Henry’s 4 Stages of Sleep

Henry is our second oldest, but biggest Basset Hound. Recently we realized that he has 4 stages of sleep, each with a different level of intensity needed to wake him up. I thought I would share them with you since they are extremely cute.

Stage 1: Find a comfortable place to sleep

Henry usually finds a couch, bed, or cushion to sleep on. When he decides on where he wants to sleep he hops around in circles, digging and growling and finally settling in to go to sleep. At Stage 1 he can easily be motivated to move by offering a treat, making funny noises or running around.

Stage 2: Dozing

Once Henry is settled in he almost instantly begins to doze. His eyes get red and droopy, his face gets wrinkly and sassy and he blinks a lot. On one side he really wants to sleep, but on the other side he really wants to make sure he knows exactly what Vincent (our oldest Basset Hound and Henry’s best friend) is doing at any given time. Sometimes he likes to doze while holding a toy, so that no one else can play with it of course! In Stage 2 the only things that can arouse Henry are treats or Vincent doing something interesting.

Stage 3: Deep Sleep

This is when things get serious for Henry. He’s found that perfect spot that is oh so comfy, he’s put aside the distractions of the house and the other dogs and he starts snoring, quietly at first and then louder and louder the deeper he goes into sleepland. At this point we can play loud music, shake the treat jar, or simply pet him and he just keeps sleeping. In Stage 3 the only thing that can awaken Henry is saying “Vincent yay!” over and over in a really excited voice. Because the only thing Henry loves more than sleep is Vincent.

Stage 4: we just refer to this stage of sleep as Stage 4

Once Stage 4 is reached there is no waking Henry until he is ready to wake up. When you see him roll onto his back and angle his head to one side you know that Stage 4 has been reached. At this point I have picked him up off the bed and moved him onto the floor without him realizing it. You can sit down next to him or cover him with blankets, he doesn’t even notice it. All Basset Hounds love treats but in Stage 4 a tasty snack won’t even get Henry to arouse himself from his slumber. Even Vincent has no affect on him at this point, sleep has overtaken him completely.


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