I have very cheerful nephews, and they like to play with their favorite (smile) aunt because they think I’m an old lady, although the age difference is only eight years.
One day one of them called me with a hushed voice and indicated that I should approach with stealth. I did as I was told and found the serious matter at hand was my sleeping Rottweiler male.
On inquiring about the dog’s health, my nephew explained in elaborate detail how the dog, Buster, was laughing in his sleep. I left the scene immediately, rolling my eyes of course, and thinking it must be just one of the nephew’s jests. A few weeks later though, I was having a quiet time reading a book, my Buster sleeping companionably at my feet.
At first I thought he was barking at something-those first quiet barks dogs give when they aren’t quite sure they have something to bark at, only to increase the volume once they believe there is a valid reason to bark vehemently. On further inspection, I realized Buster was still fast asleep, and whatever he was barking at was part of his doggie dream and I will never find out what it was because, obviously, Buster will never tell.
I won’t talk about the look of triumph on my nephew’s face when I related this episode to him. I also refuse to believe Buster was laughing either. Dogs don’t laugh, not even in doggie dreams. That led me to further research about dogs and dreams and this is what I found.
Just like humans, dogs enter into a ‘deep sleep’ stage while sleeping, according to this article on Psychology Today. During this stage, they dream of dog activities such as chasing birds, digging holes, and chewing bones. In addition, just like humans, dogs have a part in their brain, the pons, that prevents them from acting out their dreams. When this part is deactivated, the dogs start acting out their dreams which serves as enough evidence that they actually are dreaming and not just having involuntary movements in their sleep.
But even without having this scientific evidence, it’s easy to tell that a dog is dreaming just like my nephew did albeit with exaggerations.
Dogs Dream too