The Chow Chow dog makes an undeniable impression, with their deeply wrinkled faces and super-fluffy coats.
Once you’ve seen a Chow Chow, you won’t forget this breed that seems so impossibly self-contained and self-confident.
Chow Chows are actually one of the most ancient of all modern dog breeds. While their working dog lineage might suggest these dogs have a high energy level, the opposite is actually much more accurate.
In this article, we cover what to expect as far as your Chow Chow’s daily sleep needs. You will also learn more about when, where, and how much Chow Chows sleep each day.
How Long Do Chow Chow Sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the typical companion canine sleeps 12 to 14 hours per day.
Of course, every Chow Chow is different. Chow dogs may also sleep more during puppyhood and in the golden years than they do in young and middle adulthood.
A sudden change in your Chow Chow’s sleeping habits should always prompt a call to your canine veterinarian as this may be an indication of emerging health issues.
Watch a Chow Chow Dog Sleeping
This adorable owner-made YouTube video features a cute Chow Chow dog sleeping.
You can see how easily the dog falls back to sleep even after being slightly woken up by the owner.
How Much Do Chow Chow Sleep Each Day?
This is the question that tends to surprise first-time Chow Chow owners the most.
As this popular Chow Chow dog owners forum illustrates, Chow Chows can really pack in the sleep hours during the day as well as at night.
Many Chow owners report that their puppies sleep a lot and they initially expect the sleep quantity to taper off as their dogs get older. When it doesn’t, and their young adult Chow Chow is still sleeping the day away, this is when concern kicks in.
But more experienced Chow dog owners affirm that these dogs are about as close as you can come to a canine sleep-a-holic. They love their sleep. As one owner loosely states – if there is no work to be done, why not take another rest?
Another owner likens having a Chow Chow to having a new, particularly lumpy rug laying on your floor. This gives a great visual of how frequently Chow Chows take naps.
Where Do Chow Chow Like to Sleep?
Senge Chows breeder explains that Chow Chows may not be the cuddliest dog breed in terms of their temperament, but they are people dogs through and through.
Chow Chows want to be with their people all day and all night. In fact, this is what the Chow Chow was bred for – to guard, protect, herd, and watch over their people.
This can mean your Chow Chow wants to sleep not just beside your bed but in your bed with you. You will need to make your own decision about whether or not to permit this.
However, either way, it is important to be aware that Chow Chows tend to snore when they sleep. If you are a light sleeper and you cannot or don’t want to wear earplugs, the Chow Chow may not be the right dog breed for you.
Do All Chow Chow Dogs Sleep a Lot?
While the Chow Chow dog definitely has a reputation as the proverbial “sleeping dog,” this is not to say that all Chow Chows fit this particular mold.
As the Chow Chow dog owner forum explains, some Chow Chows are actually quite active.
If you have a Chow dog that is very energetic and active, this doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your dog. There are genetic influences that can contribute to some Chow Chows being more naturally energetic than others.
Why Do Chow Chow Sleep So Much?
According to a research study published in the Journal of Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, dogs sleep for the same basic reasons we sleep.
And typically, domestic dogs adopt a similar sleep/wake cycle to that of their people.
The Chow Chow may seem to depart from this norm somewhat in that many Chows seem to sleep all day and most of the night.
You might wonder if the Chow Chow, like certain other purebred dog breeds (such as Great Pyrenees and Coonhounds), might be not nocturnal (awake at night).
But Chow Chows are diurnal like people, at least at the most fundamental level.
And since most companion canines need 12 to 14 hours of sleep per night and most humans get six to seven hours per night at the most, even a normal amount of canine sleep often seems excessive to the average dog owner.
Ultimately, as long as your Chow Chow’s daily sleep routine remains mostly consistent as far as quantity of sleep, there is no reason to worry.
Some dog breeds are simply lower energy breeds than others. The Chow Chow is definitely considered a lower energy dog breed.
The Most Common Chow Chow Sleep Positions
The Chow Chow is a top-heavy dog in that this dog’s head, neck, and shoulders are incredibly broad and their body tapers towards the back.
This means the Chow dog often favors a position where they lay flat on their belly with their limbs splayed out around them. Some owners call this the “dead frog” position and others call this the “superman” position.
Many canine behaviorists believe this is the position dogs choose when they want to be able to wake up and get up quickly. This makes sense given that a Chow Chow sleeps a lot but is a guard dog breed.
How to Wake Up a Sleeping Chow Chow Dog
The video you watched earlier here illustrates that Chow Chows are as laid-back in sleep as they are while awake.
Many Chow Chow owners state that Chows will wake up to eat and to relieve themselves. Some may wake up on their own but a food scent can be an effective, non-invasive way to gently wake up a sleeping Chow.
Because these dogs are big and powerful underneath all that fluffy fur, you don’t want to startle your dog awake and end up with a face full of dog hair.
Chow Chow Health Issues That Might Cause Lots of Sleeping
As we mentioned here earlier, it is important to pay attention to your Chow Chow’s daily sleep and wake schedule for health reasons.
Since companion animals like dogs typically prefer to stick to the same daily routine day in and day out, a sudden change can indicate a health problem brewing.
For example, perhaps your Chow Chow is typically rather active and suddenly starts sleeping a lot. This change may indicate more than just fatigue, especially if nothing else in your dog’s daily routine has changed.
So let’s take a look at some possible health-related reasons why a Chow Chow might suddenly start sleeping a lot more than usual.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Chow Chows can be particularly prone to thyroid disorders, including autoimmune thyroiditis.
Low thyroid function has a known link to excessive sleeping.
The Chow Chow Club of America points out that Chow Chows can be susceptible to serious joint issues like elbow and hip dysplasia and patellar luxation (trick kneecap).
A Chow Chow that is experiencing issues with joint stiffness or pain may not want to move about or play, even if they formerly enjoyed this.
Canine influenza (dog flu)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains that dogs, like people, can get the flu.
But canine flu is not the same as people flu and people can’t catch it from their dogs. It is a respiratory illness that has two known strains and tends to occur seasonally.
A dog that develops canine influenza may sleep more than usual and also seem to suffer respiratory distress.
Overweight, obesity or diabetes
Many Chow Chows sleep so much that it can be challenging to keep them from gaining weight. It doesn’t help that most Chow Chows really love to eat!
A Chow Chow that gets too heavy is less likely to want to exercise. Extra weight places more stress on joints and this can be particularly challenging for these stiff-legged dogs.
An overweight or obese Chow Chow is also more prone to developing canine diabetes, which can be very draining for your dog and cause them to sleep more.
When you understand the unique breed history of the ancient Chow Chow dog breed, it can make more sense that these thick-coated, low-energy dogs might choose to sleep and relax when there is no need to work.
However, if you have any specific concerns about your Chow Chow, and especially if your dog has suddenly started sleeping more, it is always smart to get in touch with your family’s canine veterinarian.