If you’re thinking about getting an Akita and are wondering about their sleeping habits, or if you already have an Akita and are concerned about any changes in their sleep, you’re in the right place.
On average, adult Akitas generally sleep about 12 – 14 hours a day, while Akita puppies and seniors will require roughly 15 – 18 hours of sleep in a day.
Akitas are large, beautiful dogs and they make wonderful pets. However, they were bred for a certain reason and are generally happiest being loyal helpers — which means they require enough sleep.
- The Right Amount of Sleep for Different Akita Stages
- Factors That Change How Much Your Akita Should Be Sleeping
- How to Get Your Akita to Sleep At Night?
- Sleeping Problems Found In Akitas
- Sleeping Disorders And What to Do About Them
- Akita Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings
The Right Amount of Sleep for Different Akita Stages
Akita Puppy Sleep Needs
Here are the key sleep guidelines for Akitas under 1 year old:
- Total sleep per day: 18-20 hours
- Naps per day: 2-3 (30-60 mins each)
- Nighttime sleep: 8-10 hours (with potty breaks)
Puppies need more sleep than adults as it helps with their fast growth and development. Puppies who skimp on sleep may struggle to regulate emotions, pay attention, and learn important skills.
Adult Akita Sleep Requirements
Around 1 year old, active Akita puppies become adults and their sleep patterns become more stable:
- Total sleep per day: 12-14 hours
- Naps per day: 1-2 (30-60 mins)
- Nighttime sleep: 10-12 hours
Adult Akitas need a sleep schedule that includes enough rest and time for activity and play. Maintaining this rhythm supports healthy energy levels, metabolism, coat luster, and more.
Senior Akita Sleep Patterns
Akita seniors (over 8 years old) often transition back to a puppy-esque sleep pattern:
- Total sleep per day: 16-18 hours
- Naps per day: 2-3 naps
- Nighttime sleep: 10-12 hours
Older Akitas sleep more to recharge. This can also indicate medical problems like arthritis or pain. Tracking your senior Akita’s sleep can help notify you of changes needing veterinary attention.
Factors That Change How Much Your Akita Should Be Sleeping
Even though there are general sleep guidelines for puppies, adults, and senior Akitas, various factors can alter your dog’s personal sleep needs.
An Akita’s activity levels and mental stimulation impact sleep needs:
- Active Akitas, who exercise a lot, might need 14-16 hours of sleep for full recovery.
- Mellow house pet Akitas may only require 10-12 hours since they conserve energy.
Try to provide a balanced lifestyle with adventure, play, training, and snuggles, suited to your Akita’s needs. This fuels healthy sleep-wake cycles. Consider daycare or dog walkers if your schedule prevents activity.
Some health problems might greatly increase your Akita’s need for sleep. These include:
- Fatigue from chronic or acute illness
- Cancer, arthritis, dental disease, etc. causing pain and discomfort
- Side effects of medications or treatments
- Decreased ability to achieve deep, restorative sleep phases
Track if your Akita’s sleep spikes drastically without lifestyle changes. Consult your vet promptly to address potential underlying medical issues.
Weight & Diet
Carrying excess weight stresses the body and directly dampens sleep:
- Overweight Akitas tend to sleep more overall due to fatigue.
- However, being overweight can reduce their ability to have REM or deep sleep.
- Nutrition also plays a role – poor diets lead to lighter, disrupted sleep.
Helping an overweight Akita slim down through diet, exercise, and veterinary guidance can help restore healthy sleep quantity and quality.
How to Get Your Akita to Sleep At Night?
Akitas can have bursts of energy that seemingly come out of nowhere. But, as with most dogs, there are a few things you can do to help your Akita go to sleep at night. Luckily, the Akita is a dog breed that is highly adaptable and learns through association, so they should learn how to go to sleep at night if you implement most or all of these tips:
Give Them Plenty Of Exercise.
Akitas need exercise to stay healthy, and to wear themselves out. After all, Akitas were originally bred to be retrievers for hunters or for herding livestock so they’re used to getting a lot of exercise throughout the day.
By making sure your Akita gets enough exercise during the day they should need the recovery time — and will therefore sleep longer and better at night.
Feed Them In The Evening.
Akitas should be fed twice a day for optimum digestive health. One of these feeds should be in the evening so they have a full belly to fall asleep. This will prevent your Akita from getting up in the middle of the night in search of food.
Take Them for A Bathroom Break Before Bed.
Take your Akita out for a walk, or at least let them wander around the yard or somewhere else they can go to the bathroom safely for a few minutes close to bedtime. A full bladder will impede sleep and they’ll likely wake you up to let them out.
Create A Few Sleep Options.
Akitas can be quite picky about where they sleep. A lot of Akitas like to sleep on harder surfaces because they were bred to sleep mostly outside.
But, of course, some will certainly appreciate a softer place to snooze. Give your Akita a few sleep options and be open to where they choose to sleep — don’t try to force them to sleep somewhere they won’t be comfortable.
Don’t feel like you need to allow your Akita to sleep in your bedroom if you’re a light sleeper, or if they keep you up at night. You may not want to give them full access to roam your home at night, especially at first, but a large area with a few sleep options should suffice.
Make A Bedtime Routine.
Akitas will adapt fairly quickly to routines so by being consistent in their activities before bed they’ll soon learn it’s time to relax and unwind to prepare for sleep. Feed them, walk them, dim the lights, talk softly to them, and repeat this same process each night.
