Can Dogs See Color? Are They Colorblind? What Colors Can Dogs See?

Can dogs see color? Are dogs colorblind? What are the colors they see? These are only a few of the many questions that most people were asking.

Dogs and human beings see the world in a very distinct manner. Your furry buddy may see what you see as a towel as a hazardous thing.

Either way, if you’re one of the many people who is asking the same questions over and over again, then you’re lucky because you have just visited the right place.

In this post, we will answer the questions thoroughly and carefully in a way that you will understand easily. Aside from answering concerns, we will also include other relevant information to educate you even more.

So if you’re ready, then let’s get started.

Can Dogs See Color?

Many people believe pooches can’t see colors. Certainly, the early research points out that our furry friend is incompetent to see colors, but the prevalent concept that these creatures see in white and black is nothing but an expanded myth.

The truth is, dogs can perceive color, it is just that the range of color they are restricted compared to us humans.

On the other hand, there are two kinds of photoreceptors in the retinas of dogs and people known as the cones and rods. The cone is responsible for color perception. Our eyes, however, consist of three kinds of cones letting us perceive a wider spectrum while pooches have two kinds of cones, as a result of their capability to see color is limited as what we mentioned earlier.

To make it simple, the dog color field mostly consists of violets, yellows, as well as blues. Further, oranges, reds, and even reds are not discernible to them. They appear someplace on their blue to yellow spectrum.

Are Dogs Colorblind?

Color blindness is the popular word used for change in the ability to see color. The magnitude of color blindness in individuals will rely on the impacted color receptors in the eyes. Either way, if you’re asking if dogs are colorblind, the response is NO.

Dogs aren’t colorblind in the way that they perceive more than just gray, black, and white. As we have mentioned, the color range they see is limited.

In terms of identifying colors, your furry friend’s vision is similar to people who have red-green colorblindness.

With this in mind, no further extents of colorblindness in dogs have been reported or recorded.

What Colors Can Dogs See?

Now that you already know that dogs can see color, perhaps, you’re wondering what colors they perceive.

In the actual fact, the colors dogs perceive are:

  • Shades of gray
  • Blues and
  • Yellows

Actually, the primary reason for this is a fundamental difference in life. The majority of mammals, including your furry buddy, are dichromats compared to us beings.

Dogs, on the other hand, only see about 1/10 of the color concentration humans do that restricts your pet to the yellow as well blue-violet spectrums, and even blends of such colors.

Though they only see a few colors, you don’t have to feel sad about your friend. As a matter of fact, dogs have a dire sense of smell that will perplex the mind. Moreover, it is believed that the nose of a dog is one hundred million times more sensitive than the nose of a human.

And most importantly, your dog has several visual advantages like:

  1. Capability to tell apart between various shades of gray.
  2. Bigger pupils which let them perceive better in low light or at night.
  3. Improved compassion to motion.

Dogs, however, are unable to determine purples, green, red, and pink colors. Unexpectedly, most dog products and even toys are mostly orange and red. As a pet owner, for sure you like these colors for the reason that they will let you spot the toy in the distant field and find it more rapidly. But such colors are the most complicated for your furry friend to determine because they either seem brownish or dark gray, and black.

That is why, if you are planning to buy new stuff for your pet, make sure to look for things you know will stand out such as yellows and bright blues. As a matter of fact, it will add a new aspect of fun not only for your dog but for you as well.

Can Dogs Perceive in the Dark?

While it is a fact that cats are frequently believed as the animal that perceives best, especially in the dark, the ability of dogs to perceive in the dark is not too far from felines.

It is worth mentioning that the eyes of dogs have several adaptations for them to see better in the dark. Dogs, for instance, have bigger pupils that permit more light to pass over the eyes.

Aforementioned, dogs have rods or a more light-sensitive cell. These rods will work best in dimmer lights compared to the cones which detect color. On the other hand, the lens of dogs is nearer to the retina compared to humans that makes the retina’s image brighter even in a dimmer situation.

