Can dogs dream?

For us humans, the night represents a break from everyday life. During this rest phase, what we have experienced is processed and the brain can switch off from the stress of the day. Sometimes the experience is expressed in dreams and a film is subconsciously perceived while sleeping.

Dogs are not always completely calm while sleeping. You can watch them move their legs and sometimes bark [1]. Are these indications that dogs can dream and what do they experience when they sleep?

The phases of sleep and rest are important for the dog. He rests and sleeps up to 20 hours a day. Sleep is important for you to recover. If he suffers from a lack of sleep, this is expressed in a higher degree of aggression and the animal is more susceptible to diseases. Therefore, the undisturbed’s sleep and a proper Dog Mattress for your four-legged important so that it is balanced and in full possession of his faculties.

The dog’s long sleep

Dogs spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping and dozing. Puppies in particular need a lot of rest.

The most of the day is the dog but not in deep sleep . He dozes [2] to yourself, closes your eyes and still listens to what is happening around you.

If he falls asleep, the phases of sleep appear similar to those of humans. At first he is still lightly asleep. He can be woken up easily during this phase and loud noises create uncertainty.

This is followed by the deep sleep phase. Body and mind are now in a state of deep relaxation. This phase is followed by the REM sleep phase. This is characterized by the rapid eye movements, which is why the term is derived from the English “Rapid Eye Movement”. This sleep phase occurs around 20 minutes after falling asleep.

In humans, this period is also known as the dream phase. Although this phase is relatively short, intense stories play out in front of the inner eye. They are deceptively real and recurring nightmares [3] can represent a major impairment of the quality of life.

Dog’s dream

The dog’s movements and behavior during sleep indicate that he is dreaming and processing the day’s experiences.

The REM phase is followed by a short waking phase. This is the difference between dogs and humans. Since the dog is descended from the wolf, is in the pack and wants to protect the group, the waking phase is important in order to recognize possible dangers.

The dog can experience up to 20 deep sleep phases over the course of a night But does he dream as intensely as a person?


It is difficult to determine whether dogs can dream After all, dogs cannot actively share how your night went. But there are numerous indications and studies that suggest that dogs can dream too.

One experience is based on a study from 1959, in which part of the brain stem was removed from cats. The result was that the actually important sleep paralysis no longer occurred. Instead of relaxing the limbs during sleep, the cats were able to act out their usual behaviors. They ran and even chased mice. You did all of this even though you were not in a waking state. This is a clear indication that the cats were dreaming and living out these experiences for themselves.

Similar experiments were carried out on dogs. In this specific brain areas temporarily paralyzed. There, too, it was found that ordinary activities were carried out during sleep. Birds were chased away or intruders caught. If dogs or cats weren’t dreaming, they would just lie still, even if they didn’t have sleep paralysis.

Additional clues that dogs are dreaming are moving legs and twitching of the eyelids. This behavior is even more pronounced in puppies. This suggests that the areas of the brain that influence sleep paralysis are less developed. The same phenomenon can also be observed in humans and this explains why babies and toddlers are significantly more active during sleep.


Based on these findings , it stands to reason that dogs dream. What dogs experience during the night can only be guessed at. However, it seems plausible that the dreams depend on the breed and general behavior.

It stands to reason that dogs dream of the usual activities of the day, such as swimming, eating or hunting

Hunting dogs [4]will likely relive what happened during the night, chasing the rabbit or other small rodents. Sometimes this can be understood by moving the legs excitedly.

Other dogs might be more preoccupied with eating . Your mouth may even water and the chewing movements are simulated.

The character of the dog

What dogs dream of cannot be fathomed. It does seem to have something to do with the character, however. Cozy dogs also move less while sleeping, while agile dogs show themselves from the wild side even while sleeping.

Still other races can swim or be quiet. This makes the dog’s dream behavior very similar to that of humans.

In any case, you should avoid waking the dog while dreaming. Especially if he barks and shows himself aggressive, you should give him some rest. If you wake him up to calm him down, the dog could react unexpectedly . Not only does this cause stress in the dog, but it could result in injury. Give your dog the necessary space so that he can calm down himself and he will go back to sleep peacefully.


If you ask yourself whether your dog experiences dreams while sleeping, then this can be clearly answered with a “yes” . Experiments show that cats and dogs are able to dream. You process the experiences of the day in your dreams and are just as active as is the case with humans.

If your dog barks or is having a nightmare, it is better not to wake him up. It may be a bit uncomfortable at this point, but you should leave your dog alone. He will be able to deal with these experiences himself and spend the night relaxed.

This shows that the dream behavior of dogs is very similar to that of humans. Puppies show a stronger urge to move and like to express what they are experiencing with a slight bark.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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