What Do Dogs Dream?

Ever wonder what dogs dream?

I know there are groups of people who don’t even remotely consider it.

But I know for a fact, dogs do…

When I was a kid, I remember going into panics when I’d see or hear my dogs make weird noises while twitching in their sleep. Not even my parents were able to come up with a good enough explanation, which was probably why it added to my growing concerns. I honestly thought my dogs were sick.

After observing so many dogs sleep and enter REM (rapid eye movement) over the years, I can definitely say that dogs do dream. A lot! There is no debating that.

What is Rapid Eye Movement?

When sleeping and entering the REM stage, brain activity levels heighten. The brain processes activity just as one would when fully awake. Heart and respiration speeds up, but certain muscle groups go through involuntary paralysis. This explains why dogs (and humans) can go through intense, realistic dreams, and react to them with a twitch here-and-there. Also a good explanation as to why dogs bark and howl very low during a dream and why humans mumble in theirs.

Like humans, dogs tend to dream of things going on in the past and present.

Take for instance, Leila, our Standard Poodle, who suckled and pawed in her sleep as a pup. She continued to do so until 6 months of age. An obvious guess would be her remembrance and cherished times as a suckling puppy. It was a state of total comfort and relaxation (like her life is any different now :roll:).

Or Frisco, our Pit Bull mix, who sometimes barks and howls in his sleep. He does this without even opening his mouth. (His lips just flap around, it’s pretty funny.) You can see his ribs expand, as if getting ready to let off a loud bark, but the output of the bark is very low and squeal’ish. He barks at a number things like stray cats, or when he’s simply horsing around with other dogs, but one can only wonder what he’s barking at in a dream. Sometimes, he’ll wake up and immediately look around in prey drive mode–I’m guessing something he was chasing? Other times, he’ll wake up and intensely start to wag his tail, then lay back down in dead hopes–maybe I was playing with him?

Though dogs rarely have nightmares, because I mean, c’mon, their lives are great! They do on occasion cry and whine in their sleep.

One can only guess and wonder what’s going on. We can try and link it to what’s made the dog sad recently, but it’s merely a guess.

And just like people who sleep walk in their sleep, there are dogs who swing their legs in full stride without waking up. Some dogs sniff and dig in their dreams, intensely, as if they’re on to something. Others even snarl and become aggressive in their sleep.

I recently got the opportunity to raise a litter of 10 puppies. It wasn’t the first time I’ve had the opportunity to raise a litter, but it was the first I decided to observe sleeping patterns in young dogs.

What I noticed with the recent litter, before the puppies were even able to walk and open their eyes, was they were already barking, whining and howling in their sleep. Keep in mind this was before they even heard another dog bark or howl. Aside from the sounds they made when resting, there was a lot of body twitching and body jolts. This confused me, no way could these dogs already be entering REM, or could they? I later found out through friends in Veterinary medicine that the twitching and body jolts was the actual development and hard-wiring of the puppies taking place and not REM kicking in. It was their actual nervous system, unraveling on a day-to-day basis.

One thing you never want to do when your dog is going through an intense dream is shake them out of it. If the dream is intense, possibly an aggressive one, they can wake up in a defense reaction and bite. There have been reports of dog owners who’ve witnessed their own dog wake out of an intense dream only to attack another dog in the household who was laying too close. Calmly calling out their name is more than enough–though they usually work themselves out of it naturally.

Some dogs, overtime, learn to associate fake events with sleep. There is no obvious way to explain the science of a dream to a dog. Luckily, almost all dogs grasp the idea that a 100ft cat is a bit ridiculous. Or, no?

I sometimes wonder if dogs can develop dreams so farfetched that they kind of laugh at themselves.

I do think they can process things like us dog owners leaving their food bin open just so they help themselves to all the food. Kibble and a storage bin where their food is stored would be the two strong points needed to create that particular dream for a dog, I assume.

Or I imagine they can dream of fighting off a cat from getting in through the doggy door–things that again, may or may not have happened. However, I still think a dog needs to be familiar with a doggy-door and a cat to turn those two subjects into a vivid story.

How complicated can a dogs dream get? Who knows.

Rest assured, dogs for a fact have less complicated dreams than humans. Dogs can’t process certain social behaviors like humans can–jealousy, hate, and greed. Dogs’ lives also don’t revolve around material things. They can however remember and hurt when a loved one is no longer with them–dog or human.

Things like this are what makes dogs so unique to us. You can look into a dog’s eyes and see that there is someone behind those big round eyes. The mystery of not knowing what takes place in a dog’s mind makes them that much more amazing to us and the reason why dogs rule.

The next time your dog wakes up from an intense dream, laugh it off with them. I do it with my dogs, because I know deep down they’re laughing it off too.

Tell us your stories, because I personally can’t stop hearing about them. Did your dog’s dream freak you out? Did you laugh?

About the author: Dogs kick ass, we all know that. That’s why Sam has devoted his life to working with dogs, one way or another.

