How Much Sleep Should a Shiba Inu Have? (Explained)

How Much Sleep Should a Shiba Inu Have

Shiba Inus are known for their frequent and lengthy sleeping habits. They can sleep anything between 10 and 16 hours a day. However, it becomes a concern if your dog sleeps for more than 16 hours a day.

In this article, we’ll explore common Shiba sleeping behaviors, signs of sleep problems, and ways to help your pup snooze properly. Learn about the ideal amount of total sleep and daytime naps that ensure your energetic Shiba Inu stays healthy and active.

How Much Do Shiba Inus Sleep?

Despite being an ancient Japanese breed known for alertness and energy, Shiba Inus do need a lot of sleep. Surprisingly though, these moderately-sized pups need between 10-16 hours of sleep per day.

In total over a 24 hour period, expect your Shiba Inu to sleep:

  • 10-16 hours
  • 41-66% of the time

This substantial sleep requirement holds steady from puppyhood through their senior years.

On average during the day, your Shiba will sleep:

  • 6-10 hours
  • Separated into several naps lasting over an hour

Puppies and older dogs need more daytime sleep. Adult Shibas typically take several 60-90 minute naps interspersed with activity.

At night, your Shiba will sleep:

  • 6-8 hours straight
  • One continuous overnight sleep

Puppies Need More Sleep To Grow

Shiba Inu puppies require even more sleep than adult dogs to support their rapid growth and development.

In their first few months, Shiba pups usually sleep about 18 hours daily. This totals out to:

  • 3 hours awake
  • 2 hours of active play/eating
  • 15 minutes of potty breaks
  • 18 hours sleeping

Shiba puppy sleep needs gradually decrease to adult levels around 5-6 months old. But even adult dogs spend over half their day sleeping!

Is It Normal For Shiba Inus To Sleep A Lot?

Some days, it seems like your Shiba Inu naps more than it stays awake. Should you worry about this amount of sleep?

It’s completely normal for Shiba Inus to enjoy lengthy sleep. They balance their active periods with ample rest. So, if your Shiba Inu spends most of the day snoozing, don’t worry; it’s just recharging for its next adventure.

Here’s why Shibas need ample sleep:

  • High energy requirements
  • Innate wariness
  • Ancestral history as endurance hunters
  • Lean muscle density powerful enough to bring down boars

Things That Change How Much Your Shiba Inu Should Be Sleeping


As we mentioned, your puppy Shiba Inu has different sleep needs than the adult one. The big change comes around the time the dog celebrates its second birthday. The change happens so fast that you’d think there’s a switch in the dog’s brain that got flipped.

As they age, their need for sleep increases and the Shiba Inu spends more and more time taking long and refreshing naps. At some point in the dog’s life, they’ll be eating and doing potty between long bouts of sleep. Of course, this can have some ramifications on their health and might even give them problems. We’ll discuss some of those problems below.


While being a sleepyhead seems to be the default state of the Shibu Inu, sometimes that excessive sleep can be either the result of health issues or itself be the cause of some other health issues.

We start with sleep-related health conditions. Shiba Inus have recurring health problems that range from dental issues to eye problems and general infections. Some of these diseases can be genetic which means the dog gets them from one or both of its parents. Any health issue that causes the dog pain or discomfort will interfere with their sleeping habits.

Too much sleep can lead to obesity which is a common problem among this breed. When all the activity your dog indulges in is eating and going to potty, it’s no surprise that they put on weight so fast and become obese in a short time. If your dog is obese you need to take measures to bring its weight down to normal standards as we’ll discuss later.


A comfortable Shiba Inu is a lazy one. Unlike other dogs that come seek you to play a game when they’re fed and happy, the Shiba Inu prefers to sleep. That doesn’t mean you should make the dog uncomfortable to prevent it from sleeping.

You can engage the dog in different games and take it out to the park or for a hike in the woods if possible. The change will help the dog become more active and get rid of that lazy lifestyle that is neither healthy nor fun. Speaking of lifestyle.


Have you ever wondered how many hours your Shiba Inu spends at home? If your dog sleeps a lot, then chances are, their lifestyle isn’t that interesting or exciting, to begin with. Does that mean that you can change your dog’s sleeping habits if you change their lifestyle?

The answer is definitely. Even if your sleepyhead Shiba Inu is more comfortable on its bed than out in the backyard, that doesn’t mean you should encourage it to be lazy. You need to coax it out of its comfort zone literally speaking, and give it a taste of the joys of the outdoors. Fresh air and the thrill of meeting other dogs will convince your puppy that there’s more to life than sleep.

Sleeping Problems Found in Shiba Inus

Shiba Inus need a lot of sleep, but sometimes they struggle to get good rest Understanding common Shiba sleep disorders empowers you to identify issues early and improve your dog’s nighttime comfort.

Watch for these notable sleeping problems in the breed:

Difficulty Falling Asleep

Stress, aging, pain, or change in routine can make it hard for your Shiba to wind down. New puppies also often resist sleep.

Signs of trouble falling asleep:

  • Pacing
  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Agitation

Frequent Waking During the Night

Shibas already sleep lightly and wake easily. But frequent stirring likely signals bigger issues such as:

  • Pain
  • Need to toilet
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion from canine cognitive dysfunction

Keep a record of how often your Shiba wakes up at night and consult your vet if this happens regularly without a clear reason. Identifying and managing health issues leads to better rest.

Early Morning Waking

However, if your Shiba suddenly starts seeking attention well before breakfast time, they may need a check-up.

