Do Dogs Dream? All About Dog Dreaming

We have all seen the loveable twitch of paws and head the strange woof while our dogs are sleeping; however, does a dog dream? Learn more about what your dog is dreaming about.

Dog owners have heard and seen their dog’s endearing dreamy antics. Perhaps you have listened to a drowsy woof or witnessed him paddle his paws; maybe you have seen a subtle growl. However, does your paw dream? And if he can, then what does he dream about?

Let us look at this systematically; everyone knows that a human being has a dream as research has revealed that the electrical desires and urges in the brain can become active when sleeping.

Studies have used the same methods to track canines to determine whether those lovely nighttime trundles are proof of dreams or something diverse.

Utilizing an electroencephalogram to assess brain wave activity when the dog is sleeping, experts found out that human beings have even more in common with dogs than most of us thought. It looks like dogs do dreamlike human beings.

Dog Dreams and Sleep Patterns


You may be already familiar that a human being has different phases of sleep and that dreaming tends to occur at a particular point in the sleep cycle. This seems to be right for our four-legged friend as well.

Your dog will come into a phase of sleep called REM or also known as Rapid Eye Movement. At this level, your dog’s breathing will start to sound irregular, and the eye will begin to move around fast and more rapidly.

You might see the flickering of their eyelids. It is during this phase of sleep that your dog’s dreams tend to take place.

Is Your Dog Dreaming or Experiencing a Seizure

From time to time, the signs of seizures can seem the same to indicate that the dog is dreaming. However, there are many ways to know the difference between dreams and seizures.

Dog seizures are irregular motor responses from the brain; In contrast, a dog’s dream is just normal electric impulses; they may be reliving their exercise from earlier within the day or remembering the moment they chased a cat or playing with the owner.


The indications that your dog is dreaming are the paddling of his feet and the twitching of his muscles. And even if these can also be signs of a dog seizure, they present in different manners.

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Mild twitches during a dog dream will just last for a very short time, while seizure might last for a few minutes and is more violent and usually occurs in limbs, becoming rigid and stiff. Dog experiencing convulsion might also foam or drool at the mouth.

Particularly it is apparent if a dog has experienced a convulsion if they regain consciousness; a dreaming pet will seem okay, if a bit sleepy, while a dog that has had a convulsion will look disoriented and potentially distressed.

Dog Breed and Dreams: Are There Any Connections?

Human beings differ as to how frequently they dream and what they dream about, and experts think that it is true of dogs. A small dog has more often dreams than a large dog; however, those small dog dreams are shorter. On the other hand, big dogs have longer but fewer dreams.

Also, we can hazard a supposition that what a dog does all through the day determines his dream. While we cannot say it is true, the fact that Dobermans and Pointers point guard behavior entails that breed-specific activity might happen during dreams. Like for example, the Labrador Retriever tends to dream about running after a ball.

Dog Sleeping Position: Does It Affect His Dreams?


Your dog can sleep in any relaxed position and still dream. A dog that sleeps on his side is often comfortable, and life is freer to move during the dreams.

Once the canine dog plops down on his side instead of the body, he is showing fondness and considers his naps with you as a bonding moment.

Once the dog chooses to curl up, perhaps you wouldn’t witness as much active movement. However, that does not signify your dog is not dreaming.

A dog that sleeps in a curled-up position might opt to do so as they feel secure and safer with the vital organs secured and protected, wish to conserve love, or believe he might need to wake up fast.

If dogs sleep in a superman position or sleep in their stomach with kicked-out legs, high-energy canines prefer to be ready to hop on their feet at times notice to play. As dogs have less body power when sleeping, you can frequently see them dreaming from this sleeping position.

Once the dog sleeps on his back with the paws up, he might be cooling down that hair is thinner on his stomach and his paws hold his sweat glands. Just canines that are comfortable or relaxed with their environments will plump down and sleep in this pose.