  • Joy

    Hi. Thanks for your posting. My dogs definitely dream. Sometimes it’s hilarious watching them! Somtimes you can tell the whole story of what they’re visualising, like chasing after something, pausing for a sniff, running again, then tail wagging happiness. One of my greedy dogs dreams about eating! She starts chomping her lips and swallowing like she’s eating something really yummy. Occasionally they do seem to have bad dreams and can cry and whimper – when they wake up I tell them it was just a dream and give them a cuddle. Sometimes they have a proper good bark at something, but only through their lips, though it can still be pretty loud! :) YES DOGS RULE!!

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      OMG Joy! The part where you said “one of your greedy dogs dreaming about eating” nearly knocked me off my chair! TOO FUNNY!

  • rhodry

    I too laugh when I watch my dog dream. It’s funny sitting there watching her tail wag vigorously while she’s in a dead sleep. She also yips, yaps & growls in her dreams. I like to think that she finally catches the squirrels she loves to chase.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com Samuel Nieves

      I think every dog achieves a little bit of everything in their dream – bad and good. :)

  • charlie dodge

    ok i have an english bull dog and i dont know why but she has siverly bad dreams some times she barks threw her mouth like you said an some times she chew with i know understand becouse of you thank you i think thats so adorible in i just i wish there was some thing any thing i could do i dont leave my aparment much but she has bad dreams more then 7 times a day she sleeps most the time or plays shes pritty lazy though but when she dreams she wimpers in makes barks in it worries me beacuse how offten the bad dreams or dream happens i would love an answer my dog is the biggest babe and the biggest part of my life… please give me some sort of in site thank you, charlie dodge

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Charlie,
      I understand your concerns with your dog and heavy dreams. Dogs sleep a lot, sometimes 14-18 hrs a day (throughout the day). They take “long” naps where they easily enter REM (rapid eye movement) and start to dream. Humans only enter this state of sleep once a day, if at all (when we’re dead asleep). Dogs on the other hand can enter this stage of sleep the amount of times they nap a day. I would not be worried one bit if your dog enters these stages of sleep every time she lays down for a nap.

  • charlie dodge

    okay thank you

  • Adriana Medina

    yea thats true cause my little puppy was crying in his dream :-) :p but for me its like making fun of them </3 i love my puppy

  • ttrawley

    my dog had a bad life before saved him he had sad dream like was scared i often woke him up just to reassure him it was ok.

  • janetb

    It’s 5am. I’ve been in and out sleep for a couple hours now. My 70lb shepherd husky mix curled at the foot of bed has been in and out of sleep as well. I notice he cries and will whimper a lot when he sleeps. I wonder if its my fault he doesn’t sleep soundly due to my sleep patterns. I try not to wake him while he dreams but I get sad thinking he is having a nightmare and I just want to reassure him he is home, safe, and loved. Any advice.

    • Samuel Nieves

      Crying and whimpering isn’t always as bad as we think. Take for example, my Standard Poodle Leila who cries when she can’t catch up to faster dogs while playing. She will also whine when a dog is playing keep away and she can’t seem to take the toy away. I would like to think a dog is always having good dreams. 😉

      I wouldn’t wake them from a dream. But if you happen to catch them waking up from one, stroke them and tell them it’s OK. Again, whining and crying doesn’t always relate to a stressful situation. But reassurance with petting and talking to them after a dream (whether good or bad) is good measure. They’ll wag their tail and go back to sleep.

  • Michael

    My dog often sleeps in my bed with me he’s a pretty big standard poodle so I can’t miss his dreams, I usually throw the ball everyday and in his dreams his paws are going like he’s running and his howling faintly to tell my other dog to give the ball back. My other dog is just bugging him , because she is fat and hates running but it’s so funny to watch him sleep and he wakes up all excited then dozes off again :)

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      That’s funny! Thank you for sharing :)

  • D brown

    Found your blog when I googled, do dogs dream. I have a 10 year old mutt I have never seen dream. Recently we adopted a 1 year old mutt and we can tell when she is dreaming. Tonight she got in trouble and an hour or so later was growling in her sleep. Retry sure she was telling me off for getting mad at her earlier. Gotta love my pit bull Dalmatian mix with a personality the size of Ru Paul.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      This is a common occurrence. There are dogs that start dreaming minutes after laying down and those that never really do. The beauty of not being able to talk to dogs leaves us all with the thought of – who, what, why, and where? Thank you for sharing! :)

  • Krutika

    I have a german shephard, he is 9 yrs old.. The time he ws sleepin i noticed he ws peeing.. It happened fr the first time. He dont have any bladder problem nor health issues.. What may be the reason behind it??

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      When dogs are excited or scared to the point they literally pee, that’s just a normal occurrence in a dream. Dogs with very little control of their urine bladders when excited or scared can and will pee on occasion in their dreams. Dogs are very much like humans, kids especially are well known for wetting the bed during a dream.

      BUT, since your dog has never displayed these issues, it is very possible that this can be associated toward his old age. Dogs loosing control of their bowels when older is also a common occurrence. As long as it doesn’t become a natural routine I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If he continues to do this, OR even when awake, I would take him to the vet so it can be corrected with oral medication.

