Yorkies love to sleep. These little guys and gals generally sleep through the night and love taking naps. When they are awake, of course, their energy seems endless. For this reason, it’s a good idea to know the norms of your Yorkie’s sleeping habits as well as the warning signs to watch for.
In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive guide to your Yorkie’s sleeping habits, as well as warning signs and what you should do about them. Let’s start with how much sleep your Yorkie will have on average, and we’ll go from there!
How Much Sleep Should A Yorkie Have?
That depends on their age. An adult Yorkie will typically sleep between 13 and 18 hours each day. This is not all at once, of course, but divided between nighttime sleep and numerous naps during the day.
How Much Sleep Should A Yorkie Puppy Have?
Yorkie puppies need a little more sleep, and that’s part of why they seem to have endless energy when they are awake! Yorkie pups sleep between 16 and 22 hours every day.
How Much Sleep Should A Senior Yorkie Have?
Yorkies need less sleep as they get into their advanced years. Senior Yorkies will average between 12 – 17 hours of sleep a day, though sometimes less.
How To Help Your Yorkie Sleep Better
Sometimes your little one has trouble sleeping. It can be something that they ate, stress, separation anxiety, or just good, old-fashioned insomnia. When this happens, you can help them along a little with one of more of the techniques which we have listed below.
Try A New Bed
If your Yorkie’s bed is a bit spartan, then it might be time for an upgrade. Get something very plush and comfortable for them to sleep in, and make sure that you place it well. Pick a spot that’s close enough to you to reassure them, and that is far away from any drafts.
You can also put an article of your clothing in the bed with them so that they can have your scent close if your Yorkie is reluctant to sleep in the new bed.
Take Them On A Potty-walk Before Bed
Yorkies have very small bladders, and as such, they need a lot of walks. This is especially true when they are pups. A Yorkie pup can typically hold off on a potty break for 1 hour for every month of age. So, if you’ve got a 6-month-old Yorkie then you need to be setting alarms for every 6 hours.
Your Yorkie also needs to go out about 15-20 minutes after every meal!
Keep A Consistent Sleep Routine Yourself
Yorkies respond well to consistency. This is true in training sessions, as well as your personal routine. Your Yorkie knows your daily routine and gets a little confused when you switch things up, sometimes. Be consistent. Go to bed at the same, whenever possible, so that your Yorkie gets into that same routine with you.
Your Yorkie will try to follow the same routine whenever possible, so if your daily routine is a little chaotic, try to at least go to bed at the same time every day.
Try To Tire Them Out With Long Walks
Before bed, take your Yorkie out on a nice, long walk. A little playtime at a nearby park is optimal, but if you are worried that it is unsafe, just a long walk will do. Tiring them out a little before bed helps them to get out some of that excess energy and can work wonders for Yorkie insomnia.
Consider Sleeping Supplements (Ask Your Vet)
Numerous calming supplements are available if you think that your dog needs a little helping hand in the sleeping area. Products like ‘My Peaceful Paws Calming blend’ or ‘Hangry Woof Calming chews’ include extracts of hemp, chamomile, and other herbal aids to help your dog to get a little extra sleep. Check with your vet first, however, to make sure that any supplements that you are considering are safe.
It’s only sensible, as your vet can check to see if your Yorkie has any health issues that need to be addressed and if it’s simple insomnia, your vet might even have something better to give your dog!
When Should You Be Worried About The Amount Your Yorkie Is Sleeping?
Changes in your dog’s sleeping patterns are always a great excuse for a vet visit. Yorkies sleep a lot but oversleeping, crying, wheezing, or snoring can be signs that something more substantial is going on that needs to be addressed. Below we’ve listed some things to look out for.
Lots Of Wheezing Or New Snoring
Sudden snoring or wheezing in your dog’s sleep can be signs of respiratory illness, heart problems, and a score of other issues and should definitely warrant a visit to your vet for a full checkup. If you’ve just had a season change, it could just be allergies, but if that is the case, your vet can also test for it and find out what your dog is allergic to.
Your Dog Is Whining And Wasn’t Before
If your dog formerly slept through the night without issues but not whines or barks, then this is also a potential sign of health issues. Try taking your dog out for a walk to rule out the Yorkie’s notoriously small bladder, and if the behavior continues, then a vet visit is a good idea.
When Your Yorkie Would Rather Sleep Than Play
Dogs can get depressed, just like people can, and this generally manifests as your Yorkie sleeping all the time. When normally they are eager to play, a depressed Yorkie may ignore your calls and just continue sleeping. They might respond aggressively when you try to wake them! If your Yorkie has been oversleeping lately, then a vet checkup should be scheduled as soon as possible.
