A sleeping dog can make a whole range of sounds – from a small snoring to … loud barking! Should we worry when our pet is barking in his sleep? What can the dog’s behavior mean and how should you react?
Why does the dog bark in sleep?
Every guardian of a dog who has had the opportunity to observe his sleeping pet, sometimes noticed that during sleep his pet makes various movements and makes strange sounds. Some quadrupeds can wave their paws as if they are running somewhere, move their noses, as if sniffing or even blink their eyes. Many pooches occasionally also bark in their sleep. All these behaviors occur when the dog is dreaming and is completely normal!
Scientists have proven that the brain of a domestic quadruped is extremely similar to the human and functions in an almost identical manner. It is also known that dogs can dream. Dreams occur in their sleep phase as in humans – in the REM phase. Their sign is various strange behaviors of sleeping dogs – it is by them that we will know that our quadruped has fallen into a deep, healthy sleep.
What is the dream of a dog that is barking in his sleep?
We will probably never know what our quadrupeds dream about. Barking can mean a dream about any situation in which our pet usually barks or would like to bark in reality. Running after the ball, intense fun with the guardian, chasing the cat or fighting with the hated dog neighbor are just some examples of events that make dogs bark. Not all of them are nightmares – some of them can be really enjoyable and exciting!
Wake up a dog that is barking in his sleep?
When our dog enters the REM phase, his body is in a mode of silence and regeneration, and in the dog’s brain processes are crucial for his psyche – memories and newly learned things are fixed, and the level of stress hormone decreases. So waking up a dog from a deep sleep is not only extremely unpleasant for him (just like for us!). Insufficient sleep or too frequent interruption of sleep can lead to memory, reactivity and excessive burden on the whole body. Therefore, if your pooch is barking in his sleep, you shouldn’t wake him up. Maybe he is dreaming about chasing a handsome hare or winning a fight with a villain who wanted to rob his guardian.