If there’s one dog breed everyone seems to know and love, it’s the Dachshund. Affectionately known as “weiner dogs,” Dachshunds are bold, intelligent, and endlessly entertaining, with a look that sets them apart from all other canines. They are also loyal to a fault, surprisingly affectionate, and make wonderful family pets. However, one question many have about the Dachshund is the odd habit of sleeping for many hours a day.
Some Dachshund owners worry about their pet’s seemingly excessive sleep habits. It’s not unusual for a healthy Dachshund to sleep 14 hours a day which is a little more than the average 12 hours a day for other breeds. If you’re the proud pet parent to a doting Dachshund and wonder why your Doxie is sleeping their days away, read on. We have eight of the most typical reasons that Dachshunds sleep so much!
The 8 Typical Reasons Dachshunds Sleep So Much
1. It’s Natural for Dachshunds To Sleep a Lot
To get an idea about the breed of the Dachshund, you need to look at their name. In German, where the Dachshund was first bred back in the 17th century, the name Dachshund stood for “Badger Dog.” In German, “dach” means badger, and “hund” means dog. Why such an unusual name? Because Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers that destroyed valuable crops in Germany at the time.
Dachshunds were bred to be small and have short legs so they could enter badger holes and root out the offending animal. If you know anything about badgers, you know they’re fierce animals that will fight to the death when threatened. The Dachshunds that were sent in to drag them out worked very hard, expending tremendous amounts of energy in the process.
Because of this, they slept a lot during the day to recuperate their strength for the next badger battle. That habit, surprising as it might seem, survives today and is one of the main reasons Dachshunds sleep so much.
2. You Dachshund Gets Too Little Activity During the Day
Dachshunds spent a lot of energy and needed sleep to build their energy back up. Today, however, Dachshunds aren’t fighting and dragging badgers out of holes in the ground but instead are living in homes with comfy dog beds and being treated like canine royalty.
Often, they’re left alone for many hours, during which time they have nothing to do but watch the day go by. If you can imagine a Dachshund sleeping all day, 5 days a week, it’s not surprising that they would tend to keep doing the same thing on the weekend. That is unless you give them something to do. If not, sleep it is!
3. Your Dachshund Is Getting Older
Dachshunds are one of the longest-lived dogs in the canine world, living an average of 12 to 15 years and often longer. A Dachshund is considered a senior dog after they hit about 8 years old, at which point, like most older dogs, they tend to slow down and sleep more often.
A senior Dachshund may eat less and get less energy from their food. This lack of energy, combined with age related reduction in metabolic rate, can increase their sleeping habit even more. Ironically, even though they eat less, senior Dachshunds will gain weight, which only adds to their sleeping situation.
4. Your Dachshund Is Bored
As we mentioned earlier, modern Dachshunds get far less exercise than they did when they were brave badger hunters saving Germany’s farmers from failure. Back then, the average Dachshund was never bored because there was always another badger to hunt.
When they weren’t hunting, they were training to hunt and thus never had the chance to be bored. Today, the average Dachshund sits around for several hours a day. They deal with boredom by, you guessed it, sleeping. If you aren’t home during the day and your Dachshund’s sitting there waiting for you for hours, it’s not surprising that they sleep a lot while waiting.
5. Your Dachshund Might Have Narcolepsy
One disorder that some Dachshunds have, unfortunately, is narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder. Dachshunds with narcolepsy not only sleep a lot, but they also seem to be tired all the time. They fall asleep at the drop of a hat, as they say, and lose control of their muscles and collapse. This is usually triggered by activity or eating in dachshunds. The gene responsible for this abnormal condition is the HCRTR2 gene, which is mutated in Dachshunds with narcolepsy.
However, this gene mutation has only been noted in Smooth and Mini Long Haired Dachshunds. It usually presents as a problem between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Also, besides narcolepsy, Dachshunds have few other inherited disorders. That’s likely why they live so long.
6. It’s Wintertime, and Your Dachshund’s Melatonin Levels Are High
Dachshunds, as well as many other dog breeds, sleep more during the winter. The reason is that when the weather gets cold and the nights get long, many dogs see a big surge in the melatonin their body produces. Melatonin is the ”sleep hormone” and causes a dog’s body to want to sleep more. Humans also produce melatonin.
7. Your Dachshund Isn’t Sleeping Well at Night
Like any animal, if your Dachshund isn’t getting a good night’s sleep, it will sleep more during the day. Several factors and conditions can prevent your Dachshund from getting their much-needed rest. For example, in scorching climates like those found in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, your Doxie can be so uncomfortable that they can’t sleep.
Older Dachshunds might suffer from arthritis or spinal disc disease, making it physically impossible for them to get comfortable at night. A Dachshund with kidney disease or diabetes might have to get up frequently during the night to pee, which in turn interrupts their sleep cycle. Lastly, your Dachshund might suffer from stress, anxiety, or cognitive decline that can keep the poor thing awake at night. If your Dachshund is not sleeping well at night make sure to take them to the vet for a health check.
8. You’re Overfeeding Your Dachshund
This last reason your Dachshund sleeps so much is not only a cause of more sleep but is also very bad for their overall health. Overfeeding dogs can cause them to become obese, and obesity triggers laziness. Considering that many Dachshunds don’t get the exercise and mental stimulation they need, giving them too much food is like adding insult to injury. That’s why giving your Dachshund no more than the recommended amount of food for their size is always best.
Why do Dachshunds sleep so much? As we’ve seen today, there are several reasons for this wonderful breed to sleep more than other dog breeds. One of the biggest is that Dachshunds were bred to be fierce hunters and expend a ton of energy, which naturally made them need more sleep to recuperate.
Doxies also suffer from narcolepsy and, in many homes, don’t get the exercise and stimulation they need, so they sleep instead. Several other reasons cause the lovable, loyal, and fearless dogs to sleep more, some of which are controllable and some not. Sleep fanatics or not, one thing is certain; Dachshunds are an incredible breed and make fine furry friends.