Can Dogs Tell When You Are Asleep?

Dog lovers around the world know that dogs are loyal companions who have been known to form strong bonds with their owners.

One way that dogs show their affection is by trying to stay close to their owner’s side, even when they’re asleep.

While it’s not clear if dogs can actually tell when we’re asleep, they definitely pick up on our relaxed state and use it as an opportunity to make themselves more comfortable.

If you’ve ever woken up to find your dog sleeping next to you, you know what I’m talking about.

In this article, I’ll explain how dogs know when you’re awake and why they try to keep close to your side when you’re soundly asleep.

Dogs’ ability to communicate with humans has long been a topic of debate among scientists.

The most common theory states that dogs understand human language because of their evolutionary proximity to us.

This is why many people believe that dogs are able to understand commands such as “come” or “sit.”

However, studies have shown that dogs will respond to commands in English, French, and German without understanding any of them.

It’s also important to note that dogs don’t understand every command they receive from their owners, but rather respond based on context.

Although there is no evidence that dogs understand human speech, they do seem to understand some sounds.

For example, dogs are able to differentiate between the words “woof” and “fido,” which are both used to call them.

They also appear to be able to distinguish between the word “no” meaning “stop” and “no” meaning “not yet.”

There are two other theories regarding dogs’ abilities to communicate with humans.

Some experts argue that dogs can read body language, while others believe that dogs are capable of picking up on our emotions through scent or touch.

In addition to being able to interpret human body language, dogs can also detect stress and anxiety in their owners.

A study published in 2011 found that dogs were able to pick up on changes in their owners’ facial expressions, heart rates, and breathing patterns.

These findings indicate that dogs are able to determine whether their owners feel anxious or stressed.

The fact that dogs are able to sense when their owners are stressed could explain why dogs try to get closer to their sides when they’re sleeping.

If your dog senses that you’re anxious, he may want to comfort you by keeping you company while you sleep.

Dogs Tell When You Are Asleep

Can Dogs Tell When You Are Asleep?

As a dog owner, it’s important to know whether or not your dog can sense when you’re awake or asleep.

It’s also beneficial for both of you to be aware of each other’s sleep patterns so you don’t disturb one another.

This will help you get a better night’s rest because you won’t wake up at random times due to your dog’s constant pacing or whimpering.

Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not your dog can tell when you’re awake or asleep.

  • Why do dogs sleep in the same bed as humans?
  • How does your dog know when you’re awake or asleep?
  • What happens if you wake up during the middle of the night?
  • Do dogs dream?
  • Do dogs snore?
  • Can dogs smell when you’re awake or asleep?
  • How long can dogs go without food or water?

How Do Dogs Know When You Are Asleep?

The answer to this question has a lot of answers.

It depends on the breed of dog, the time of day, whether or not you’re in bed, and many other factors.

For example, some breeds are better at sensing when people are asleep than others.

We all know the saying “man’s best friend” — there are plenty of examples of canine loyalty here.

Some breeds, such as German Shepherds, are notorious for being able to sense when someone is in distress or sleep-deprived.

They will often stop barking and become quiet, even when they’re off leash.

Other breeds, like Dachshunds and Basset Hounds, tend to be hyperactive and love nothing more than chasing after things.

This makes them great at detecting motion but not so good at sensing when someone is sleeping.

Another important factor is where the dog is located relative to its owner.

For dogs that live with us full time, it’s much easier for them to figure out when we’re awake.

The same goes for dogs that spend most of their time outside — they may be able to detect subtle changes in the house when we wake up and go back to sleep.

However, if you live with your parents or siblings, they might not always know when you’re awake since they don’t have access to the same cues.

Then there’s the time of day.

Dogs that live inside are going to notice different changes depending on the time of day.

For example, if you leave for work early in the morning, your dog will likely be aware of your departure because he doesn’t see you anymore.

Similarly, late at night, when you come home, he won’t know that you’re there unless he hears you moving around.

This is also true on weekends and holidays when people are less predictable.

Finally, dogs that are used to living outside will be able to sniff out clues from nature that indicate you’re awake.