  • Erin

    My pup and I were laying in bed, he’s already long asleep and I’m getting there. All of the sudden his entire body starts twitching and he begins whimpering then crying. Then he lets out in his sleep this long remorseful howl. He doesn’t even howl when awake! I had to wake him so he wouldn’t wake my family, but he woke with such a fright, his tail tucked, and burrowed underneath me. He fell back asleep but not until he pressed himself against my back. Poor guy I can’t even imagine what awful dream he had.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Wow, I too wonder what the poor fella was dreaming. I honestly believe dogs have the ability to dream of things that are impossible of happening. Similar to dreams humans have – running from zombies, flying like superman… or is that just me? :)

  • Amy

    My labradoodle Molly had a weird dream last night and she started to run and whimper then she woke up I just gave her a pat and told her it was ok. One night she was liying on the bed and then she almost did a roley poley of the bed!

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Oh wow! My 10 year old Pitbull/Boxer mix has very heavy dreams where it’s caused him to fall off the bed. He is no longer allowed on the bed due to his old age.

  • priyanka

    hi .. ma puppy named echo also dreams and makes wierd and funny sounds and howls while sleeping soo i guess he dreams a lot

  • Thomas

    Our 5 months old German shepherd is dreaming a lot, often quickly after falling asleep. Sometimes good, sometimes apparently bad dreams.
    Best not to wake a sleeping dog, also they could by accident bite you. What I do is to gently call his name and asked him to come to me. I hope that he hears me (his big protector) in his dream.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      I agree with you 100%. I too wouldn’t wake a dog up from a heavy dream. They usually work their way out of it. Calmly calling their name as you do is another good method.

  • Rae

    I’ve got a two and a half year old Boston Terrier who seems to dream pretty regularly…I often hear him “barking” in his sleep or get kicked when his paws start twitch as he “runs”. One night he barked so loud he woke himself up then was looking around trying to figure out where it came from.

  • Bubba

    My Lilly is a Papitzu and my 5 year old boy wondered what Lilly was doing when she was dreaming. Of course I have no idea but I took a guess and said “maybe Lilly is chasing red squirrels”. So that’s what my son and I think when Lilly is dreaming, that she is chasing squirrels.

  • Kayleigh

    My dog, Seamus, dreams all the time. He’s a lurcher (greyhound-sheltie mix) and they’re big time runners, so he always runs in his sleep (whilst laying down on his side, he doesn’t sleep walk). He barks a lot in his sleep too. He does the thing you described that your dog does, where his lips kind of puff and rumble. Lol. It’s pretty ridiculous. He whines sometimes too. He gets into the deepest sleep sometimes, it hard to wake him up. I can tell if he’s distressed in a dream and I’ll have to shake him pretty hard to get him to snap out of it. It’s so cute though. Dogs are such wonderful creatures. He’s my best friend and practically my conjoined twin, he’s constantly at my side. I guess that’s the whole point though, right? They’re our companions. Their DNA has even changed in the process of becoming our best friends, over the course of tens of thousands of years of companionship. Nothing can replace dogs. They have a special place with humanity. There’s a really good PBS special about dogs and their relationships with humans and in it they claimed that dogs and humans release oxytocin, the “love chemical”, when they’re together. It’s the same chemical that is released when a mother and baby are together. There’s an actual chemical reaction between dogs and their human companions that triggers a feeling of love, happiness, and contentment. Really neat stuff. Anyways, cute article. Thanks for writing it.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Thank you so much for sharing! I am going to search around for that PBS special! :)

  • Shyla Smith

    I recently rescued my dog Chris he dreams everynite starts panting then he kicks me i dont mind I just hope there not nitemares I love him soo much

  • Alexa Walther

    My 10 month old lab mix dreams constantly, everytime she sleeps. My husband and I think it is adorable. She is also an extremely quiet dog. Infact I have only heard her bark a few times since I have had her. Just today, I was in the house alone with her, studying for finals. She was dead asleep for awhile. I heard her huge paws scratching the floor, like they always do when she is dreaming. All of a sudden I hear this huge bark coming from her. I was so startled that I almot dropped my laptop, because it had been completely silent. She had even woken herself up from hr nap! She even scared herself so much that she kept growling and hiding under me for a while…I had to calm the poor beast down! It was probably one of the funniest things I had witnessed from her yet!

