Puppy Dreams

Why Do Puppies Twitch When They Sleep?

Jane Messineo Lindquist, Puppy Culture

01 Jan 2017 | 1 minute read

Watch Betty Pork 'N Beans sleep for 12 seconds. You'll feel better, we promise.

Puppy Body Building

Betty's adorable twitching makes us feel good, and it’s fun to imagine her milk-filled dreams. But that’s not what makes her twitch and pop as she rests. This twitching actually has a functional purpose - "activated sleep" helps build muscle and form the connections that will allow the puppies to develop motor coordination.

A Key Indicator for Breeders

This is why twitching is a key indicator that the puppy is healthy and developing normally. Breeders have recognized this for centuries, but modern research has showed us why. When the twitching stops, the puppy's not developing in some important ways, and is in critical danger.

Learn More

In our film, Puppy Culture, we talk more about activated sleep (and show more adorable video examples). Visit us at www.puppyculture.com

Want To Dig Deeper?

Mark S. Blumberg, Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, has done some fascinating research on the function of sleep-twitching: The Function(s) of Sleep: Why Twitch?

This article was originally updated on puppyculture.com in 2017

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About the Author

Jane Messineo Lindquist (Killion) is the director of "Puppy Culture the Powerful First Twelve Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppies' Future" as well as the author of "When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs" and founder of Madcap University.

Jane has had Bull Terriers since 1982 and she and her husband, Mark Lindquist, breed Bull Terriers under the Madcap kennel name.

Her interests include dog shows, dog agility, gardening, and any cocktail that involves an infused simple syrup.

Visit Jane's Websites

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