Dog Suddenly Jumps Up During Sleep – Top 3 Reasons Why

Sometimes you might be scared awake because you noticed that your dog jumped up out of his sleep. It’s not always a sign that someone is lurking nearby, but it might be a sign of certain medical issues that need your attention. If your dog suddenly jumps up while he is sleeping, you might be surprised to learn the possible meanings behind this startling behavior.

1. Your Dog May Need His Anal Glands Expressed

A dog that jumps up suddenly out of a sleep might need his anal glands expressed. There are several different symptoms beyond jumping out of sleep you may notice, such as scooting his butt or chewing or licking his backside. As for sleeping, your dog is jumping up out of a sleep due to the itching or pain that is commonly associated with needing anal glands expressed.

2. It Could be a Nervous Reaction

A dog might jump up suddenly during their sleep if they are older due to this being a more common situation with older dogs than with younger dogs. Older dogs have a much harder time going to sleep and staying asleep. A lot of older dogs have issues with eyesight and hearing, and this could exacerbate the nervous reaction you are seeing.

A normal sound or movement might actually sound or look different to an older dog with hearing or eye issues. That could trigger the dog to wake up suddenly due to thinking the sound is abnormal. Dogs also dream so the issue could be caused by a nervous reaction due to what the dog is currently dreaming about.

3. Your Dog May Have Focal Seizures

Seizures of various types can happen to a dog without warning or prior history of any medical issues. A focal seizure could be behind your dog jumping up suddenly during sleep. Focal seizures happen in one part of the brain due to an abnormal electrical signal.

You will know it’s a focal seizure because it will impact only one side of the body or one limb. These types of seizures can last anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes.

How to Help Your Dog Sleep Well at Night

If you want to help your dog sleep better at night, you first want to confirm with the veterinarian that there are no underlying medical issues going on. An older dog with no prior history of sleep disturbances should definitely be taken to the vet because it’s out of the ordinary.

Other tips to follow to help your dog sleep better at night includes tiring out your dog during the day so he is physically and mentally worn out. You also want to keep a routine with your dog if possible, including regular exercise times, feeding times, and sleeping times. If you take your dog for a walk daily, try to do this at the same time everyday when possible. The more you have a routine going, the better your dog will understand when it’s time for sleep.

Making a comfortable bed for your dog will also help, including getting him a nice bed and putting a warm blanket in the bed. Don’t let your dog sleep with you and give him his own bed so that he will be able to recognize when it’s time to go to sleep.

You might also want to add in some Valerian Root when your dog is eating dinner. Only one dropper-full is needed for every 50 pounds of weight. Valerian Root is a sleep aid and it’s going to help your dog sleep through the night.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Connie solis | 11/09/2020

    My dog would suddenly jump whether asleep or not till in am she started to bleed n took her to the vet n her anal exploded n had to have surgery bt she has started to suddenly jumps again I have checked her glands bt seems to be ok

  • Sharon Perry | 06/12/2020

    Less than three month old puppy went to vet yesterday now can’t sleep.Jumps up like it got poked with a needle and whining??

  • Gwen | 17/06/2021

    Worms can cause the sudden jumping up.

  • Mia | 06/02/2022

    hey Sharon hope you both are doing great. how’s the puppy doing now? My 5 year old doberman did this exact same thing yesterday, just as you described it as if someone had poked her with a needle.

  • Robert Gynn | 30/03/2021

    My Chihuahua jumps just as he is going to sleep, he doesn’t have any symptoms of any of the problems that are on the net, he sleeps well all night, eats well, does not drag his bottom and has no symptoms of anal problems, he is 9 years old.

  • Dorothy Esther Clemmer | 23/11/2021

    I am suspecting flea bites could cause this behavior also, But so far a flea comb has not revealed any fleas. . . . at least not on my dog.

  • Tarrell Sanders | 08/04/2022

    Please someone help me to find out why my teacup Yorkie jumps up when he is relaxing or sleeping. I know he does not need his anal glands expressed because I take him to the Vet immediately. When I explain to the Vet what is happening they can’t find anything wrong with him. He’s 7 years old and I want to be able to help him with this issue. I’d like to add that I feed him only Ceasar dog food and a little wet Ceasar food. I don’t know if he is in pain or not all I can go off is what he is doing that seems not to be normal. Is he in pain or is it a mental issue? The look on his face..looks like help me…I welcome all input…thanks

  • James | 15/04/2022

    This also happens to my dog every night as he starts to fall asleep! Could this be a neurological problem?

  • Jo | 06/09/2022

    My dog also jumps like a pin prick or an electric shock. It can be whilst he is asleep or awake, or whilst out on a walk. He was diagnosed with dementia 6 months ago. I think it is part of that. It’s so sad as he looks at me like ‘help please fix it’.

  • Thea Vick | 21/01/2023

    My little Chi can be into a deep very restful sleep when she jumps up and takes off. It is very unnerving for me and my other dogs, Sipsy is eight years old. I do believe her glands may be full taking her to the vet to be sure.

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