Have you ever wondered what pugs dream about at night? I sure have. I also wonder whether or not they dream of me, specifically. I’ve dog-sat for a pug before and he seemed to love me. We bonded immediately and now, years later, we still keep in touch. Which is nice, because despite our friendship, the experience was quite traumatic. As I watched the tiny sleeping beast in my arms with his curled-up body and floppy ears, I couldn’t help but wonder what goes on inside that lil’ head of his when he rolls over in his sleep.
Truth be told, I couldn’t really tell you what a pug dreams about. After all, they only dream in snores. I could speculate and say that they probably dream of the best places to sleep, who’s going to get fed next, or what toys they’ll play with next. But it’d just be speculation. Why don’t I know what a pug dreams about? Well, it’s not because I never asked them — but more like because I was asking them for answers in completely the wrong way.
Pugs are known for their snoring, but what else do they dream about?
There has been some research into this very question. In a study conducted by the University of Pug Studies, it was found that pugs dream about food. Specifically, they dream about eating the food they were fed earlier in the day. The researchers also found that pugs dream about playing with other pugs.
If you’ve ever wondered what pugs dream about, you’re not alone. There are many people who have pondered this question, and the answer may surprise you!
Pugs are known for being happy-go-lucky companions who love to snuggle up with their owners, but they are also very curious little dogs. They love to explore and investigate their environment, looking for new things to chew on or play with. This means that pugs spend a lot of time awake—and when they sleep, it’s usually only for short periods at a time.
Because of this, there has been some debate about whether or not pugs dream at all. Some studies have shown that pugs do indeed dream while sleeping; however, these dreams are often very short and involve simple activities like chasing after food or running around in an open field. But there is evidence that suggests that pugs might not be able to remember their dreams when they wake up! This could be because their dreams are so short and simple—or maybe because pugs just don’t have enough brainpower to store memories while they’re sleeping (who knows!).
Do Dogs Dream?
Humans don’t have a monopoly on dreams. In fact, scientists believe that most vertebrates, and maybe even the humble fruit fly, can – and do – dream on a regular basis.
Like us, dogs and other animals go through several sleep cycles. There are periods of wakefulness, followed by Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. REM sleep is the period responsible for the most memorable and vivid dreams and is believed to be a part of how the body processes memory, among other things. Scientists can track these cycles and associated brain activity using specialized equipment.
One of the most famous of these dream experiments involved lab rats. These rats spent all day running in a maze. Scientists monitored the brain activity of the rats in the maze and compared it to the brain activity of the rats during REM sleep. What they found was that the same areas lit up in the rats’ brains, which meant that the rats were likely to be dreaming of the maze, and by comparing the data the researchers could figure out where exactly in the maze the rats had dreamed themselves.
This suggested to the researchers that animals tend to dream as we do. The rats dreamed about their day, just like you might find yourself back in the office in your dreams, even if you would rather have dreamed yourself someplace more exciting. Researchers at MIT concluded that animals have complex dreams, and they can remember and replay long sequences of events when they are asleep.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that dogs spend about half their day sleeping. For puppies, senior dogs, and larger breeds, time spent sleeping can be even longer.
What Do Dogs Dream About?
Most dogs lead more interesting lives than rats. To figure out what dogs might dream of, researchers performed a test that temporarily disabled the pons.
If, like me, you’d never heard of the pons before this, let me explain. The pons is the part of the brain stem that is involved in the control of sleep cycles and the regulation of deep sleep and is responsible for inhibiting your large muscles from moving during sleep. In other words, you can thank the pons for preventing your partner from flailing around during dreams and waking you up. Without the pons, we might act out everything we were dreaming about — probably with disastrous results.
You may have noticed that puppies and older dogs twitch and move a lot in their sleep. This is because the pons is underdeveloped in puppies and less efficient in older dogs, according to Stanley Coren, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia. The same is true for human infants and older adults.
Researchers figured out that one of the ways to discover what dogs might dream about is to temporarily disable the pons during REM sleep. This allowed them, under carefully controlled conditions, to let the dogs act out their dreams.
The results were pretty much what we’ve all suspected for years.
“What we’ve basically found is that dogs dream doggy things . . . The dream pattern in dogs seems to be very similar to the dream pattern in humans,” according to the researchers.
Does the Dog’s Breed Affect Dreams?
People vary as to how often they dream and what they dream about, and researchers believe that is true of dogs, as well. Coren reports that small dogs have more frequent dreams than large dogs, but those small dog dreams are shorter in duration. Large dogs, on the other hand, have fewer, but longer dreams.
We can also hazard a guess that what your dog does all day determines his dreams. While we can’t yet be sure, the fact that Pointers point and Dobermans display guard behavior implies that breed-specific activities may take place during dreams, too. Your Labrador Retriever, for instance, is more likely to dream about chasing tennis balls than is a Pug.
Do Dogs Have Nightmares?
Not all human dreams are good. We infer that dogs can have nightmares, too. These nightmares are hard to watch. It can be tempting to wake your dog to comfort her, as you would a child, but there are some risks associated with doggy nightmares that you should share with your family.
If you’ve ever been woken from a scary dream, you know that it can take a minute to remember where you are and whom you are with. Like some people, dogs can react aggressively toward the person waking them. This can be dangerous, especially for children. The best thing that you can do for a dog you think is having a bad dream is to wait for your dog to wake up and be there to comfort him, following the old saying “let sleeping dogs lie.”