What do dogs dream about when they cry in their sleep? When you watch your dog’s unusual behavior while it’s sleeping, it’s tough not to think about what’s happening in its dream. Some dogs will sleep deeply while trying to walk or run. We get it – dreams are realistic.
It’s almost like humans sleeping and experiencing the falling sensation when falling in their dream(s). Most of us get weird and scary dreams, and a dog dreaming experiences these real feelings too. When a dog cries during sleep, what exactly is it crying about? What do dogs dream about when they’re crying?
Before you scroll down to a more in-depth answer to this guide, “What Do Dogs Dream About When They Cry,” you can check out these other dog-related questions answered by our team at We Love Doodles: What Does it Mean When a Dog is Barking in its Sleep and Why Do Dogs Sleep with Their Bums Facing You?
Do Dogs Dream During Their Sleep?
It’s almost likely that dogs dream based on their behavior during their sleep. For instance, a deep asleep dog will show signs of rapid eye movements and unusual behavior like trying to bark or run. When we mentioned that a dog almost likely dreams, we can’t fully confirm what a dog is experiencing unless a dog and a human can fully communicate.
Maybe one day, someone somewhere will invent a device where communication with a dog is possible. On the bright side, scientists studying dogs managed to collect information on dreaming, which helps them learn about a dog’s sleeping pattern.
Scientists that studied a dog’s sleep discovered valuable information, which you can find below:
- When dogs fall asleep, their breathing pattern stabilizes and becomes deeper.
- In less than 30 minutes after a dog falls asleep, it’ll start to dream while in REM sleep.
- When a dog starts dreaming, its breathing pattern will be noticeably irregular. At times, a dog will twitch during its dream/sleep.
- When humans dream during their sleep, rapid eye movements occur. The same goes for a dreaming dog – it’ll show signs of rapid eye movements. It’s believed that during a dog’s REM sleep, rapid eye movements occur due to a dog visualizing/seeing what’s inside the dream. Interestingly, when you wake someone, and they immediately tell you about their dreams, you probably wake them up during their REM sleeping phase.
What do dogs dream about when they cry? Do you ever remember a dream that felt so real that it’s almost like you experienced it in reality? Your dog that’s dreaming could be experiencing that same feeling. Every moment and event in your dog’s memories could lead to dreams where they relive certain experiences.
Several examples include a dog chasing a cat, running towards a treat, or chasing its owner. It’s believed that when a dog dreams about these events/occurrences, the experience will feel incredibly real, leading to odd behaviors like running and twitching during sleep.
When a dog is in its REM sleeping phase, the function of the dog’s brain is similar to when awake. Like humans, dogs likely dream about certain/similar experiences they had when they were awake. Sometimes, seeing your dog behave in an odd/unusual way during its sleep can appear cute.
However, there’s a risk that you should know. When a person has a nightmare or senses a threat in the dream, they normally wake up feeling alert and immediately accepting that none of these experiences happened. As for dogs – the outcome could be different and possibly even dangerous.
In an event where a dog is experiencing nightmares in its dream, you should be more cautious. If a dog has nightmares and feels a threat, waking it up could immediately trigger its defensive instincts. If you notice an unusual behavior during your dog’s sleep, you should be prepared and keep your kids away.
How Often Do Dogs Dream?
Do you often have nights where you dream and other nights where you don’t dream? A dog will experience the same. Dreams can happen more or less, which can also depend on the situation. Various factors, such as size and age, can affect how often a dog dreams.
Factors that will affect how often a dog dreams:
- Dog Age
- Dog Size
- Dog’s Activity Level
A good example of a dog’s age playing a role in how often dreams occur would be a young, innocent puppy versus an adult dog. One of the reasons puppies experiences dreams more frequently than older dogs is that puppies learn and store tons of new information. The amount of information a puppy has to learn becomes “stored and processed” during sleep.
How about a dog’s size? Does the size of a dog affect how often it dreams? Yes – it does. The smaller a dog breed means that it will have a higher dream frequency when compared to a bigger dog breed. A mini Goldendoodle puppy could dream every ten minutes, while a standard-sized Goldendoodle could dream every hour or more.
A mini Goldendoodle puppy’s entire dream could last for 60 seconds long, while a standard-sized Goldendoodle’s entire dream could last for 5 minutes or more. If your dog has had a long and active day, your dog will likely be exhausted/tired, which can lead to a longer phase of a REM sleeping cycle. A longer REM sleeping cycle phase leads to a long dream.
Do Dogs Have Nightmares?
Nothing is perfect in life, and that includes a dog’s dream. One common sleeping behavior in dogs is when a dog cries in its sleep. A dog sometimes shows sleeping behaviors like running, twitching, and barking. When a dog behaves a certain way during its sleep, it’s feeling some emotions to have these reactions.
A dog crying in its sleep could mean suffering from a nightmare. A dog barking in its sleep could mean that it’s barking at a ‘threat’ or asking for certain things like dog treats. Sometimes, dog owners will wake up in the middle of the night due to the sounds of a crying Chihuahua, Goldendoodle, or other dog breeds.
If you notice your dog is displaying odd behaviors during its sleep, there’s no need to panic because it’s probably dreaming. Sometimes, these behaviors could frustrate a dog owner throughout the night. You’re probably debating whether you should wake your dog, but you should know that uninterrupted sleep can benefit a dog’s body and mind.
If you want to wake up your companion, it should be fine if it isn’t done too often. However, it would be best if you were careful because a dog could dream of a threat and wake up to have its instincts immediately kicking in.
