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Dreaming about dogs: an online survey

By M. Schredl, C. Bailer, M. S. Weigel, M. S. Welt

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Dogs have been close human companions for millennia and one would expect—according to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming—that dogs are also quite common in dreams. Previous studies showed that the percentages of dreams that include dogs range from about 1.5% to 5%, but studies relating waking-life experiences with dogs with dreams about dogs have not been carried out. In total, 1695 persons (960 women, 735 men) completed an online survey that included questions about dreams and waking-life experiences that included dogs. The findings indicate that dogs show up, on average, in about 5% of remembered dreams, but this percentage is much higher in the dreams of dog owners and persons with close contacts with dogs. Moreover, the active time spent with a dog and the proximity during sleep is also related to a higher percentage of dreams that include dogs. Although dreams including dogs are on average more positively toned than dreams in general, about 11% of the dog dreams included threatening dogs. Persons who had negative experiences with dogs in their waking lives reported more threatening dog dreams. The results support the continuity hypothesis and it would be very interesting to conduct content analytic studies with dream samples obtained from dog owners to learn more about the variety of interactions between dreamers and dogs.

Date 2020
Publication Title Animals
Volume 10
Issue 10
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani10101915
Author Address Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Postfach 12 21 20, 68072 Mannheim, Germany.michael.schredl@zi-mannheim.de cbailer@mail.uni-mannheim.de muweigel@mail.uni-mannheim.de melina.welt@web.de
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Anthrozoology
  3. Breeding
  4. Canidae
  5. Canine
  6. Carnivores
  7. Communication
  8. Dog Breeds
  9. Dog diseases
  10. Dogs
  11. Films
  12. Humans
  13. Interactions
  14. Internet
  15. Mammals
  16. Media
  17. Men
  18. open access
  19. Pets and companion animals
  20. Primates
  21. Psychiatry and psychology
  22. sleep
  23. social media
  24. Social psychology and social anthropology
  25. surveys
  26. Telecommunications
  27. vertebrates
  28. Women
  29. Zoology
  1. open access