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      My girl Jasmine always freaks me out when she barks because she is soooo quite! We adopted her a little over 4 years ago and I’ve probably only heard her bark 4 times or so. I could be wide awake and my body quickly rushes with blood in panic because I don’t recognize the bark inside my home! lol

  • Roger

    My 2 yr old pitbull dreams everyday and I love it. You can see the paws twitch, he never barks awake but does so in his dreams alot. I love it when he barks wij a closed mouth the just watch his jowls shake. He has woken himself up from dreams looking around wagging his tail. Just about the favorite part of my day is his head on my lap napping and dreaming so I can get a good laugh from him not just when be is awake.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Definitely my favorite part of the day too when I’m around my dogs. I always get a kick out of it and I’ve owned dogs for over 20 years. :)

  • michelle

    i bet puppies dream of their real mom.and brothers and sisters

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      I have a feeling puppies do indeed dream of litter mates and mother. We recently adopted another puppy and this one also suckles in her dream and paws as if getting milk. :)

  • Katie

    I know for absolute sure my 5yr chow/husky mix dreams, she will bark, run, and it’s usually very cute. But around 4 months ago she attacked our 12yr old cocker spainal pretty badly very very early in the morning. The only thing I could think of was she had a bad dream and got startled when he passed her in the hallway that morning, since then we put her on Prozac because this wasn’t the first time she had been aggressive but it had never been that bad before. I hate having her on it so we cut her back and she seems to have started dreaming again and again last night I think she wasn’t having a bad dream because she woke me up around 1 a.m. Barking and growling quite louder then usual so I called her name so she would wake up, but her brother (not the cocker spainal) was worried so he went to check on her and she lurched at him but stopped? I’m very confused and nervous about this, do I go back t daily dose of the medication or wait longer and hope she gets better?

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Katie,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. This is common actually… BUT, it’s usually related to old age, poor vision or dog behavior in general.

      How old is your Chow/Husky mix? Does she see OK? How is she when she is awake with your dog or other dogs in general? Was this sudden or has she been this way for a while?

      I wouldn’t doubt that her dreams are so heavy that they put her into a defensive mode. It even happens to humans, but we quickly realize it’s a dream. We know what dreams are because they are explained to us growing up and there is scientific studies to prove these events are made up in our mind; so we live comfortably understanding.

      When dogs wake up from an intense dream, some quickly realize it was associated with sleep and it’s a normal part of their lives. Dogs don’t know what to call it when they’re dreaming, but they associate fake events with sleep and it’s a continuous pattern throughout their lives. Others however live a little worried thinking it actually took place.

      This is something I would monitor and break down with as much information you can gather from your dog’s daily habits.

      Avoid waking your dog from a dream by touching her as it could result in a defense reaction.

  • Dave

    We have a 5 year old cocker,that howls in her sleep. She will raise her head and howl like a wolf, her eyes are glassed over and u can not wake her out of it, it continues for about 45 seconds. When it is over she will normally come up on the bed and want to be comforted. We travel a lot and take her and our b-collie with us, it can be heard 4 rooms away. Is there anything we can do to stop it when traveling. We actually wonder if it is a for of epolipsy.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      There isn’t much you can do to control this–especially if the dog is healthy. I think they are very heavy dreams and not at all related to epilepsy.

  • raVen

    I just stumbled upon this while looking into dog dreaming to see if anyone else noticed the same things I have. I grew up with dogs of all kinds, always have had at least 3 around the house at all times. I got something philosophical for you. Puppies dream, I’ve watched puppies too young to walk or open their eyes, run and bark and howl in their sleep. I’ve also seen them have nite mares as well.

    It’s almost like they dream about what they will do when they get older, or it may be part of the instincts that get them to walk on their own. I just always found it amazing that dogs dreamed in the first place, let alone puppies dreaming about experiences they’ve never had. How can you run and bark and chase when you’ve never seen anything ever? Just a thought I thought I’d leave as I drift through the internet. :)

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Raven,
      It’s so funny that you point that out.

      I recently had the opportunity to raise a litter of puppies (10 of them) for the third time in my life. It was by far one of the most amazing experiences as an adult though; simply because I was able to document everything with something more than just my eyes. I observed their sleeping habits, patterns, and tendencies. I showed lots of footage and notes to our Veterinarian friends, and they helped us greatly with the some explanations.

      I plan to rework/update this article with video and findings from my experience. Their dreaming (the puppies), is the actual development of their nervous system and bodily functions. It’s their hard-wiring, instincts — environmental sounds, smells, and touch all taking play.

      Thank you for sharing!

  • Teri B.

    I have a Shitzu/Poodle mix named Maggie who does this all the time. Being a small dog, she has a very sharp bark so when she barks in her sleep without opening her mouth, it sounds just like what you imagine it would sound like if you covered her mouth while she’s barking. It’s absolutely adorable except when it wakes me up, which it does quite often as not only am I a light sleeper but she’s also never more than a foot or two away from me. I often wonder what she is dreaming about and if it’s a good dream or not. I have no idea how old she is, as she was found on the side of a road where someone had just dropped her off :( before I bought her from the people who found her. So I wonder if she dreams about that and is scared or lost in her dreams. When she does wake up, I will always cuddle her, just to remind her she’s no longer lost or alone and she’s safe with her mom who loves her. :) She also does a few other adorable things like bringing mouthfuls of food from her dish in the kitchen out to the living room carpet to eat or dropping her toys on your feet to get your attention so you’ll play with her or jumping in front of the TV screen if you’re watching TV instead of playing with her. She will also drop her toy onto my iPad if she wants to play, like she’s saying “forget playing on that thing and play with me!”. There is one thing that she does, however, that I think is the funniest, strangest, more adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Some dogs howl when they hear music, or their owner is singing, or when they hear another dog howl. Maggie never howls. Not at any of those things. The only time she ever howls, and I mean EVER, is when I’m watching NCIS: Los Angeles. During the credits there is a short noise, it sounds like someone saying “WHOOOO-EEEEEEE”. Maggie does not like this at all!! She will howl anytime she hears that noise. I found it so odd and hilarious that I recorded just that noise at the end of the show, playing it over and over and she howled at it every time!!! It is the best thing ever!

