Home > Dog Behavior, Fun Stuff, Pet Ponderings, Pet Videos > What does your dog do while he is sleeping?

What does your dog do while he is sleeping?


Sometimes I swear the universe tells me what I am supposed to write about – even when I have other plans. I was all set to write about a more serious issue today, but by chance, coincidence, or the universe, two things occurred today that made me believe a little lighter fare was needed.
The two things?

First, my brother called me today and shared a couple of Dozer stories. (Dozer is his dog. I wrote about him back in March .) Dozer is quite a character, so when my brother shares a story you know you’re going to laugh. The last one was the funniest to me. My brother told me that today he heard some thumping coming from another room in the house. Knowing Dozer was in that room, he got worried and went to check it out. The thumping noise? Dozer wagging his tail. In his sleep.

The second was a video a friend shared with me of a Lab doing the very same thing. Seems a bit serendipitous doesn’t it?

Both things brought back a lot memories of my dog Indy. Indy was a Shepherd/Collie mix I adopted at 5 years old. She was a great dog – smart and loyal and well-mannered. But when Indy slept she became a dog on the move. Her mouth would twitch, her body would move and her feet would start flicking back and forth. We always assumed she was running in her sleep and used to joke and say that she was moving her flippers.  🙂

Thinking about Indy and hearing about Dozer made me wonder what other dogs do in their sleep. Do they bark? Do they make strange noises? Do they move their flippers like Indy? I would love to know.

What funny things does your dog do in their sleep?

  1. August 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Lucy will growl,whine and twitch a lot when she sleeps.Sally twitches some and snores!Marcie wags her tail,barks & her legs moves slightly.CHihuahuas

    • Mel
      August 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM

      That’s so funny that all three of your dogs do something in their sleep! Daisy is the only one who really does much here. Most of it is pretty cute. 🙂

  2. August 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Our Greyhound, Sophie, (crossed the bridge several years ago) many times would emit varying degrees of muffled barks in her sleep, feet twitching as if running, and her breath audibly puffing out through her cheeks/lips – probably remembering/dreaming about a race or chasing a rabbit or squirrel in the back yard.

  3. August 13, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Our guys usually do the “typical” stuff when sleeping, e.g. “chasing bunnies.” The oddest thing is when they howl in their sleep though. Sounds so strange.

    • Mel
      August 13, 2012 at 7:09 AM

      They howl? Like actual howling? Wow! That’s so interesting. I have never had a dog howl before.

  4. August 13, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    Rudy sometimes beats his tail against the floor so loudly that Jeffie runs to the front door – certain there’s someone out there 🙂 both often run and whine so much that they wake themselves up.

    • Mel
      August 13, 2012 at 7:07 AM

      Sue that is hilarious! They really do run and whine in their sleep? The tail thumping makes me just laugh. Silly dogs!

      • August 15, 2012 at 5:18 AM

        They sure do! They’re rowdy friends when they’re awake and I suspect they’re playing with each other when asleep. The tail thumping IS hilarious. Jeffie always returns from the front door looking very sheepish. Silly, silly boys… love ’em 😀

      • Mel
        August 15, 2012 at 6:26 AM

        Hee Hee! Thanks for the giggle this morning Sue. I love the idea of them playing in their sleep, but the thought of Jeffie looking sheepish made me laugh. Or silly dogs. 🙂

  5. August 13, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Sampson sometimes barks in his sleep and sometimes he kind of whines as well. He also moves a lot, his legs run or he twitches.

    Delilah not so much. On a rare occasion she whimpers/whines a tiny bit but that is very, very seldom.

  6. August 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    The Mama says she has some videos of me and mah sisfur doin’ silly tings in our sleeps. Mostly Rama just snores…

  7. August 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Our dogs have all done the typical feet paddling, little woofs, etc. But one of the cutest things I ever saw one of them do while sleeping was when we first brought our beagle pup home, she would sometimes make little sucking sounds while sleeping. She was such a chow-hound, she was probably fondly remembering a time when there was a constant food source. It made me a little sad that she seemed to dream of her “real” mama in her sleep, but it was also so cute & sweet! If I would put my little finger up to her mouth she would suck on it. Awwww. Miss that little cutie…

  8. To Shea
    August 13, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Funny you should ask, our girl Penny when she sleeps seems to running accross fields in her dreams. Her feet and legs move like she is running and her nose and mouth switch like she is breather harder. A couple of times she actually barked, which of course woke herself up…LOL. We would just tell her…Having a good time Penny….Go back to sleep. Its quite funny!!!

