Dogs dream just like humans!

Narrated from: Curious Dog Facts

Many dog-owners have noticed that a sleeping dog’s legs seem to twitch as if the dog is running in its sleep. The logical conclusion is that the dog is dreaming – but can dogs actually dream?

Well, of course they can! This is not a “Doggies-are-like-humans” assumption, but a scientific fact. There are distinct stages in a dog’s sleep!

Those two stages are called Non-rapid eye movement sleep and Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. When you sleep, you pass through the very same stages.

The difference between the two stages is in the brain’s level of activity, indicated by the movement of the eye. People dream during the REM phase and so do dogs. Generally, adult dogs spend about 10 or 12% of their sleeping time in the REM stage. Quite curiously, puppies and aged dogs tend to dream more than middle-aged dogs.

Also, a dog will only dream if it is comfortable and relaxed. Basically, dogs can sleep in four positions:

1. Curled in a ball - a dog that is curled in a ball might not be sleeping soundly, since the muscles are tensed.

2. Side and belly – dogs that sleep on their side or belly are probably just dozing – however, a dog may fall in a deep sleep on its side, so don’t startle it!

3. Back - a dog sprawled on its back, paws in the air, is relaxed enough to dream. This is the pose in which dogs usually fall into a deep sleep.

4. Back to back - when a dog sleeps back-to-back with its owner or with other dogs, that is quite an important gesture – this means that it is bonding and has complete trust in the one it is sleeping next to.

What do dogs dream about? Well, no research can find out the answer to this question, but generally dogs probably dream about mundane things in their lives. An interesting theory claims that dogs don’t have nightmares. That would be a good thing, but the only proof for such a theory is that traumatized dogs do not dream as much as happy dogs. Unfortunately, that is not proof at all.

Still, scientists urge you not to wake a dog if the dog seems to be having a nightmare. A dog needs its sleep, and an interruption would not be good; furthermore, if a dog is having a nightmare, it might be very confused if woken suddenly and even nip you.

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