If you are a pup parent, you may have observed that your dog barks, growls, and moves their paws when they are sleeping. Now you may believe that this behavior is indicative that your canine companion is dreaming. And you’d actually be right!
Research suggests that dogs do have dreams, not unlike humans. According to the American Kennel Club, studies have concluded that our furry friends do experience REM sleep, which “is the period responsible for the most memorable and vivid dreams.”
Now, I personally have wild dreams. For instance, last night, I dreamed that I went to Disneyland with Sebastian Stan, and he was getting increasingly frustrated with me because I was afraid of the giant spiders that were everywhere. Thankfully, even though we share similar sleep cycles, it is unlikely that my dog has nightmares about Marvel actors being annoyed with her at a theme park. Instead, her dreams are probably grounded in reality and have something to do with her day-to-day life, which mainly consists of her barking at my neighbor’s children while we are out on walks.
Dr. Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc, FRSC explained in a 2010 Psychology Today article that scientists determined our furry friends “dream about common dog activities” by “inactivat[ing] the part of the brain that suppresses acting out of dreams in dogs.” He noted that researchers discovered the animals remained still until “the brain entered that stage of sleep associated with dreaming,” which suggested that “these dogs actually began to execute the actions that they were performing in their dreams.” Dr. Coren went on to say that these specific actions likely mirror the movements the dog typically does during their waking hours.
What do you think your dog dreams about? Let us know in the comments below!
image source: Smart Nora