’t anything new. Humans have been sleeping next to their dogs since the Stone Ages. They don’t call dogs man’s best friend for no reason! By sleeping with your Shetland Sheepdog, you strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
In a recent survey performed by the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The percentage varies based on size where 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners.
You may be surprised to find that there are many physical and emotional benefits for sleeping with your pup. Studies have shown that sleeping with your Sheltie can decrease anxiety, fight against insomnia, lower blood pressure and provide you with additional comfort, warmth and rest.
Sleeping with a dog promotes theta brainwaves, which help individuals get into REM sleep. Furthermore, close proximity and contact with your pup increases the flow of oxytocin, the love chemical. The American Heart Association found in their studies that pet interactions correlate with decreased hypertension which promote overall heart health.
Risks of Sleeping with Your Shetland Sheepdog
Before we go over the potential risks that are associated with sleeping in the same bed as your Sheltie. Let’s discuss the scenarios in which this wouldn’t make sense for you. If you have severe allergies and are a light sleeper, veterinarians recommend to not sleep with your pup. If you have a new dog that isn’t house trained yet or have any underlying health issues, then you also wouldn’t want to snuggle up with them in bed.
For individuals who suffer from asthma or any pet allergies, you shouldn’t have them in your room at all. Pet allergens may cling on to your bedsheets, rugs, and other soft surfaces for quite a long time.
One risk of sleeping with your Sheltie is that animals in general may carry infectious diseases. The CDC estimates that 60% of human pathogens are transmitted by animals. Kissing or licking may cause a transmission of diseases such as plague, meningitis and parasites. As a safety precaution, a dog should never be sleeping next to a child, infant, or anyone that is sick.
Just like giving a child too much candy, allowing your pets to sleep in your bed can create aggression or dominance issues. Your Sheltie may think you are granting them additional territory in which they will feel entitled to. If you have a spouse or partner that sleeps with you, this may interfere with your intimacy as it causes dogs to feel they can sleep wherever or however they want.