Why Do Dogs Howl in Their Sleep?

As a concerned owner, you might feel worried when you hear your poor pooch howling in his sleep. After all, nightmares are no walk in the park for humans, and that also goes for your canine pals. Dreams are a common part of the canine life, just as with people.

Some common triggers for nighttime howling in canines include nervousness due to isolation and the desire for attention.

Is it normal for dogs to howl in their sleep?

Just like you or me, dogs dream. And during their most active phases of sleep, it’s not uncommon for them to twitch, “walk” their legs, roll their eyes, and even howl. Unless your pet exhibits other symptoms of a sleep disorder, a nighttime howl here and there is nothing to be concerned about.

Are dogs sad when they howl?

Dogs howl to attract attention or express anxiety. A howling dog may simply want attention. … Dogs that don’t have toys or sufficient things to entertain them in your absence get sad, lonely and depressed. So, the sad answer to, “Why do dogs howl?” could be that your dog is howling in protest of being left alone.

Do dogs howl when they have bad dreams?

You may also hear them bark a little bit or even howl while they are dreaming. This could indicate that something is frightening or bothering them as they are dreaming. Your dog could also whine and whimper in their dream state.

Should I wake my dog up from a dream?

The general consensus is that it’s NOT a good idea to wake up a dreaming dog –even if that dream is a nightmare. Dogs have similar sleep patterns as humans. That means they get the most rest during their REM sleep cycle. … Waking up your dog during a dream rips them out of that important REM sleep.

Your dogs howling might be an autonomic response, hearkening back to the lineage they share with wolves. And just like howling wolves, domestic dogs can start off a whole occasion of noise with just one howl.

Hunting dogs like basset hounds, foxhounds, and beagles have been bred to intensify this instinct. Ultimately, its a bonding activity thats healthy and typical for pack animals like dogs.

We might assign all sorts of human reasons to why dogs howl at fire engines or police vehicles. It turns outalthough in many ways their hearing is superior to oursthat the most likely reason is that theyre mistaking the sirens for howls . And during their most active phases of sleep, its not uncommon for them to twitch, walk their legs, roll their eyes, and even howl.

Loss of sight or hearing due to aging Canine dementia Pain or injury Illness Separation anxiety For an older dog, the loss of some faculties coupled with anxiety, pain, or confusion can cause excessive vocalization. Give your dog a once over to check for pain or irritation, and schedule a vet visit to confirm whats going on.

Dogs form strong social bonds and would much prefer that everyone in the pack stick together. For a dog that might tend toward nervousness and separation anxiety, it can feel like a big deal when pack leader is leaving. And of course, if your dogs vocalizations arent excessive for you or an issue for the neighbors, you can always just take a video and enjoy.

Dogs howl in their sleep simply because they are dreaming. Howling in the sleep often signifies that your dog is having an unpleasant dream. In some cases, the howling may be combined with barking, or even growling.

If your dog often howls in your absence, you are probably dealing with separation anxiety, and appropriate measures should be taken to soothe your pet when you leave the house. If your dog is howling and making strange noises out of the blue, they could be hurt or in pain take them to the vet immediately to diagnose the concern.

Weve all seen the movies where the howling of a dog foreshadows a horrible event. This association comes from the long-standing belief that dogs have supernatural or psychic abilities, which has long been held by many different cultures around the world for centuries. While the exact origins of this belief are unknown, many think that the association between dog howling and death started in ancient Egypt.

During the time, people who died were thought to be taken care of by the God of Anubis, who was depicted by the Egyptians as having the head of a dog. Of course, Ancient Egyptians werent the only ones to make associations between dogs and death: In Ireland, it is believed that dogs howl when they hear a phantom pack of hounds that collect the souls of the dying.

The Ancient Norse believed that a howling dog was a sign that the Goddess of death (Freyja) was approaching upon her chariot carried by giant cats. In Ancient Greece, it was believed that a howling dog signified that Goddess Hectate was at a crossroads, and imminent death was impending. But superstitions about dog howls arent limited to far away times and places; they also have roots in the Southern United States.

Exactly who is about to die is determined by which direction the dog is facing during the howl. Whether you believe in these superstitions or not is up to you, but today we know that howling can signify several things such as communication, pain, or anxiety. REM ( Rapid Eye Movement ) is a portion of the sleep cycle that both humans and dogs experience, and is the time when dreams become the most intense.

As we mentioned earlier, howling when awake can be a sign that your dog is in some pain, so your first goal is to rule this out as a possibility. Dogs that are startled out of sleep, especially during a nightmare, may engage in reactive behaviors that are not usual for them. Even the kindest, most gentle dogs, may engage in a reactive snip or bite when awoken from a nightmare.

To sum up, there is no cause for concern if your dog is howling in their sleep they are simply having a dream . If your dog is howling while awake, dont panic, you arent going to face imminent death. Much more likely, your dog is suffering from some form of anxiety or maybe in pain take them to the veterinarian immediately to diagnose any causes for concern.

Dogs and Dreaming

If you hear your dog howling the night away, don’t rule out the possibility of dreaming. Dogs indeed do dream. When it comes to sleeping, canines experience similar phases as to humans, only they go through them at a more rapid pace. Their most intense dreams typically happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which starts roughly 20 minutes after they initially shut their eyes. Strangely enough, tiny dogs tend to dream more often than their bigger counterparts. When the big guys do dream, though, their dreams usually are lengthier.

Howling

When your pooch is in the middle of a frightening or otherwise unpleasant dream, you might hear him loudly howl or even bark or growl. Other common indications of a dog who is wrapped up in a dream world are tail movement, jerky motions of the legs, fast breathing, chewing and quivering. All of these actions might point to a pooch who is currently experiencing some kind of emotion in a dream, whether apprehension or enthusiasm.

Waking Your Howling Dog Up

Avoid waking up your dreaming dog and allow him to continue with his sleep cycle if at all possible, although you might have no choice from time to time if he’s keeping everyone in your household up all night. Dreaming isn’t hazardous to canines, just like it isn’t hazardous to people. The behavior, simply put, is no cause for alarm, so relax — and allow your sleepy pet to get back to it, too.

The Sound of Sirens

Just like humans doing the wave at a football game, dogs howling can simply be an expression of ancestral fervor as they join in on the chorus.Your dog’s howling might be an autonomic response, hearkening back to the lineage they share with wolves. And just like howling wolves, domestic dogs can start off a whole occasion of noise with just one howl.As soon as another dog hears it, all the neighborhood dogs join in, and the spread can cover a lot of territory!Most of us have been privy to at least one infectious occasion of dog howls. But unlike when wolves howl in spooky movies, your dog’s howling doesn’t mean something terrible is about to happen.Animal behaviorists think that dogs howl to:Done right, howling can accomplish many functions simultaneously. Ultimately, it’s a bonding activity that’s healthy and typical for pack animals like dogs.

Why do dogs howl in their sleep?

Just like you or me, dogs dream. And during their most active phases of sleep, it’s not uncommon for them to twitch, “walk” their legs, roll their eyes, and even howl.Unless your pet exhibits other symptoms of a sleep disorder, a nighttime howl here and there is nothing to be concerned about. To learn more about your dog’s dream life, check out this piece on dog dreams.