Why Does My Pitbull Sleep So Much?

why does my pitbull sleep so much
Image by emailbensontran from Pixabay

Having a dog is lots of fun. They are awesome companions and fun to have around. But dogs can also be very sleepy animals. It might get puzzling and a little worrisome finding out your dog sleeps for long periods. But that’s nothing to fear. 

Dogs, despite having very energetic personalities while awake, will spend most of the hours of the day asleep. And this is mostly because of one obvious fact. They have all the time in the world to sleep!

We know it might be sparking up a lit bit of jealousy in you, but it’s true. Dogs spend almost 80% of their time doing nothing. That makes for a lot of idle time. So, dogs spend the majority of those hours asleep. And honestly, can you blame them? 

Of course, the same goes for Pitbulls. Though their genetic predisposition pushes them towards very energetic lifestyles due to their terrier ancestry, this doesn’t stop them from getting their snooze on at all. That much is obvious since you’re worried enough to google search “why does my Pitbull sleep so much?” This video explains what we’ve said so far:


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Let’s learn a few things about Pitbulls and their sleep patterns.

Pitbull Sleep Patterns

One of the very first things to note about dogs is that they sleep for much longer than humans. But dogs are generally inclined to sleep for that long. So, you probably don’t need to worry about your dog sleeping long hours during the day, okay? Relax. 

Dogs generally sleep an average of 12 to 16 hours a day. This might change, dependent on the breed of the dog, as well as the age. But, generally, this is the average.  Pitbulls are more active dogs. So their sleep patterns typically fall between the average hours, that is, 12 to 16 hours a day. 

Now, the age of your dog could determine just how much is expected in the duration of sleep. Puppies tend to sleep for longer hours due to the amount of energy needed to grow. A normal 16 to 18 hours of sleep should be expected from your Pitbull pup. It’s nothing to worry about. (Click here to read How Big Will A Pitbull Get?)

Older dogs, mostly sleep for extended hours as well. Old age usually means loss of energy. So expect dogs of a distinguished age to spend most of their time asleep or napping. Older Pitbulls that display short spans of sleeping might have an underlying health problem. You’d need to check that.

Factors That Affect Your Pitbull’s Sleeping Pattern


Despite the expectations of an energetic housemate when getting a dog, the opposite is usually the case. Dogs can be absolute handfuls when awake, but they spend the majority of their day asleep. And the reason for this is mostly due to their lifestyle. 

Pitbulls are playful and rambunctious animals. Because of this, they tend to need a lot more activity incorporated into their lifestyle. Doing this keeps your dog active which is best if you want an enduring and physically satisfied dog. 

Without these activities in place, dogs lounge around the house with nothing to do. The length of these idle hours can leave your dog bored. So they tend to sleep to pass time

It is also important to note that all dogs are domesticated in some way or another. This means that the majority of the activities required to ensure survival in the wild is being handled by us, the owners.

Dogs are unlike other more feral members of the canine family like the fox and wolf. These animals need instincts and naturally-tuned senses to survive while living in the wild. Dogs have had these instincts toned down to dormancy. This is due to years of living as domesticated pets. The need to hunt as well as search for food, water and shelter have been dulled as humans provide all these needs for them. And with most dogs being neutered, the instinct to mate is effectively handled in that case.

In essence, dogs mostly depend on their owners for all the activity that would go on in their lives. If you’re not giving them enough, best case, they turn to sleeping, worst case, they turn to destructive behavior.

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Health Factors

If a Pitbull is sick or dealing with issues of hormonal imbalance it might cause your dog to sleep more. Ill health tends to weaken dogs. This leads to them engaging less in physical activities and spending more time sleeping. 

Underlying medical conditions like diabetes and cancer can also be a problem. They drain most of your Pitbull’s energy so be sure to notice when your dog exhibits longer sleeping patterns than normal. 

