Max the Yorkie sleeping on the couch

How Long Do Yorkies Sleep? Habits & Needs Explained

The average Yorkie adult will sleep somewhere around 13 hours per day, with some sleeping as much as 18 hours. The amount of sleep can vary and depends largely on factors such as the age of the dog, the presence of health issues, the amount of exercise they receive, and the environment of the home.

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Yorkshire Terriers tend to sleep a lot, similar to the amount of the average dog breed. How much they sleep mostly depends on the age of the dog. Typically, dogs sleep for one long block throughout the night and then take several intermittent naps throughout the day.

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How much do Yorkies sleep?

How much your Yorkie sleeps largely depends on his or her age. Let’s look at the difference in sleep routines between Yorkshire Terrier puppies and adults.

How long do Yorkie puppies sleep?

Just like human babies, puppies are rapidly growing and require a lot of sleep. Yorkie puppies can sleep anywhere from 16 to 22 hours per day. By the time your puppy joins the family at around eight to twelve weeks of age, the puppy will usually be sleeping closer to 16 to 20 hours per day.

The puppy’s naps can range from 10 minutes to an hour. They sleep, wake up, go potty, play a bit, and the next thing you know, they are asleep again. As your puppy ages, you will probably notice a gradual decline in the frequency of naps. Your puppy will slowly move away from his or her own random sleeping schedule to the schedule of the family. 

When it comes to your own nighttime routines, you should expect to have disrupted sleep for the first few weeks. Your puppy may whimper and whine to express their loneliness and fear. They are adjusting to a new environment and life without their mother and littermates, so separation anxiety is a common issue. 

To help your puppy transition to your sleeping schedule and sleep through the night, there are a few things you can do to instill good sleeping routines.

Tips to get a Yorkie puppy to sleep through the night

  • Play with and exercise your puppy throughout the day and before bedtime. Keep in mind that your puppy needs plenty of time to wind down after play before heading to bed.
  • Remove access to food and water about an hour before bedtime.
  • Allow your puppy to go to the bathroom shortly before bedtime. An empty bladder may give you a couple of extra hours of sleep before the next bathroom break. Additionally, the puppy will begin to realize this is a bedtime routine.
  • As bedtime approaches, turn down the lights and volume in the house to create a peaceful environment. 
  • Follow the same routine every night so your puppy knows what to expect. 
  • Take toys out of their crate or playpen at night, except for maybe a soft companion toy that aids sleep. 
  • You can give them a command like “get in your bed” as you put them to bed, so they will eventually learn to do it themselves.
  • Ensure that the bed is warm, cozy, and comfortable. If possible, put the puppy’s crate or sleeping area nearby in your bedroom, so the puppy feels like a part of the pack and you can hear them when they awake and need to be taken outside.
  • Put any blanket the breeder gave you (with the mom’s scent) in the puppy’s sleeping area.
  • No matter how adorable they are, don’t allow your puppy to sleep in your bed—at least not in the beginning while house training. 
  • Do your best to ignore bedtime crying when they are in their crate or playpen, as long as it’s not a bathroom issue.

If you’re crate training a Yorkie puppy, you’ll need to take your puppy out of the crate to potty every time they wake up. This may be every few hours until they can sleep through the night.

If you’re potty training your Yorkie to go on puppy pads, they’ll wake up just as frequently, but you do not have to take them out to potty in the middle of the night if you choose not to.

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>> Read more: How to Take Care of a Yorkie: Puppy Care from 8 Weeks to Adulthood

How long do adult Yorkies sleep?

In general, you can expect your adult Yorkie to sleep around 13 hours per day and possibly up to 18 hours. This includes a quick 10-minute catnap in your lap or an hour-long afternoon snooze. The hours they spend sleeping during the day depend on a few factors, such as your dog’s activity level, age, health, and home environment.

Most likely, your puppy will begin to sleep through the night between 4 and 6 months of age, although some will achieve this sooner. If they don’t seem to be able to sleep through the night by this age, check to make sure no one is giving them water before bed. If this isn’t the case, be patient. Their bladder muscles may still be developing. 

You could also check to see if the bed area is warm enough. Yorkshire Terriers can get chilled easily.

As your dog grows up, she will begin to adapt to the sleeping schedules of her human companions. But you also may notice that when she wakes up, she may go to the bathroom, check out what’s going on in the house, and then retreat to her bed for another hour or so of sleep. She may also sleep less when there is more activity going on in the home.

Your pup may also sleep more during the cooler months. Whether their bed is warmer than the house, the sun shines less during the winter, or another reason, some dogs prefer to take more naps during these months.

