Study Reveals What Dogs Dream About

Get a glimpse into your canine companion's dreams.


Study, Pet
a dog dreaming.

(Sergius4 /

Do you ever wonder what your dog dreams about? An endless supply of treats? Chasing cats? Becoming the next president? The answer may surprise you! 

Stanley Coren, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia conducted a study published in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior that aimed to uncover the mysteries of canine dreaming and provide insight into the sleeping patterns of dogs. His team  sought to investigate whether dogs experience dreams similarly to humans. The science behind dog dreams
The majority of dreams occur during rapid eye movement sleep, also known as REM sleep, according to Medical News Today. During this stage, brain activity increases, and a person enters a deep state of relaxation. Prior research published in Trends of neuroscience reported that animals also experience REM sleep and thus may also dream during this period.

To investigate this further, researchers used brain scanning technology to monitor the sleeping patterns of a group of dogs, according to Live Science. In the study published in the Journal of Physiological Behaviour, scientists recorded electrical activity in the brains of six pointer dogs for 24 hours. They found they spent 44 percent of their time alert, 21 percent drowsy, and 12 percent in REM sleep. Slow-wave sleep, the deepest stage of non-REM sleep, accounted for 23 percent of their sleep time. 

What do dogs dream about?
These results show that the sleeping patterns of dogs are remarkably similar to those of humans, suggesting that their dreams may also be about daily activities like playing with other animals, running, chasing, and chasing each other. 

Popular theories suggest that dogs may dream about chasing rabbits or play-fighting with other animals. Interestingly, some pet owners have reported seeing their dogs move or twitch during sleep, which could be indicative of them dreaming about these activities. Moreover, the dog's size may influence the dream length. For example, small dogs dream little and often, while large dogs dream less but for longer periods.

This study provides valuable insight into canine dreaming and shows that dogs dream in a similar way to humans. The findings suggest that dogs may be experiencing dreams as vivid as your own. As a result, humans may gain a new appreciation and insight into the well-being and behavior of their four-legged friends.

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