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Teri,
      I find it very interesting that Maggie howls at one particular sound–the pitch of the sound probably sounds like a howl to her. Stories like Maggie’s are the reason why dogs are such a mystery to us. If only they could talk!

  • C.Rockett

    Hi Sam, I have a very sweet 10 year old rottie girl named Vador. We recently both lost another dear family pet that she had around her all her life. She’s been showing some signs of grief and lack of enthusiasm lately. She usually sleeps through the entire night, but last night I woke up to find her just wandering around the house in the dark going from room to room. When I turned on the light she just sat down and looked at me like where is he? I think she had a dream about her buddy and was looking for him. Do you think that is possible and what can I do to help her? Of course I loved on her and told her everything would be okay. Oh, and when I finally coaxed her to come back in the bedroom to her bed, she decided to lay down on the floor next to my side of the bed instead of her own bed across the room. I wish I could put her up on my bed, but she too big to lift up and she is now arthritic and can’t jump at all.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello C,
      Dogs definitely know when someone isn’t around anymore–dog or human. Whether they saw the lifeless body of their friend, or know they never made it back home–they will wander the house. There is not much we can do considering the huge language barrier that keeps us from explaining the fine detail.

      If the passing of your family pet was recent, their odors and oils are still very strong in the house for Vador. She probably still thinks her friend is hanging around somewhere. With time, this will all go away. Then there are cases like mine.

      My boy Frisco lost his best friend and really wasn’t the same. His friend passed away almost 9 years ago, and still to this day, when I call out his friends name (which I don’t do often because my dog’s reaction makes me sad), he shoots up into the air, ears perked and starts looking for him. These dogs were inseparable and did everything you can think of together. And I mean everything! So yes, it’s something they may never forget. Frisco’s always had more furry-friends at his side to help with the loss, but dogs have the capacity to remember and mourn.

      I have friends who have dogs that never notice a dog missing from their pack, some that eventually get over it, and those like Frisco that always remember.

      • C.Rockett

        Hi Sam,
        Thank you for your advise, and yes, I have been taking Vador for car rides and to friends houses to visit other dogs to help. I have a friend who literally has a 5-acre farm with horses, kittens, a pig and a couple of dogs. She’s throwing an all-night grown-up Haloween party soon, and Vador & I plan to stay the night and enjoy the fun.

      • Jess913

        We recently lost one of our dogs who was 5 yrs old. She was hit by a car. My 3 yr old make has been morning for over a week they were BFF’s. . I’m still hand feeding him to eat. He never growled in his sleep but is doing it now. What do u think?

  • hunneysue

    I have 4 dogs and 2 cats. I am sure all of them dream. My boxer mix (Jadey) is now 9 years old and when she dreams her paws will twitch, her eyebrows will shift around and she will “wooof.”(a deep half bark) My chihuahua mix Frankie (we have no clue on her history as she was a stray that we took it) lays beside (even right now she is doing it) and her back legs just go like she is running full speed letting out what sounds like a a little kid saying “woop woop” and sometimes her little nub of a tail (it appears to have been docked long before we got her) just wags and wags. My rat terrier (Mattie) will growl sometimes in her sleep and reach out like she is pouncing, tail curled up like it does when she is hunting frogs by the pond. Even my little white fluff ball of a maltese (Poppy) dreams. Her tail will curl and uncurl (when awake she walks around with it curled up, when she is resting it usually uncurls), she will dig in her sleep and make the cutest noises. All my dogs were rescues or taken in before they ended up in a shelter so I don’t know about their early lives (except my boxer mix I got her as a puppy). While I know you are interested in dogs, my cats also dream, batting paws twitching ears and tails, and occasionally meowing/mewing in their sleep.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Thank you for sharing hunnysue. I’m going to play closer attention to cats. I’ve never witnessed one dreaming!

  • Jess913

    We recently lost one of our dogs who was 5 yrs old. She was hit by a car. My 3 yr old make has been morning for over a week they were BFF’s. . I’m still hand feeding him to eat. He never growled in his sleep but is doing it now. What do u think?

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Jess,
      So sorry to hear of your loss. If your dog witnessed the accident (and aftermath) it is very possible your dog is going through some shock. Dogs can display odd behavior when other dogs in a household are no longer present. Especially if they were the BFF type.

  • janashger

    My little chihuahua howled loudly like sing when it was early morning. His noise woke me up. I thought he was sick, but there was no sign of distress when I looked at him, not sure it he was dreaming.