Be prepared for your Akita to take a few weeks — or maybe longer — to adapt to this routine, especially if you aren’t able to start when they’re still a puppy. They may resist you at first, and you can expect a few sleepless nights as they wake you for their needs.
Don’t be frustrated — Akitas are bread to live a life of routine so most of them will adapt eventually. If you find that your Akita is still resisting after trying it for a while, especially if they are an adult, it may be time to consider hiring a professional who has experience in sleep training Akitas.
Don’t Reward Bad Behavior.
Giving in to the wants of your Akita during the night won’t teach them that night is for sleep and they’ll continue to bother you. Unless they are sick — in which case you should attend to them — ignore any barking, whining, scratching and other attempts to get your attention. Your Akita will soon learn you won’t respond and will stop bothering you at night.
Sleeping Problems Found In Akitas
As mentioned before, some Akitas, especially puppies, can be quite energetic and may require some calming down before bed. As long as you follow your sleep routine, these issues should be minimized.
Akitas are prone to developing hip dysplasia, which can interfere with their sleep and regular routines. Talk to your veterinarian to discuss options for how to make your Akita more comfortable.
Akitas can also develop hypothyroidism or immune disorders which can affect their sleep. It’s important to watch for signs of weight gain or loss, discomfort, excessive scratching and cleaning the skin, as well as patches of redness and irritation.
Sleeping Disorders And What to Do About Them
It’s rare for an Akita to develop a serious sleeping disorder, but it can happen. A few that can occur are:
Unlike in humans, insomnia in dogs generally only manifests because of another health or behavioral issue. If your Akita develops hip dysplasia or has another injury or illness this can make it difficult to maintain their regular sleep patterns and lead to insomnia. Take your Akita to the veterinarian for regular checkups to check their hips and general health.
Sleep apnea is rare in dogs, and generally only happens in Akitas if they’re obese. Keep your Akita’s weight in a healthy range (females should weigh 70 – 110 pounds, males should weigh 85 – 130 pounds) to prevent sleep apnea, as well as other serious health concerns.
Akita Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings
Have you seen your Akita in unusual sleeping positions? While those silly shapes may look haphazard, they actually give intriguing clues into your dog’s mood, comfort, health, and personality once decoded.
Akitas often sleep in an iconic pose, curled up tightly into a ball or doughnut shape.
Meaning: Dogs snoozing in a tight ball feel perfectly content, secure, and comfortable. Tightly curling up helps conserve body heat and protect vital organs, ensuring a cozy and safe sleep. This comforting curled pose signals your dog feels right at home and relaxed with you.
Variations: On cold nights, watch for your Akita to curl tightly into a furry cinnamon bun under the covers seeking warmth. In warm weather or with anxiety, note if your dog sleeps in a ball but sprawls out to release body heat.
When Akitas lie on their side perfectly straight like a fallen log, this relaxed pose reveals:
Meaning: The ‘Log’ position shows that a dog is sleeping peacefully, free from stress or discomfort. “When an Akita exposes its belly, throat, and feet while sleeping, it shows they are completely comfortable and at ease with their surroundings. Logs trust their environment is safe.
Variations: Logs can sleep on either side. If your Akita seems unable to get comfortable lying on one side, see your vet to rule out orthopedic pain.
In this cute and funny sleep position, your Akita lies on their back with their belly completely exposed. What does it signal if your dog hits REM while tummy up?
Meaning: A belly-up sleeper has 100% trust in you and feels zero threats in their environment. This pose makes them completely defenseless. So, only Akitas that feel very safe and peaceful sleep in this vulnerable way. Take it as a high compliment!
Variations: If cold, a belly-up Akita might cover their torso with a front leg but still keep their belly exposed. This adjusts for temp while retaining vulnerability.
In this dramatic pose, an Akita sleeps fully stretched out on their stomach with front legs extended. This flying hero sleep stance symbolizes:
Meaning: When they extend their front legs straight out, it shows a pup who is ready for fun and action, even in sleep. Pups partial to Superman love playtime, activity, adventure, and quality time with their treasured “pack”.
Variations: Some Akitas raise one front paw Superman-style while keeping the other tucked under. This mix of playfulness and comfort picks up subtle environmental cues in their sleep.
Catch your Akita sleeping sitting bolt upright and alert like an Egyptian statue? This stately vertical sleep position indicates:
Meaning: Akitas holding the Sphinx pose wish to survey their surroundings, maintain vigilance, and “keep watch” even while sleeping. The elevated head aids breathing for short-nosed (brachycephalic) pups. Akitas in the Sphinx pose remain alert and protective, even while sleeping.
Variations: Flat-faced Akitas like to slumber propped on pillows to maintain their upright Sphynx snoozing pose.
Does your Akita prefer to nuzzle up intimately beside you rather than solo slumber? Dogs who fancy being the “little spoon” convey:
Meaning: Snuggling sleepers deeply cherish quality time and physical touch from their owners. Falling asleep while gently cuddling is one of the most affectionate things a dog can do with its owner. By slumbering side-by-side, your Akita reveals complete comfort, contentment, care, and trust for their favorite human.
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Mike is the Founder of Familylifeshare. Mike is well-knowledged in marriage, parenting, dogs, blogging and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers. Know more about Mike from here.