'Hunting Wabbits': Dog Baring Teeth While Sleeping Melts Hearts Online

If you have a dog, you've likely seen it: Your canine companion lying on the ground, pedaling its legs through the air, maybe growling or trying to bark... but the dog is asleep. If you haven't, you may not be paying close enough attention. But don't worry—one Reddit user, u/EliEatsBEANS, has captured the phenomenon in a video that has gone viral.

The video, posted in Reddit's r/WhatsWrongWithYourDog forum, is titled "My dog started doing this while dreaming, he's never bared his teeth before. Angry dream" followed by a dog emoji. The 15-second clip shows the dog twitching and growling and showing its teeth—all while still asleep.

The post has attracted over 13,000 upvotes and more than 280 comments, many of which were from users sharing similar stories of their dogs. U/Forward_Cobbler1319 commented "Ever had a dream that you're just kicking all the ass in the world? I like to imagine that's what's happening here."

In a humorous comment, u/catsandblankets wrote, "He's imagining if that dog from the park that his owner pet dared to come up to his house ho ho oh I'd let him have it then."

Some users noted that their mutts exhibit the same behaviors. For example, u/pantherghast wrote, "I have a retired racing greyhound and he I see him running while laying down as he's sleeping. I think he dreams about being on the racetrack again. Once he suddenly got up and ran down the hallway. I followed him and he was standing at the end of the hallway in the kitchen all confused."

Others offered advice, like u/_tribecalledquest, who wrote, "When I think my dog is having a nightmare I say their name softly and it's okay, it usually wakes them right up or changes the tone of the dream."

In fact, most mammals dream—but not all do, according to research published in The Journal of Comparative Neurology in 2020. Researchers explored "the potential for dream mentation [the formation of visual images], in both non-REM and REM sleep across mammals."

They concluded that, if you accept that the mental representations that prime you to dream are only generated during periods of REM sleep, some mammals (including cetaceans like whales, dolphins, and porpoises) do not dream.

Dogs, however, are among the long list of mammals that can and do appear to dream. And it feels safe to assume that this is exactly what OP's (original poster) dog is doing. And the comments from fellow users seem to corroborate this theory. U/Smiller624 wrote, "Typical greyhound sleeping. Mine does this constantly. Eyes open, twitching in weird ways. Greys are weird creatures."

A dog sleeps on a sofa.
Stock image of a dog snoozing on a sofa. Kerkez/Kerkez/Getty

Meanwhile, u/BishmillahPlease commented, "My husband and I both call our dog's name when she starts having a nightmare, and it tends to work well," and u/BaileyBaby-Woof simply wrote, "Hunting wabbits."

Newsweek reached out to u/EliEatsBEANS.

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