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Don’t be alarmed, a lot of times the sounds a dog can make in their sleep will cause us to panic; they can sound as if they’re in distress.

  • Mark

    I had a Golden who I had to put down to mast cell cancer. My son brought Her home when she was 8wks. old and “suckered” Me She was the greatest friend One could have. Any way, Dakota used to “dream” all the time and I used to get to watch Her on occasion .She did dream with Her shutters and rapid breathing and “smile” Of course You know dog spelled backwards, spells “GOD”

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      I think that’s one of the coolest things I’ve known about dogs. Dog spelled backwards spells “GOD,” which is why I always say, “Oh my doG!” :)

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      We have a little thing we do here at Best of Dog–pretty dog nerdy, but it’s say, “Oh my doG,” instead of “Oh my God.” 😉

  • Annette Hamilton Beach

    I’m not so sure about the jealousy part…..our shih poo will whine when Tim and I cuddle, hug or even kiss….she wants to be in the “cuddle puddle”

    • Jessica

      I have two dogs. The older of the two gets jealous every time I cuddle with the puppy. She won’t look at me and if I try to snuggle with her she turns around and walks away!

      • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

        Dogs have the most amazing way of letting you know they love you, don’t they? 😉 Thank you for sharing Jessica.

  • meyen

    My 9months mix dutch just n0w, freaks me out,i was walking her up she wot. Tried 2 raise her head,and just fall back,i thought she is dying. And i dicide 2 hold her and carry her,she wokes up. She did scare da hell out of me. Meyen

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Wow, that must have been an intense dream. I have been able to tickle and pet my dogs during heavy sleep. Sometimes I can even shout their name without even waking them up.

  • Linda Cowling

    I too just stumbled on this site, while looking to see if dogs dream. This came about because around 5 this morning I was awoken to the sound of my dog, in his bed in the kitchen, “crying” with a cross between a howl and a bark! He did it 3 or 4 times. I immediately went to him, and he was in his bed, looking a bit scared, and lifting his paw towards me. I stayed with him for a few minutes, but when I went back to bed he followed me and snuggled down in the corner by the bed, and stayed there til I arose. He has never done this before, although he does “chase rabbits” in his sleep, which is quite funny to watch. He is, by the way, a beautiful German Shepherd.

  • nancy

    My dog Rosebud a yorkie turned 12 yrs last month. Recently she has been dreaming, making noises while she sleeps. Sometimes wakes up from that deep sleep shakes her head looks around and then goes back to sleep. I don’t remember my other yorkie Kilo, she was 18 yrs when she died, doing this but my dog Tippy when I was a kid she ran in her sleep. I’m a worrier why has Rosebud started this now?

    • http://www.doggeekz.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Nancy,
      It’s very possible your dog has developed a heightened sense of sleep due to age. I’ve owned dogs all my life and I’ve only come across one dog that I never encountered enter REM until she was a senior (never entered REM in her young adult life). It could be that your dog’s brain has decided to enter deeper stages of sleep for many reason–age, emotions, stress, and or nothing at all but just age–healthy mammalian brains develop neurons until we die. Assuming your dog is a healthy senior dog, I would not worry one bit.

      • LILA

        my dog’s snoring!

  • Sabine

    I can’t help but laugh every time I catch my dog dreaming. She usually half barks, very softly. I guess I imagine what she must be barking at.. other dogs, maybe a cat.. or a motorcycle, she barks at those when awake, LOL She is a small rescued mixed breed 9ish year old.

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      I love dogs that bark in their sleep. I imagine they are having the most fun in their sleep! LOL

  • Patty

    I have two bulldogs. They were strays. Both were very skinny when they came to me.vet said they were one year old brother an sister. My Bo Bo has bad dreams often. I think they may have been abused. Daisy dont cry in her sleep like Bo. But she almost always has to be right beside him. Awake or asleep. After three years she will sleep beside my husband. Bo and I stay up late. And when he dreams I call his name softly. He opens his eyes. Looks at me a few sec. Takes a deep breath. An goes back to sleep. The vet says they are healthy. He’s not in no pain. So it has to be bad dreams. How long befor he can forget his past. An have good dreams

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Patty,

      It’s hard to say if your dog is even experiencing bad dreams. Dogs learn to develop scenarios in their dreams. And yes, even the most exaggerated sounds they make during sleep can simply be them playing or horsing around with other dogs.

  • Caked Up Nia

    My dog makes noises in her sleep and shakes and I get concerned because I love and care about her ever though I am only 12

  • james

    my dog barks and whines in his sleep then he wakes up he looks around scared.

  • Jenn

    My dog is one year. So far there have been two occasions that he wakes up frighten. So frighten that you still feel him hyperventilating, trembling and heart pounding. He lives a spoiled life. I do not know where the nightmares come from. I have had him since he was 8 weeks old. This started recently. He is taking seizure medications. Could that be causing his terror dreams?

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Jen,
      Why is he taking seizure medications for? Is it for the sleeping habits? If it is because he actually goes into seizures, then I would highly anticipate his brain is in a high level of stress during his dreams. Possibly very powerful and intense dreams due to the already underlying cause of the seizures.

