Do Dogs Dream? What do dogs Dream About?


Dogs’ sleeping habits make you wonder: Does a dog dream?

Yes! Dogs have dreams like human beings.

Just like people's dreams, dog dreams usually reflect what they did that day.

The latest research on dog sleep shows that dreams play an important role in their memory and learning.

Let us learn more about our dog's dream.

Can Dogs Dream?

Of course, they can!

Just like humans, dogs experience cycles of quiet sleep and rapid eye movement sleep.

REM sleep is characterized by increased brain activity.

When people are awakened during REM sleep, they almost always report that they are dreaming.

How Can You Know If your Dog Is Dreaming?

But how can we be sure that humans are not the only ones dreaming in REM sleep?

Much of our understanding of the dog’s dream comes from researchers’ research on the dream life of rats, which was conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Louis Wilson.

The mouse brain is similar in structure to our brain, but not that complicated.

The dog's brain is somewhere in between, so it is reasonable to assume that if mice show dreams like ours, then dogs will do the same.

What did they find?

They first measured the brain activity of rats that were awake.
Then they monitor their brain activity while sleeping.

During REM sleep, the rats’ brain activity matched their brain activity in learning how to navigate the new maze.

This shows that they are gradually relaxing the experience and taking turns in sleep!

What your dog dream about?

According to the experiments of Louie and Wilson, we know that one thing the dog dreamed about was the previous day's experience.

In their dreams, they relived their own events and activities.

But do they also see people they know?

Do your Dog Dream About you?

The answer is yes.

Because dogs dream about everyday puppy things, their dreams almost certainly include interaction with you.

Louie and Wilson also reported that the visual cortex in the mouse brain is active at the same time as the active part of the brain.

Therefore, mice can almost certainly "see" what they are dreaming.

A Dog’s Dream

We also know some things about dog dreams.

First, we know that Pointers dream about six minutes at a time, and they dream twice during an 80-minute sleep cycle.

Second, we know that small dogs have shorter and more frequent dreams than large dogs.

We still don't know why this happens. But in other animals, REM sleep seems to interfere with the signals in the body that can regulate temperature.

Because small animals emit heat faster than large animals, they may come out of REM sleep more frequently to check whether they are at the correct temperature.

A recent study in Hungary also found that after a busy day, dogs sleep more and dream more, which is not surprising!

They found that when sleeping in an unfamiliar environment, they were less likely to dream—perhaps to stay “vigilant” and sleep lighter.

Why Do Dogs Bark In Their Sleep?

A small study conducted in 1993 at Murdoch University in Australia found that about two-thirds of dogs barked while sleeping, and half of them barked more than five times for eight consecutive hours overnight.

Just like walking around, our dog’s brain usually suppresses vocalization while sleeping.

However, occasionally strange sounds leak out.

If your dog barks while sleeping, it is as harmless as humans are talking while sleeping, so don't worry.

Do Dogs Have Bad Dreams?

So far, all evidence indicates that dogs use dreams to process their own memories and experiences in the same way as we do.

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that they may also be victims of occasional nightmares, especially if something frustrating happens.

Fortunately, just like nightmares won't hurt us, please rest assured that they won't hurt your dog either.

In rare cases, some dogs will show abnormal dreams after tetanus. The owner said it is like watching them have nightmares.

If you are worried about this, please chat with your veterinarian.

Should I Wake My Dog when Having Nightmares?

We all know that waking up from a vivid dream can be disorienting.

When we try to find out where we are, what is real, and what is not real, our eyes open and our hearts beat.

Our dogs may feel the same way.

Shocked, disoriented dogs are more likely to bite in their own space.

If it can be avoided, do not disturb your sleeping dog.


First of all, remember that the dream will end soon and it will not hurt them.

If watching them makes you unhappy, please leave the room for five minutes.

When you return, they may wake up or return to quiet sleep.

If you are really helpless, please keep a distance from your pets, then call their names softly and talk to them until they show up.

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