Why Is My Dog Barking In Their Sleep?

If your cockapoo is barking in its sleep should you be worried? No, there is no need to worry as this is perfectly normal behaviour. 

All dogs dream while they sleep and barking, along with yelping, twitching or various other noises and movements, is purely the fact that yes, they are dreaming. 

This is not some form of sleep disorder or discomfort that your dog may have and is not a cause for concern. 


Research has shown that the brain activity of larger sleeping dogs is very similar brain activity to human sleep, and as such means that dreaming occurs while the dog is in the REM sleep phase, (Rapid Eye Movement), of their sleeping pattern. 

It is as they go in and out of this sleep phase during the normal sleep cycle that they may bark etc. but, not unlike the fact that some people talk in their sleep, while a lot don’t,  not all dogs will bark while asleep either.

Small dogs actually go through their sleep cycle faster than large dogs and are therefore more prone to bark while sleeping. They will be going through the dreaming phase of their sleep cycle about every 10 minutes, unlike the larger dogs, whose sleep cycle reaches the REM phase about every ninety minutes. 

It is worth pointing out here that if you have a puppy or an older dog your sleep is more likely to be interrupted by a dogs bark than it is if your cockapoo is middle-aged, as the tendency bark is greater in both younger and older dogs. 

Do you need to take action?

Unless this has become a real problem for human sleep quality in your household or is changing your sleeping habits then no, you do not need to take any action.

We have all heard the expression ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’ well this is just what you should do and this is for good reason. If your cockapoo is in a really deep sleep, then not only will you disturb their sleep pattern, you could startle them and not get the response you are used to or want. 

Loving and cuddly as your cockapoo maybe during waking hours, when woken from a deep sleep while dreaming this could change, and although rare, it is for this reason you need to leave them be, and a child should never be allowed to wake a dog. 

If you believe your cockapoo might be having a bad dream or a dog nightmare the best action you can take is just to sit and wait for them to wake naturally when you can be there for them giving any reassurance they may want or need. 

Can you do anything to stop it?

The simple answer is no, as this is perfectly normal behaviour there is really nothing you can do to change it. 

If the barking of your cockapoo in the wee hours of the morning is disturbing you the first measure that you can take is to move the dogs sleep area as far away from you as possible. 

Never give your pet any form of human medication it is extremely dangerous, but if you have a serious problem with your cockapoo barking in their sleep the best thing you can do is consult your vet.