Why Does My Bull Terrier Sleep So Much?

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My Bull Terrier was sleeping for up to 17 hours a day, which had me worried. I spoke with the vet and asked him, “Why does my Bull Terrier sleep so much?” This is what I learned.

Why Does My Bull Terrier Sleep So Much?

Different factors might cause your Bull Terrier to sleep a lot. It could be his age, anxiety, illness or infections. On average, dogs sleep for 12 hours a day. Puppies and senior Bull Terriers might sleep more.

In this article, I will discuss different factors like why your Bull Terrier sleeps a lot. Keep reading to learn more.

Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier Age

Is your Bull Terrier a puppy or a senior? An adult dog usually sleeps for 12 to 14 hours a day. However, puppies and seniors tend to sleep more. They sleep for 18 hours a day and that’s normal.

A puppy that has an age of less than 12 months sleeps between 18 to 20 hours per day. It will start to sleep like any typical dog when it turns one year old. 

When your dog turns senior, expect him to sleep more than usual. On average, senior dogs sleep from 16 to 18 hours per day. Sleep is very important to senior dogs as it helps in keeping their metabolism balanced and extending their life.

Puppies and senior dogs have a sensitive immune system so you need to ensure they get the required amount of sleep. 

Bull Terrier Experiences Boredom, Anxiety and Stress

If your Bull Terrier is experiencing boredom, anxiety or stress, it becomes lethargic and tends to sleep a lot. Aside from sleeping more, you’ll notice that your Bull Terrier exhibits:

  • Shedding
  • Panting
  • Hiding
  • Food refusal
  • Dilating pupils
  • Rapid blinking

You can help your Bull Terrier by giving him activities that can stimulate him mentally and physically. Activities like exercise, walking or playing fetch. Also, remove any surrounding stressor present.

Bull Terrier Has Viral or Bacterial Infection

Viral infection might be another reason why your Bull Terrier sleeps too much. Parvovirus is one example of a viral infection. It slows down nutrient absorption such as protein and fluid that cause dehydration.

It weakens your Bull Terrier. Usually, Parvovirus hits dogs at the age of six weeks to six months. The best way to prevent Parvovirus is through vaccination.

Bacterial infection is another reason why your Bull Terrier might be sleeping more than the normal amount of time. One example of bacterial infection is Leptospirosis. This kind of bacterial infection is prevalent in warm weather.

Your Bull Terrier can contract leptospirosis from other dog’s urine or human urine that suffers the same bacterial infection.

Bull Terrier Has Hypothyroidism

Bull Terriers rank 61st among other breeds in catching hypothyroidism. Their risk of having this disease is medium. However, the possibility of getting this disease through breeding is still there.

Older dogs are the most vulnerable to getting hypothyroidism. The production of thyroxine helps the metabolic process. If the body produces less thyroxine than normal, it makes your dog unhealthy.

Bull Terrier laying on the brick floor

How Long Should a Bull Terrier Sleep?

In general, most dogs sleep 50 percent of the day. However, puppies and senior dogs sleep more than adults. Puppies sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day.

An adult Bull Terrier sleeps 12 hours a day while seniors spend 16 to 18 hours a day of sleep. Dogs sleep more than humans do. When a dog’s body asks for sleep, he listens to it. 

Since Bull Terriers are exploding with energy, they’d tire themselves up with running and playing until they use up all their energy. They’d end up dozing off and sleeping until they get back their energy. 

When Should I Be Concerned About My Bull Terrier’s Sleeping Habit?

When your Bull Terrier sleeps a lot with some behavioral changes, that’s the time you’ll need to be concerned. Below are the signs you need to watch out.

  • Sleeping pattern changes
  • Keeps on sleeping and ignoring things that used to grab his attention
  • Suddenly wakes up in a state of fright
  • Unwillingness to do things he used to be excited about
  • Increased aggression and anxiety
  • Abnormal urination or defecation

If you think there’s something wrong with your Bull Terrier based on the above signs, it’s best to get your dog checked by a vet. Your vet might run some tests, such as blood tests, to address the real problem.

Related Questions

Do Dogs Sleep the Whole Night?

Dogs sleep more than I do, so they spend most of their night sleeping. However, dogs are sensitive to sounds and movements. As a result, their sleep is mostly not continuous and they might spend a few moments staying up.

Is it OK to Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bedroom? 

Doctors don’t recommend letting your dog sleep in your bedroom. Their fur can aggravate allergies, especially if you have asthma. It’s best to not only keep them off your bed, but also out of your bedroom. Getting them their bed and their own space will be your best option.


In case you’re wondering why your Bull Terrier sleeps so much just like mine, it could be something normal like age or something serious like an illness. The best thing to do is set an appointment with your vet so your Bull Terrier is properly diagnosed.