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Can dogs see colour?

Have you ever wondered what your dog's vision is like? Do they see in black and white or can they see in colour too?
Can dogs see colour?

The common myth is that dogs can't see any colours at all and only see the world in black and white. But as scientists have proved, a dog's eyesight does actually enable them to see some colours.

Why do dogs see differently from us? 

Retinas in the eye contain cells that work as light sensors. Within these retinas are cones. Both humans and dogs have cones in their eyes, enabling us to see colours. Humans have three cones in each eye so, our eyesight is known as trichromatic. Dogs have two cones in each eye, making them dichromatic. Since humans have the extra cone in each eye, they see more shades of colour than dogs. It gives humans a greater depth of colour and intensity.

Dogs can see better than humans during dawn and dusk. If they weren't living in a domestic situation, they would generally hunt this time of day.

They have incredible peripheral vision and have an almost panoramic view of their environment. Your dog's eyes are on the sides of their head, enabling them to see things we would need to turn our heads to view.

With items further in the distance, dogs rely more on their super sense of smell to detect what it is. Objects further away become blurred to dogs, meaning they are near-sighted. But they can detect movement far better than us. Combine their better motion detection with the ability to see well in dim light. You can imagine these skills coming into play when hunting.  

What colours can dogs see?

It is thought dogs see shades of blue, yellow, and grey. Red, green, and orange are missing from their visual spectrum, and they are likely to see any items of those colours as a dull shade of yellow or blue. This explains why your dog will easily find a yellow toy but perhaps can't see a red toy.

Which dog breed has the best eyesight?

Sighthounds have the best eyesight! This is because they have incredible panoramic vision with a 270-degree field. Their eyes are set more towards the sides of their heads which increases this view. It allows them to spot potential prey on the horizon. Strangely, this extra eyesight ability is always found in dogs with longer noses. Short snouted dogs, like English Bulldogs, do not have this improved vision. 

So, now you know the differences in human and dog eyesight. Do you find your dog is continually losing balls in the long grass? Then consider buying them one in bright yellow or blue ball, so they have a better chance of finding them again!

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