If your Pitbull happens to be experiencing longer sleeping patterns than usual, the problem is probably health-related. If this happens and you can’t pinpoint another reason, be sure to set an appointment with the vet. That way, the doctor can find out if the problem might be health-related. If so, your vet should recommend the required medication and diet to help your dog improve its health. 

Sleeping Positions

The position your dog takes when sleeping can be an indicator as to if your dog might be having a sleeping issue. Like most living creatures, dogs have a favorite position to sleep in — a position that can change for a couple of reasons. 

It is a good idea to monitor the way your dog sleeps. That way, you can notice any change and then take steps if the position indicates symptoms of a bigger problem. Below are some positions that your dog might take when it intends to sleep.

1. Curled Up

 Dogs, like most animals, sleep in this position. This position involves the dog curling into a ball, nose to tail when falling asleep. A common sleeping position amongst animals in the wild, it is a protective position, intended to allow for quick motion when awake while simultaneously protecting the vital organs from attacking predators. It also serves to conserve warmth. 

This is a natural instinctive position for dogs to sleep in so it shouldn’t be considered much of a problem or a statement of an evident threat, although that could be a factor.

2. On The Back, Paws In The Air

This position generally indicates that your Pitbull is completely at home with your surroundings. You can tell because your dog is leaving its sensitive areas vulnerable and, in that position, quick movement is hard, if not almost impossible. So, your dog has to really feel at home to sleep in that position.

It also works to cool down while your dog sleeps. The underbelly of your dog happens to have the lightest amount of fur so it’s much easier to cool down with it on display. Dogs usually take this position in seasons of extreme heat to deal with the warmer temperatures. 

3. Snuggled Up

Pitbulls can be affectionate creatures and they showcase this during sleep time by snuggling up. If you happen to be a fan of sharing your bed with your dog, finding out that your dog likes to sleep snuggling up to you is no need to worry. It simply means your dog completely trusts you and wishes to maintain contact with you while in a vulnerable position. Most puppies usually display this behavior, especially when sleeping with their siblings.

4. The Superman Position

This position happens to be common with high-energy pups. Puppies usually exhibit this sleeping position due to their naturally exuberant nature. Puppies tend to sleep for longer periods, taking quick naps at any available opportunity. This position enables quick response and movement. If your dog happens to take this position when sleeping then you’re probably dealing with a dog that’s actively ready for an activity

5. On the Side

This position is similar to the upside-down position as it also is a vulnerable position to take when your dog wants to sleep. Dogs who prefer this position tend to be very relaxed in the setting that they are in and have no fears of being under threat. If the setting happens to be a new or one your Pitbull is unused to, they might take a different position during sleep. This position also allows free movement of the limbs so if your Pitbull happens to be dreaming there might be some slight twitching and leg kicks when your dog starts to dream.

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Steps To Take To Increase Your Dogs Activities And Ultimately Make Them Sleep Less

If you still think that your dog sleeps too much there are things to do to make your dog more active and less prone to sleeping. Dogs have a lot of idle time every day and the best way to reduce your dog’s amount of sleep time is by introducing more activities into your dog’s daily schedule. 

One step to take is to increase the amount of exercise your dog gets every day. Increasing the amount of time you take your dog out on walks can greatly improve your dog’s active lifestyle. Make sure to incorporate lots of exercise during these walks so that your dog gets as much physical exercise as possible

Another way is to increase your pitbull’s social interactions with other dogs. Dogs are naturally social creatures and when in the presence of other dogs they tend to play more and expend more levels of energy. An added benefit is that your dog also learns how to behave when outside and interacting with other people and dogs


Your Pitbull sleeping for long periods is completely natural. Most dogs exhibit same behavior and it shows that your dog has a normal lifestyle. It is best to monitor these sleeping patterns, though, in case of any negative developments. While sleeping for long periods might be normal, extended periods of sleep outside of your dog’s normal sleep schedule can be cause for worry for your dog’s health. This is also possible if your dog exhibits problems sleeping than it normally would. If this happens, make sure to take your Pitbull to see the vet so that you can make sure your dog is in perfect shape.

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