Pet Health And Care >>  Dog Health >>  Dog Running In Sleep  
Dog Running In Sleep

Dog Running In Sleep - Information on Types of Dog Sleep Cycles and Dreaming In Dogs

Although you are unlikely to see dogs running in their sleep, you may witness them making such movements.

The dog will usually be sleeping in a specific position and moving the legs in a running motion. It is commonly believed by many that when a dog is running in sleep, it means that he is dreaming about running. This may or may not be true. Since we cannot communicate verbally with a dog, we may never be able to know the cause of this occurrence. Experts maintain that humans and dogs have similar sleeping patterns.

The differences may lie in the types of sleep and duration of each type. Scientists also believe that dogs experience dreaming much like humans do. They also believe that sleep performs the same function as it does in humans. Still the question as to whether animals dream is still being debated scientifically.

Types of Sleep Cycles in Dogs

Humans and dogs both experience two types of sleep cycles namely, SWS or slow wave sleep and REM or rapid eye movement.

REM sleep is the deepest type of sleep. It is also the time when most of the brain activity takes place during sleep. It is during REM sleep that dreaming occurs in humans. Dog experts maintain that dogs too dream during REM sleep. To enter the REM sleep cycle, the dog must be very relaxed. Most people assume a dog is most relaxed when he is curled up. However, it is when a dog is lying flat on the back or side when his body is completely at rest. REM sleep begins when the dog starts breathing more deeply or when his legs start twitching. Dreaming in dogs is likely to occur during this deep REM sleep. Also, dogs can be cranky if they are woken up during this stage of sleep, similar to humans. It is more difficult to wake up from REM sleep. There have been instances of dogs biting during REM sleep cycle. Even dogs that do not normally bite may become aggressive if woken up during this stage.

It is possible that a dog running in his sleep may be dreaming. It is difficult to verify or negate this possibility completely. There has been no scientific link between dreaming while sleeping and body movements. What we can know for sure is that dogs in a deep stage of sleep do not like to be disturbed. In rare cases, sleeping behaviors may be due to underlying conditions.

  Submitted on January 23, 2012  

Explore Pet Categories