In addition, pooches have the advantage of perceiving in the dark owing to the portion of the eye known as the tapetum–it’s like a mirror in the back of the eye that reflects light, giving the retina a chance to record the light. In reality, it is the tapetum that offers cats and, at the same moment, dogs the capacity to see well even in dark regions.

Either way, it is estimated that our furry friends can perceive 5 times superior in the night and dark than humans.

Do Various Breeds of Dogs See In A Different Way?

Some researchers agree that almost all breeds of dogs approximately see the same spectrum of color as well have similar capabilities to perceive in the dark places.

But then again, structural dissimilarities such as the location of the eyes and longer snouts may possibly cause a small difference in how the different breeds of dogs can perceive color.

For instance, if your pooch has a shorter muzzle and eyes which are extremely close together, the intersection of the pitch of vision of the eyes could be bigger compared to dogs with a longer snout and eyes which are farther apart. In fact, it is called binocular vision, and a bigger intersection would make for extreme senses of depth sensitivity.

Why You Should Be Aware Of the Visual Capabilities of Your Dog?

Knowing what and how your furry friend can see will aid you in making better decisions for him or her. For instance, you must keep the color range of your dog in mind most especially, when you are buying toys.

Usually, dogs tend to have fun with blue and yellow toys and disregard the red ones. In addition to that, you will also understand why your pet gets distracted with ease in the course of a game of fetch since he/she improves in on birds flying 60 yards away.

Furthermore, the next you’re lucky enough to be adorned with a rainbow, trust us, your pet will surely enjoy and have fun with it.

Even though your dog will not be able to perceive all the seven colors of the rainbow, but one thing is more important, he or she will see blue and yellow, and in fact, that will be fine for your dog.

Does Restricted Color Tracking Affect Your Dog?

The answer is NO. A dog needs not to note each unique color which is acknowledged by humans. Although a red toy lying on the floor couldn’t be interpreted unique and would seem yellow on yellow, your dog will still pick the toy that you throw accurately. How? Because rather than identifying the object’s color, the eyes of your dog will track the object movements, and with this in mind, they will be able to bring back the thrown object.

Even so, a lot of dog owners who tend to follow correct grooming tips might not be aware of this fact. Most of the time, they combined different types of food coloring like orange or red in the kibble they are making and hope that their pets would find it exciting to eat. But the fact is, this wouldn’t become a good measure simply because the orange, as well as red-colored cookies, would look like yellow in their eyes.

Likewise, the fluorescent apparels which you carry for your pooch are unremarkable and may be restricted to certain spectrum.

Colors, on the other hand, may play an important part for us, humans, however, for dogs, they hardly create any difference. As a result, your furry friend doesn’t need to determine every color. Rather, as a pet owner, you should maintain appropriate eye hygiene for your dog, so that, his/her vision will remain great, particularly at night or in dark areas and most importantly, his/her eyes aren’t prone to many diseases.

Why Dogs Can’t Perceive Like Human?

The main reason why dogs cannot perceive like us humans are because of evolution. These animals are made for seeking out and hunting for prey. That is why dogs’ eyes have a higher kindliness to sight at a distance; in fact, it is 10 to 15 times better compared to people.

Also, the background in hunting means that their visualization is best suited for the time after sunset and before sunset. But aside from that, your pet has a broader peripheral vision than you.

Even so, what is not crucial for dogs is hunting around for colorful berries and fruits. Nevertheless, as time passes by, dogs’ eyes are adjusted to suit their needs.

In addition to that, it is worth mentioning that these animals heavily rely on smell and other sense. Dogs do not need radical color perception because they can whiff most of what they truly need to know.


As you can see, dogs are not color blind, and they can distinguish colors. However, the colors they see are restricted for some reasons. While their vision is slightly different compared to people, they can perceive better in a low light setting. Generally, dogs experience the realm of sight in the same manner to their 2-legged counterparts.

We hope that you have learned a lot of new things from this post.

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