When a dog is aggressive and growling in its sleep, that’s when you should be extra cautious around it. When your dog wakes up from a nightmare, you should give it a few minutes to recollect. Even for humans, you would probably need a few minutes to recollect yourself after experiencing an exhausting nightmare.
If you have children around the house, you should never let them wake your dog up from a nightmare. Statistics show that at least 60% of dog bites happen to children when they try to wake them up. Your dog’s uninterrupted sleep is just as important as yours, so you can brainstorm solutions like providing your dog with a comfortable/quiet sleeping area.
What Do Dogs Dream About?
Unless humans can full-on communicate with a dog and hear what they have to say about their dreams, there’s no way to know what happens in a dog’s dream. However, a dog’s sleeping behavior can give the owner a brief idea of how the dog feels and reacts.
When a dog is running in its sleep, it could be chasing an animal, running after its owner, or running away from something. When a dog is growling or barking in its sleep, it could be trying to protect itself from a threat. Barking could sometimes be a good dream because some dogs bark when experiencing excitement.
When a dog is crying in its sleep, it could be based on its past traumatic moments in life. It’s believed that many dogs dream about their daily experiences, such as barking at certain things and running around places. If you fully understand your companion’s behavior, seeing how your dog behaves could give you a brief idea of what the dream could be about.
Do Dogs Dream About Their Owners?
It’s believed that dogs dream about their daily activities and experiences, which means that it’s likely that they dream about their owners. As a dog owner, you can’t help but wonder whether your dog is dreaming about you or not. What do dogs dream about when they cry?
Sometimes, it could be about being separated from its owner. Unfortunately, dogs can’t talk, so you’ll never know what your dog dreams about. Occasionally, a dog will show certain behaviors during its sleep, so maybe watching its sleeping behavior will give you a brief idea and the emotions it’s experiencing.
Do Dogs Dream in Color?
Dreams are based on a collection of memories and experiences, so a dog will most likely dream of what it sees. A dog’s perception of colors differs from how humans perceive colors. Even though dogs cannot see all the beautiful colors humans do, their world can be colorful.
Like how the human eyes have three types of cones, which can help them identify green, blue, and red – dogs have two types of cones, which are yellow and blue. A dog’s color perception is called dichromatic vision. Even though dogs have fewer cones than humans, they can see objects better than humans when there is low light.
Colors dogs can see:
- Different shades of yellow
- Different shades of blue
- Different shades of gray
Do Dogs Dream About Running?
Yes, dogs do likely dream about running. It’s more common than you think. A dog running in its sleep is a pretty common behavior. It’s so common that you can search and find YouTube videos of dogs behaving this way in their sleep. Since dogs sometimes try to run while sleeping, they’re likely dreaming about running.
A dog running in its sleep could mean many things:
- It could be dreaming of a threat, and it’s trying to run away from the threat.
- It could be chasing after something it wants. It could be their owner or chasing after a treat.
By paying attention to certain behaviors, you can tell whether your dog is having a happy dream or a nightmare. Some of these behaviors include moaning, barking, growling, or twitching. While this might seem odd, this is also a common behavior in humans when we talk in our sleep.
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Rare Instance of Seizures in Sleeping Dogs
In response to “What Do Dogs Dream About When They Cry,” it could sometimes mean other things. In some rare cases, a dog running in its sleep could mean that it’s having a seizure. A dog owner needs to detect whether their dog needs help or not.
Sometimes, a dog behaving strangely during sleep can appear amusing and cute, but paying attention to your dog for any signs of seizures is important. If you’ve seen dogs running in their sleep before, you should know that a dog’s body will move differently when it suffers from a seizure.
If your dog’s body movement is more violent, then you should pay attention and be ready to schedule an appointment with the vet to figure out the cause. When your dog recovers from the rapid body movements, you’ll notice that it’ll appear more disoriented.
A dog with a seizure will seem more different than a dog waking up normally. If you feel your dog has a seizure, do not wake it up. Find something comforting to ensure your dog doesn’t hit anything during its seizure.
What Do Dogs Dream About When They Have Nightmares?
Like humans, a dog’s nightmare is likely random, but it’s mostly based on their past experiences. When a dog is having a nightmare, its nightmare is likely about a traumatic experience or something that it’s afraid of.
Examples of possible nightmares in dogs:
- Sometimes, dog owners must go out, so they’ll have to leave their dogs at home. Dogs can get separation anxiety because they always want to be by their owner’s side. A dog could be dreaming that its owner left them.
- A dog got hurt by something. It could be an animal or an accidental injury. When a dog has a nightmare, it could be from its personal experience.
Dogs don’t dream about losing their job or being financially unstable since they have zero experience with what these all mean. It’s all about what they know and have experienced throughout their lifetime.
Conclusion For “What Do Dogs Dream About When They Cry”
We hope this guide, “What Do Dogs Dream About When They Cry,” helped you better understand the topic. The brain works in mysterious ways, but our experiences are similar. A dog can have a bad dream, just like humans.
A dog can experience a happy dream too. When a dog cries during its dream, the dream is likely based on the dog’s past experiences. Your dog should be fine as long as you’re there by its side. We all have bad dreams. You should pay attention to your dog’s movements during sleep.
If you find this guide, “What Do Dogs Dream About When They Cry,” helpful, you can check out these other dog questions answered by our team at We Love Doodles:
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You can learn more about dogs dreaming by watching “Experts Figured Out What Dogs Dream About and People Are Freaking Out” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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