Does My Dog Dream
Generally, about 20 minutes into the sleep cycle, a medium to large-sized dog will begin what seems to be dreaming, indicated by shallow, quick breathing and rapid eye movement. Smaller dogs tend to enter the dream state more quickly, needing only about 10 minutes of sleep to begin physically acting out their dreams. This is a cycle experienced almost identically in humans. Considering the similarities between the structure of the human brain and that of dogs, it’s apparent that dogs experience something similar to dreaming the way humans do.
Have you ever wonder what your dog might dream about? When humans dream, our brains draw upon things we have seen in waking life. This probably isn’t much different for a dog. An observation by a 21st-century psychologist would suggest that dogs do dream about the things they see, do, and experience regularly. Additionally, dogs have been observed actually acting out the motions of activities in which they commonly engage, or had recently before falling asleep! If you see your dog “running” or jerking his paws while he’s taking a nap, chances are he’s dreaming about having an adventure! If dogs dream about the things they know, it’s highly likely your dog dreams about you. Presumably, he knows your face and smell and regular actions very well. There is, of course, no way to know for sure, but if you’ve ever wondered whether your dog dreams about you, based on the canine experience of REM and non-REM sleep cycles, it’s likely that he does!
Humans are reaching a new era of understanding animals, despite the lack of communication between species. Perhaps someday you’ll be able to discover what your dog is actually thinking about, let alone dreaming about. For the time being, you can gain a little access into your dog’s mind by observing him while he’s asleep!