Dog Dreams


Shelbee Burke, Web Editor

When we move or talk in our sleep, it is often assumed that we are dreaming about something. So is the same true when dogs are moving, barking, or whining in their sleep? Scientists believe that dogs are, in fact, likely dreaming when they twitch or “run” in their sleep.

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs go through multiple sleep cycles. From wakefulness, to REM sleep, and then non-REM sleep, the periods are similar to that of humans. During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, the most vivid dreams are oftens experienced. These vivid dreams can be bad or good, just as our dreams are.

The dreams that a dog is experiencing could be different based on the breed of dog as well as it’s day to day activities. A German shepherd that works for a police force is going to have different dreams than a labrador who is taken out hunting often. The dreams the dog has and how often they dream could change based on the dog itself as well, not just the breed. A french bulldog that is well cared for may have different dreams than a stray dog that lives on the street.

Our canine companions may not be the only animals that are dreaming. Researchers believe that most vertebrates are capable of experiencing dreams. Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone in their body. Some recent evidence, according to the American Kennel Club, states that even fruit flies may dream 

The National Sleep Foundation reports that dogs spend about half their day sleeping. Puppies, older dogs and bigger breeds, often spend even more time sleeping. Researchers believe that smaller dogs have dreams more often than larger dogs do. But, larger dogs are thought to have dreams that last longer.

Our furry friends might not be as different from us as we think they are. Their dreams may be a little different from ours, but they’re still having good and bad dreams like we are.