Why Do Dogs Bark of their Sleep? (2023) 5 Aspects to Consider I PETSHORT


What do doggos dream of? We imagine them chasing sticks and playing in fields while they dream, but perhaps they’re living their best fantasy lives — so far as a dog can fantasize, anyway!

From little running jerks, body shakes, and leg twitches to full-blown howls and barks, dogs can get pretty energetic while in dreamland. They use all of their senses while they dream, so it’s no surprise that their ears wriggle and eyelids twitch, too.

Some dogs could be particularly vocal while they dream, though. Sometimes to the purpose of going from uber-cute to uber annoying. But why do dogs bark of their sleep once they needs to be lights out and resting?

Here’s the lowdown on all the things you never knew you desired to find out about why your dog barks of their sleep. 

Image by Yves from Pixabay

Why Do Dogs Bark in Their Sleep? 5 Aspects to Consider

Probably the most common answer for this is easy — they’re dreaming. Although your dog is barking, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should be awake to do it. And sleep barks are sometimes the cutest barks, with odd little howls and sleepy yips added in for good measure. When and in the event that they bark will depend upon what sleep phase they’re currently in, though.

1. Dog Sleeping Phases

There are two varieties of sleep, non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

Non-REM Sleep

Dogs are inclined to undergo similar stages of sleep to humans, actually. After they quiet down for the night, they stay aware and relaxed for about 10 minutes before slipping into a light-weight sleep. 

During this sleep phase, their heart rate gets slower, their body temperature goes lower, and their eyes may only be partially closed. But don’t be fooled — even when their eyes aren’t completely shut, they’re still heading towards deeper levels of dreamland.

rottweiler-asleep-outside-in-wooden-structureImage by Sasa Begovic from Pixabay

This is usually when the body rests and repairs itself. Cells will multiply, and muscle (and bone will grow if it’s a younger pup) will grow and fix micro-tears within the fibers, very similar to our human bodies do during this sleep phase. 

REM Sleep

While non-REM is an important sleep phase, REM or “rapid eye movement” sleep is just as mandatory. It’s one in all the stages of deep sleep where latest skills and knowledge from the day are processed and solidified in long-term memory. Vital information is retained, and fewer vital short-term memories like “I pooped by the hibiscus today” are filtered out. 

This can also be the sleep cycle where dreaming takes place. This phase of sleep can also be related to sleepwalking, or sleepwoofing on this case. So it’s possible you’ll catch your dog making familiar motions during this time, similar to those ultra-cute attempts at running and even barking. 

puppy-sleeping-on-couch why do dogs bark in their sleep

Image by Luisetta Paneta from Pixabay

2. How Often Should My Dog Bark While They Sleep?

In the course of the night, your dog will shift between non-REM and REM sleep multiple times. In the event that they’re energetic sleepers, that may mean your sleepy sidekick could have little barking episodes a few times while asleep each night. Otherwise, in case your pupper is quieter, it’s possible you’ll only hear them bark on the odd occasion.

Each varieties of sleep-barkers are completely normal, but some aspects may influence this somnambulistic tendency in your pupper. Their size, and due to this fact their breed, can contribute to this amusing nightly show.

In response to the studies and research of Professor Stanley Coren on the University of British Columbia, large dog breeds are inclined to follow human sleep patterns more precisely in length. A mean cycle lasts about 90 minutes for them, so once during that cycle, they’ll experience REM sleep and possibly bark during it. 

bulldog-sleeping-outsideImage by MartinHolzer from Pixabay

Smaller breeds have been found to alternate more continuously between REM and non-REM sleep. They will switch between the 2 as continuously as every 10 minutes, so in case your floof is on the smaller side, chances are high they’ll get to REM sleep faster and more continuously. Meaning more frequent barking in the event that they’re energetic sleepers or higher possibilities of it even in the event that they’re not. 

Puppies and senior dogs also are inclined to be more vocal of their sleep than middle-aged or adult dogs. This may occasionally be because older dogs and puppies sleep more often, so be prepared to make some accommodations for the young and old alike.  

