dog see colours

Does the dog see colours? It’s only natural for a dog owner to wonder what their highly adored companion sees. When he glances toward a field of freshly cut grass or curls up in front of the television. Do dogs see the same colours as humans? It turns out that canine reality is very different from human reality when it comes to the hues we see.

Does the dog see colours?

Why should humans be curious about the colours that dogs see? Many dog owners like to “get inside the mind” of a dog to pick out toys and other items that appeal to a dog’s colour vision. Understanding the colour vision of dogs can also be helpful when training dogs to respond to or retrieve objects.

Take a look at what we know about which colours dogs see best, which colours dogs like and what owners can do to maximize that knowledge.

Debunking the Biggest Myths About How Dogs See Colours

For years, people have been repeating the myth that dogs are colour blindIf that were true, it would mean that dogs could only see the world represented in black, white, and grey tones. However, it’s actually not the case at all. Dogs absolutely do see in colour. However, that doesn’t mean that they see in the same colours as humans.

What Colors Can Dogs See? How does Dog See Colours

dog see colours

While dogs aren’t colour blind, they have a much more limited scope of perceivable colours than humans. This is simply the case because human eyes and dog eyes are composed in different ways. As you may know, the human eye has three other colour receptors located inside the retina. For dogs, only two colour receptors are located in the retina. As a result, dogs see fewer colours than humans.

Which colours do dogs actually see? As far as we know, dogs can only perceive shades of blue, yellow and grey. There’s also pretty intense speculation that the colours dogs do see actually appear far less severe than they do to the human eye. Of course, nobody can actually confirm that without asking a dog. Here’s a breakdown of what a human sees versus what a dog sees:

As you can see, a dog’s colour perception creates something of a parallel world compared to what the human eye sees. However, a dog’s ability to see a tapestry of colours makes them far from colour blind. This still leaves the question open regarding which specific colours dogs are most attracted to in their daily lives.

 Dogs Don’t Love Red as Much as We Think They Do

Colours From a Dog’s Perspective:  What Colors Do Dogs Like and See Best?

It’s only natural for a dog owner to wonder what their highly adored companion sees when he glances toward a field of freshly cut grass or curls up in front of the television. Do dogs see the same colours as humans?

It turns out that canine reality is very different from human reality when it comes to the hues we see.

Why should humans be curious about the colours that dogs see? Many dog owners like to “get inside the mind” of a dog to pick out toys and other items that appeal to a dog’s colour vision.

Understanding the colour vision of dogs can also be helpful when training dogs to respond to or retrieve objects.

Take a look at what we know about which colours dogs see best, which colours dogs like and what owners can do to maximize that knowledge.

Debunking the Biggest Myths About How Dogs See Colours

For years, people have been repeating the myth that dogs are colour blindIf that were true, it would mean that dogs could only see the world represented in black, white, and grey tones. However, it’s actually not the case at all. Dogs absolutely do see in colour. However, that doesn’t mean that they see in the same colours as humans.

What Colors Can Dogs See

While dogs aren’t colour blind, they have a much more limited scope of perceivable colours than humans. This is simply the case because human eyes and dog eyes are composed in different ways. As you may know, the human eye has three other colour receptors located inside the retina. For dogs, only two colour receptors are located in the retina. As a result, dogs see fewer colours than humans.

Which colours do dogs actually see?

As far as we know, dogs can only perceive shades of blue, yellow and grey. There’s also pretty intense speculation that the colours dogs do see actually appear far less severe than they do to the human eye. Of course, nobody can actually confirm that without asking a dog. Here’s a breakdown of what a human sees versus what a dog sees:

What Colour Human See and Dog See

As you can see, a dog’s colour perception creates something of a parallel world compared to what the human eye sees. However, a dog’s ability to see a tapestry of colours makes them far from colour blind. This still leaves the question open regarding which specific colours dogs are most attracted to in their daily lives.

The Big Surprise: Dogs Don’t Love Red as Much as We Think They Do

Owners often gravitate toward red toys and objects when shopping for dogs because they assume that red will pique the interest of a playful canine. They also believe that it will be easier for a dog to find a red object that has been tossed in the grass. The reality is that dogs actually have a tough time seeing red. A red toy that appears very vibrant to a human will come across as a brown, grey, or black shade to a dog.

It’s a similar situation for the very bright shade of orange used for many dog toys. On orange toys designed to create a high alert, the high-contrast look comes across as a dull or brownish-gold shade. The irony is that choosing red or orange objects may actually make it harder for your dog to distinguish between the grass and the toy you are tossing back and forth.

Of course, red and orange toys offer the human involved a benefit because they are easily detected by the human eye. That means you may not have to walk away from red and orange entirely if you simply want to choose toys that you won’t lose in the grass.

The Colors Dogs Do Like Blue and Yellow

Blue and yellow are the two colours that dogs tend to gravitate toward. The simple reason why is that these are the two colours that dogs can distinguish easily.

The benefit of focusing on blue and yellow toys for dogs is that your dog will have an easier time identifying these objects. That means that a dog can enjoy retrieving objects because they will be able to spot these easily identifiable colours against backgrounds that consist of other colours that are “muted” by a dog’s vision.

In fact, switching to blue and yellow toys and objects is a good idea if you’ve always had the impression that your dog is simply bad at retrieving things that are “right in front of his eyes.”

Colour That All Dog Owners Should Know

This final tidbit regarding dogs and colour vision is something that dog trainers have known for years. In fact, this tip is actually a common practice in the world of professional dog agility, which I used to compete in.

The key to getting your dog to follow your lead when playing or learning tricks is to wear clothing with contrasting patterns. The reason for this is that “solid” colours can actually cause you to blend in with all of the background colours that surround you from a dog’s perspective. Contrasting colours allow the movements and signals you’re making to really stand out.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it’s really entirely incorrect to say that dogs are colour blind. However, their two-cone retinas see fewer colours than the three-cone retina of the human eye.

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