How Much Should a Boston Terrier Sleep?

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Boston Terriers play hard, but when it comes to sleeping… they sleep hard too!

These dogs can have a sudden burst of energy and then crash into oblivion just as fast. Many dog parents worry that their BTs sleeps so much, but for how long do they stay asleep? And …

How much should a Boston Terrier sleep? It depends on your dog, but an adult Boston Terrier sleeps between 12 to 14 hours of every 24-hour cycle. Puppies and seniors sleep more, around 18 to 20 hours.

There are 5 factors that will influence how much your Boston Terrier sleeps. And let’s not get started with their funny sleeping positions!

How Much Should a Boston Terrier Sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an adult dog spends at least half of the day (between 12 to 14 hours of every 24-hour cycle) sleeping. However, puppies and senior dogs get even more sleep, around 18 to 20 hours.

Is it the same for Boston Terriers?

It depends. The “normal” amount of sleep for a Boston Terrier varies depending on certain factors:

  • Age.
  • Activity level.
  • Diet.
  • Size.
  • Lifestyle.

These factors will help you to predict how much your pooch sleeps and if she’s at the higher or lower end of that range. 

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Factor #1: Age

Age is one of the major features that is used when giving an average of how much a dog sleeps per day.

How Many Hours Does a Boston Terrier Puppy Sleep?

On average, Boston Terrier puppies need up to 18 hours of sleep per day. This includes nighttime and multiple naps, which they usually last anywhere between ½ hour to 2 hours.

Despite being a ball of energy when they are awake, pups need a lot of sleep to grow and recharge their batteries.

Like human babies, your 8 weeks old Boston Terrier puppy will spend a lot of time sleeping when you get her home. But also like babies, very young puppies will not sleep through the night. This also has to do with their need to empty their bladder frequently.

Read also: Boston Terrier Potty Training In 6 Steps.

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How Many Hours Does an Adult Boston Terrier Sleep?

As a general guideline, an adult Boston Terrier sleeps between 12 to 14 hours daily.

An average family dog will spend about half her time napping, another 30% lounging around but awake, and the remaining 20% being active. 

Since your BT spends more than half of the day sleeping, it’s important that she has a good bed to sleep on. Use the guide in my favourite dog beds for features on the different types of dog beds.

What if your dog sleeps more than average?

If your pooch is ill or injured, she will sleep more than a healthy and fully mobile dog.

Dog parents should be aware that excess sleep can also be a sign of potential problems. Also, stress and separation anxiety can manifest as extra daytime snoozing.

That’s why knowing your dog’s normal sleeping patterns can be helpful. This knowledge will help you determine if your pooch is just tired or if her sleep has changed.

While there can be a lot of variability in dogs’ sleeping habits, the one thing to keep an eye out for is a dramatic change.

So, if your pooch sleeps more than the average you’re used to and expect, take this matter to your vet for a better assessment.

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How Many Hours Does a Senior Boston Terrier Sleep?

Senior Boston Terriers can sleep around 18 to 20 hours a day. They tend to have lower energy levels, and like puppies, they need to recharge their batteries more often after exercise.

They are more likely to spend more time chilling and sleeping, especially if they have some health issues.

Plus, some illnesses and age-related problems can come with a change in sleeping patterns.

Here are some signs that your dog is sleeping too much:

  • A change in your dog’s sleep patterns.
  • A small change in your dog’s daily routine.
  • Your dog prefers to sleep rather than play, eat, drink… basically your dog’s daily routine sequence gets altered or interrupted by sleep.
  • It’s hard to wake up your dog in the morning.
  • Your pooch falls asleep suddenly (narcolepsy).
  • Etc.

Some of these signs might not be alarming or obvious if your Boston has always been a bit on the lazy side. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask your vet for a professional opinion.

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Factor #2: Activity Level

Active dogs sleep less than inactive dogs.

The main reason is that they tend to have more energy and are doing things for a greater percentage of the day than inactive dogs are.

Boston Terriers have high energy levels and adults require an hour of daily exercise, although some are happy to go longer. Puppies and seniors, however, have different needs.

In How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Need? you’ll find age-specific advice.

Factor #3: Diet

A low-quality diet will slow down your Boston Terrier in two ways:

  1. Since it doesn’t provide the essential nutrients, your pooch won’t be able to create the energy that she needs to be active. This leads to a lethargic dog.
  2. Due to the number of filler ingredients they use (rice, wheat, starches, etc.), your dog will have difficulty with digestion. As a result, your dog’s body will spend more energy digesting than playing. 

