Coton de Tulear Sleep Habits: What You Need to Know

Understanding Coton de Tulear sleep habits and patterns provides us with a fascinating window into their overall well-being, unique quirks and personality, and serves as a barometer for their health and happiness. 


Coton de Tulear sleep habits. What can you learn about your dog’s sleep positions.

As pet parents, you may have noticed that your Coton de Tulear sleeps a lot. In fact, it's not uncommon for these small dogs to sleep up to 12-14 hours a day. And a Coton puppy can sleep up to 20 hours a day!

So, why do Cotons sleep so much? Depending on the stage of life they’re in, they sleep for growth and development, to get rest for their overall well-being, or to recuperate from health issues. 

I wish I had a dollar for every time I Googled, "Is it normal for my dog to sleep so much?"  And I wish I had another dollar for every photo I took of my Coton sleeping. 

There's just something so adorable and vulnerable about a sleeping dog. And Cotons can sleep in some pretty funny positions. 

Even though every room in my house has a comfy dog bed, I've found my Cotons sleeping on the tile floor, the couch top, the coffee table, on me, and even on the cat. They've slept sideways and upside down. Lucy even sleeps with her eyes open sometimes. 

While looking through all my sleeping Coton photos, I wondered what the different Coton de Tulear sleep habits and positions mean. 

Is it normal for my dog to sleep in this position?

Cotons can sleep in various positions, including curled up, stretched out, or on their back. They may also prefer sleeping in a specific area, such as their bed, your bed, the couch top, the floor, with the cat, in a crate, or even on top of you.

Do you ever wonder if your Coton’s sleep habits are normal? Sometimes, I marvel at Lucy’s sleep positions. Why would she sleep on the concrete floor when her bed is right there? Why does she always sleep on my feet? Or on the cat? Why does she sleep on her back, or on her side, for that matter?

Here are some explanations for these whacky yet normal sleep positions.

What does it mean if your dog sleeps on their side?

Coton de Tulear sleeping on their side

This is the most common position, just like it is for us humans. It indicates a relaxed and content dog, their muscles loose and breathing steady. It also suggests they feel safe and secure in their environment. They can let down their guard and trust that all is well.

Lucy is mainly a side sleeper – so yay! It makes me happy that she feels safe.

Why do dogs sleep on their back?

Coton de Tulear sleeping on back

I've seen so many photos of Cotons with their bellies and feet straight up in the air.

But what does it mean, and why do they sleep in this strange position? 

It makes sense when you think about it because it's a sign of trust and comfort. Dogs that sleep like this usually feel safe and secure, especially around their owners. And we know our Cotons have strong bonds with us.


Why do dogs sleep curled up like cats?

Coton de Tulear curled up while sleeping

This position is sometimes called the donut position. Curled up in a tight circle with their tail tucked in, this position is all about warmth and comfort. It can indicate a cold dog, a new puppy feeling shy, or simply a dog seeking deep sleep.

Lucy slept like this when the groomer shaved her during her blowing coat puppy phase. She would shiver and curl up in this position to keep warm.

Why do dogs sleep in the Superman position?

Coton de Tulear sleeping in superman position

In this position, a dog lies flat on its stomach, legs stretched out behind, and head extended forward. They look like they’re ready for take-off. This position might suggest a playful dog who is ready for action. 

A similar position is the lion’s pose. It’s thought that when dogs lie on their bellies with legs stretched out, they resemble a relaxed lion. But to me, this position looks more like a frog than a lion. 

This sprawled-out position looks like the Superman pose, but the head isn't extended in this position. It involves a dog lying on its stomach, head down, with its front legs stretched forward and its hind legs extended backward. It's a relaxed and comfortable sleeping posture for playful and energetic dogs ready to spring into action.

Why does your dog sleep at your feet or on top of you?

Does your Coton think you're a human pillow and love to snuggle close to you while sleeping? This position signifies a strong bond and affection between you and your dog. 

Lucy sleeps on my feet under my desk every day. It’s sweet and comforting for both of us.

Why do dogs sleep in what seems like uncomfortable places?

Coton de Tulear sleeping in uncomfortable places

I marvel at some of the places I find Lucy sleeping. As a puppy, she loved sleeping on the coffee table, which looked incredibly uncomfortable. She’s slept in tight corners between furniture, on concrete, on my shoulder, and on shoes. 

What seems like discomfort to us may provide safety and comfort to your dog. Sleeping on hard surfaces such as concrete or tile can help them regulate their temperature. Sleeping in tight spaces can make them feel safe and secure. Some unusual places like table tops and couch tops give them a higher vantage point to keep an eye on their surroundings. 

And puppies have two speeds - super energetic or super tired. When dogs get to the tired speed, they can just drop where they are and fall asleep.

Why do dogs sleep under blankets?

Coton de Tulear sleeping with blanket

The obvious reason is to keep warm. 

But blankets can also provide a sense of security and safety for dogs. By burrowing under a blanket or curling up on top of it, dogs may feel protected and hidden from potential threats. 

Blankets can mimic the feeling of being in a den or a confined space, making dogs feel secure. 

Why does a dog sleep with their eyes open?

Lucy is the first dog I’ve ever had who sometimes sleeps with her eyes open. I’m not going to lie – it’s a little creepy.

