Is everything dogs see is black and white? Are dogs color blind? What colors do dogs see? There are many questions that intrigue people to know more about the color vision of dogs. Are you one of those who believed in the myths about dog color blindness? Well, we will unravel everything about the dog’s color vision.

Can Dogs See Colors?

Yes, dogs see colors but not the way humans do. They can differentiate between a blue and a yellow tone but; can’t do so between a red and an orange tone. Researchers have done a thorough study of the dog’s eyeball and concluded that about 10% of total eye receptors are cones responsible for helping the brain interpret the shades that the eye detects. To have a 100% comparison of the photoreceptors of our eyeball are cones which means that we could process a much shade than dogs. 

Most people think that dogs only see in black and white. But, it is not the case at all. Dogs can see different shades of color without any problem.

How Do Dogs See?

Dog’s vision plays a significant role in canine communication. It also helps to satisfy the most basic needs. However, the view is not the same as the human being. There are 3-types of photoreceptor cone cells in the human eye that give us trichromatic vision. So humans have sensitivity to the colors red, green, and blue.

Dogs are excellent night hunters and have superior visual acuity, particularly in the perception of movement. According to various studies, the dogs can determine several shades of blue, yellow, and gray.

The eyes of dogs work as a camera. Light enters through the pupil, and the iris of the eyes expands and contracts, which controls the amount of light entering the eyes. Then light passes through the cornea and lens at an angle, which strikes the retina. Retina has a light-sensitive layer that contains color-sensitive cones and motion the light-sensitive rods this helps to convert light into electrical signals. 

The rods and cones send these signals through the optic nerve to the brain, which portrays an image. Dogs only have two cones as compared to the human eyes.

On the other hand, they can not distinguish between green, red, pink, or purple. It is interesting to note that many pet products have red colors even though dogs can perceive them. It is because the colors chose to appeal to human consumers.

For the above reasons, dogs can discriminate between yellow and blue colors but, reds, greens, and oranges acquire a gray or brown hue. 

What Colors Do Dogs See?

Dogs only have two types of chromosomes which means they have dichromatic vision. They are sensitive to blue and yellow colors only. It doesn’t mean that their vision is deficient. If choosing toys or tools for educational training, it’s advisable to use yellow or blue since they will be the most striking to the dog. 

Are Dogs Color Blind? How Do They See at Night?

Due to evolution and function, the basic design of the eye structure of humans and dogs is different. Dogs developed their senses for hunting, tracking, and catching their food at night. Their eyes can see things in the dark.

Dogs have a large lens, corneal surface, and a reflective membrane called a tapetum, which intensifies night vision. Dogs have more rods, which enhances low-light vision in the retina. 

The retina is made from light-sensing cells like

  • Rods: Sensitive cells which catch movement and work in low light.
  • Cones: Work in bright light and control color interpretation.

Dogs contain more rods than cones in their retina, which is the opposite in humans. It makes a big difference in color interpretation. Humans are trichromatic (they have three types of cones), whereas dogs are dichromatic (they have only two types of cones).