Why Does My Dog Bark While He's Sleeping

Why Does My Dog Bark While He's Sleeping

Author WDF Staff


As a dog owner, you have probably witnessed some dog behavior that will make you think. Did you ever catch yourself falling asleep and waking up because of barking only to realize your dog does it in his sleep? Although it may seem like strange behavior, you have nothing to worry about. If your dog also barks in his sleep, here is why he does it.

Why do dogs bark in their sleep?

The main reason why dogs bark in their sleep is because they are dreaming.

Dogs and people have similar sleeping phases. Dogs will switch between REM and non-REM sleep like humans do in their sleep. Barking will appear in the REM phase, and besides barking, your dog could also start running.

Some studies suggested a difference in sleeping between small and large dog breeds. Smaller dogs will switch between REM and non-REM phases more often, and because of that, they can experience more barking in their sleep. They can go into the REM phase every 10 minutes, while larger dog breeds go into the REM phase every 90 minutes.

For the most part, barking in sleep is normal dog behavior, and you have nothing to worry about. If you, however, catch your dog starting to bark in his sleep more often, you can ask your vet to clarify that everything is alright.

dog sleeping

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Should you do anything if your dog is barking in their sleep?

If your dog starts to bark in their dream, the best thing you can do is to leave the dog alone. Just as it is with humans, if you were to wake the dog up, he may feel disoriented and confused. Even if it seems that your dog is having a nightmare, you shouldn't wake him up.

If your dog is barking in their sleep and you and other family members can't sleep because of barking, we suggest finding a new place to sleep for your dog located further from your bedroom. Many dog owners are tempted to give their dogs sleep medicine, but they don't know that human sleep medications are very dangerous for dogs and you should never give them.

On the market, you can find supplements for dogs in the form of a sedative, but even with this, your dog will still dream and potentially bark, not to mention that these supplements can have some side effects.

dog sleeping

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Will all dogs bark in their dream?

As you may think, not all dogs will show this behavior. Don't be surprised if you own a dog that doesn't bark during the day, but he starts to show this behavior when he falls asleep. Maybe in his dream, he has more courage and like to chase and bark at other dogs or cats.

The same thing applies to dogs that constantly bark during the day; some of them can peacefully dream without barking. Dogs are fascinating creatures that seem to amaze us all the time.

Catching your dog bark in his sleep shouldn't worry you.

puppy sleeping

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When should you get worried?

In general, this is normal behavior; you only need to let your dog sleep peacefully and don't interrupt him if he starts to bark. If your dog's barking is causing problems with your sleep, you can first relocate the dog bed to a place where you cannot hear his barking. Also, you can use earplugs.

If this doesn't happen, you can ask for advice from your vet. Because of his experience, your vet can give you some good suggestions regarding this problem that can work for you and your dog.

RELATED: Why Does My Dog Bark at Nothing?

World Dog Finder team

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