According to PetMD, it’s totally normal and rarely cause for concern. Dogs sleep with their eyes open if they’re only partially asleep, if they’re in REM sleep, or feel the need to stay alert while sleeping.

Did you know that dogs have three eyelids? So, sometimes, when they appear to be sleeping with their eyes open, it’s actually the third eyelid you’re seeing.

Why do dogs sleep under the bed or furniture? 

Coton de Tulear sleeping under furniture

As you can see, Lucy is a fan of this position. Sleeping in this position provides a feeling of safety, security, and a quiet, secluded spot without distractions. I think Lucy learned this position from the cat, who thinks we can’t see her if she’s partially hidden by furniture.

But dogs can also seek shelter under furniture if they’re afraid. My dog, Luc, would always follow the cat under the bed if any repair workers were in the house making loud noises.


Where does your Coton sleep?


Understanding Coton de Tulear Sleep Patterns

Cotons de Tulear are known to be active and playful dogs during the day, but they also need their fair share of rest to maintain their energy levels. Understanding their sleep patterns is essential in ensuring they get their much-needed rest.

Sleep Cycle

Like most dogs, Cotons have a sleep cycle that consists of both non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.  

During NREM sleep, their breathing and heart rate slow down, and they are in a deep sleep. On the other hand, during REM sleep, their breathing and heart rate increase, and they may twitch or move their limbs.

Cotons typically spend about 12-14 hours sleeping per day, with puppies requiring more sleep. However, they don't sleep all at once and may take naps throughout the day. 

If you're a first-time dog owner, you may be surprised to learn that Cotons have a reputation for being light sleepers. They can be easily disturbed by noise or movement, so creating a peaceful sleeping environment for your pup is important.

Consider using a white noise machine or playing soothing music to help them relax. You may also want to invest in a comfortable dog bed to help them feel secure.

Sleep Needs by Age

Dogs have different sleep needs at different stages of their life. Understanding the sleep requirements of your Coton de Tulear is important to ensure they are getting the rest they need to stay healthy and happy.

So, how much sleep does your dog need?

Coton de Tulear puppies require a lot of sleep, just like human babies. During their critical period of development, puppies spend up to 90% of their day sleeping. 

It’s recommended that puppies get between 18-20 hours of sleep per day. This can be split up into naps throughout the day and night, as puppies do not have a fully developed circadian rhythm yet. 

Adult Cotons require around 12-14 hours of sleep per day. However, this can vary depending on their activity level and individual needs. 

As Cotons age, their sleep needs may change. Senior dogs may experience difficulty sleeping due to health conditions such as arthritis or cognitive decline. 

Senior Cotons may also benefit from shorter, more frequent naps throughout the day and night. It’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian about your older dog's sleep needs and any changes in their behavior or sleep patterns.

Coton de Tulear sleeping with cat

Factors Affecting Coton de Tulear Sleep

As a Coton parent, it’s helpful to understand these key factors that can influence your dog’s sleep patterns:

Physical Exercise: Physical exercise is crucial for your Coton de Tulear to get a good night's sleep. A regular good exercise session will help burn off a lot of energy, making it easier for your dog to relax and fall asleep. 

Mental Stimulation: Mental stimulation is another essential factor that can impact your Coton’s sleep. Dogs need mental stimulation to stay alert and focused during the day. Providing your dog with new experiences, such as a visit to the park or a playdate with other dogs, can help keep them mentally stimulated and reduce anxiety, leading to better sleep at night. 

Check out these great ideas for mental and physical activities.

Health and Diet: A healthy diet and good health also play a vital role in your Coton's sleep. Feeding your dog high-quality food and providing plenty of fresh water can help keep them healthy and well-rested. 


Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Coton de Tulear in donut bed

Creating a comfortable sleep environment for your dog will help them get a good night's sleep and promote overall health and well-being. Here are some tips to help you create a comfortable sleep environment for your Coton de Tulear.

Choosing the Right Dog Bed: Choosing the right dog bed is crucial in creating a comfortable sleep environment for your Coton de Tulear. Investing in a high-quality dog bed that provides adequate support and comfort is a good idea. Look for a bed that is the right size for your dog and has a soft and comfortable surface. Donut beds are great at calming anxious dogs. Orthopedic dog beds are good for dogs with joint problems or arthritis.

Establishing a Sleep Schedule: Sleep schedule is an area that I have struggled with. No matter what I try, I can’t seem to get Lucy to change her sleep schedule so that she doesn’t wake up between 3 and 4 am. Every. Single. Day!

Because dogs thrive on routine to help them feel more secure and relaxed, I’m slowly moving up her bedtime, hoping she’ll eventually sleep later. On the bright side, I get a lot done in the morning while most people are sleeping!


Coton de Tulear sleeping

Understanding your Coton de Tulear's sleep habits is important for their overall health and well-being. Like most small dog breeds, they require a significant amount of sleep to maintain their energy levels throughout the day.

And if you’re like me, you get to capture hundreds of adorable photos while they’re sleeping. 

See What Visitors Have to Say About Coton de Tulear Sleep Habits:

Does your dog sleep on your bed?

Do I lock the puppy in the crate at night?

What kind of bed does your Coton prefer?

How much sleep should a Coton get?

Hyperactive at night

Puppy won't sleep through the night

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