Can Dogs See Color?

Dog owners often wonder what their dogs are seeing and experiencing as they go through life alongside their families. One of the things that owners can learn about is how dogs perceive of color. There have been many studies done to tell us what dogs see when they are looking around them, and this can help us to understand dog behavior and dog training better. If you are ready to learn some more about whether or not dogs can see colors, you need to keep reading!

can dogs see color

Do Dogs See Colors?

Dogs cannot see all the colors that people can, but they do see some colors. This can be really helpful when you are training a dog that is easily distracted or if you want to encourage your teething puppy to play with certain toys.

Types of Colors That Dogs Can See

Listed below are the main colors and shades that dogs can see:

Blue and Yellow

Dogs have two types of cones in their eyes. These cones perceive of blue and yellow. This is called dichromatic vision, and in people, this is considered a form of color blindness. However, in dogs, this is completely normal. Blue is one of the best colors for dogs to perceive of clearly, and this is also one of the colors that they might perceive of instead of the colors that humans see.

Brown and Red Tones

While dogs do not see the full color spectrum, this does not mean that they do not see various shades of other colors. Dogs will also see brownish or reddish tones when looking at things that are red to humans, or they might perceive of yellow, orange, and green with a tinge of yellow.

What Visual Differences Do Humans and Dogs Have?

Listed below are the main differences when it comes to human and dog vision:

Distance Vision

Humans and dogs also differ when it comes to sight in some other ways. Distance vision for dogs is often blurrier than it is for humans, but this makes sense. After all, dogs would not have been concerned about hunting something that was very far away as this would have been a waste of energy. Identifying threats and food sources up close is much more critical to a canine’s survival overall.

Light Sensitivity

Dogs also are less sensitive to light than humans, and this makes their night vision much more acute and effective. This is one of the primary differences between dogs and humans, who are both apex predators but who have evolved for very different means of collecting food and hunting and gathering.

Peripheral Vision

Dog eyes are also set to the side of the head, which offers much better peripheral vision than that of humans. This means that dogs do not have the depth perception that humans do, but if you have seen dogs that do agility competitions or dogs that can be used for hunting, you will realize that this lack of depth perception does not slow dogs down much athletically.

Light and Motion

Dogs have more rod cells than humans do as well, which means that light and motion are detected much more readily. Your dog will be able to see small movements much better than you will, and they can see these movements even at night in total darkness. Dogs see very well in dim light, and they can sense motion in any lighting condition with ease.

Dogs Can See Colors and So Much More

While dog sight is not the same as human sight, dogs can see many things that people are not as capable of perceiving. Dogs have evolved from wild wolves to be able to see well in brushy, grassy areas and to detect movement effectively even in the dark. While humans can see more colors than dogs, they are not able to see small movements as well and cannot see in the dark like a dog can.

If you want to be sure that your dog can see the new toy that you bought them really well, make sure that it is blue or yellow. You will find, however, that your dog’s sense of smell will often override its sense of sight. The smell of a toy is often far more important to your dog than the visual cues that tell them what the toy is that they are fetching. While slightly different from human sight, dog vision is no less acute or effective overall.

For more information on dogs seeing color, contact Colonial Animal Hospital or Colonial Gateway Veterinary Center in Boynton Beach, FL. Our animal hospitals are staffed with compassionate and highly trained veterinarians who will provide the best care for your precious pet and will answer any questions or concerns that you may have.