Why Do Yorkies Sleep Under The Covers And Is It Safe?
Another common trait with these adorable little dogs is climbing under the covers with you when you go to bed. This is normally safe, but if they are pups, then you might want to make sure that the covers aren’t heavy enough to smother them. Typically they’ll be just fine, however, and they like to sleep under the covers for a number of reasons.
Yorkie puppies can’t regulate their own body heat, so snuggling up to you under those covers is optimal for them. They get to be close to you, and they get to be warm and snug throughout the night as they are sleeping. Just remember the 1 month – 1 hour potty rule as your Yorkie pup can’t hold it for very long, and there is some accident potential there.
Your Yorkie likes to get under the covers to feel safe, as well. Sleeping close to you makes them feel protected, and some Yorkies head straight for the covers whenever there is a loud thunderstorm!
To Be Close To You/pack Mentality
Dogs are pack animals, and sleeping close to you, the ‘alpha dog’, makes them feel that they belong and that they are part of the pack. This is instinctual, as in the wild dogs sleep close together to keep predators at bay, so this behavior is nothing that you have to worry about (and let’s face it, it’s also adorable!).
Why Does Your Yorkie Sleep Between Your Legs?
Aside from crawling under the covers, some Yorkies like to sleep between your legs as well! This is actually quite normal, most of the time, and we’ve compiled a list of reasons as to why this may be occurring.
If your dog does this all the time, it’s likely nothing to worry about, but if it is new behavior, pay close attention to our last 2 reasons and visit your vet to make sure that everything is okay.
Sleeping between your legs falls in the same category as sleeping under the covers. This is an instinctual behavior, and your dog feels safest when they are sleeping close to a pack member, in this case, you.
To Feel Safe
When your dog moves between your legs to sleep or just to sit, it may be to feel safe. Take special notice the next time there is a thunderstorm or if they are doing it when you have new guests around. Sometimes, if your Yorkie feels nervous, they’ll get as close to you as possible, which may be what is occurring with your dog.
Warmth (Especially With Puppies)
We mentioned in our under-the-cover section that puppies don’t regulate their own body heat so well, so it could just be that your dog feels a little chilly. Older dogs will do this sometimes as well, and if you have a housecat, they’re also known for taking advantage of a warm lap to sit in or a warm thigh to rest against.
Not Feeling Well
If your dog doesn’t usually sleep between your legs, then they might be feeling poorly. Sick Yorkies often get close, and while dogs often suffer in silence, you’ll notice that they seem a lot less lively than before. So, if this behavior is new, this could be a red flag indicating that it’s time to see your vet.
If your Yorkie isn’t used to being around other dogs or people, then this behavior can be a result of separation anxiety. In cases like this, trips to a local dog park can help them to socialize a little, and having some friends over can help your dog to become less introverted as well.
You can also try crate training, and this is often a good idea anyway, as it can teach your dog to be on their own and gives you a handy space where they can stay and keep out of trouble when you have to go to work or to run errands.
What Are Other Common Yorkie Sleeping Habits?
We mentioned that Yorkies would typically sleep from 13 – 18 hours a day. Usually, this means that an adult Yorkie will sleep through most of the night, and they will take little naps during the day as well. Normally if you start cooking or making noise nearby, your Yorkie will wake up to investigate.
When your Yorkie gets older, they tend to be awake more, and this is to be expected. When they are awake, they should be very energetic, so aside from taking note of under or oversleeping, watch to see if their energy levels seem normal if you suspect that there might be an issue.
Why Is Your Yorkie Breathing Fast While Sleeping?
If you notice that your dog is breathing fast lately when they are sleeping, don’t panic right away, but do pay attention. It could be normal, but it could also be a health issue that you need to be aware of. Below we’ve listed the common reasons for this behavior.
Your Dog Could Just Be Dreaming
If your dog is breathing heavy, watch for the occasional leg jerks and muted barks. If you see these, then your Yorkie is probably dreaming! Dogs do this all the time, and it’s really cute but nothing to worry about.
Your Dog Might Be Anaemic
Anemia is a condition where your dog doesn’t have enough red blood cells to properly circulate oxygen. Your dog compensates by breathing fast, but this is something that you will want to consult your vet on. In worst cases, a surgical solution or blood transfusion may be required, but otherwise, there are medications that can help.
It Could Be A Heatstroke
Notice how your dog pants, tongue-out, whenever it’s hot outside? That’s because dogs don’t sweat the way that we do. If you’ve been outside and it’s very hot out, then your dog might have the symptoms of heatstroke. You can help them to cool down with room-temperature (not cold) water and let them drink some water in small sips.
If you get your dog cooled down, then it might be minor, but if your dog is not acting like themselves, then a vet visit is a good idea, as heatstroke can cause damage to the organs if you don’t catch it quickly.
