Puppy sleep study: findings from Generation Pup

Our first peer-reviewed paper from research conducted as part of Generation Pup was published in a Special Issue of Animals: “Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs!” in July 2020.

Read the full paper for free

Our findings:

We analysed sleep behaviours in dogs up to 12 months old – which is rarely studied but really important. Changes in the pattern and duration of a dog’s sleep can reflect a dog’s wakeful experiences and how comfortable they are in their own environment, but little is known about normal sleep behaviours in dogs under 12 months of age.

Our study describes patterns of sleep and sleep-related behaviours - such as where the dog slept, how the dog was settled to sleep, sleep positions, and snoring - based on reports from owners of dogs aged 16 weeks and 12 months. For the statistical analysis, only dogs with data regarding sleep duration at both timepoints were used. We found that:

  • Dogs aged 16 weeks slept for significantly longer during the day and in total over a 24-hour period
  • Dogs aged 16 weeks slept for less time during the night than dogs at 12 months
  • At both timepoints, owners most-commonly settled dogs to sleep by leaving the dog in a room or area without human company
  • Of dogs that did have access to people during the night, more than 86% chose to be around people
  • Puppies aged 16 weeks were most-commonly reported to sleep in a kennel or crate, but dogs aged 12 months most often slept in a dog bed.

More research is needed to better understand how the sleep duration and behaviours of dogs change as they age, and how sleep can affect dog health and wellbeing.

Find out more about Generation Pup