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Why Does My Dog Bark In His Sleep [4 Reasons Why!]

Dogs barking is a common act of action for them to communicate. But most of the time it’s because of excitement or a sense of danger.

The concern of hearing your dog barking in an odd situation is understandable.

Why does your dog bark in his sleep?

Well, if you hear your dog barking in his sleep, it’s probably because he is dreaming. Dogs experience dreams just like humans. As they can’t communicate verbally, they might end up barking in their sleep. These barks are mostly harmless and happen to every other dog.

I have discussed this weird phenomenon about dogs in more detail in the article below. So, if you want to swim through the dog dreams, I’d suggest you dive right in.

Dogs Barking in Their Sleep: 4 Reasons to Lookout for

Your dog barking in his sleep might sound concerning to you. But trust me, it’s not that of a big deal. 

As we have cleared before, dogs bark in sleep due to dreaming. Just like us people, dogs tend to get weird dreams about weirder things. At least it isn’t them having diarrhea at night or it would have been messy.

Their communication skills are limited to barking. So, this is why they bark in sleep if they dream of anything inconvenient. 

Now, the reasons for dreams are still unknown to man. As they could be thinking of anything. Most of them are harmless except for nightmares and don’t require extra attention.

Some of these common dream elements that are noted by experts are:

Reason 1: Tasty Treats: Just Like Us!

This is a common dream among every species of dog and nothing harmful. Usually, they would wag their tails, salivate and lightly whimper in happiness in their sleep. 

It’s nothing to worry about and is actually good. It indicates their good mental health and healthy and happy mind. Seems like dreaming about them having tortillas or popcorn is cheery for every species.

Reason 2: Enemies and Huntings: Gotta Kill em All

If your dog is growling in his sleep, it could be because he is dreaming about fighting something. It could be a squirrel or the vacuum cleaner.

And just like us, they like to dream about defeating enemies even in their dreams. Nothing to worry about here. 

Usually, big dogs with a hunting past will have war flashbacks as such.

Reason 3: Protecting the Owner: The Super Dog

Yes, I am as awestruck as you are as well. Apparently, our dogs dream about our safety in their sleep as well. How cute is that!

It’s noted among service dogs the most. And that’s because they are in constant fear of losing their human friend to some scary disease. 

So much that they’d end up dreaming about it and try to protect it.

This isn’t anything to worry about until your dogs start attacking in their sleep as well. Until then, it’s best to train your dog to be a hitman and scare your enemies. But hey! you didn’t learn it from me.

Reason 4: Past Trauma: Unfortunate Events 

Nightmares are scary especially when you’re a harmless pooch. Usually, during these episodes, they get all fussy, scared, and sometimes aggressive.

It could be due to past traumas like having abusive owners, force breeding. Or else, it could be abandonment by previous owners, or due to fearing other animals.

Sadly, these kinds of nightmares are seen among shelter dogs the most. They are generally the most abused and least pampered. And so they get such nightmares and deserve so much love to recover.

What to Do If Dog Bark in his Sleep: 4 Ways to Comfort

Wel your favorite animal may start to get a little too fussy in his sleep. In that case you can actually do a few things to help him.

Here are 4 things that might comfort your dog and his nightmares:

Option 1: Providing Comfortable Beds And Blankets for Dogs

Just like us humans, dogs deserve a warm and comfortable sleeping-place. 

So, this is why it is important to make sure the bed and blankets are clean and fuzzy. These would bring comfort to your dog. 

There are many dog-friendly beds out there in the best deals. Here are my favorite brands for dog beds:

Bed 1
Bed 2

These beds are helpful for your dog’s anxiety. And it will also calm them down during any manic episodes. Check them out if you are interested.

Option 2: Making a Dog-Friendly Environment

Your dog needs a place where they feel welcomed and warm. Don’t give them a dirty cold palace to nest on. It would be a very cheap and unhealthy behavior.

So, make sure there is enough ventilation and insulation for your dog to be comfortable. Avoid places that are too cramped up or too open.

Make sure their bed is placed in a clean and safe space. You don’t want them to end up with a yeast infection due to poor hygiene. 

Give them a plushie toy or fuzzy blanket in case they need a companion.

Option 3: Allowing Them for Sleepover with You

I understand if you don’t like it if your dog invades your personal space. 

But, once in a while let them crash in your bed with you. If not bed, then at least in the same room as you would help them to feel comfortable. 

Generally, dogs with troubled pasts require extra attention. Letting them sleep close to you would give them reassurance and peace.

Option 4: Separating Them from Everything Traumatic

Lastly, take away everything that can remind them of their traumatic past. No dog should feel unsafe in its own house.

It could be as silly as hiding your mop or as big as not touching them for a while.

Any small gesture of kindness towards them would make them forever appreciative of you. So, treat them with love and compassion.


Question: Can I pet my dog in his sleep?

Answer: Maybe, though it’s encouraged that you shouldn’t unless it’s important. Dogs are vulnerable when they sleep so invading their privacy that time might cause a disturbance. But if you see your dog is having a psychotic episode or need to wake them up, you may gently pet them.

Question: Can dogs get nightmares?

Answer: Yes they can. Nightmares can affect anyone regardless of the species and dogs are no different. Usually, shelter dogs with abusive pasts or problematic nature tend to have shown signs of nightmares.

Question: Is it possible for dogs to understand humans?

Answer: Yes, most definitely. Dogs are called man’s man and most loyal companions for this particular reason of compassion. It is said that dogs can feel your emotions better and are known to be the most compassionate companion for humans.


Hope this article answers your concerns on why does your dog barks in his sleep. As a matter of fact, I have cleared most possible reasons and scenarios on this matter.

But still, if you see your dog’s sleep-barking is getting out of hand, get in touch with a vet immediately. 

Other than that, I hope you and your dog sleep well.