Can Dog’s See Color

What do dogs see on a day to day basis? It’s a question every dog owner asks from time to time! The purple leash you use to walk them every day. The green grass on the field you take them to every day. The yellow ball you use to play fetch with every day. In your consistent routine with your pooch, you see so many different shades and colors! So, does this all look the same to your furry best friend? What do they see every day?

The idea that dogs only see is black and white is no longer! Tons of new research throughout the years have uncovered incredibly interesting and thought-provoking information about canine eyesight and perception. One of the most impressive revelations is that yes, your dog can see color! 

What Colors Do Dogs See?

Research has shown that dogs have two types of cones in their eyes, where humans have three types. The two cones that dogs have present assist with the detection of blue and yellow. What this means is that dogs are able to see combinations of these colors, excluding red, since dogs do not have red-sensing cones. It’s likely that the main colors your dog is able to make out would be shades of yellow, brown, gray, and tinges of blues. That’s definitely an improvement compared to the myth that they only see black and white!

Having an understanding of the way your dog perceives the world can help so many aspects of your dog’s life, since the more you understand your pup, the better relationship you both will have. It most likely makes no difference to them what color their toys or leashes are, so let your creativity run wild!

What are Other Visual Differences Between Dogs and People?

Dogs see the world so much differently than humans do. Aside from color alone, dogs are nearsighted, and they see 20/70. This can worry some owners as they believe that their dog is prancing about life never able to see clearly. But fear not, your dog most likely see’s fine! As a matter of fact, they actually have a lot more visual advantages compared to humans.

Dogs have a broader range of peripheral vision, their pupils dilate more, and they have more rod cells. This essentially means they have a much stronger ability to detect light, see better in more dim settings, they’re less sensitive to sudden light changes, and they can detect motion and movements much better than humans.

Dogs have so many other advantages, but the majority of these advantages pertain to better hunting skills (of course with the help of other senses like hearing and smell!) So, even though on paper it may seem like we see much better than our pets, their combination of senses really do give them puppy super powers! In addition, factors like age, breed, and environment can all play a part in the way your dog can visualize life.

Can Dogs See in the Dark?

Dogs can definitely see way better than humans do in the dark, but they aren’t exactly immune to the darkness! The extra rods that dogs have in their eyes help with sensitivity to motion, which gives them a bigger advantage compared to humans when the shades of the day start to change. In addition, dogs also have larger pupils than humans. This means that their eyes let in more light.

Pups also have a reflective membrane behind their eyes. This reflective membrane helps bounce light to the retina, which expands the light further into their vision. All these factors play into the fact that dogs do indeed see better at night!

Do Dogs Have a Favorite Color?

Here comes the fun part! It’s safe to assume that due to this newfound information and the way dogs see, their favorite color has to relate to one of the retina colors they are able to see. Researchers have said that since dogs tend to see gray shades the most, dogs would most likely be bored of this shade over time. And, just like humans, this answer probably varies dog by dog! Unfortunately, there’s no way to just flat-out ask your dog what their favorite color is (which would make all of our lives SO much easier) so here’s some tips to help you figure out your pups top favorites!

  • Grab handfuls of objects that aren’t too over stimulating in texture and size, and make sure they are all different colors that relate to shades of blue or yellow.
  • Lay them all out in front of your dog
  • Have your dog start at a distance
  • Release your dog, and see what color they go to!

If the colors tend to change each time your dog walks over to choose one, one can assume your dog is simply indifferent and loves all colors!

Dogs Can See Color

As you learned above, dogs can see color. Research suggests that color really doesn’t mean that much to your pup. Dogs use their noses and hearing more than anything, and eyesight simply works together with the rest of the dogs senses to live their day to day life, just like humans! Understanding the way dogs perceive the world not only help owners understand their dogs better, but can help trainers understand your dog too! For more information, contact Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie by calling (772) 337-8570