Do Dogs Sleepwalk?

Do Dogs Sleepwalk?

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Do you think that dogs sleepwalk? Seems to reason that if humans do it then animals do, too.  I caught my dog doing something that makes me think she was sleepwalking.

Misha was exhausted several days with her dog cousin who was staying with us for a week. They don’t play together or interact beyond normal tail sniffing and having to face each other in passing. However, Summit is on seizure medication which works great at keeping her seizure free, but it makes her walk obsessively for several minutes to an hour at a time. It can get on your nerves.  I know it gets on mine.  It takes Misha a couple of days to recover after Summit goes home.

My dog is exhausted after a week with her cousin
My dog is exhausted after a week with her cousin

Misha was sound asleep on my mom’s lap. All of a sudden, she jumped off the chair, then walked a few steps and faced the wall. She stood there for almost a minute with her nose about an inch from the wall.

She slowly turned her head one way and then the other as if to look around, but she didn’t really seem to be seeing anything. She faced the wall again…still not with the program. Then, she laid down and closed her eyes and was asleep.

Let it be known that she did this at exactly 5:20. This is the time that she and her grandma have a little early evening snack after dinner. It’s almost as if her snack alarm went off, her body sprung into action, but it forgot to tell her brain.

According to Pete Wedderburn at the Telegraph dogs do not sleepwalk.  He says, “Dogs can’t sleepwalk like humans (moving around in a coordinated way that outwardly resembles normal “awake” behaviour). They are more prone to random, jerky movements while asleep, such as paddling their legs (as if dreaming of running) or, at most, perhaps lurching a few feet before flopping to the ground.”  (Source:  The Telegraph, “Pet Subjects: Is My Dog Sleepwalking?” by Pete Wedderburn, published online 7 Mar 2014.)

So, what do you think?  Is it possible for dogs to sleepwalk?  Has your dog ever walked in their sleep?  I’d be interested in your stories.  And, if you’re a veterinarian or know about dog behavior, let us know if you agree with Pete Weddeburn.


4 thoughts on “Do Dogs Sleepwalk?

  1. I do believe dogs sleep walk. My staffy does it frequently. He’s in a deep sleep then all of a sudden he walks to the corner of the room in a dazed state then walks to our front room then back to his bed to continue snoring

    1. Cathy, That’s pretty funny! I have a feeling if Misha started sleep walking regularly she would head over the pantry, get Cheerios, then go back to bed. 😀

  2. I was just googling if dogs sleep walk, wondering if they do. My girl Lexie had an episode last night that I think may have been her sleep walking. She is 3yrs old blond in one eye (due to someone hitting her over the head at 6months) and has hip displacement ( operated at 1yr old). Last night I awoke to a racket, she had knocked her bed and was walking into the door leading down the hallway but kept falling over, I called her over to which she turned around and started to come to me stumbling but slowly coming to it. It is the first I have seen her do it so not sure if it has happened before, very curious.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Debbie! That’s a really interesting episode that your dog had. If your dog was normal after the midnight walk, I would suspect she was sleep walking too. It seems this is something that happens when we’re a certain sleep state. If humans do it, why not dogs?

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