What Colors Can Dogs See


Is it true that dogs see in black and white? The common misconception that dogs live in a world devoid of color is, in reality, false. In truth, dogs’ visual perception is more detailed and vivid compared to humans. They have specific cells in their eyes that enhance their ability to see.

These cells include rods and cones. The light-sensitive rods are responsible for detecting motion and light, while the cones help to differentiate colors. These nerve cells are also called photoreceptor cells, as they absorb light. Together these nerve cells make our dog’s vision brighter and more colorful.

The number of rods and cones differs among animals and humans, affecting their vision. Three types of cones in human eyes help to discern red, blue, and green colors along with their combination.

At the same time, dogs have only two cones that discern only blue and yellow colors. So the dogs have dichromatic vision.

Are Dogs Color Blind?

Certain research on dog vision shows that they can see colors most similar to those people who have red-green color blindness.

Dogs do not have difficulty distinguishing colors, but some colors appear dull. Dogs discern only yellow and blue colors, and the other colors, including red, orange, and green, appear dull brown, grey, or in different shades of these colors.

It might shock you that the red and orange toys, the lush green grass, and their favorite stuffed toy in red all appear dull grey or brown. That’s why they get over-excited seeing a yellow tennis ball when playing fetch. 

They do not remember the color of objects. Instead, they memorize the smell of things. Here’s how they recognize the red or green colored toys that appear dull grey or brown.

What Are The Visual Differences Between Dogs And Humans?

Besides color perception, a dog’s vision is much more different than a human’s.

Researchers have found that the retina in a dog’s eye differs somewhat from the human eye. Though they have only two types of cones, other advantages help them be predators in the wild.

Did you know that dog eyes have a larger lens and more rods than humans? The larger lens surface, known as a tapetum, helps them to absorb more light, especially at night, and the higher number of rods helps to detect slight movement. 

You will be shocked to know how well can dogs see in the dark. Like other predators, dogs have a reflective membrane at the back of their eyes that bounces light more effectively, which makes their night vision more accurate than humans.

Therefore, dogs can detect tiny movements not visible to humans in low light. These advantages help the dogs to survive in the wild while being color blind.

Can Dogs See Colors As We Can?

A dog’s vision is somewhat like a person with red-green color blindness.

They can only see colors like yellow and blue, while the remaining colors appear brown or gray. This idea is just about the colors; otherwise, dogs can detect slight movement, giving them an advantage over humans.

According to research, dogs are near-sighted. They can not see the far-off object as clearly as we do. It appears blurred to them.

If you think your dogs recognize your facial features, then to your surprise, they memorize your smell and your movement, which helps them find you anywhere around them. Dogs rely on their elevated senses of smell and hearing And the same trick they use to recognize their toys.

But wait, there’s more. Our canine companions have better peripheral vision and can see objects from the side. The dog eyes are separated a bit farther than humans, which gives them broader vision. All these additional visual abilities help them in predation.

How Can You Help Your Dog?

Now that you understand, what colors can your dog see?

It would help if you made color choices for your dog so that it can discriminate easily. Try to use yellow or blue colored toys or bells when doing obedience training that is more visible to dog eyes.

Dog playing fetch with a ball.

It would be better to choose a yellow color ball when playing fetch, as this can help them identify the ball. Otherwise, it would be difficult for them to distinguish grey balls in the grey grass field if you get a bright red ball.

You might have noticed that your dog does not respond with agility sometimes when playing then. It is because of this reason that they are unable to identify colors.

It is a common observation that most dog toys today come in bright red or orange colors that would appear dull brown or grey to your dog. 

To fill color in your dog’s life, select the toys and accessories in the color that they can see and make your dog’s life colorful, preferably yellow or blue.

Colorblindness does not affect the dog’s lifestyle nor poses any danger, as most dogs today live with us as members of our families. We are responsible for our fur babies, providing them with wholesome food and keeping them safe from harsh environments. 

However, the canine family still possesses these visual skills.


What Colors Can Dogs See?

The colors dogs can see include yellow, blue, and gray colors with different shades of blue, like light blue and dark blue.

What Colors Can Dogs Not See?

Dogs can see the world like red-green blind people. They can not see red, green, or a combination of these colors.

Do Dogs See in Black and White or in Color?

This is just a myth that dogs can only see black-and-white colors. Their world is colorful, and they can see yellow, blue, and different shades of these colors.

How Many Colors Can a Dog See?

Dogs can see two colors, yellow and green, including some shades of brown and gray.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *