If you have a dog, you’ve probably seen it before: your canine companion lying on the ground, pedaling its paws in the air, maybe growling or trying to bark…but the dog is sleeping. If you haven’t, you may not be paying enough attention. But don’t worry, Reddit user u/EliEatsBEANS captured the phenomenon in a video that has gone viral.
The video, posted to Reddit’s r/WhatsWrongWithYourDog forum, is titled “My dog started doing this while dreaming, he’s never shown his teeth before. Angry dream” followed by a dog emoji. The 15-second clip shows the dog shaking, growling and baring his teeth, while still sleeping.
The post attracted over 13,000 upvotes and over 280 comments, many of which came from users sharing similar stories of their dogs. U/Forward_Cobbler1319 commented “Have you ever dreamed you were kicking all the asses in the world? I like to imagine that’s what’s happening here.”
In a humorous comment, u/catsandblankets wrote, “He imagines if that park dog his owner dared come to his house ho ho oh I’d let him have it then.”
Some users have noted that their pooches exhibit the same behaviors. For example, u/pantherghast wrote, “I have a retired racing greyhound and I see him running around lying down while he sleeps. I think he dreams of being on the race track again. Once he suddenly got up and ran down the hall. I followed him and he was standing at the end of the hall in the kitchen, all confused.”
Others gave advice, like u/_tribecalledquest, who wrote, “When I think my dog is having a nightmare, I say his name quietly and it’s ok, it usually wakes him up or changes the tone of the dream.”
In fact, most mammals dream, but not all, according to a study published in The Journal of Comparative Neurology in 2020. Researchers explored “the potential for daydreaming [the formation of visual images]both in non-REM and REM sleep in mammals.”
They concluded that, if you accept that the mental representations that cause you to dream are only generated during periods of REM sleep, some mammals (including cetaceans like whales, dolphins and porpoises) do not dream.
Dogs, however, are part of the long list of mammals that can and do seem to dream. And it’s safe to assume that’s exactly what OP’s dog does (original poster). And comments from other users seem to support this theory. U/Smiller624 wrote: “A typical greyhound sleeping. Mine does it constantly. Eyes open, strange contractions. Grays are strange creatures.
Meanwhile, u/BishmillahPlease commented, “My husband and I call our dog’s name when she starts having a nightmare, and it tends to work well,” and u/BaileyBaby-Woof simply wrote, “Hunting to the wabbits.”
Newsweek contacted u/EliEatsBEANS.