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Bad Dreams for Dogs?
  • santuzzasantuzza
    Posts: 572
    Has anyone else had this happen?

    I was reading and Tosca was sleeping when I heard her start whining. "Ok, she's dreaming," I said to myself and got back to my Rushdie novel. He's a favorite author of mine so I was in no mood to be bothered. I did check to make certain she was asleep and I'm positive she was. So, I was reading and she was whining, but she sounded more and more upset. It all culminated with her shiba screaming and waking herself up. Then she ran out of the room and came to me panting and a bit frantic. I went and and turned on the lights so she could inspect her home for evil intruders which she did - very, very slowly. She even checked the closets and shower.

    I have seen dogs "dreaming" before but I've never before seen one have a "nightmare". Is my Tosca special (or "special") or does someone else's dog have a vivid canine imagination?
  • Dogs have physical REM's, as people do, where their ears will flicker, their paws will move, their nose will twitch and they will whimper and whine. I'm sure they could have a super vivid one, too. I know I've woken up believing my dreams were real, especially lately.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Both Nola and Bella have had 'nightmares'. At least that is what I think they are. Nola's are especially bad. She will start whining and even growling before she startles herself awake. She will then run out of the room and back in. And want to curl up next to one of us. Bella usually just wakes herself up, stands up, looks around, then jumps up next to us and curls up. She usually has a 'bad dream' once or twice a week. Nola, luckily does not have them that frequently.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • asiaasia
    Posts: 875
    Our dogs had them on occasion. Same reactions as Casey described with Nola and Bella above.
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    Jazz does soft woofs and her front paws tend to move.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
  • Sake was sleeping next to Chris on the couch last night and she broke into a full run, her feet were going like crazy! We woke her up with our laughing.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Poor Sake... I bet she was just about to catch that rabbit when you woke her up!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • LisaWLisaW
    Posts: 198
    Normal dreaming everyday but never a nightmare so far!
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    I think Ichi had one that resulted in him gashing his hind leg in his crate this Friday :(

    Post edited by CrimsonO2 at 2009-04-15 15:43:32
  • Darwin67Darwin67
    Posts: 390
    Poor ichi!!
  • My puppy has had dreams, but I don't think they were nightmares, she whines and her feet will move but it just looks like she is chasing birds.
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433
    How long does Ichi have to wear the cone?
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    10 days on the cone. I'm on day 4...things seem somewhat normal despite the fact he tries to lick his bum and junk but can't. However he can still lick his injured leg (which is what the cone is supposed to prevent)...which he's doing right now...*sigh*

    Post edited by CrimsonO2 at 2009-04-16 13:29:00
  • KFontaine04KFontaine04
    Posts: 1872
    Awww, good little man!
  • LisaWLisaW
    Posts: 198
    haha poor and brave Ichi, Sophie would ramble around until this cone wont live anymore...
    hopes it gets better soon and this cone helps a little bit :)
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    I was wondering if Oki was dreaming. He's barked in his sleep before but this morning he keeps waking himself with little barks and looks really confused!
  • In college (more years ago than I care to mention), I took a class on the science of dreams. In short, its believed (though not confirmed) that all mammals have dreams as they are a way (amongst other things) of clearing the brains memory of things that are useless (for example, does anyone know what they ate for breakfast on Septemeber 17, 2012?). Dogs most likely dream.

    After his incident last week, my little guy was attacking and whimpering in his dreams (making those noises). Its a biological way of dealing with (amongst other things) excess information or stress. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Sometimes you wake up from a dream and it takes you a moment to realize it was a dream and where you are right? Similar concept for dogs.

    Here is an article that discusses it a bit more in detail.

    Posts: 1507
    Yikes, my sons birthday is Sept 17. On his birthday we always have a bacon egg and cheese omelet wrapped in a pancake. It's his favorite.
  • lol NOT WHAT I MEANT!! =)

  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    saya dreams.. Bella dreams more she loves to run, growl and sometimes cry..

    Saya will sometimes make light noises sorta like whimper.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • So my question of whether or not others dogs have 'nightmares' seems to have been answered. I am also wondering what to do about them. Pav is 7 months now and only recently started having them. Up until last night none have been continuous. I read that a lot of dogs that have experienced trauma have nightmares but for the life of me I can't think of when he would have experienced any of the things the articles speculated as triggers.

    Last night, Pavvy wanted to sleep with us on the bed (which is odd, he prefers the floor or his bed). I had drifted of to sleep when I heard him begin to whimper. I figured he would stop after a bit like he usually does but this time he sounded so sad and it lasted much longer then normal. I gently woke him and reassured him he was okay. He then he laid lengthwise against me, pushing his body into mine (again, very unusual for him). His 'nightmare' continued for about 2 hours. He would start whimpering and slight screams. I would have to wake him up every 5 minutes or so, he would look
    around and nuzzle back into me.

    I got a little worried based on the increase in duration and the fact that he seemed to be legitimately frightened even after being woke up. The fact that he also changed his behavior about sleeping on the bed in the first place last night seems weird. Do you think he is just going through some developmental stage? Or do you think someone could have hurt him with out my knowing?
  • kittymskittyms
    Posts: 35
    Sorry to bump an old thread. I am curious about dog nightmares as well. My puppy is 4 months old. The only bad experiences I can think of that she has had are nail trimming, the vet, her first puppy playtime, and the time a friend's dog snapped at her face and rolled her over (those were all events with lots of screaming). Last night was the 3rd time she has woken everyone in the house up by screaming in the middle of the night. Each time she does this, I put my fingers in the crate where she sleeps, and she wakes up, licks them, and then goes back to sleep. Do people think this is something that passes as they get older? Or will my pup always have screaming nightmares? Any reason to be concerned?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    @kittyms - Puppies, just like children can have night terrors even if they have never had a "bad" experience in real life. The subconscious is a weird and amazing thing.

    Most likely she will grow out of this. Four months sounds about right for a fear stage. Just continue to comfort her and hopefully in a week or so, you can get a full night's sleep again. If it continues for longer than a couple of weeks, you may want to talk to your vet about options for calming her at night.

    Also, remember that Shibas are drama queens. ;)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride

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