Why Does My Basset Hound Sleep So Much? Reasons + When To Worry

Sleep is important for the restoration of energy, for healing and growth for us humans as well as for dogs. 

However, you may have wondered why your Basset Hound sleeps most of the day. Is this normal and should you be worried? 

In this article, we aim to show you factors that influence a Basset Hound to sleep more, the breed’s sleeping habits, and when to get medical help.

Factors that influence a Basset Hound to sleep so much include their age, activity level, health status, the natural sleep pattern of dogs, and the breed characteristics as medium-sized breed dog which is predisposed for longer sleep. Sleeping more is normal, however, some symptoms could accompany the sleep pattern indicating signs of health problems.

Why Does My Basset Hound Sleep So Much

Factors That Influence A Basset Hound's Sleep

How much a Basset Hound sleeps depends on the following:


The length of time of sleep depends on how old a Basset Hound is.

Puppies sleep more compared to adult or senior Basset Hounds.

This is because it is natural for young ones to sleep more for healthy growth. Their bodies are developing and sleep is part of the process in allowing this to take place.

Puppies are also more energetic and playful and use up their energy quickly compared to adult dogs and they need more time to rest to regain energy.

Senior dogs sleep longer as well because of the decreased energy level, get tired quickly, and thus spend most of their time sleeping.

Activity level

The activity level of a Basset Hound also affects how much they sleep. Working dogs and small breed dogs normally sleep less.

 The activity level also depends on your family’s lifestyle or engagement with them with activities they can do. If a Basset Hound has a daily routine that has more activities to engage in, they will sleep only after the activities to rest and regain energy.

Also when they don’t have an active lifestyle, naturally due to boredom they will sleep the day away.


A sick Basset Hound will sleep more as they recover and get well compared to a healthy one.

The presence of diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, depression, and acquired deafness in older dogs can also cause a change in sleeping patterns.

Also, a dog on medication will tend to sleep more. Therefore, the presence of disease can also be the underlying reason why a Basset Hound can sleep a lot. 

Related: Basset Hound throwing up: When it’s normal and when to panic

The breed's characteristics

A dog’s breed characteristic determines how much they sleep. Some breeds are more likely to have the tendency to sleep more compared to others.

Medium-large breed dogs are known to sleep more than small breed dogs.

As a medium-sized dog, the Basset Hound is naturally predisposed to longer sleep habits.

The sleep pattern of dogs

Dogs in general have a different sleep pattern compared to humans and tend to sleep more than us in 24 hours.

Dogs have a polyphasic type of sleep which means they have several sleep cycles spread throughout 24-hours, while humans have a monophasic sleep pattern which means we have one long sleep cycle in a 24-hour period which is usually at night. 

Both human and dog sleep cycles have the slow-wave phase which is the first phase of sleep and the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

A dog usually enters the slow-wave phase in 10 minutes and quickly enters the REM phase.

They only spend 10% of their sleep cycle in REM which is not enough compared to humans where we spend 25% of our sleep in the phase, which is the restorative period of sleep which is important. 

As quickly as a dog enters its REM sleep cycle, they can also quickly wake up from it and can be alert. This is seen when your dog wakes up quickly when they hear sounds from their surroundings.

Short periods of sleep explains why dogs sleep several times a day. They need more total sleep in 24 hours to regain and compensate for the lost REM sleep cycle which is important for natural rest or restoration.

Therefore a Basset Hound sleeping a lot during the day combined with the night sleep is a natural sleep pattern of all dogs.

Basset Hound Puppy Sleeping Habits

A Basset Hound puppy sleeps between 18 to 24 hours. Just like human babies, puppies sleep most of the time because sleep is essential as it allows for healthy growth and development.

Their bodies continuously grow during this period and rest allows this to happen.

Puppies also have high-energy, they spend time learning about their environment and all this can be exhausting for them. They require sleep to recover energy.

It is therefore natural for a Basset Hound puppy to eat, sleep and poop a lot.

When they mature and grow older, the sleep reduces to about 14 hours. 

Adult Basset Hound Sleeping Habits

An adult Basset Hound sleeps between 14 to 16 hours a day with an average of 12 hours.

This is perfectly normal if they are healthy and eating well.

Dogs inclusive of the Basset Hound spend 50% of their time sleeping and 30% of their time lounging. This means only 20% of 24 hours is spent on other activities. This shows a lot of time in a 24-hour timeline is spent sleeping.

Also, typically all dogs like to lounge when not asleep. This is where they are awake but generally, they are not doing anything while lying down and just watching their environment. This is normal as well for a Basset Hound.

When To Worry And Get Help

Sleeping a lot for a Basset Hound can also be a sign of underlying health problems. Talk to your vet when your Basset Hounds sleep pattern has changed from their normal pattern especially with sudden significant sleep changes.

The vet will determine if the change is due to medical or behavioral problems.

Also, immediately call your vet when you notice the following behaviors from your Basset Hound:

  • Consistent restlessness at night
  • Refusal to sleep during the day
  • Sleep interferes with their eating and drinking 
  • They sleep suddenly in the middle of an activity
  • It’s hard to wake them up in the morning
  • Change in sleep pattern, that is, they sleep more than usual
  • They are slow to wake up and don’t respond quickly to normal motivations such as you calling them or when giving them a treat or food 
  • Behavior problems arise, that is, excessive sleep is accompanied by excessive whining, crying, disorientation, neediness, becoming irritable, anxiety, pacing, drooling, limping, staring at walls, and withdrawal from being active or engaged even in small activities

Frequently Asked Questions

When will my Basset Hound puppy sleep through the night?

The time a Basset Hound puppy sleeps throughout the night depends on the consistent training they receive to get them to sleep most of the night.

Training is important for a puppy to encourage longer sleep.

As a Basset Hound puppy owner, much like having a newborn baby, you will still have to wake up at least once a night during the first few months because it is normal for them to wake up at least once a night to urinate and relieve themselves. 


Sleeping a lot for a Basset Hound is common and normal therefore should not be a cause for alarm, however, there are certain signs to watch out for that indicate the presence of health problems.

It is also best to be aware of your dog’s sleep habits so that if there are any changes to their sleep patterns, you can contact your veterinarian immediately. It is also advisable to keep a sleep log to track this.