Australian Shepherd Sleeping Habits Every Owner Should Know

Ever wondered if your Australian Shepherd is sleeping well or not?

Perhaps you notice your pet sleeping more on other times of the day while others just pretty much like to stay up longer.

They also do certain things before they actually doze off.

To make sure your pet is A-OK, it’s a good idea to understand the Australian Shepherd sleeping habits to eliminate any concerns with your dog.

Let’s get to know more about the Australian Shepherd’s unique nature and how much sleep they need, as well as those little nuances in their sleeping habits.

Australian Shepherd Personality

If there is one thing to describe this dog breed best, it would be “versatile”.

They are agile dogs that enjoy playtime and exercise, but they also love to take naps and cuddle with their owners.

In fact, they love to always please and smother their owners with love and affection. They are very loyal and somewhat possessive, too. This is due to their territorial instincts, which make you feel safe when you’re around your pet.

They like to protect their home and owners and strangers bring out their reserved and wary side.

Girl playing with Australian shepherd dog
Girl playing with Australian shepherd dog.

If you have kids, an Australian Shepherd is the perfect dog breed for them. These furry creatures adore children and like to play for hours. They enjoy a game of frisbee or ball, making them a perfect match for active kids.

This dog breed is a medium-sized animal with a great level of endurance and stamina. They were mainly bred to be working dogs, herding cattle or sheep. No wonder they are very responsible creatures!

This is why if you plan on owning an Australian Shepherd, it would be good to put a fence in your yard. Being around children and lots of people may overwhelm your dog because of their herding instinct.

See also: A Helpful Guide on the Australian Shepherd Eating Habits

Australian Shepherd Sleeping Habits

These dogs love to work… And they work hard.

They are not quite fond of just sitting around and doing nothing. Australian Shepherds are not couch potatoes but they also enjoy a good nap and cuddle.

There are those that are more quiet-natured and sedate while others are just a bundle of energy. It all depends on how you interact with your pet.

But if you notice your pet is a bit unruly and leaning more toward some destructive behavior (i.e. chewing, nipping, digging, etc), it’s a sign that he needs his exercise. You need to commit to providing him training and playtime that his body craves.

This breed loves to jump and run around, and it is normal with an Aussie Shepherd. Once they have exhausted their energy, they will be ready for some quiet time and nap.

It is interesting to discover certain sleeping behaviors that this breed displays. Here are some of these fascinating Australian Shepherd sleeping habits.

1. Light Napping

Your Aussie Shepherd might prefer to doze off for a few minutes out of boredom. They may also take a light snooze just to rest for a little bit.

If you see your pet this way, it does not mean he is sleeping deeply at all.

He may be waiting or anticipating something fun and interesting to happen. This is particularly true if you notice his ears perk up immediately at a faint noise or any movement around him. Your dog is still slightly alert at this point and not quite in a sleeping mode.

You can give him something exciting to do like a game of fetch or a light walk to get his blood moving. This can also eliminate that boredom that’s building up inside of him.

2. Circling Around

It is not uncommon to see dogs circling around before settling down to sleep.

In fact, this behavior dates back to centuries when their ancestors would trample down snow, leaves, grass, or other plant material to get in a comfortable sleeping position.

Some dogs even dig and make themselves a cozy little hole to either stay cool during the summer’s heat or warm in the frigid weather.

But there is a difference between circling a few times and doing it excessively. If your pet lies down after circling a couple of times, this is completely normal.

However, it is concerning to see him do it too much and not settle down. In this case, he could be suffering from some kind of neurological issue, arthritis, pain, or discomfort. Excessive circling is a cause of concern among pet owners, and you need to consult a vet for that.

3. Twitching

Once dogs are in a deep sleep, they may move slightly.

This is called the REM stage of sleep, which is also the most restful part of the sleeping stage.

Do not be surprised if you notice your dog twitching or kicking as your pet may simply be acting out what’s going on in their dream. It is completely fine, and they are actually sleeping deeply at this point.

A slight movement is okay during sleep, so no need to worry at all.

But one thing that you need to pay attention to is twitching caused by the cold temperature. If it is very cold in the room, your dog may twitch to help the body warm up. In this case, you need to give him a blanket or put him to a warmer spot to stay cozy.

Australian Shepherd Aussie lies beneath a woolen blanket
Australian Shepherd Aussie lies beneath a woolen blanket.

4. Whimpering

Is your Australian Shepherd whimpering in his sleep?

It means he is feeling agitated and potentially having nightmares.

Just like how you would soothe a baby having bad dreams in his sleep, you can comfort your pet by stroking his back and calling his name softly and lovingly.

Some dogs may just wake up and get going after a nightmare while others may go back to sleep after your soothing pat on their back.


Australian Shepherds are loving and gentle animals.

They love to stay active but they also appreciate a nice nap or long, deep sleep to recover after all that running around.

Be sure to understand more about the Australian Shepherd sleeping habits to help your pet achieve restful sleep and relaxation that will positively impact his well-being and overall health.

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