  • Dakota

    I’m laying here with my 2 yro american pitbull terrier (her name is Tauriel) and I notice she was twitching a lot which isn’t unusual for her. But what was usual was when my hand touched her paw it scared her so much she snarled and almost bit me. When she was fully awake she looked like she realized what just happened and felt bad. She rested her head by my side and fell back asleep. I always knew dogs dreamed but It just makes me wonder to what extent. Besides that shes the only dog i’ve owned that stretches in her sleep and it is possibly the cutest thing ever.

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Awesome dog! Sometimes their dreams can be so realistic they can react aggressively when physically woken out of a dream. It’s good your dog understands what dreams are — as you said she felt bad for doing so, she quickly realized you weren’t a threat and she overreacted.

  • Tammy Scooter Hart

    I love it when my dogs tail starts wagging. Even different wags.. sounds like a happy dream

  • Cato655

    My dog whines in her sleep every now and again. She also twitches her back legs quite a lot in her sleep – perhaps running in the dream?

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Running full speed after something, I would assume 😉

  • Shayleigh

    Hey yea dogs do dream when my dog Jack was sleeping I heard him making weird noises so I thought that he had a nightmare or a dream of a pretty poodle if he even knows what a poodle is…But anyway dogs can dream


  • bryanna

    My dog bitzy is a apple head Chihuahua and never makes noise or runs in her sleep but does she have dreams she is 14yrs old

  • Alex93

    I’ve got a black lab puppy called Mrvica (could be translated as “a little crump”. She’s 3 months old, sleeps in my bed at the top of a blanket and likes to cuddle in the morning. I noticed that she sometimes makes weird sounds while sleeping: squealing, growling, squishing with her mouth etc. She also twiches her legs, sometimes she looks as if she has cramps in her paws. Often she sleeps on her back, with her head laid back and all fours straight in the air o.O
    When she squeals in her sleep I always pet her a bit and tell her name calmly, sometimes I say something encouraging “I’m here” or “I’ll protect you” – it sounds a lot shorter in my mother tongue :)

  • Jess

    Yeah my gold lab, he’s 3 and he’ll wake up and start digging the carpet then he looks around and wonders wats going, he won’t go back to sleep tho, it’s almost like he freaks himself out coz hel come jump uP on the couch with me, sounds stupid but he’s only started doing in the last month, we buried his son 6 weeks ago from 1080 poisoning , he didn’t c us bury him tho but wondering maybe he could be dreaming about his son? He seemed to know where we buried him, for the first week he’d go out and sit there, I don’t know but he doesn’t do any of the howling etc. I suppose ud call it sleep walking/ digging?

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Hello Jess,

      Dogs have a great sense of smell. Dogs for example can smell cadavers that are under water — and buried victims just as easy. It is very possible your dog can smell your dog and will continue to do so until the body completely decomposes. Depending on your environment, that can be a while.

  • CurlyQ

    My border collie puppy is 8 weeks old. She dreams quite a bit (even though she’s only been alive 8 weeks, what could she be dreaming about?). She suckles in her sleep, and quite often sleeps with her tongue sticking out. It’s very adorable! She also runs, twitches, sniffs, barks, and yelps. Usually every time she’s asleep!

    Another thing I noticed, when she’s dreaming her eyes are open. No, she’s not awake. She’s got her third eyelid (I think) over them, so they look very bloodshot. She blinks a lot. It’s so funny that she sleeps with her eyes open, I didn’t know that would happen!

    • http://www.bestofdog.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Exactly my thoughts when I raise puppy litters. There is so much activity while they sleep. 8 weeks — at that age, they’ve engaged in a lot of play and horsing with their litter mates. They’ve suckled, fought for fighting/drinking position, and have began to recognize hundreds of smells in every day pattern; puppies at that age are processing quite a bit.

      The suckling in some dogs continues until they are well over 6-8 months of age! :-)

  • Elizabeth Tiede

    My dog Rocco who is almost two years old a chijhauhau min pin just dreamed a few minutes ago. he was right by me. his legs were moving slowly from time to time and his eyes were half open. he was in a very deep sleep. i wish i knew what he was dreaming about.

    i moved my leg for a second and he woke up. i hugged him and said “what you dream about, you slept hard” he then walked a few feet away from me and layed down stretched and went back to sleep.

  • Bel

    My pit mix, Havoc, is old. He is 14 and sleeps a lot now. He is also a loaner; he doesn’t like a lot of excitement so he has always preferred staying in the back room by himself. In the past two weeks, however, he has been waking up trembling and clearly afraid of something. He almost crawls over and tries to hide under my legs, if I am s sitting.. He stays by my side or by my husband’s for hours after one of this “attacks” and even starts shedding a lot. We usually just hug him until he relaxes and stops trembling, which usually takes about 5-10 minutes. He has lived a very happy life and is loved very much by the entire family. What could he be dreaming about to get him so scared? It is said that dogs have a sixth sense…should I be afraid?

