Dogs and dreams: What dreams do dogs have? And do they have nightmares?

Some dogs chatter cutely from their sleep, others twitch or wag their tails. But all the mentioned manifestations speak of only one thing – dogs, just like people, have dreams! So let's look below the surface and find out what he dreams about when he sleeps. You may be surprised to learn that dog dreams are just as diverse as human dreams.


The structure of the human brain is not very different from that of our furry pets (except for size). In addition, both brains show similar sleep cycles , which leads researchers to make a bold claim – our dreams are similar to dogs' dreams. “Basically, we found that dogs dream about dogs things . The sleep pattern in dogs appears to be very similar to that of humans," the researchers told Live Science. Respectively - we and our canine friends in dreams we process the events of the past days .

And so it can be said that dog dreams consist of fragments of real life that are intertwined with each other. Whether it's an afternoon walk with the owner, a meeting with an unfriendly dog ​​or a new toy - these are all moments from an ordinary day that can fit right into a dog's dream. On the other hand it is almost impossible for dogs to imagine something that they have not experienced on their own . Unlike humans they do not have a creative imagination , so there is no room for fabrication in their dreams.


We have good news for you! It seems that owners play a role in a dog's dreams as well. Although scientists do not know the exact scenarios of dog dreams, it is evident that dogs dream about events they have experienced in our society. "It is likely that if you are spending quality time with your dog, then the dog will dream about you playing, walking or cuddling," explains scientist Stanley Coren, author of the book Dogs Dream. It must be added, however, that we are certainly not the only actors who appear in dog dreams.



When a dog whines, growls or barks sharply during sleep, we can get the impression that he is experiencing an unpleasant nightmare. However, as we have already mentioned, dogs do not have creative imaginations, so it is almost impossible for them to be frightened by ghosts or sci-fi scenarios in their sleep. Rather, they seeped into their dream traumatic memories from recent times - a visit to the vet, a dreaded bath or meeting a big dog from the neighbors. If you witness your dog whining or crying while sleeping, by all means not desirable to wake him up . You would needlessly disturb his sleep cycle, and above all the regenerative phase of REM.

How often do dogs sleep?
It is interesting that some dogs literally experience one dream after another. "Small breed dogs and puppies have about sixty seconds of dreams every ten minutes of sleep," explains veterinarian Gary Richter. On the contrary, in the case of larger dogs, they have longer dreams of about five minutes, and also a longer gap between individual dreams.

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