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Can Dogs See Color?

This is one of the most widely accepted facts about dogs people can’t seem to stop discussing. Are you wondering how accurate this ‘fact’ about dogs really is? Well for starters, dogs most certainly perceive the world, nature, other animals, the object much differently than us, humans do.

Some of the things they find scary are in fact very useful to us – thank you hair dryer! Much of this is because our furry little friends have the mindset of a child and thus can’t understand many of the things going on around them.  And regarding their visualization of things, just like children, dogs too can see color.

While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, these tips apply for any breed.

How Do Dogs Actually See Color?

Back in the day, scientists also thought that dogs are colorblind, but today we are quite sure that this is nothing more than a repeating myth. But is there something to this myth after all?

Even though dogs don’t see the world in black and white, their ability to perceive a colorful variation is limited compared to us.

The cells responsible for signaling the brain about different colors after stimulation are called cones. These photoreceptors are located in the retina of the eye and transmit information about colors to the central nervous system. In the human retina, there are three types of cones – green cones, red cones, and blue cones; a dog’s retina has only two types of cones – a blue cones and in-between green and a red one. Besides perceiving colors, the cones are responsible for creating fine details of images, so in the dog’s eyes, the world isn’t as detailed as we see it.

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How Many Colors do Dogs See?  What Does a Dog’s Vision Actually Look Like?

Although their visual spectrum is limited, the world dogs perceive is quite interesting to visualize.

Most often dogs see shades of yellow, green, blue, brown in different tones and intensity.

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But don’t think that our seeing ability is way better than a dog’s just yet. Sure we see and dream in fine detail and color; however, canines are more capable of seeing detail in dim light than us. The central part of their retinas contains more rod cells (photoreceptors) which are quite useful for picking up moving objects in dim lighting. This is one of the main reasons why a dog’s eyes shine in the dark. Because of this, you should always pay attention when your pooch starts tracking something that’s not obvious to you.

Breed variations also exist and scientists are quite sure that the vision of larger breeds and smaller breeds of dogs differ in some way. Some dogs with their eyes anatomically closer to each other separated by a short nose have binocular vision which enhances their ability to perceive detail.

Can my Dog See in the Dark?

So the next time you take your furry friend to the park don’t be sad by thinking he cannot experience the world in full, because they pretty much see what we see. And by the way, their hearing and their smell are far superior to ours, so maybe we are the ones that missing something?

What is the Best Color for a Dog?

To dogs, red looks brownishpurple looks blue, and green/yellow/orange toys, depending on the shade, can all look yellowish. So if you’re looking for the best color for a dog’s fetch toy, pick a color he can easily see in the green grass. The best color would be a blue toy to contrast with the grass.
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