P.S. A species-appropriate diet is a recommended way to ensure your pooch is getting all her nutrients in a healthy way. Head over to our Boston Terrier Nutrition guide for more.

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Factor #4: Size

Big dogs are known to sleep more than small doggies, probably because large and giant breeds age quicker and have shorter lifespans.

Boston Terriers fall into the small breeds category in term of size, so they should not be sleeping way more than their average for their age. (e.g. they should not need to be sleeping as much as big dogs their age)

Factor #5: Lifestyle

What a dog has been bred to do has an influence on how much they sleep.

Working dogs like service, search, and rescue dogs, spend more time doing a job, and therefore they sleep less.

Boston Terriers are non-sporting dogs and have been bred as companion dogs. Compared to working dogs, they fall at the other end of the snooze spectrum since they have no job to do. Some are known to excel on “sleep hours a day” contest.

So, Boston’s lifestyle depends on how active their owners are.

Less active BTs and those who are home alone during the day are likely to sleep more (out of boredom).

Of course, Boston Bull Terriers who are kept busy and are on the move will sleep less.

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Boston Terrier’s Sleeping Patterns

Unlike us, who rest best when we stick to a regular schedule, dogs are flexible sleepers.

What does this mean?

Your Boston Terrier can easily wake up when there’s action:

  • A knock on the door.
  • Mail through the letterbox.
  • When you get home.
  • If they smell food, etc.

Basically, they jump to attention in a heartbeat!

Another difference between dogs and us is the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the restorative sleep.

Although we spend 25% of our sleep time in REM, dogs only spend 10%. As a result, it’s possible that dogs need to sleep more often to catch enough REM sleep.

Next time your Boston goes to sleep, pay attention to how:

  1. First, she will enter a slow wave of sleep in which her breathing rate slows, her blood pressure drops and her heart rate decreases.
  2. About 10 minutes in, she’ll enter the REM phase of sleep. Then, you can see twitching of the facial muscles and, as the name suggests, rapid movement of the eyes. This might happen whether your dog is dreaming or not.
  3. If your pooch is dreaming, you will notice her quivering, making leg twitches, whimpering or even growling when sleeping.

Also, due to their short snouts, Boston Terriers frequently snore and snort during their sleep.

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Boston Terrier’s Sleeping Habits

Every dog breed and individual dog have their quirks. Boston Terriers have a few adorable sleeping habits!

Why Boston Terriers Sleep in Funny Positions?

Because of their compressed nose and sleep apnea (brachycephalic dog traits), they tend to end up sleeping in funny positions.

These positions often allow them to let in air while also keeping them warm. That’s why you will find many Boston Terriers sleeping on their back!

So, if you were wondering if other BTs sleep on their back like yours…

Yes – definitely. Plus, when they sleep on their backs, they snore even more!

But that’s not the only one!

Why Dogs Choose Different Sleeping Positions?

Your dog’s sleeping position has to do with:

  • The REM cycle status.
  • Physical condition (Boston’s are a brachycephalic breed too).
  • Personality.
  • Room temperature, etc.

Here are a few examples of common dog sleeping positions:

Curl Up In a Ball

Boston Terriers will tuck their face and paws into the curl. Your dog will adopt this position if she either feels cold or the need to be on guard (to protect vulnerable areas).

Also, Bostons can be major snugglers. Burrowing under the cover is an instinctive behaviour for the Terrier breed, including Boston Terriers.

One of the reasons is to stay warm!

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On Their Side

Your dog can lie on her side in her bed, but also on the tiled floor in the middle of the hallway to stay cool or on the doorway.

Side sleeping can be considered a sign that a dog is deeply bonded to her family. She feels secure at home and can fully relax.

On Their Back

Just like I mentioned earlier, this position is very common amongst Boston Terriers. Your pooch will be resting on her back, legs up towards the ceiling!

Full Tummy Stretch

Apart from lying on their back, this one is another hilarious position.

A Boston will lay on her stomach, often extending both her front and back legs fully (“Superdog position”).

The Contortionist

This is when your pooch goes through several positions during a nap. Or, they fall sleep in the oddest way possible.


Regardless of position, your pooch should have a comfy bed to rest and snuggle. In my favourite dog beds guide, you’ll discover the most appropriate bed for Boston Terrier’s snuggling behaviour.

However, whenever your pooch has the chance, she will snuggle against you:

  • Curled at your feet or on your lap.
  • Next to you on the couch – they especially love to nestle into the curve between your butt and knees if you lay on your side.
  • And even on your bed, if you let her!

Find out why Boston Terriers like sleeping with you and if it’s okay to sleep with your pooch in Why Do Boston Terriers Sleep Under Covers? blog post.

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