Dog Barking in Sleep: Signs, Reasons, and How to Minimize It

dog barking in sleep

Many dogs bark when they sleep. Dog barking in sleep is a common problem that many dog owners experience. Dogs often whimper, growl, bark, and twitch while they are asleep. But why do dogs bark at night? What are the reasons and signs?

Should you wake up a dog when you hear them barking in their sleep?

Reasons that dogs bark while they are asleep

dog barking in sleep

There are various reasons that a dog while sleeping will bark. A dog will usually bark while they are asleep because they are dreaming. Scientists have discovered that

dogs nearly have the same brain waves as people do with that same area of the brain lightening up.

Dogs are expressing their small reaction to the dream.

What happens during a dog’s sleep?

There are a lot of signs that a dog does when they are asleep and are dreaming. They can are listed below.

  • Whimper and growl to indicate a nightmare
  • Barking which is related to a happy dream or a nightmare depending on the dog
  • Licking or chewing which may indicate they are dreaming of food
  • Snort or grunt to indicate that they are dreaming of smelling something
  • Howl which might mean they are having a nightmare or are dreaming about hunting and tracking.

There are other physical signs that you can observe that a dog is dreaming. They are listed below.

  • Twitch their legs
  • Sniffing
  • Head movement
  • Increase in breathing
  • Wags their tail
  • Ear twitching or movement
  • Moving their legs as though they are running

What do dogs dream about?

Dog Barking in Sleep: Signs, Reasons, and How to Minimize It |

Dogs dream about doggy things. Smaller dogs have more frequent but shorter dream periods. While large dogs have less but longer dreams.

Should you wake up your dog when they bark at night?

Many people advise that you do not wake up your dog while they are asleep. Waking up your dog while they are asleep will frighten them. Waking up at the REM sleep can lead your dog to snap at you because they become shocked.

Another reason is that dogs need their sleep so they can physically and mentally be relaxed. The reason is that throughout the day, they are very active and full of energy.

If you do wake up your dog, they may find it difficult to fall asleep again. Dog barking is troubling but you can find ways to help you when you want to sleep. You can move the dog’s bed into another room that is far away from your bedroom.

Also, make sure to check on your dog to know whether they are asleep or not. They may not be sleeping and may be barking out of loneliness and boredom. If so, check on your dog to treat the problem.

When should you worry?

Most of the time, there is no reason to worry when your dog makes noises in their sleep; they are dreaming. However, if dog barking in sleep reflects physical distress

signs such as rapid breathing and high levels of pain, then you must wake them up.

If they don’t wake up, then you should call the emergency or vet.

Sometimes dogs may have a nightmare. When they do, they may bite you if they are startle when they wake up. So make sure to wake them up with your voice as a way to minimize the tension.

What if your dog is awake?

If your dog is awake and barking. Then there is a problem. Make sure your dog has a comfortable sleeping environment and fresh drinking water. You can also give them more exercise and attention during the day so they can get more sleep easily.

Ways to stop dog barking at night

Don’t let your dog sleep alone

Don’t leave your dog alone when they sleep. They used to live in packs and thus they tend to not sleep alone.

So many dogs bark when they are alone. The best solution is to let them sleep in the same room as you are in.

Use external tools

Dog calming diffuser

These dog calming diffusers will release pleasant-smelling pheromones that will help your dog to calm down. You can pick up a dog calming diffuser from any pet store.

Dog barking collars

The last resort to eliminate dog bark noise is through dog bark collars. These items are usually put around a dog throat and emit a correctional behavior when your dog barks.

These can be an ultrasonic noise, a blow of air, or an electric shock in some cases.

Other reasons your dog may bark at night

Other reasons that your dog may bark is because your dog is bored, isn’t feeling well, needs to go to the bathroom, responding to voices in the environment.

Because your dog has different needs, you should not punish or intimidate them. This may actually cause them anxiety and make their behavior worse.

Your dog needs exercise

dog barking in sleep

Your dog may need exercise because most dogs are active by nature. So putting a dog through exercise will make them more likely to become tired leading them to a peaceful sleep.

Your dog wants to go to the bathroom

Sometimes dogs bark when they want to go to the bathroom especially at night. The reason is that they may have eaten and drunk water and need to relieve themselves.

Separation anxiety and loneliness

Dogs are social by nature. They love the company of their owners and thus they need to be around them. Sometimes if they are asleep alone, they may experience loneliness and separation anxiety.

Health check

Sometimes your dog may have a health problem such as dog dementia where they bark a lot of time. To treat this condition, go to a vet.


Dogs bark at night for different reasons. They tend to bark mainly when they are sleeping and dreaming. There are many vocal and physical signs when a dog is dreaming.

Other times a dog barks at night when they are bored, lonely, or want to go to the bathroom.

What about you? Does your dog bark during their sleep? If so share with us your experience and what happens?

0Like Us
8.4kFollow us


Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

Recent Content