3. Should I Wake My Dog Up if They’re Barking in Their Sleep?

Firstly, it is best to check to make certain your fluffy friend is definitely asleep once they’re barking, especially as dogs are able to sleeping with their eyes barely open. In the event that they’re awake and barking, they could be bored, hungry, or otherwise attempting to attract your attention. They might even just be barking at nothing.


Image by Vane Monte from Pixabay

In case your dog is barking of their sleep, though, it’s really nothing to be concerned about — your furry friend might be going through a REM cycle, dreaming of something wonderful. No less than, that’s what we hope. But there may be all the time the chance that their dream devolves right into a nightmare, they usually may turn out to be distressed. 

You’ll should listen rigorously to notice the difference. The barks may sound menacing or joyful or is likely to be preceded by deep growls or little pleased yips. It will give clues as as to if your dog is having fun with their dream. 

Nonetheless, it’s really helpful that you just don’t wake them up, even in the event that they appear to have an uncomfortable dream. Not only is it very disorientating and confusing for them to be woken up during REM, but they might also react by lunging in your hand, pondering your physical touch is a component of their nightmare. 

It’s higher to allow them to get up naturally, and if the dream appears to be closer to a nightmare, just be there to comfort them in case any memories of it linger. But don’t worry — as with humans, most dreams are quickly forgotten.

sleeping-puppy-close-upImage by Jackielou DL from Pixabay   

In case your dog is an energetic sleeper who continuously barks of their sleep through the night, you may additionally be inclined to wake them as much as get them to be quiet in order that they can sleep. 

If their night-barking is that this much of an issue, then it’s really helpful that you have got your pupper sleep in a room that’s far-off out of your bedroom slightly. This fashion, you won’t be bothered by any howls or barks coming from them and may sleep undisturbed. 

4. Can I Give My Dog a Sleeping Aid to Stop the Barking?

For those who’ve tried moving your pooch to a different room so you may get some shut-eye and their howls are still too frequent and/or audible, you could have an issue in your hands. You is likely to be tempted to present them a sleep aid like medication or a herbal complement, but that’s the unsuitable thing to do. 

Medicine intended for humans shouldn’t be given freely to animals because it doesn’t all the time work the identical way and should do more harm than good. Yes, even for those who Googled it and a few dodgy website told you that you might, you continue to shouldn’t do it. 

Quite take your dog to the vet and give you an answer together that’ll suit everyone, pupper included. 

Why Do Dogs Bark in their Sleep? (2023) 5 Factors to Consider 1

Image by Lum3n from Pixabay

5. What if My Dog Howls, Cries, or Whimpers as Well?

For those who hear your doggo howling, crying, or whimpering during their sleep, it’s not normally a cause for concern. As mentioned before, they could be experiencing a nightmare, or perhaps they’re enacting a behavior that’s normal within the context of the dream. For instance, possibly they’re howling with their dreamland dog pack in communal joy.

If these behaviors don’t carry over into your dog’s waking life, then there’s nothing to fret about. But for those who notice them enacting any of those cries or whimpers through the day, these noises may indicate that something is up along with your pup. 

It might be discomfort or pain that’s the source of the howls slightly than dreams, so a vet check-up is a great idea to make sure nothing serious is unsuitable.   

dog-sleeping-with-ear-upImage by cri92 from Pixabay

Final Wrap-Up on Why Dogs Bark in Their Sleep

Whether you’ve got a nightly howler or an occasional woofer, a dog that barks while it sleeps is often more cute than concerning. But when it’s too frequent or too loud to the purpose of interfering along with your sleep, even the best dog lover can crack, and understandably so. 

Luckily most dogs aren’t this problematic with their sleepy pillow talk, so benefit from the lovable dreamers while they twitch and bark of their everlasting try and catch that dream rabbit.


They are saying, “let sleeping dogs lie,” but for those who’re interested by more sleeping dog facts, why not read this text about dog sleeping positions and what they reveal about your pooch?

I covered the entire costs related to writing this post on why do dogs bark of their sleep. Nonetheless, it does contain affiliate links. Meaning for those who click through on a number of the links in this text and find yourself making a purchase order I’ll receive a small commission. It won’t affect the worth that you just pay. Just desired to let you realize.


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