They Could Have Fluid In Their Lungs
Breathing fast may also be the result of fluid in the lungs. Check to see if your dog’s body feels cold, and check their gums for signs of blue discoloration. If you see this, you need to get your dog to the vet immediately.
Ingestion Of Onion Or Garlic Can Cause Rapid Breathing
Onions and garlic are essentially a minor poison where dogs are concerned. They can cause rapid breathing when your dog is sleeping though you will generally see other signs as well, such as drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Why Is Your Yorkie Puppy Not Sleeping At Night
When your puppy is not sleeping at night, it’s not always a cause for alarm. Most of the time, it just means that your puppy doesn’t feel like sleeping. There are other reasons, however, that warrant more attention. We’ll list out the most common causes so that you can better determine what is going on with your puppy if they aren’t sleeping.
General anxiety is common if your Yorkie isn’t sleeping with you. Basically, your dog hears something at night, and they’re scared. Moving their bed closer to where you are sleeping can help, or simply moving the bed somewhere they are less likely to hear any noises from outside to upset them.
This is probably the most common reason. Yorkies can get very attached to their owners, sometimes unhealthily so, and they act out when they can’t sleep next to you. In cases like this, socializing your dog can help them to be more independent, and crate training is also a very good idea.
If your dog starts whining and scratching at your door when it’s bedtime, then separation anxiety is very likely the culprit. If they are whining and you are currently putting them through crate training, as long as they have gone to the potty on their age-based schedule, then you need to just let them whine.
As heartbreaking as it is, if you come running every time that they whine, they will pick that up quickly and take advantage. Hang in there. They will grow out of it, and if you are really worried, take them in for a checkup to rule out any health issues.
For a puppy, everything is new, and your puppy might be staying awake just like a bored human kid staying up to play under the blanket. If this is the case, there isn’t much you can do other than make sure that they have some toys with them, and they’ll eventually tire themselves out and develop their own sleeping schedule in the bargain.
Potential Health Issues
If your Yorkie’s change in sleeping habits seems to have come out of the blue, then your dog may have some health issues that are keeping them from sleeping. Take them in for a checkup to rule this out if you are taking them on their potty breaks at the correct age-determined schedule.
Your Puppy Might Just Need A Potty Break
This is the most common reason that your Yorkie isn’t sleeping, and to rule this one out, take your Yorkie out for a potty break before bed and on their recommended schedule. So, if your pup is 3-months old, that means every 3 hours, they will need to go.
If you don’t live alone, take turns taking out the pup, and rest assured that this is a temporary thing. Your dog will be able to ‘hold it’ longer as they get older.
Why Is Your Yorkie Wheezing While Sleeping?
If your dog is suddenly wheezing when they are sleeping, then this could be a big warning sign, and you should take notice. While not all of the reasons are severe, sudden wheezing is not something that you want to ignore. Below we’ve got some common causes for night-wheezing that you should be aware of.
Just like humans, dogs can get allergies as well. Dust mites, pollen, and mold are all things that your dog can come in contact with that can cause sleep-wheezing. Sometimes it’s seasonal as well, but in any case, your vet can do some testing to rule this out as the culprit.
If your dog is a little on the obese side, then this can cause wheezing as well. Some low-impact exercise such as swimming can help, or you can take your dog on additional walks and create a new diet for them.
Obesity can cause a number of issues in the long run, so take charge now, and with a good diet and a little exercise, you can get your Yorkie back into shape.
Infectious conditions such as roundworm, kennel cough, hookworms, and more can sometimes be prevented via vaccinations or simply treated once you’ve noticed the warning signs. Your vet can quickly rule these out, but you should get your dog in to see them as soon as possible.
If you smoke in the house, then this can result in a night-wheezing Yorkie. Try smoking outside for a few days to see if it helps. Your Yorkie might also react whenever you light up, quickly vacating the area, and this might indicate that they are sensitive to your smoking as well.
Asthma is another possibility if your Yorkie wheezes a lot when they are sleeping. You will likely notice it when you take them outside, too, after they’ve had a particularly energetic bout of playing. Your vet can prescribe treatments for your dog if this is the case.
Want To Train Your Yorkie With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Yorkie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Yorkie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Some Final Words On Sleeping Yorkies
Today we’ve advised you how much sleep your Yorkie has on average, explained some of their sleeping behaviors, and given you some of the common warning signs to watch out for. Remember, any changes in your dog’s sleeping patterns may be a warning sign, so pay close attention and use our tips to help to determine the cause.
When in doubt, get your vet involved, and with any luck, your Yorkie will be back to bouncing around during the day (in between naps) and sleeping like a baby at night!