The (Canine) Stuff of Dreams

Have you ever wondered while watching Fido twitch, run in place, wag his tail and drool in his sleep what he’s dreaming about? Animal behavior experts have actually been looking into just that. In a story titled Do Dogs Dream? by Veterinarian Nancy Kay for Pet Health Network some theories were explored on the matter.

“While our knowledge on this topic is very limited, the following known information helps us believe that dogs do indeed experience dreams,” writes Kay in the article on the topic published November 24, 2015. “According to <> MIT News <>, Matthew Wilson, a professor of neuroscience at MIT <>, and Kenway Louie, a graduate student in 2001, have studied the relationships between memory, sleep and dreams. They found that when rats were trained to run along a circular track for rewards, their brains created a distinctive firing pattern of neurons (brain cells). The researchers repeated the brain monitoring while the rats were sleeping. Low and behold, they observed the same signature brain activity pattern associated with running whether the rats were awake or asleep. In fact, the memories played at approximately the same speed during sleep as when the rats were awake.”

Rats have this dreaming behavior in common with humans but does it necessarily apply to dogs and cats? Kay purports that Wilson believes the answer is yes.

“My guess is — unless there is something special about rats and humans — that cats and dogs are doing exactly the same thing,” he said, according to  <>USA Today’s <>website <>.

The hippocampus, the portion of the brain that collects and stores memories, is wired much the same way in all mammals, writes Kay.

“If you compared a hippocampus in a rat to a dog; in a cat to a human, they contain all of the same pieces,” observed to Wilson, who was quoted saying as much in <> <>. Furthermore, Wilson believes that as dogs sleep, images of past events replay in their minds, much the same way people recall experiences while dreaming.

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What do dogs from NYC, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, LI and Westchester dream about? Why not share your theories with us at ????  Proper canine obedience training leads to a happy dog that, most likely, has happy dreams! Your Metro NY Off Leash K9 Training professional can help you raise a well-balanced pup and resolve everything from dog and food aggression to potty training issues.