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Can Dogs Only See Black And White?

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 their 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 provide color perception and help dogs distinguish the different existing 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. Besides, rods detect motion, which cause dogs to have more visual acuity and motion visibility. 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.

Can dogs only see black and white? What colors can they really see?

It’s a myth that dogs can only see black and white. They certainly have color vision. And, even though scientist don’t know for sure what are the two main colors they can detect, they do agree on the colors dogs only differentiate: some shades of yellow, blue, grey and brown. In contrast, red, green and oranges acquire a brownish 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 for his everyday life, for choosing the right toy for your dog,  and in educational training as well.

Now you have all the information, make sure to:

  • Choose their toys colors wisely: Select vivid colors such as yellow or blue to help your dog identify the objects clearly while improving his playing experience.

dogs see black and white
  • Don’t throw his ball far away: Another important item to highlight is that dog vision is not as good as human vision: They 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.

  • Take him to the vet to check his eyes: 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 (Goldens, 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 how his sight works, make sure to choose striking color toys for playtime to ensure your dog is getting the stimulation and engagement he needs, and add them to their daily routine to boost their fun. Happy dogs, happy owners 🙂

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