My vet told me it was likely the dog was dreaming too. I'd seen dogs move their feet in their sleep, but I hadn't seen the wagging tail thing prior to Wylie (my previous dog) who would bark, in sort of a muffled way, in his sleep too. Tully (current dog) hasn't really done any of that until this morning, when I saw him lying on his back, obviously sound asleep, with his plumey tail waving in circles.
With Wylie, my vet told me that the reason I hadn't seen such sleep activity in my previous dogs was that some dogs, just like some people, are more active dreamers. That is, just like some people might talk in their sleep, some dogs might bark in their sleep.
HaHa, sometimes when he's asleep, he will let out the most loud, long, and deep, agonizingly sounding wail I've ever heard come out of a dog. It's not really a howl...but close.
The first time it happened, I was in the computer room and he was asleep in the living room....it scared 3 kinds of bejabbers out of me. I had the phone picked up and ready to dial the vet even as I got out of my chair to rush into the living room.
I usually don't wake my dogs up when they dream, but he sounds like he's hurt when he does that, so just in case he is dreaming something where he was hurt at some point in time and recalling it... I wake him up. He's always pretty confused for about 10 to 15 seconds, then sighs and lets me scratch his head and face....he likes that. He probably does that wailing about twice a month.
I've also seen all of my dogs move in their sleep...legs twitching like they are running, tails thumping...even little woofs and yips like they are enjoying their dreams. Not too often do I get the impression that they are having a nightmare.
Jaya, I have woke up once...as she was whining pretty bad and sounded scared, not hurt. HaHa's howl sounds like he's hurting.
My lovely big boy Marley would do this, he would move his paws, woof and cry also..he had a terrible life before coming to us so it used to break my heart when he cried in his sleep, Willow wags n walks in her sleep too, but Grommit just sleeps..usually like a starfish..right in the middle of the bed !
My crossbreed wags her tail in her sleep. Sometimes she thumps it quite hard. She also 'runs', whines, her face twitches, eyes blink. Sometimes she barks so loudly she wakes everybody up. Must have very vivid dreams.
Zorro is my most active dreamer. I used to laugh myself silly when he was a puppy. He had the habit of barking in his sleep, doesn't do it as much now he's older, but it used to scare the living daylights out of the jrt bitch I had at the time.
The scene would go something like this: Zorro the puppy finally tired out would fall asleep. Kandas woulf wisely decide that it's a good time for her to also catch forty winks. Then just when everyone is nicely asleep Zorro would start to dream and after a few mins of just the normal running and twitching he'd let out a bark. Kandas would wake up with a start, run out of her dog house barking like all hell is breaking loose, which off course wakes up Zorro and Condor - the jrt male- who would join in the bark fest. In the meanwhile I'm usually sitting somewhere nearby laughing my butt off.
Every once and while Sawyer whines/half barks, face twitches and moves his feet when he sleeps. But I don't think I have ever seen him wag his tail in his sleep. Then again his tail is to short to tell lol.