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Adult and puppy Golden Retriever Sleeping

How Much Do Golden Retriever Puppies Sleep?


Key Takeaways

HeadingShort Summary
Sleep RequirementsRetriever puppies may need up to 18 hours of sleep daily, while adults require 12-14 hours.
Sleep EnvironmentA calm, comfortable space with a bed in a crate or cage is ideal. It should be roomy, clean, and possibly have an item from their previous litter for comfort.
Safety PrecautionsAvoid collars in crates to prevent entanglement and don't place water bowls in crates to prevent spills.
Routine EstablishmentSet a schedule for toilet breaks and feeding. Last toilet visit and feeding should be just before bedtime.
Managing Energy LevelsAvoid long naps before bedtime. Ensure enough physical and mental exercise for sound sleep.
Daytime NapsDaytime naps are crucial. Post-walk crate time helps them settle. Ensure cool areas for naps during hot weather.
Behavioral ConcernsLack of sleep can lead to behavioral issues, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
Common Sleep IssuesThese include accidents due to inability to hold the bladder, excessive barking, and difficulty calming down.
Natural Sleep AidsChamomile, melatonin, and valerian root can help with sleep-related issues in puppies.


The amount of sleep required by retrievers varies based on age and activity level – puppies tend to require up to eighteen hours a day, while adults typically need anywhere from twelve to fourteen hours.

Retrievers are one of the most loved breeds of dogs around the world and just like human babies, they need quality sleep in order to remain healthy and give their central nervous system time to repair from all that physical activity and mental stimulation! Enough sleep is also essential for their immune system and goes a long way to meet a dog’s needs.

This essential sleep guide provides dog owners with advice on how to ensure their Labrador or Golden Retriever gets the best quality rest possible.

Ideal sleeping environment for your puppy

Adult and puppy Golden retriever in front of fire

Establishing an ideal sleeping environment for your new pup is essential for their overall health and well-being. Creating a calm and comfortable space with a lovely bed will help them feel secure, allowing them to sleep soundly throughout the night.

When it comes to sleeping arrangements for puppies, many owners opt for a cage or crate. This can provide a sense of security that helps keep your pup safe when you’re sleeping upstairs or not in the same vicinity. Choose one that’s roomy enough so they can turn around comfortably and place a comfortable bed or cushion inside with blankets or soft toys if desired. Make sure the area is kept clean, as this will prevent any unwanted odours from entering the puppy’s space. In the early days, it is worth using towels to cover the bed in case of any accidents. For very young puppies it can be nice to have an item of bedding from the litter they have just left to give them some comfort.

Make sure they are not wearing a collar in their cage, puppies have been known to get caught up on their collar, and besides, who wants to sleep with a collar around their neck?

We do not put their water bowl in their dogs’ crate as it is easy for a puppy to knock it over during the night.

Tips to help with your puppies' sleep quality

Young retriever puppy in large bed

To start off, establish a schedule for toilet breaks and feedings. Puppies usually need to go out every few hours to prevent accidents in the house while they are still being potty-trained, but also make sure they are fed at regular intervals throughout the day, so they don’t become too hungry or tired before bedtime. A consistent bedtime routine helps with this.

When it’s time for them to go down for the night, take them outside one last time, making sure they go to the toilet, then feed them enough food before getting settled in their bed for the night.

Although dogs are crepuscular species, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk, with young puppies, you often will find them wanting to sleep in the early evening, and so when it is time for bed, they are full of beans!

To avoid this, make sure you arrange your playtimes and awake time to avoid a long nap before bedtime – they need to have had enough physical exercise and be mentally tired for a good night’s sleep.

Once you get the first few nights out of the way (separate article), young puppies can usually make it through the night but obviously, let them straight outside in the morning. If they are young and make a mess in their crate, don’t scold them, just keep up the toilet training in a positive manner.

When it comes to naps in the daytime, it is key not to let your puppy get over tired. You even see this in older puppies; after walks, they can go a bit crazy with zoomies and seem to have loads of energy left. In fact, this can be a sign it is time for some downtime, and they just need the right signals. Try putting them in their crate after a walk (once they have had a good drink), and you will probably see them crash out and quickly drift off to sleep. It is almost like they need you to flick the off switch and remove any external stimulus.

Make sure your dog has a couple of secure sleep areas to grab a nap in the daytime. Perhaps this is their crate, but when it is hotter, make sure they have access to somewhere cool such as a tiled floor or cooler mat which can help regulate body temperature.

Potential sleep issues with retrievers

Young golden retriever puppy on its back with tongue out

When puppies don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to behavioral issues and make them more anxious or hyperactive. Unfortunately, many potential sleep problems can arise if you do not look for the signs.

The most common issue with puppies is that they may not be able to hold their bladder long enough for you to get them to the toilet in time, causing accidents inside the house/crate. Other issues include excessive barking or whining, crying, and difficulty calming down before bedtime. To combat these issues, it is important to establish a routine and ensure that your pup has plenty of exercise during the day so they are tired out come nighttime. Make sure that there are no distractions, such as toys in the bedroom before bedtime, and if they wake up in the middle of the night, do not give them lots of cuddles and reassurance; simply take them outside and let them go to the toilet and no attention. This seems a bit mean, but they will quickly learn that barking or crying does not bring lots of love and time with you but rather just a boring trip outside with no attention. Just make sure they get lots of love in the morning if they have been good.