Potential reasons for premature wakeups:

  • Hunger or thirst
  • Stress
  • Storm phobia
  • Cognitive decline
  • Medication timing

You should figure out what’s causing your Shiba’s change in sleep schedule.

Common Sleeping Behaviors in Shiba Inus

Understanding common Shiba sleep behaviors provides insight into their health, comfort, and personality.

Sleeping on Their Back

Shibas love snoozing on their backs with paws dangling in the air without a care in the world. This comical position helps dogs regulate their body heat more effectively and shows they feel safe in their environment.

Reasons why dogs sleep on their backs:

  • Cooling effect
  • Comfort
  • Feeling safe
  • Deep sleep

If your Shiba suddenly stops sleeping on its back, this could be a sign of illness or stress in its environment.

Funny upside down Shiba behaviors include:

  • Twitching paws as if running
  • Making little woofing sounds
  • Growling or whining
  • Waking themselves up periodically

Capture hilarious pictures of your dog’s upside down slumber for all those back sleeping photo contests!

Licking Themselves While Asleep

You might see your Shiba, while asleep, licking their paws or chewing without waking up completely. This self-grooming, starting as a puppyhood instinct for bonding, shows contentment in adult Shibas.

Reasons dogs lick themselves while sleeping:

  • Instinctive self-soothing
  • Comfort habit
  • Grooming
  • Sign of relaxation

However, if your mature dog starts licking excessively at night, it could be a sign of an issue:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Oral discomfort

Contact your vet if dramatic increased licking starts to rule out potential health issues.

Loud Snoring

Snoring or snorting noises while sleeping are common in short snouted (brachycephalic) breeds like the Shiba. As long as snores sound soft or intermittent, everything is probably fine.

Concerning snoring signs include:

  • Constant loud noise
  • Harsh, screeching sound
  • High pitched
  • Paired with difficulty breathing

Snoring might indicate problems like rhinitis or sleep apnea. If concerned, schedule a vet exam for a check-up and treatment advice.

Ways to Help Your Shiba Inu Sleep Better

Use these tips to help your restless Shiba Inu sleep better:

Establishing a Routine

Set a regular schedule for:

  • Feeding times
  • Potty breaks
  • Exercise sessions
  • Low-key playtime
  • Quiet time
  • Bedtime

Aligning your Shiba’s biological clock with the day and night cycle can lead to better and deeper sleep.

Regular Exercise

Make sure your energetic Shiba gets 60-90 minutes of activity daily like:

  • Walks
  • Hikes
  • Playing fetch
  • Nose work
  • Agility course navigation
  • Off-leash running

Ensuring your Shiba is physically tired before bedtime can help prevent restlessness.

Creating a Comfortable Sleeping Environment

Tailor your Shiba’s sleep space for comfort:

  • Cushy bedding
  • Dark, quiet room
  • Cool temperature
  • Soothing music/TV
  • Familiar smells from home
  • Near human without crowding

A suitable sleep setup helps your dog achieve deep, restorative sleep. Keep an eye on their comfort and adjust their sleeping area as needed.

Benefits of Sleeping with Your Shiba Inu

This is a two-way lane. That means there are certainly benefits for both the puppy and the owner if they shared one bed. For one thing, Shiba Inus are used to sleeping in packs. This is especially true of the puppies but even the adult dogs love to nuzzle against other dogs when it’s time to sleep. Here are some of those benefits

  • Better quality of sleep for the owner.
  • The Shiba Inu feels safer and sleeps better when sharing the owner’s bed.
  • Frequency of the dog waking up or having interrupted sleep diminishes.
  • Strengthens the bond between the dog and the human.
  • Improves the mental health of the owner.
  • Helps with any anxiety issues the dog might have especially if it’s new to the environment.

Risks of Sleeping with Your Shiba Inu

While many experts recommend that both humans and their Shiba Inus share one bed, there are certain disadvantages to this habit and it can also affect both parties. This has to do with hygiene and also the territorial nature of the dogs at the same time.

If either the owner or the dog has an infectious disease they could possibly pass it on to their bed partner. From dental problems to parasites and even eye disease. Sharing such a close space as one’s bed can become fertile ground for germs and bacteria.

On the other hand, the dog can come to see the bed as its territory and as we’ll explain below, that can lead to many behavioral issues and can impact the owner’s life especially if they’re in a relationship.

Can Sleeping with the Dog Cause Sleep Deprivation?

It’s not obvious how that could happen. Unless we’re talking about a sick puppy that infects the owner while sharing their bed which causes them to lose sleep as well. But of course, this is something that can be prevented with regular visits to the vet and taking care of the dog’s hygiene.

Generally speaking, sleeping with your Shiba Inu should improve your sleep rather than give you insomnia or cause the dog to lose sleep. Most dogs prefer to sleep with their owners since physical closeness improves their sleep.

Shiba Inus are no exception and if either you or the dog suffer from sleep deprivation it has nothing to do with sharing the bed with your furry friend. In fact, sleep deprivation might go away on its own when your Shiba Inu is with you at night.

Can Co-Sleeping Cause Problems in the Dog’s Behavior?

The short answer is: it depends. The Shiba Inu is known for being territorial and having a stubborn streak. This is why you can find it hard to train them.

Now, individual dogs vary. But if you notice that your Shiba Inu is treating your bed as its personal territory that it needs to defend against intruders (such as a girlfriend or a spouse) then you have a problem on your hands.

It might be better to keep your bed for yourself in that case and send the puppy back to its own place to sleep.

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