If you notice excess sleeping accompanied by a change in eating patterns, unusual thirst, or excess urination, you should have your pet seen by a vet. These combined symptoms could indicate diabetes or kidney disease.

Yorkie sleep habits

Unlike adult humans who sleep for one 6-to-8-hour block of time, adult dogs sleep for a block of time at night and then take intermittent naps throughout the day. They awake when they hear a noise they must investigate, smell a yummy scent wafting from the kitchen, need to get a drink, or just need to readjust their sleeping position. 

Some of these naps will result in a deep sleep, but most of the afternoon naps tend to be lighter. You may hear snoring or notice spastic movements from dreaming.

You may also notice that your dog prefers to sleep in a certain position for certain types of sleep (i.e. a nap vs. a night’s deep sleep) or in certain environments, depending on how relaxed they feel.

For example, my Yorkie, Max, reserves side sleeping, back sleeping (also known as crazy legs), and other sleeping positions that show vulnerability and submission for napping during the day when he feels completely comfortable and small children aren’t around. 

If there is a lot going on in the house, he usually sleeps on his stomach in the belly curl position. His legs will rest underneath him or splayed to the side as he is guarded and ready to jump up at any moment.

At night, during deep sleep, he tends to sleep curled up in a tight ball. This is usually the only time he lies in a tightly curled position, but during his naps, he may also sleep in a looser curled ball.

Reasons Yorkie sleeping habits may change

There are a variety of reasons you may notice your Yorkie’s sleep habits changing.

  • Health problems: There are a variety of health issues that can cause disruption to a Yorkie’s sleep pattern. If the health problem causes discomfort, it may interrupt sleep. Or, if the dog’s body is fighting off an illness, it may cause him to sleep more. If your pup shows chronic sleep disturbance, it’s best to have him get checked out by a veterinarian. 
  • Digestive issues: Yorkshire Terriers have sensitive stomachs. If they eat something that does not suit them, they can experience gas, bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea, which will prevent them from sleeping soundly. You can learn more about appropriate Yorkie foods here.
  • Age: As expected, puppies sleep more than adults. If an older dog experiences arthritis or another problem that causes discomfort with movement, you may find that they stay in bed and sleep more.
  • Comfort: If your dog is not comfortable in her bed, she may have trouble sleeping. She may need a new bed if the old one is worn out, or an orthopedic bed if she has arthritis or other injuries. Also, look at the location of the bed to see if it may be either too hot or too cold. Small dogs can get cold easily and shouldn’t be placed near cool, drafty windows. 
  • Change in routine: A change in routine or setting, such as a move, boarding at a kennel, or a new person or pet in the home, may cause your pup to feel unsettled, thus, causing him to be less likely to sleep. If your dog’s amount of daily exercise has increased, he will probably sleep quite a bit more until his body readjusts.
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FAQs about Yorkie sleeping

Do Yorkies sleep a lot?

Sometimes it feels like your Yorkie sleeps all day, and the number of hours may seem excessive compared to human standards. But, for dogs, it’s not necessarily unusual. Sleeping 13 or more hours a day is pretty typical for an adult canine.

If your dog sleeps a lot beyond this amount, It may mean they are bored and need some mental stimulation or physical exercise.

Do Yorkies like to cuddle and be held?

Yes, the Yorkshire Terrier breed is truly a breed of lapdogs. They love to cuddle and be held, so they can be as close to you as possible. They love to be petted, cuddled, and have their belly scratched. They are hard to resist and before you know it, you’ll fall in love with this adorably petite furball. 

Yorkies will take naps beside you and in your arms, and they are really good snugglers. But they will probably get their best and deepest sleep when they are in their own bed and undisturbed. 

Is it safe for Yorkies to sleep under the covers?

Yes. If your pup likes to nestle under a blanket for a snooze, that’s perfectly fine. However, you should let them do this on their own. Do not place a heavy blanket over their head because they may not be strong enough to get out. Additionally, if your dog likes to crawl under blankets, make sure you keep tabs on where they are at. You don’t want anyone accidentally stepping on them because they are hidden.

An alternative option is to get your dog a covered dog bed, which allows them to nestle under cover without getting completely buried.

Why is my puppy barking in their sleep?

When dogs sleep, they dream just like people do. What they dream about, we can only guess, but I imagine they’re dreams of squirrels, friendly pups, and mountains of treats.

Don’t be alarmed if you notice your dog mimick barking and running in their sleep—it’s perfectly normal. If they wake up and start crying, however, it may be a sign of separation anxiety, or that they need to go potty.

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