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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Sleeping dogs and how they lie

Hello my name is Florence Smallwood
I was wondering if you have any past issues that talked about the natural sleeping behaviour of Golden Retrievers as I am doing a project on them and I need some information. I would be grateful if you have any information about the natural sleeping behaviour.
Would be grateful for a reply
Kind Regards
Florence Smallwood

Now I have to admit in 18 years we haven't yet written an article on the 'natural sleeping behaviour' of Golden Retrievers, or any other breed come to think of it!
But if you have a Golden Retriever, perhaps you could give Florry some pointers?
I can tell you a bit about the natural sleeping behaviour of Bearded Collies. They wake up as soon as it gets light and demand to go outside vocally. Much of the time they sleep with their legs in the air, preferably in a draught or on the coldest part of the floor if not. Beds are for chewing, not for lying on.
English Springer Spaniels (sample size of one so unreliable) prefer the comfiest beds, near a radiator if possible. They sleep with one eye open waiting for something to chase. Many of the Springer dreams seem to centre on chasing as there is occasional deep sleep leg movement and yipping.
Over to the bloggers. What's natural sleep behaviour for your dogs?
Beverley Cuddy, Editor


  1. When we first got our old staffy cross, she wouldn't settle one night. My partner said, "She wants a cover". I said not to be so ridiculous. To prove my partner wrong, I got a towel, put it on the dog's bed and held up one corner. The dog tunnelled under the towel and slept quietly for the rest of the night. Problem solved.

    One of our current dog (may also have some terrier in there somewhere, but then again, maybe not) did the exact same thing. She walks round and round and nudges her bed. I have to hold the cover up so she can tunnel in and then not a peep.

    Our collie cross likes to sleep with her head resting against something. A wall, a settee, a leg, no matter. If dog 1 is in the vicinity she will sleep with her head resting across dog 1's neck or back.

    The tunneller barks in her sleep, but with almost no movement. The collie cross twitches and moves, but makes no noise. Apart from snoring.

    Both dogs enjoy sleeping in the sun, but will go in the shade when finally boiled and slavering. Once they have cooled off, they will come back for round 2. The same goes for the fire.

    The collie cross will occassionally have a need for some personal space and will take herself into the hall or garden and have a solitary rest.

    Sleep can always be disturbed by a rattling biscuit tin or any movement by humans around the hours of breakfast, lunch or tea.

  2. I have two Golden Retrievers and all I can say is any time, anywhere, any place. They do tend to spend most of the day asleep, mind you they are 12 years old. They are litter brothers and it's amazing how many times they sleep in exactly the same position, if one has his front legs crossed so has the other. Mine prefer to sleep on the kitchen floor most of the time which is tiled as they like to cool tiles. Sometimes they will sleep on their backs will all four legs in the air. They do sleep on the sofa occasionally but this will not last long as they get too hot. Hope this is of some help.

  3. 2 Beardies. One loves the flat stone floor, the other one a comfy bed/sofa/bean bag/dog basket.

    And when they sleep with their legs in the air, you sometimes have to check which end is up!


  4. The natural sleeping behaviour for greyhounds involves occupying 9/10ths of a double bed, then pushing against any humans with all four feet and kicking a few times, in the hope of ending up with the entire bed. If humans try to read in bed, open one eye, and make huffing noises until they put the light out again. Then stand up, circle a few times, sit on human's head, huff a few more times, then occupy 9/10ths of bed again.

  5. I have six Shiba Inu. During the day they like to sleep together. The younger ones prefer to
    sleep outside in the sun and the two older ones on a chair in the sitting room. At night they pick a bed or a chair on their own and just curl in a ball. They sleep until 8.30 am unless I wake them before that.

  6. great to hear about springers, the discription matched exactly to mine. He always sleeps by the radiator and is the first to be by the fire on a winter evening. When i make up his basket every now and then he gets in immedietly and i'm always buying him new blankets.