Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dogs are not color blind, they just see the world differently from us.

Dogs being color blind is an old myth that just won't die. A lot of people think animals experience the world as gray, but this isn't true. They see other colors than we do, but they definitely see colors.

Dogs' eyes are focused on a spectrum containing yellows, blues, and violets.

Red, green, and orange as we see it would appear as yellow or blue. I'm guessing my lush green yard looks like a yellow field with yellow bushes carrying yellow flowers.

It's interesting how many dog toys are yellow, orange, or red, because this lets us see them better. From the dog's point of view, a blue tennis ball might be much more visible than a yellow one. They find them anyway, because dogs have a great sense of spotting movement.

Image source: http://www4.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/la/davis2.htm

An eye contains two types of photoreceptors: rods and cones. If I got this right, a human eye has many types of cones, which allows us to see many different colors. A doggie eye has more rods. Thus, dogs have much better night vision and ability to track movement than the human eye. On the downside, they see fewer colors and less details.

There's another big difference between a dog's eyes and a human's. Their eyes are placed on the sides of the head while ours face forward. This means that they get a visual field of 250 degrees, and humans only have a field of 190 degrees.

Image source: findretrievers.com
They have much better peripheral vision than we do, but we can focus and judge the distance to an object better.

~ Maria Sadowski ~


  1. Replies
    1. I didn't know that green, orange, and red would be basically the same color to the doggies. I'm going to buy them some blue stuff, see if they like it! =D

  2. Well, I think humans have a slight eye advantage, but when it comes to noses, dogs win paws down!

    1. You guys definitely have an advantage when it comes to noses, and I know my doggies see better than I in the dark.

      Don't tell anyone, but I don't like going into the garage at night and the lights there don't work all that well, so I always make one of my dogs come with me. =)

  3. This is so interesting and it made me realize something...Gizmo got two squeaker mats at the same time...one's a duck in bright orange & yellow and the other is a sheep that's all white...Guess which one is totally ignored and which one is played with all the time...Yep, the duck is the toy of choice...Thank you for explaining this

    1. Interesting! I've been looking around at my dogs' toys, and most of them are in colors that would be bright and cheery to humans, but they probably all look yellow to the dogs, LOL. I'm fascinated with how they experience the world compared to my "normal."

      Thank you for coming over! =D