  • sam

    I have a beautiful chow chow/ border collie mix and she dreams almost every time she sleeps (well that I can tell) I know she did come from an abusive past so when she starts running and whimpering in her sleep I will gently pet her sides and call her name softly. she responds to that very well and often gets up and gives me kisses or rests her head on my shoulder. I love her very much and it makes me sad knowing that shes thinkin about all that stuff and that it still pains her. but all in all shes the best dog ive ever met and apparently im the best human shes ever met too so it works:)

  • ty

    My puppy dreams a lot. He will growl and act like he is running. He is a German shorthair so I just assume he is on the trail of something. Dogs really are amazing with their personality and human like emotions and behavior

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      They absolutely are. I have a friend who also owns a German Shorthair and his dog’s dreams typically involve him running in his sleep. Those sporting dogs sure do love to burn calories!!!

  • Bella

    My dog walks in her sleep

  • Kenneth Wells

    Dogs do in fact experience jealousy. When my cat gets in my lap my dog gets up there to and tries to push him off of me.

  • Gigi

    My dog always whines in his sleep.Is he having a nightmare?

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Could be a number of things. Whining in the dog world can even express excitement believe it or not.

  • Hayley

    I currently have three dogs two pits Nova 2 And titan 1 1/2 and Rascal 12 a collie chow mix all three of them dream and it can be fun to watch. Nova does whine and kick in her sleep and we know she suffers anxiety so we always call out her name softly and than gently pet her. Titan stretches and kicks. My husband says me and titan will be cuddling than he’ll kick me and I’ll push him lol but I always wake up with him right next to me.

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Sounds like a great family! :-)

  • ann heller

    My husband and I have 3dogs a 5 year old snoozer a 4 year old doxie a 3 year old teryer mix thay are all momma boys thay do get jellis of each other whin I am peting one of them the other one will but in and try to get me to pet them instead there names are buddy scooter and tommy

  • Ashley

    I have 2 chorkies rascal 1 year and Sophia 3mos
    They both have night terrors
    Rascal runs in his sleep
    Sniffs in his sleep
    Yaps in his sleep
    And twitches
    Sophia twitches
    And falls off the bed with one giant jerk
    And often wakes up confused

    • Ashley

      Sophia also sucks her tongue

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Perfectly normal brain activity. Dogs being dogs in their dreams. :-) The confused part — I always tell people this has to be due to them not being able to process they were in a dream.

  • barbara

    I have a Chihuahua who is a year old. LANEY will growl and even “talk“ in her sleep and I have to wonder if she is talking to the neighbor dogs. LOL

  • Stormy

    We adopted a 2yr old Beagle from a rescue organization. We have reason to believe that sjhe was possibly abused and also neglected. We’ve had her 8 months now. She sometimes will wake up from a deep sleep and starts running around the house crying and snapping her jaws . Is this something that she dreaming about from her abusive past? We give her lots of love and she is very affectionate with us, and loves to be around us. After a few minutes of this “sleep walking” she’s seems fine.

    • Andreas

      God bless you for adopting a dog like that! I’m very glad that she is with someone that loves her now!

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Wow. Those dreams sound intense. I also wonder if those dreams could be related to other fears. Some dogs are very timid and cry to everything, and I only imagine her dreams are intensified. Her energy is not good if she dreams like that often. That means it’s on her mind a lot throughout the day. Could be something that happened in the past. I would pay close attention the next time your dog comes out of sleep whining and yapping and see if she is experiencing any kind of pain — like muscle spasm or minor seizure of any kind. Keep us posted!

  • casper

    my friends husky just fell fast asleep….about 5 minutes later, she’s twitching and then jumps straight out of a dead sleep, howling really loud. was this a bad dream?

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      Only one can imagine how detailed a dog’s dream can be. I imagine sometimes an intensity of any dream will wake them. And they would have to be of things they’ve been through. Rough housing, chasing something, fear of swimming in the pool. If only they could talk 😉

  • Sad

    My standard was 7 and passed away a few months ago. I have a Westie who is 13. They we’re buds. Shared//battled over the same toy.
    My older guy was ok at first then loss of appetite…better now. He holds the toy all the time. At night he sleeps with it and lately he’s been crying and loudly. I stroke him or sometimes call his name. It helps…
    Can he be dreaming or missing his brother??
    Thx…. I know I am.

    • http://samthehombre.com/ Samuel Nieves

      it’s very possible. Dogs can feel and hurt. I can only imagine these feelings transcend into dreams. My current dog has not gotten over the loss of my boy Frisco that happened a year ago. Her demeanor is different. She walks and looks lame in the face almost constantly since his passing. The moment we are around other dogs she acts like her normal self — smile on her face, head upright, trots happily. I guess it’s time to for you and I to get our dogs a friend! :-)

  • Liv

    My dog Mia is about a year old now, she’s a Sprocker. Recently I’ve noticed that she does like gruffly whiny barks in her sleep, kinda sounds like a sneeze? xD Can you tell me whats going on?