Good Dog Dreams
If you have been a dog owner for quite some time, you have probably seen your dog dreaming and sometimes you just know that the dreams he or she is having are not really pleasant ones. Your dog’s body might be twitching and he or she might be making some mini yelping vocalizations during sleep. These sounds might seem a bit cute but you could probably assume that your dog is having a nightmare of some kind.
Lately, both of my Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie have experienced a very different kind of dream that I never saw them have when they were younger. They sometimes have this type of dream both while inside their crates as well as when they are just sleeping on the floor.
In this latest type of dog dreams, neither Chester nor Roxie would be making any type of vocalizations and their bodies would not be twitching at all. Instead, they would be lying on their sides and their legs would be moving back and forth as if they were walking. I notice this type of dog dream more when they are having it while inside their crates because their paws often slide up against the sides of their crates while they are moving their legs back and forth. So I hear the sound this makes even though it doesn’t seem to wake them.
Since forming our Small Dogs Outings Meetup group which is focused on hikes at nature trails with our group of small dogs (25 pounds and under), my Lhasa Apsos have been having these types of walking dreams. And since many of these dreams are often shortly after their weekend hikes with their doggie friends which usually last for one to two hours on the trails, I can only conclude that these are most likely dreams about their recent outings. I don’t think these are merely coincidences. I think there is a direct connection.
And since they are not making any vocalizations and just moving their legs back and forth, I can also assume that Chester and Roxie are having quite pleasant and enjoyable dreams of their time out there on the trails with their doggie friends.
So I figure that one way to ensure that your dog gets more of these types of pleasant dreams rather than the yelping, twitching nightmares they sometimes have, is to take them on longer dog walks at interesting places like nature trails and with doggie friends if possible.
This year on most of our longer weekend outings, our dogs who come out also get to have treats during our rest breaks on the trails which they clearly enjoy. So in addition to being with their doggie friends, they get treats as well as explore interesting nature out there. This all equates to great fun times they experience each weekend which I know at least for Chester and Roxie, has continued into their dog dreams.
I knew that by starting out our Small Dogs Outings group, our dogs would have a better social life and keep in better health. But I never would have predicted that they would have nicer dog dreams either. So I would highly recommend taking your dog out for regular hikes at interesting places like nature trails with some friendly doggie friends if possible. This would enhance both their time while awake and during sleep when they have good dog dreams.
Of course if you are going to take your dogs out there on nature trails, make sure they have at least a minimum level of basic dog obedience first. You want them to behave well when on the trails. My Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie demonstrate our training drills quite nicely in our free dog training video – see the details at the side of this blog page or at the bottom for access if you have not seen it yet.
And on a final side note for those who you who have puppies, these long outdoor hikes do not mess up any indoor potty training for dogs. My two dogs know the difference between indoors and outdoors. When they are outdoors, they do their business just like other dogs and when they are indoors, they go to their dog litterbox at home. Many other dogs who have been successfully trained this way do the same.