Doggy Dreams

Have you ever noticed your dog twitching, growling, or crying in their sleep? If so, you probably assumed they were dreaming and then stopped and questioned if dogs can really dream. Well, according to Psychology Today, they can. They also state that dogs have very similar brain waves and electrical activity as humans and that evidence has shown that even animals that are not as intelligent as dogs dream, so it would be odd if dogs did not. Psychology Today also says that Matthew Wilson and Kenway Louie from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology performed a study on rats that measured their brain waves while going through a maze during the day and then measured them again while sleeping. They found that the patterns of the brain waves during both events were the same, which is consistent with the common idea that we dream about what we did that day. They state that there is evidence that dogs do the same.
In a study done to figure out the movement of dogs in their sleep, Psychology Today says that dogs did not move until they were in the stage of sleep that they would begin to dream. They also said the study inactivated the pons of some dogs, which is the part of the brain that keeps us from moving while dreaming, and the dogs began to move much more. The study also found that certain types of dogs acted out things that were specific to their breed; things they would do in real life.
Psychology Today says that if you pay close attention to your dog about twenty minutes after they fall asleep, their breathing will get shallow and you may even be able to see their eyes moving underneath their eyelids. This is them watching their dream.
So pay close attention! If you notice your dog crying or looking like they are trying to run, give them a little shake! They may be having a nightmare! (Total theory of my own.)





4 thoughts on “Doggy Dreams

  1. Olivia Helen Dearment

    My dog actually shakes a little bit in his sleep, while also whimpers sometimes. Now I know he must be dreaming. I always assumed that they had some sort of dreams like us, and it seems that sometimes they can have the same reactions as well. I know that when I dream I move a lot and sometimes jerk around. I didn’t think dogs were capable of doing that but I was wrong. Next time I watch my dog taking a nap (which is quite frequently), I will be sure to look closely at not only his eye movements, but his mannerisms as well.

  2. Madison Taylor

    This post is one of my favorites so far! I cannot count how many times I have caught my dog twitching and making noises while he sleeps. I always figured that he was just dreaming, and I am happy that your post has confirmed my assumption. It makes sense that dogs and humans dream so similarly, which makes me wonder how similar our language processing is. Like you said, when my dog winces or looks like he is trying to run, I do wonder if he is experiencing a nightmare. Here is a video I found of dogs dreaming and showing the characteristics of dreaming that you described in your post!

  3. Jordan Smith

    So if they have similar brain waves to humans, do dogs think in a simliar way to humans? Do they just go “bark bark bark” in their head? Do they have complex sentences going on in their minds that they wish they could write into a blog post about how they can’t communicate those very thoughts with people? What if they speak some random language in their head like Portuguese or something but all they can do is bark?

  4. Imaani Allen

    My dog runs and whimpers in his sleep. My mom believes he is dreaming about chasing after a squirrel. When he first did it as a puppy I was afraid that something was wrong with him. The vet said yes dogs can very vivid dreams just like humans. I wonder if in the next ten years they will invent a device that will allow you to see what your dog is dreaming about. That would be pretty awesome.

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