do dogs see in color

Do Dogs See In Color?

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Let’s be honest, we all want to get inside our pup’s minds, to hear what they hear, to smell what they smell! (Mmmmm maybe not!) But we do want to know what they see and therefore one of the most frequently asked questions is “do dogs see in color?” Well, today we are here to answer that, so you can get to know your dog just that little bit better.

For years people have thought that dogs can’t see colors. Contrary to that archaic belief, dogs can see a lot more than black and white or shades of gray. So, do dogs see in color?  Absolutely! Do dogs see the same colors as us?…Not exactly.  Please read on to learn more.

Granted, what dogs can see is not an exact science―after all, we really aren’t able to ask dogs about the colors they can or can’t see.  But dogs do have color differentiating cones in their retinas as do humans and some other species.  The difference between human eyes and dog eyes is that we have 3 types of cone cells (trichromatic vision) while dogs have just two (dichromatic vision).

So What?

Well, it means that we humans can discern a rainbow of red, blue, and green hues and mixes while dogs can only make out variations of blues and yellows.  This is important stuff in the world of dog ownership and dog training!

The dichromatic vision of dogs limits their detection of colors kind of like that of a color-blind person. So….think twice before you toss that green ball in a green lawn and expect your dog to see and fetch it…Good thing that dogs have a great sense of smell! 

So to dogs red isn’t red at all but instead it is sort of a mud-like brownish-gray. Furthermore, all the world’s yellow, green, and orange colors are sort of yellowish looking to dogs.  And, if that isn’t enough, our best friends see blues real well but purple things look the same as blue things to them.  Confused yet? The next time you buy brightly colored balls or toys for your pooch’s training and playtime just remember that colors matter.

For the best results, sticking with dog fetch or chew toys that are in the blue or yellow color range is a good idea.

Do Dogs See In Color? Additional Dog Sight Links

The following four links will take you to trusted sites that will help you to better understand dog eyesight. Along with a lot of good information about dog eyesight, these articles clearly explain how the old myths that dogs can only see in shades of black and white have been debunked.  These articles (especially the AKC piece) also offer good explanations of why dogs have superior night vision compared to humans.

Plus, as we know blue and yellow toys are the most easily seen by your pup, why not try one of the suggested ones below. Click any of the images to find out more.

Do Dogs See In Color?

Although dogs aren’t able to enjoy the full range of colors seen by humans, they aren’t limited to simple black and white.  Oddly, that misinformation persists to this very day.  The fact is that uninformed view is a centuries-old hold-over.  Dogs do indeed see various hues of blues and yellows plus they have night vision and smell that is far superior to ours.  The truth is that dogs exist in a sensually colorful world. But, for your dog’s benefit and the best bang for your buck, stay with blue or yellow fetch and play toys.

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