Natural supplements for improved puppy sleep

Bottle of chamomile

On rare occasions, some puppies have difficulty sleeping through the night or struggle with other sleep-related issues. We have never used them, but research indicates that there are natural supplements that can help improve puppy sleep.

These natural supplements include chamomile extract, melatonin, and valerian root. Chamomile is known to possess sedative effects that can reduce anxiety and encourage relaxation in puppies. It has also been linked to improved levels of restfulness while they’re asleep.

How much sleep does an 8 to 12-week Retriever puppy need

8 week old golden retriever puppy asleep

An 8-week-old puppy will need frequent naps and is entering a critical stage of its life. During this period, it is important to ensure your puppy is getting enough sleep. After all, proper rest ensures that your pet remains healthy and happy. There are many articles discussing how damaging a lack of sleep can be for the health of your puppy, very similar to grumpy children who have stayed up to late the night before!

The amount of sleep an 8-week-old puppy requires depends on several factors, such as its age, size, and activity level. Generally speaking, this age requires about 18 hours of sleep each day. However, during the first few weeks of life, puppies may need up to 22 hours of sleep due to their fast-growing and developing bodies. As they continue to grow older, they will begin to need less sleep—about 16 hours in total once they are 12 weeks old. We have had both Labradors and Golden Retrievers, and no puppy has been the same. You just have to let them guide you and give them the opportunity for downtime, and if they take it, they were ready for a nap and let them sleep until they wake up.

How much sleep does a 6 -12 month puppy need?

Adult and puppy golden retriever in bed

At 6-12 months old, the average puppy will require 12 – 15 hours of sleep each day. These younger dogs usually have high energy and also go through several growth spurts. It is therefore essential to develop good sleeping habits to allow for plenty of sleep.

At this age, they will need to go on longer walks resulting in the need to get lots of deep sleep. A good rule of thumb is for every half hour of exercise to require a recovery nap! This means that it is important to create a routine for your pup that allows them to get enough restful sleep during the day and night. It is important for family members to leave them undisturbed in their sleeping space for as much time as they need.

How much sleep does an adult Retriever need?

Older Golden Retriever laying on floor

An older Golden Retriever or Labrador will generally need more sleep as they get older, so from the 12-15 hours sleep of a 1-year-old dog building up to more senior dogs which may naturally become less active as they age. While some older Retriever may be content snoozing away for much of the day, others may still have plenty of energy and enjoy playing and being outside no matter what their age!

If at any stage you notice a sudden increase in the amount your dog is sleeping, then it can be a sign of illness, so keep an extra eye on them and talk to your vet if it is unusual behaviour.

Different sleeping positions and their meaning

Very tired golden retriever puppy curled up asleep

You will quickly see that your Retriever will sleep in different positions depending on how tired they are and how deep they are asleep. So what do they indicate?

Dogs are incredibly expressive animals and they don’t need words to tell us how they’re feeling. One of the best ways to decode their emotions is by observing their sleeping positions. Different sleeping poses can be a sign of different things, ranging from happiness to fear, so it’s important for dog owners to pay attention.

For instance, if your Retriever companion prefers to sleep on its side with its paws tucked up close to its chest, this could mean that it’s feeling relaxed and content in its environment. On the other hand, if it’s lying upside down with all four legs sticking up in the air, it could be a sign of tiredness or even exhaustion. By showing their belly it also usually means they are totally relaxed. When a dog curls up into a tight ball and rests its head between its paws this usually means that something is worrying them, they are cold or would like some extra comfort from you. Lastly, if they are lying flat on their belly with their paws in front it usually means they are keeping a watchful eye and are ready to spring into action should there be a hint of food or a walk! This position could also mean they are a little warm and trying to maximise skin-to-floor contact to keep cool.

As to what is their favourite sleeping position? Well, that is generally in the same bed as you! Personally, we also like our sleep and so don’t entertain this one but will leave that decision down to you.

Labradors V Golden Retrievers

Having had two Golden Retrievers and two Labrador Retrievers, we would definitely say that Goldens are the more chilled of the two and sleep more. Labradors seem to have more energy, not to say that Goldens are low energy but having spoken to lots of Golden Retriever owners and met many on walks, Goldens seem to relax for longer after a walk or activity. This is especially the case if you have one of the working type Labradors who always seem to be looking for the next mission!


Golden Retriever puppy asleep on floor
Hopefully, you are getting the idea that your Golden Retriever/Labrador puppy is going to sleep a lot! However, this will only happen with a well-exercised and mentally stimulated dog. You need to recognise the signs of an over-tired puppy and make sure they do not get too much exercise, not only can this lead to health issues such as hip dysplasia but a tired pup can become bitey and generally create a lot of mischief. Creating the right space for them to sleep is important as is providing enough mental stimulation in the form of soft toys and chew toys. Generally, a tired and mentally stimulated puppy is a happy and contented one. One last point to note is the need to keep an eye on their weight. As a general rule, a fit, healthy dog will sleep better and be in better shape to get the necessary exercise than a barrel of a dog that has had too many treats.
Golden Retriever adult and puppy in same bed asleep

A tired, (and well fed) Retriever is a happy one!

These are our 2 curled up together after a nice walk 🙂

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