How much sleep a Boxer dog needs depends on factors including their age, activity levels and health.
A Boxer will generally sleep about half the day in total, dozing whenever there is a lull in activity.
Your Boxer’s sleep habits, like his bowel and urinary habits, are worth keeping an eye on as they can provide clues as to his general health and wellbeing.
How Many Hours Does A Boxer Dog Sleep?
A healthy adult Boxer will usually sleep about 12 to 14 hours a day.
Your Boxer won’t get all his sleep in one stretch, like humans.
Dogs are opportunistic sleepers, and dozers.
Your Boxer will sleep most soundly at night, when there is no noise or distractions.
But he will also sleep during the day when you’re out or whenever there’s nothing interesting going on.
Disturbed Sleep In Boxers
If your Boxer isn’t sleeping well, or is restless or continually waking up it could indicate:
- Pain or not feeling well including stomach upset, diarrhea, UTI or acid reflux attacks which can tend to occur at night
- Not enough exercise or mental stimulation
- Mood disturbance or feeling insecure due to a change of routine e.g. moved house, new baby, owner suddenly returned to work, sleeping in a new location
- Perhaps you fed him later in the day than usual or fed a more hydrated food that has created the need for an unscheduled nighttime potty break
If your Boxer is sleeping much more than usual it can also be a sign of:
- Illness — sleep is healing and dogs know this instinctively
- Ageing — older dogs will slow down
- Joint problems or mobility issues
- Depression e.g. after the loss of a mate
- Boredom/lack of stimulation
Boxer Dog Sleep Routines
You can help your Boxer sleep well by establishing and maintaining a regular sleep routine.
It’s a good idea to:
- Take your Boxer for a final bathroom break right before bed (Particularly if raw feeding your Boxer, the food will contain a lot of moisture)
- Feed your Boxer at the end of the day but quite a few hours before bedtime (This way sleep can be more regenerative rather than devoted to digestion)
- Keep fresh, pure water (not tap water) available at all times including through the night (Some people pick up water bowls in the evening to prevent potty breaks at night, but Boxers should always have access to water)
- Provide your Boxer with a quiet place to retreat to if he wants to sleep somewhere more peaceful than in the midst of the household hustle and bustle
- Make sure your Boxer has a good quality bed, ideally one that’s orthopedic and made from non-toxic materials
- Keep consistent rules about where your Boxer is allowed to sleep, even if he makes different choices each night
- Minimize artificial light sources after dark to reduce interference with diurnal rhythms (This is good for you too)
- Make sure your Boxer gets enough physical exercise and mental stimulation in order to be tired enough to sleep
- Help your Boxer relax with a few hours chewing a raw meaty bone like a lamb neck
- Make sure the house receives lots of natural light during the day time including sunny spots for your Boxer to lie in
- Teach children to leave your Boxer alone while he’s in his bed or asleep
Do Boxer Puppies Sleep A Lot?
Your Boxer puppy will, of course, need to sleep a lot more when he’s little.
When he first comes home, probably at eight weeks, he will probably sleep as much as 18 to 20 hours per day.
Life will be a cycle of sleep, potty, eat, potty, play, potty.
Daytime naps may be half an hour or as long as two hours at a stretch.
Allow maximum rest as it’s essential to support healthy Boxer dog growth and development.
It can be tempting to constantly interact with and handle your pup, but it’s important to leave him undisturbed so he learns to settle down and rest on his own.
Just like children, overtired puppies can get out of hand, so recognize the signs and encourage a time out.
Should A New Boxer Puppy Sleep Through The Night?
You might get lucky and find your Boxer pup sleeps right through the first night.
Or he might take a while to settle.
Resist the urge to bring him in bed with you, if that’s not where you want him to remain once he’s fully grown.
It’s far easier to allow your Boxer in your bed for the first time as an adult, if you want to go that way, than to try to oust him once he’s already accustomed to sleeping in the big bed.
Your Boxer may whine and cry in his crate because he’s getting used to it — ignore these complaints but learn to recognize the difference between that and him needing to go potty.
If your pup does need to go potty during the night, attend to him as uneventfully as possible, praising him calmly for going outside, but without throwing in any extra attention or a midnight play session.
You don’t want to inadvertently encourage nighttime wakefulness.
Should Your Boxer Puppy Sleep In A Crate?
There is no reason your Boxer must sleep in a crate, though it’s quite popular in the US.
It can certainly be useful for your Boxer to at least be comfortable with a crate, so that if he ever has to stay in one at the vet’s, it’s more familiar.
But, if you’re able to Boxer proof your house by closing doors, keeping power cords and other potentially hazardous objects off the floor and using baby gates etc, you may not need to crate train.
One thing’s for sure: if you intend to crate train your Boxer, start on day one.
This goes for all house rules, like whether dogs are allowed on the couch, and whether they are required to wait for humans to go through doors first when exiting the house.
Decide early what they are, and stick to them — no exceptions, they’ll only confuse your Boxer and create headaches for you later.
Should You Let Your Boxer Sleep In Your Bed?
There are plenty of good reasons not to have your Boxer sleep in your bed with you, such as:
- Sleeping together is what littermates do and in dog language it tends to convey equality i.e. it may muddy the waters of who’s the leader
- Sharing your bed with an adult Boxer will mean a more disrupted (and more cramped) night’s sleep for both of you — it can also be detrimental to a couple’s relationship as the bed becomes something other than your own intimate space
- Safety — with tiny puppies, it’s possible you may accidentally roll on your pup
- Cleanliness — your bed will be dirtier if your Boxer is in it, it just will — and Boxers shed significant amounts of hair, so be warned
However, there are also benefits like:
- An added sense of security/comfort for both of you
- Warmth (This can be a real thing in cold climates!)
It comes down to personal choice.
Are Boxers Lazy?
Boxers are generally highly active, athletic dogs with significant exercise needs.
They aren’t like greyhounds that can happily lounge around all day, every day.
But they do enjoy a snooze as much as the next canine.
Your Boxer will happily chill out once he’s had his daily exercise and a chance to get his wriggles out.
Why Do Boxers Sleep On Their Backs?
Boxer dogs have a range of quirky behaviors, including entertaining sleeping positions.
Sooner or later you will see your Boxer sleeping on his back, with all four legs splayed in the air.
This sleeping posture may indicate your Boxer has had a hearty meal and is feeling full and contented.
Or it might be more practical: a way of ventilating the skin and getting rid of excess body heat, the opposite of curling in a ball when it’s cold.
Why Does My Boxer Twitch In His Sleep?
If you notice your Boxer twitching, yelping, growling under his breath and even breathing heavily in his sleep, don’t worry.
Judging by the sleep barking and running, Boxer dog dreams are as exuberant as their waking lives.
Your Boxer’s sleep needs will vary over his lifetime, depending on what’s going on, just like yours.
In general, though, you will get to know your dog’s sleep patterns, and what’s normal for him.
Pay attention if you notice any change to your Boxer’s sleep schedule as it may be a subtle indication that something is amiss.