Know More About Dog Dreams


Even if dogs do not awaken and illustrate their dreams, experts have managed to collect information about dog dreams and sleep patterns via clinical observations. Some of the findings are as follows:

  • As your dog sleep, his breathing becomes more regular and deeper.
  • After about twenty minutes of sleep in the REM stage, dreams usually start for the average pup.
  • While dreaming, his breathing might become trivial as well as irregular, and his muscles might twitch as well. Some people might illustrate this as chasing a rabbit in their sleep.
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The eyes of the dog move behind the lids and flit about as if he is staring at something. It is thought that when the dog is in a REM stage, a dog is visualizing dream pictures like a human being does in this stage of sleep. Once you wake your loved one during the REM stage of sleep, he often reports that he was dreaming.

Like a human being, dogs might revive daylight experiences and sleep run as he fetches a tennis ball or chases a cat.

During this stage, the brain works like it does when wide awake. Human beings and dogs dream about many things which took place during daylight or waking hours. Information collected during the day is processed in the evening and might be recalled in dreams.

However, this takes account of a safety feature called the pons. This is part of your brain which ends you from acting out fantasies physically.

Even if you might feel like you jump out of a high building or run a marathon, you are securely tucked in your bed. Like a human being, dogs might recall daytime experiences.

How Frequent Dogs Dream?


Some canines dream more than others. The length and frequency of dreams differ following the size of the dog and age. For instance, the innocent, young minds of dogs experience many more dreams than bigger ones. Puppies get a massive amount of new information every day and have more to process in the evening.

A smaller dog seems to have a lot of dreams than an older dog. According to research, the frequency and length of the dreams might be associated with their size. Like for instance, a toy poodle might dream every ten minutes, while a bigger counterpart like Labrador might just dream once every sixty to ninety minutes.

On the other hand, small dog dreams might last a few minutes, while big dog dreams might last for five to ten minutes. The frequency and length of dreams are also associated with the amount of sleep needed. An active big dog might sleep soundly and experience REM sleep phases, providing much time to dream.

Signs Your Dog is Dreaming

If you have noticed that your canine is in a REM stage, then he might be dreaming. This kind of sleep does not occur immediately; therefore, it is less likely to take place during an instant power nap late in the afternoon than a longer sleep.

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Are there any signs of dogs dreaming? Like a human being, a dog seems to respond subconsciously to dream pictures when sleeping. You may hear a whimper, purr or whine, or a growl.

They might make some movements with the legs as if running. You can also see occasional shudder or twitch. A dog has even been recognized to bark while sleeping- sometimes waking up themselves.

Does Dog Have Nightmare?

Some dogs owners are awakened from own dream once the canines thrash about or whine. It might be disturbing to see a dog running while sleeping; however, don’t be frightened or scared.

Even if it’s alarming to have sleep interrupted, there’s no need to fret about the nightmare antics of your dog- a lot of dreams aren’t nightmares. Dogs dreaming are normal and healthy occurrences. This is a part of the 24-hour cycle of sleep as well as wakefulness.

It’s vital to remember that canines and human beings require uninterrupted sleep for body and mind wellbeing. Give your pet a comfortable, quiet area to take a rest and also avoid disturbing them.

About sixty percent of dog bites in kids happen once the kid wakes a sleeping canine. It’s vital to teach kids never to wake a canine when she is sleeping.

How to Determine if the Dog Has a Nightmare?


The indications that the canine is having a nightmare are simply like the indications that the dog is distressed, anxious, or annoyed if they’re awake. When the dog is just paddling his legs and making sounds of thrill and excitement- perhaps he has a nice dream. On the other hand, if the canine is crying, whining, or growling, he might have a nightmare wherein he feels anxious or threatened.

Do I Need to Wake Him Up While Dreaming?

If you think your canine is having a nightmare, please don’t wake him up, even if it might be enticing to wake him up as well as comfort him. It can take the dog a time to know that he is no longer asleep, and you do not wish to risk him lashing out as if still in the dreaming state. Even if it can feel suffering to see a dog having a nightmare, keep in mind that it is only a dream.

How to Have a Good Night Sleep

It doesn’t matter if your canine is a quiet or rambunctious dreamer, tightly curled ball; it is vital to give a relaxed sleeping place for him. Leave a dog bed or blankets if you do not let your friend sleep in your bed.

Ensure that your dog’s bed is not somewhere which will get too cold or too hot, like close a drafty door or direct sunlight. Avoid giving your canine lots of his preferred workout during the daytime to avoid dreaming.

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