Have you ever notices your dog falling asleep and suddenly he starts involuntarily barking, whimpering or moving his legs?
While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, these tips apply for any breed.
Probably it’s just another dream of Fluffy running with some friend in the park. Scientists think that dogs dream the same way we do, actually replaying events in their minds that happened during the day or previously.
There hasn’t been much research conducted to determine the brain activity of dogs while they are awake and compared to the activity while they are asleep, so we can’t be sure about their dreams. But observing their odd behavior while their eyes are shut it’s pretty much obvious.
Rats, on the other hand, have been experimented with and the results are expected. A group of trained rats was put through a maze and their brain activity measured. Later on, during their sleep cycle and rapid eye movement, scientists again measured their brain activity which was pretty much the same as when they were awake and running. As intellectually less complex being than cats and dogs, the assumption that common pets also dream was spot-on.
Signs a Dog is Dreaming
Dogs dream like humans and about similar things. Many people believe that dogs do dream. Most dog owners have noticed that at various times during their sleep, some dogs may quiver, make leg twitches or may even growl or snap at some sleep-created phantom, giving the impression that they are dreaming about something.
During the REM phase of the sleep cycle most often dogs twitch their legs and start barking. As weird as it may sound breed actually plays an important role in how a dog behaves when he is dreaming.
If you want to be sure you can spot their eyes quickly moving behind their eyelids. The eyes move because the dog is looking at actual images as the ones he sees in the real world. During the dream, many dogs experience muscle twitches and their breathing becomes irregular and shallow. For some owners, it might seem scary and even think that the dog is in pain at times, but it’s nothing more than a bad dream.
Middle-aged dogs are less likely to dream, but the science can’t explain exactly why. Most common dreamers are small puppies and senior dogs. Smaller breeds of dogs dream more frequently and change the dreams almost every hour during the night, while larger breeds don’t dream so often and sleep more peacefully.
What Do Dogs Dream About?
Springer Spaniels are prone to dream about flushing imaginary birds when they are sleeping, and
Pointers as typical hunters, search for a game and go on point. A dog’s dream usually starts about a half hour after they completely fall asleep.
Do Dogs Have Bad Dreams/Nightmares?
Common signs that your dog may be having a good dream are twitching, kicking and making quiet noises. If your dog is growling, crying, appears disturbed or in my case, is screaming, you can assume he is having a nightmare or a bad dream. I suggest waking your dog up if you feel he is having a bad dream.
Do Dogs Sleepwalk?
You are most likely aware of the fact that sleepwalkers shouldn’t be awaked while doing what sleepwalkers do. Well, when your dog is dreaming you should really treat him a sleepwalker. The startling effect of disrupting the dog’s sleep, while the REM phase, can be really negative for his psychology and overall health. This will leave your dog confused, tired, and frightened and there is a big chance of him biting you. When we mentioned sleepwalking, there are owners that reported their dogs sleepwalking during the night. This behavior usually consists of the last night routine they did before falling asleep (ex. hiding in their safe spot to avoid taking a bath), but there is too little data about.
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