For example, if you take a walk through a park in the evening, you’ll probably see lots of dogs running around and playing together.

If you’re lucky, you might also spot one or two people walking their dogs around the neighborhood.

What Happens When Dogs Know You Are Asleep?

So, let’s take a look at some other things that might help us understand how dogs know when we’re asleep.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco studied several dogs for a period of three months to determine whether they could identify sleep in people. They found that dogs could differentiate between when people were awake and when they were asleep, but they couldn’t tell the difference between light and deep sleep. The dogs’ ability to tell the difference between light and deep sleep was similar to the results of the University of Bristol’s study.
In another study, researchers at the University of Portsmouth tested the accuracy of dogs’ ability to recognize sleep in 12 volunteers. Each volunteer spent two nights in the lab. During one night, the volunteers slept in a bed that had sensors attached to it. On the second night, the sensors were removed. The dogs were then left alone in the room for 30 minutes after each person woke up. At the end of both nights, the dogs were given food treats and praised for alerting them when someone woke up
During testing, all of the dogs correctly alerted to when people woke up when the sensors were attached. However, none of the dogs were able to alert to when people woke up without the sensors attached.
While there is little research on how dogs can tell when we’re asleep, scientists believe that dogs’ keen sense of smell plays a role in their ability to detect sleep. Humans and other animals tend to experience a change in sensory perception during sleep. For example, we lose our sense of smell and hearing when we enter deep sleep.
Scientists also suspect that dogs may be able to detect our dreams through our body language. Dogs have been shown to react differently to certain movements and sounds during sleep. For example, when someone begins to move their arms, dogs will often bark. It’s thought that dogs may be able to read these signals as signs that something is happening inside the dreamer’s head.


Let’s start with a little history.

In his book, The Dog Who Loved Too Much, author John Grochowski tells of an old man in France named Jacques.

He was so devoted to his pet dog, Pifou, that he used to let him sleep on his bed at night.

One day, Jacques’ wife found out, and she was furious.

She took away the dog from her husband and gave him to a neighbor.

After a few years, the wife died, but the neighbor didn’t want the dog anymore.

So, he sold it to another family.

Years later, the new owner decided he wanted to get rid of the dog, too.

He had the dog put down, and after that, no one could remember having seen Jacques or his beloved pet again.

“The story of Jacques and Pifou has been told many times,” writes Grochowski.

“It shows just how much humans love animals, especially those we consider pets.”

I don’t think anyone would argue that dogs are indeed very loyal companions.

But if you ask me, there’s a lot more to it than simply being close to your side when you’re asleep.

I think dogs may be able to tell when you’re awake because they can sense your energy levels, and they’re always looking for ways to increase their comfort level.

It sounds like something a dog would do, right?


To understand how dogs sense when we’re awake, you need to first understand how they sense our moods.

It turns out that dogs use a combination of two senses to detect our emotional state: smell and hearing.

They also use the same senses to detect other animals’ emotions (see How Dogs Sense Smell for details).

For example, in one study, researchers found that dogs could predict whether their owners would be happy or sad by listening to them breathe.

When people were breathing quickly and deeply, the dogs associated those sounds with happiness.

However, when people breathed slowly and shallowly, the dogs associated the sounds with sadness.

This isn’t surprising since we all feel happier when we’re breathing more deeply.

The only difference between us and our pets is that dogs are able to detect these changes in our breath from far away.

It’s important to note that these studies involved adult dogs.

So, while they may be able to predict how we’re feeling based on our breath, they aren’t necessarily capable of understanding human language.

Even so, it’s still interesting to think about how closely dogs are watching us—even when we don’t realize it.

In addition to detecting our moods through our breath, dogs can also sense our moods by listening to us talk.

For example, when a person speaks, his or her voice has a distinct tone.

This tone changes depending on whether we’re angry, frustrated, excited, etc.

Since dogs hear different tones in each of these voices, they can learn which ones indicate positive and negative emotions.

So, if you’re angry, your voice will have a higher pitch than if you’re just tired.

And, if you’re excited, your voice will have a lower pitch than if you’re bored.

Megan Turner
Latest posts by Megan Turner (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *