‘Social jetlag’ between dogs and humans across Europe

“People choosing a pet have a number of factors to consider. The important one is whether a pet can synchronize with humans in sleep timing.“

Goblin-Dog– explain a pan-European [Germany | Poland | Spain] research team in a 2015 paper for the scholarly journal Time & Society. The investigators reasoned that pet dogs and their keepers in different countries might have differently synchronised biorhythms – featuring what’s called ‘Social Jetlag’ (as defined by Wittmann et alii in 2006 ‘Social jetlag: misalignment of biological and social time.’)


“Participants living with dogs informed about their own and their dogs’ sleep habits. This study demonstrates synchrony in sleep timing between humans and dogs living together. Dogs experienced less social jetlag than their owners and differences between owners and dogs were more pronounced in Poland than in Germany and Spain. Polish dogs had the lowest social jetlag amongst dogs from the three countries, suggesting a greater stability of their sleep–wake cycle and less influence of the owners’ activity on their rhythm. Chronotype of dogs was earlier than that of their owners in all countries. Spanish dogs had the latest sleep pattern, followed by German dogs, with Polish dogs being the earliest. Analyses also revealed that both chronotype and social jetlag in dogs and humans living together are correlated – the later the chronotype of the owner the later the chronotype of his/her dog. The results suggest that dogs synchronize to humans in their sleep patterns.“

Reference:Synchrony in chronotype and social jetlag between dogs and humans across Europe’

Also see:Horses and the effects of flying’

Photo: The image depicts a dog called ‘Goblin’ who was, in 1909, a Toy Trawler Spaniel.