    • Mel
      August 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

      I imagine that Penny is running in her sleep. What Vizsla wouldn’t love a run through the field? We have a Vizsla friend named Lucy (Jasper completely adores her). I love nothing better than watching her run through the fields.

      The barking in her sleep made me laugh. Thanks for such a great story Alex. 🙂

  9. August 13, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    We had a very sweet shepard/lab x, Jasper, for many years. Just a little guy on a big pillow. He’d move his legs like running and whimper. I always hoped he was doing the chasing and not being chased….when he’d wake, I’d make sure to give him a few snuggles and a cookie just incase it was the latter.

    • Mel
      August 14, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      I hope he was doing the chasing. I think some snuggles and a few cookies would make any dog feel comforted. I loved your story so much. So very sweet.

  10. August 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Silver used to go under our bed and sound like she was sobbing. Loud heaves like she’d just lost her best friend. It always broke my heart when she would wake me and I would put a hand on her to calm her down and tell her it was OK. She still does it, but the sobbing isn’t so intense as it once was. Now it’s just like she crying.

    • Mel
      August 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM

      OMG! That sounds so sad! Do you think she’s really sobbing? Or just making noises as she sleeps?
      Daisy used to cry in her sleep, especially in the early days. It always broke my heart. She rarely does it anymore. I am glad for that.

  11. Patricia Masius
    August 13, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Hi, I have 2 Rottweilers one him and one her:-)
    Sometimes she barks inmouth moves her feet or/and grows…
    He also moves his feet his body and barks…
    I think a lot of dogs do that especially when they have been busy.
    Greeting Patricia
    (Netherlands)

  12. August 13, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    This is interesting!

    Eva loves to have her four legs up in the air when she is sound asleep. Her mama, Hana and grandmama Laura did the same thing but Mika (the only boy at home) never lets his legs up in the air when he sleeps at all. I think he thinks he should sleep in an alert position in order to guard the house. : )

    • Mel
      August 13, 2012 at 9:32 PM

      That is so funny! I have not seen many dogs sleep with their legs in the air, but never a Sheltie. Of course the boy would have to guard the house. 🙂

  13. August 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Bella moves her flippers too… it’s absolutely adorable. Sometimes she yips and vibrates too. Each nap has the potential to surprise!

    • Mel
      August 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Don’t you love it? LOL! I love that she yips and vibrates. I wonder who or what she is chasing?

  14. August 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Honey is a calm and quiet sleeper unless she’s in bed with us. Then she’s a sprawler.

    Cherie snores. And once I caught her cheeks puffing in and out like gills. I’ve never seen a dog do that before and I’ve never seen it since.

    • Mel
      August 14, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      I am feeling very lucky to not have a sprawler. 🙂
      So interesting about Cherie. I have seen dog’s cheeks puff out before. It’s pretty darn cute isn’t it?

  15. August 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Junebug snores. Larry will occassionally twitch a foot. Howie sleeps so deeply I feel the need to watch for chest movement.
    Most memorable dog sleep for us was, sadly, Smokey’s nightmares. For about the first year we had him, Smokey would sometimes have nightmares. He would cry in his sleep. I’m not talking little whines that an excited dog might give, but full on cries- it would wake us up.
    I think one of the happiest days of dog onwership for me was the day I realized he hadn’t cried in his sleep for months.

    • Mel
      August 15, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      I started to tear up reading about Smokey. I am so glad he stopped crying in his sleep. I was just realizing the same thing the other night. Daisy used to cry in her sleep too. Broke my heart every single time. She rarely does if ever anymore. I like to think she is having happy dreams now.

      • August 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        And that was our thought with Smokey. We only have our guesses about what his life was like before the shelter, but I figured that after long enough of knowing he was safe, the bad dreams stopped. I honestly think they stopped right around the time we really got the submissive peeing under control, too.

      • Mel
        August 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM

        How interesting Erin. I would believe that his bad dreams (or memories) were connected to his submissive peeing. You must have felt so happy when he left both behind. Poor baby. I love that Daisy has overcome her bad dreams. No more sadness.

  16. marion
    August 18, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    My dog milo has just started crying in his sleep, he i dont know why. but he wakes me up and it is really upsetting. i do reassure him that everything is ok, but i keep thinkig something is wrong with him, i just hope he is just dreeming, and it is nothing els.

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