Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BLC Day 16: One Canine's Nocturnal Behaviors

I've mentioned my big guy, Max, in past blog posts. I love this dog! As an American Bulldog, he possesses a large, bulky chest and upper body with slightly bowed front legs. When something has piqued his curiosity, his perked up ears and furrowed brow gives him an aggressive appearance which, partnered with his deep bark, is quite impressive and can be intimidating. To me, however, he's a great big love and my dawg!!

Here's the "sewing" connection - wearing a bandanna I made him for Independence Day 

Max was already an adult dog at age 3 when we adopted him from a Michigan Humane Society shelter, and he's been a big part of our family for almost 6 years.

When he first came to live with us, I would often invite him to the corner of my bed for weekend afternoon naps, during which he would often migrate to the center of the bed and snuggle right up along my side. Being a little older now, he seems to thoughtfully deliberate his movements as he traverses our home or when outside, so climbing up on my bed is something he engages in very infrequently.

A couple of years ago on one such occasion, I notice he was making a noise in his sleep which at first caused me concern. As best as I can describe, it sounded like a series of deep, short, sequenced "hums" in a set of 4 or 5, one right after another, followed by a short pause and another sequence of hums. My immediate thought was he was having a stroke! But, then I noticed the pattern changed with the final hum in the sequence lasting longer than its partners. That's when I realized he was sleep barking. Yep, you heard me right. Some people talk in their sleep - Max barks in his.

sun bathing on the deck - one of his favorite activities

It's one of the funniest things I've seen and still makes me pause to listen and laugh when it happens. He has developed other interesting sleep behaviors, including howling and customary "running" muscle jerks, as well as a very audible snore. Lately, he started crying in his sleep, as if he were in pain or being harmed by someone. The first time he did this was a couple of weeks ago, which scared me right out of a sound sleep. I thought maybe he got one of his paw pads caught between the bars of his crate. When I checked on him, though, he seemed alert and appeared to be physically okay and even gave me an "all is well" tail wag.

A few days ago, he woke me up again with crying out, but this time I cautiously moved toward his crate so I could see what he was doing without waking him. He was still asleep but I could see one of his front paws jerking while he was crying out. He then woke up, breathing heavily, seeming to not be quite alert but otherwise okay. After a few rubs on his head and assurances that everything was okay, he calmed himself, adjusted his position and went back to sleep.

So - long story short - Max is having bad dreams, or doggie-mares. I would LOVE to know of what he is dreaming. Do you have pets? What behaviors have you observed them demonstrating in their sleep?

Be blessed!



  1. Very nice doggie! He looks pretty big too! I can see why he would be a little intimidating! However, I bet he's such a baby around you!

    1. Thanks, Myra...LOL...he his the BIGGEST baby with him bunches!