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Every dog owner has witnessed the dreams of their pets: how they move their legs and part of their snouts, and even emit one or another bark. Some cartoons have been responsible for representing this type of behavior, venturing to deduce that they dreamed of food, playing with friends or hunting their enemies. However, according to a study conducted by Harvard University, the fantasy may be far from reality.
For Dr. Deirdre Barret, professor and clinical psychologist and evolutionist at Harvard Medical School, animal dreams is a path still little traveled; Despite his studies in the field of dreams, they made it easier for him to understand that there were no great differences in this regard.
Penny Patterson's phenomenological investigation with the gorillas Koko and Michael will then be remembered, who pointed out dreams related to fantastic events, places and people stored in their memory. Even Michael, who was captured by hunters who killed his family, sometimes wakes up and points out "Bad people kill gorillas."
For this reason, Dr. Deidre Barret considers that most mammals share the same sleep cycle with humans, in which the brain has much less activity during the deep sleep period and a latent activity called Rapid Eye Movement –REM , for its acronym in English - where dreams happen. This increases the hypothesis that other mammals dream too. The most obvious difference is that, on the one hand, smaller animals, such as mice, go through different stages of sleep faster, so they have more frequent and shorter dreams; on the other hand, elephants have a longer cycle than humans, so they have much longer periods of deep sleep. It is even believed that reptiles and fish do not have REM / non-REM cycles, so they sleep without dreaming.
So if humans dream events related to their day, less logically and a bit more visually, why would it be different with other mammals that have the same sleep cycle? Since dogs tend to be more attached to their owners - humans - they may even dream of their face, their smell or the proper way to please them.
For their part, cats could dream of hunting mice ... This was discovered at the time when Michel Jouvet extracted a small area of a cat's brain in order to inhibit eye movements during REM, causing during that stage to lift, arch his back and meow as if he were on the hunt.
All these investigations could show that if your dog moves his legs as if he were running, he is probably dreaming that he is running. In fact, the more pronounced and faster the movement, the more vivid the dream they are having.