Dogs Vision: Can Dogs Only see Black and White or is it a Myth?

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For a long time, there has been a popular belief that claimed dogs weren’t capable of detecting colors and they could only see black and white. But after a lot of research and competent studies on how dog vision works, scientists have discovered that dogs see the world differently from what we do, but they don’t see it in black and white. Luckily, they can enjoy colors and even tell them apart.

Differences Between Dogs’ and Human Sight

Inside the human and dog eye, we can find light receptors called cones and rods. The number of existing cones and rods is different in dogs and humans.

Cones: they help us distinguish different colors. Dogs have fewer cone receptors than humans, so their range of colors is significantly narrow. Human cone cells give humans chromatic vision, so we can recognize three main colors: blue, green and red. On the contrary, dogs have a dichromatic vision and their types of cones can recognize only two colors, but nobody is certain about what those main colors are.

Rods: thanks to them, we can see in dim light. Dogs have more rod cells than humans and, as a result, their sight is better than ours in the dark. They also count with one more layer of eye tissue, reason why their eyes shine and their sight is boosted at night. Rod cells also help dogs to detect motion, which turns them into natural predators in the wild.

Dog Vision Myth: What Colors Can Dogs Really See?

Yes, dogs see color. And, even though scientist don’t know for certain what are the two main colors they can detect, they do agree on the colors dogs only differentiate: yellow, blue, grey and some shades of brown. In contrast, red, green and oranges acquire a brown or grey look for dogs, making it hard for them to tell those colors apart.

This information can be game-changer for dogs. If you were wondering why your dog wasn’t getting his ball, now you know the answer: maybe he is having trouble differentiating it from the grass. This can be a very valuable tool when choosing the right toy for your dog, or in educational training as well.

Choosing vivid colors such as yellow or blue will help your dog identify the objects clearly while improving his playing experience.

Another important item to highlight is that dogs can’t see as far as we do. While humans can see an object standing 70 feet away from it, dogs need to be at least 20 feet from that object to spot it.

Dogs can also suffer from myopia and astigmatism. Certain breeds tend to be more nearsighted than others, such as rottweilers, german sheperds and schnauzers. On the other hand, retrievers (golden, Labrador, Chesapeake bay) and cocker spaniels are more likely to be farsighted.

Playing with your dog is one of the most amazing things in life, and it’s also an essential part of his care. Now you know a little more about his sight, make sure to choose striking color toys for playtime to ensure your dog is getting the stimulation he needs, and add them to their daily routine to boost their fun. Happy dogs, happy owners

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