Dogs' Dreams

I'm sure somewhere out there a debate is raging about whether animals dream the way we do. I was reminded the other day of an anecdote that settled the question for me, and I thought I'd share.

A couple of years ago I was watching my dog sleep because she seemed, for all intents and purposes to be having a nightmare. Her feet were twitching so as to suggest running, and she was whining softly. I suppose you could argue that it was just random neural firings, but here's why I know it was not. All of a sudden, she woke up, sat bolt upright, and looked around frantically for whatever was chasing her in the dream! Clearly, she was dreaming, and it was a coherent enough dream that she didn't immediately recognize the transition to waking reality. To me, that's incontravertible proof that dogs dream.

Comments:

My dog always dreams when he sleeps. He tends to sleep on his side, so his legs move as if he is running, he barks, etc. It is funny to watch.

One time he appeared to be having a nightmare (he was wimpering rather than barking), so I called to him loudly to wake him. I don't know if he remembered his dream, because he did not seek comfort from me.

But dogs definatly dream.

Posted by Mark on April 18, 2006 at 02:12 PM PDT #

I believe my dog dreams that he is outside because one morning I heard him using the restroom on my bedroom floor and he was still lying down on his side asleep while I was telling him no.

Posted by Sonya Moore on April 20, 2006 at 12:11 AM PDT #

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