Do Dogs Dream?

Do dogs dream or is that just wishful thinking by dog owners?

Can we really say that dogs do dream?

Dogs are very intelligent animals. They are one of the few animals that can be trained for certain purposes, for example, as investigative or guard dogs. Their intelligence and emotional quotient makes them unique and that’s probably why they’re man’s best friend.

Dogs can do many things that other animals cannot do. But can dogs have dreams?

Dog Owner Belief about their Dog and Dreams

What do people believe about dogs and their dreams?

Many dog owners believe that their dogs do dream. This is because after observing their dogs sleeping, they have seen certain things that their dogs do to make them believe that they are dreaming.

Some things that dogs do while sleeping are wagging their tails, whimpering, moving their legs or doing something odd all together. These types of actions are very similar to what humans do when they’re dreaming.

Scientific Proof about Dogs Dreaming

What is scientifically true about dogs and dreams? The assumption made by many dog owners that dogs actually dream is true.

Research has been carried out on rats and it has been discovered from their brain activity, while sleeping, that they actually dream. If it has been proven that animals with lesser intellectual capacity compared to dogs actually dream, why would we come to the conclusion that dogs don’t dream? Of course dogs have dreams.

Dog Dreaming Research

Some researchers even went further to test the brainwaves of a dog during sleep. These researchers used a piece of equipment called electroencephalogram. The electroencephalogram measures brain wave activity. They discovered that a human’s sleep pattern and brain activity is actually similar to that of a dog.

Dogs do go into a stage of deep sleep in which their breathing becomes irregular and they make rapid eye movements just like humans. It is in the rapid eye movements kind of sleep when dreaming actually happens. While dreaming, involuntary kinds of movements happen. These movements include wagging of their tails, whimpering, barking or legs moving.

We might never really know the substance of a dog’s dream, but, at least, we do know it happens.

Signs Your Dog is Dreaming

How do you tell when your dog is dreaming?

It’s very interesting to know that dogs do dream and that there is research that validates this fact. Scientists are able to determine when a dog is dreaming by monitoring the brain activity while the dog is asleep.

Since you really can’t scientifically monitor your dog’s brain activity (brain wave patterns), how do you know when your dog is having a dream?

You can tell if your dog is in a deep sleep by watching the way he’s breathing. Usually, when your dog enters the deep sleeping stage (rem sleep), his breathing will become somewhat irregular. While dreaming, you’ll also notice that your dog is making certain movements. These movements vary among dogs but the most common are tail wagging or leg movement. Your dog may even whimper or bark some while he’s dreaming.

Your dog’s behavior while sleeping may give you hints as to the kind of dream that he’s experiencing. Dreams that make your dog happy are probably those where you see his tail wagging. If your dog is scared or sad while dreaming, you might hear him whimper or growl. Of course, there’s really no way to determine what your dog is really dreaming about.

Dogs Dream about Many Things

What do dogs dream about?

Since dogs do dream, what do they get to see in their dreams?

What do their canine brains envision once they’ve gone into a deep slumber?

These are the questions likely to run around in your mind the minute you discover that dogs actually do dream. Since your dog cannot verbalize the experiences of his dreams like you can, it’s probably safe to think he’s dreaming about something that is familiar to him.

Your Dog Dreams About You

It’s suggested that dogs dream about their owners mostly. The reason for this is because dogs are very close to their owners. The relationship between a dog and its human friend is extremely strong.

It’s not unreasonable to believe that your dog dreams about you and the things that you do together. If your dog dreams after a busy day of playing fetch with you, his dream may involve you praising him every time he brought the ball back to you and the thrill of fetching his ball.

Dogs Dream about Daily Activity

Dogs probably also dream about other aspects of their lives. This may include dreaming about getting treats, playing with toys, playing with other dogs and many other things. Your dog may even dream about a recent road trip or hiking adventure that you both enjoyed.

Some dogs may even dream about activities that they’ve been trained to do. For example, dogs that have agility training may dream about that perfect run that occurred in an event. Guard dogs may dream about protecting their human family.

All Dogs Dream – Some More than Others

For the most part, all dogs do have dreams but they all don’t dream the same amount. That shouldn’t be surprising. Just like people, each dog is unique. There are so many dog breeds and mixed breeds. Obviously, scientific studies haven’t been performed on all types of dogs. Even if these studies were performed, you still have the individual dog uniqueness.

Do All Dogs Dream?

A lot of people wonder if puppies also dream. Well, just like all humans dream, all dogs get the blessing of dreaming. This means that it doesn’t matter what age, gender or size a dog is. The only different thing about dogs’ dreams is their frequency and content. But again, we will never know how their dreams vary.

How Often Do Dogs Dream?

Dogs sleep and dream almost as much as human beings since they have similar sleeping patterns. However, there are certain factors that affect how often a dog can dream. Age and size are key factors here. Young puppies and old dogs seem to dream more than middle-aged dogs. Small dogs, such as Chihuahuas, are said to dream more often than big dogs.

This shouldn’t be surprising since people are the same way. Some of us dream more than others. The types of dreams we may have or even the frequency of our dreams change throughout our lives.

Waking Your Dreaming Dog

What should you do when your dog starts dreaming?

When your dog is dreaming, you might get alarmed by the whimpering, kicking of legs, wagging of tail or any other odd habit. The noises made or the involuntary movements of your dog while dreaming might not seem pleasant. Some of these movements or sounds might disturb you so much that you’re tempted to wake your dog up.

Your Dog Needs that Deep Sleep

However, it is advisable that you don’t bother your dog. Dogs have sleeping patterns like those of human beings. They need to enjoy long hours of deep sleep just like we humans do. Sleep is actually good for their mental health. Just like us, being healthy mentally helps your dog maintain physical health.

Startling Your Dog While Dreaming

Waking your dog up while he’s dreaming might also be dangerous to you. Remember, if your dog is dreaming, he’s in a really deep stage of sleep. Waking your dog while he’s dreaming might startle him causing him to go into a flight or fight mode. This could result in your dog unintentionally snapping at or biting you.

Your dog needs his sleep just like you do. You definitely don’t like to be disturbed in your sleep, so why don’t you let the sleeping dog lie (literally so)?

Final Thoughts on Dog’s Dreaming

Dogs have many traits that are similar to human traits. Perhaps that’s why we get along so well with them. It may even be one of the reasons why dogs like to be around us. Many of us dog owners consider our dogs as natural companions and enjoy their company as much as they enjoy ours.

Just when you thought dogs could not get any cuter and more interesting, you discover they can actually dream just like you and me. Isn’t that just wonderful? We hope you enjoyed this post about “Do Dogs Dream“.

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