These are the things your dog dreams about, according to science

We are already aware of a lot of information about our dreams: they serve to consolidate memories and strengthen neural connections, as well as being an inspiration for artists and a reason for study by philosophers and scientists.

These are the four most common behavioral problems in dogs


but, And what about animals, and do they also dream? The answer is yes. there Studies like this one from the academic journal Neuron Who assert that rats dream of repeating the events of the day and wrote such as When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness David Peña-Guzmán from Science and Philosophy analyzes how many animals such as octopuses perform “realistic mimicry” while they sleep.

But the dreams of dogs are the case with the largest number of studies and evidence confirming that in addition to the stages of sleep being very similar to those of humans, they also have the ability to dream.

Is my dog ​​really dreaming?

Perhaps, observing our dog, many of us would have already imagined that the reason why he groans, barks, moves his tail, legs, ears or whiskers while he sleeps is because he is dreaming, but the truth is that scientific evidence respects their arrival not many years ago.

One of the leading experts in animal psychology, author of the book Great intelligence for dogs Neuropsychologist Stanley Coren noted that “it would have been a greater surprise for dogs not to dream than to learn that they do” in the scientific journal Psychology Today.

He and other experts have already shown that the brain of dogs is not much different from the brain of humans when it comes to sleep, in fact, it has a structure with similar brain waves.

From encephalograms, it was possible to ascertain that dogs go through the same phases of activity that are observed in human sleep, although there are some nuances that characterize them.

What are the stages of my dog’s sleep?

First, slow wave sleep is a phase of light sleep, in which the heart and other organs relax and instinctively remain alert to external stimuli, especially in the case of dogs.

For its part, the stage of deep sleep, known as REM, is the stage in which the dream world is formed and its abbreviations are divided into rapid eye movement (rapid eye movement).

This stage is named as such mainly because if we lift our dog’s eyelids while he is asleep, we will see rapid eye movements.

This is evidence that your brain continues to increase its activity despite being in a state of deep relaxation where it “disengages” from any external stimulus and is known as the REM phase.

Shallow sleep

Various studies have also shown that animal instinct in dogs causes them to sleep shallower than ours.

That’s because they inherited the alertness of wolves and coyotes, animals that said Mark Bekoff, professor of ecology and biology at the University of Colorado Boulder and author of Secret Dogs: Why Dogs Do What They DoHe spent hours investigating while they slept.

Thus, you can assert that our dogs’ wild cousins ​​exhibit the same behaviors as they do during sleep. This is not deep sleep I mean Only 10% of a dog’s day corresponds to the REM phase.

This is why they have less time to dream and need more hours of sleep than we do. This is because They sleep fitfullybetween five and 20 consecutive minutes, revealing another five minutes, and so on.

They spend 44-48% of their time awake, 19-21% drowsy and 22-23% in slow-wave sleep. That is, 50% of wakefulness and 50% of sleep, whether it is more or less deep. Ethicist Rosana Alvarez Bueno at Huella Canina confirms.

the Twitches and other movements of the dog As they sleep they must not disturb us, since, As behaviorist and dog trainer Jungla Luque explains at Animal Expert“Despite the fact that the brain limits body movement for safety reasons, this detachment is not always complete, and for this reason, some of the movements or states in which the dog finds itself during a dream are manifested physically.”

But what is my dog ​​dreaming about?

Study published in the journal Scientific Reports They discovered that dogs actually use sleep to reinforce solid memories and learning while awake.

This, then, is a good explanation for why puppies sleep more and more deeply than adults or the elderly, since they have a world to discover and establish in their brain through dreams.

Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett and former president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams He also agrees that dogs establish learning and Live it in dreams.

Learning based on their daily experiences as Walk in the park, ball game They like a lot or those delicious candies.

And yes, in all of these apprenticeships we’re human beside you, which is definitely why Let us be the heroes of your dreams. This is how Barrett explained it in his article Pandemic dreams: “Because they are usually very attached to their owners, it is possible that your dog will dream about your face and your scent, admiring you or teasing you.”

Do they have nightmares?

Although we’d all like to avoid that nasty drink for our furry friend, the truth is that his dreams can be both positive and negative. It is very likely that if the dog makes sudden movements or cries and growls while sleeping, it is because the aforementioned dream is not the most pleasant in his life.

However, many experts say that this universe is so unknown that we will never know for sure what exactly our dogs dream about.

What all these studies show us, according to Peña Guzmán, is that “dreams are a really powerful reminder of how much animals are under-appreciated and studied and to what extent… The animal mind remains that uncharted territory which we know relatively little about.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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