Why Is My Dog Aggressive When Woken Suddenly?

Is my dog normal?
Dog With Sleep Startle Reflex

“Let sleeping dogs lie” is never more apt than if you have a dog that reacts when startled during sleep. For owners that are new to this scary reaction, it can be quite worrisome, especially if there are children, elderly or anyone with learning disabilities in the family.

Most people could understand and forgive a dog who lashes out when suddenly trodden on or struck by something falling on them as they slept. Although many dogs are likely to just move away in these circumstances. It is this kind of accommodating behaviour that has led them to become part of the family and our best friends.

However, a proportion of dogs can growl, snap, lunge, and bite when woken unexpectedly. For these dogs, a simple kiss on the head can trigger this reaction and it can be momentarily terrifying.



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