Dog howling in sleep superstition

Dog howling in sleep superstition


As an animal behaviorist and pet expert, I often receive a plethora of questions about the behaviors of our beloved pets. One particular topic that has been trending lately is related to dogs howling in their sleep. This phenomenon has sparked curiosity and even superstition among dog owners worldwide.

In this blog post, we will delve into the mystery behind dogs howling in their sleep, demystify some common misconceptions and superstitions attached to it, and provide scientific explanations for this intriguing canine behavior.

The Superstition Surrounding Dogs Howling in Sleep

The sound of a dog howling can be unsettling for some people; it’s eerie and often associated with negative connotations due to its use in popular culture – think horror movies or Halloween night. When this happens during the quiet hours when your dog is supposed to be asleep, it can be even more unnerving.

There are various superstitions surrounding dogs howling in their sleep worldwide. Some cultures believe that a dog’s howl signals impending death or evil spirits’ presence. Others consider it as an omen of bad luck or misfortune coming one’s way.

However, as an animal behaviorist who relies on empirical evidence rather than folklore or hearsay, I must assure you that these are just myths without any concrete scientific basis.

The Science Behind Dogs Howling In Their Sleep

Now that we’ve debunked the superstitions let’s delve into why dogs actually do howl during their slumber.

Just like humans talk or move around while they’re sleeping (sleep talking or sleepwalking), dogs too can exhibit certain behaviors whilst snoozing – including barking, growling, whining and yes – even howling!

This typically occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep when most dreaming happens both for humans and animals alike. Your pooch might be chasing a squirrel, playing with other dogs, or facing an imaginary threat in his dream and the howling could be a response to those scenarios.

Is Howling in Sleep Normal?

Yes, it is completely normal for dogs to howl in their sleep. It’s just another way they communicate or express themselves. However, if your dog frequently howls during sleep and seems distressed or agitated, it may be worth discussing this with your vet as it could indicate a health issue such as pain or anxiety.

How to Respond When Your Dog Howls In Their Sleep

Firstly, do not panic! Remember that this is normal canine behavior and your dog isn’t haunted by evil spirits nor are they predicting doom. If the howling doesn’t seem distressed and your pet appears relaxed upon waking up, there’s likely nothing to worry about.

However, if your dog’s nocturnal serenades are disrupting everyone’s sleep schedule then you might want to consider some solutions like soundproofing their sleeping area or using white noise machines which can help mask the sound of their howls.


In conclusion, while there are many superstitions surrounding dogs’ behaviors – including their tendency to howl during sleep – these should be taken with a pinch of salt. Dogs communicate through various means including barking, growling and yes – even howling! This communication extends into their dream world too. So next time when you hear your furry friend letting out a midnight aria remember they’re probably just having an exciting dream!

Always remember that understanding our pets requires patience along with scientific knowledge rather than relying on myths and superstitions. If you have any concerns about your pet’s behavior always consult with a professional who can provide advice based on empirical evidence.

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