What colours do dogs see?
We are sure that more than once you have wondered what colours dogs can see, in fact there is an urban legend that says that dogs can only see in black and white.
But actually they do distinguish some colours, but we can tell you that they can distinguish far fewer than the colours that we people can distinguish.
How dogs see
Dogs' eyes work like a camera. Light enters through the pupil. The iris, a structure that can expand and contract, controls the amount of light that enters.
The light then passes through the clear cornea and lens, which focus the light on the retina, a light-sensitive layer. The retina contains colour-sensitive cones and light- and motion-sensitive rods, which convert light into electrical signals.
The cones and rods send these signals through the optic nerve to the brain, which builds an image from them. Dogs have only two types of cones, compared to three in human eyes. Therefore, dogs do not distinguish as many colours as people.
So what colours do dogs see?
Dogs see much more than black and white. Dogs have colour vision similar to the 8% of the human population that is colour blind to red and green. More.
Therefore we know that by distinguishing some colours and confusing the others, they could be classified as colour blind, but it is not that either, because a colour blind dog confuses many colours and the dog only sees a reduced variety of colours, so rather than colour blindness, we can say that it is a very severe dyschromia.
In researching what colours dogs can see, it has been found that dogs can see colours, but not in the same way as humans. People can see a rainbow of variations including violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Dogs can only see blue, yellow and some shades of grey.
Dogs would see a rainbow as dark yellow (a kind of brown), light yellow, grey, light blue and dark blue. Dogs do not see red, purple (violet) and orange as we do. Therefore, although it has been established that dogs see shades of yellow, blue and grey, if a dog were to look at a red or green uniform it would look like a brownish, grey or indistinct colour.
Curiosities about What colours do dogs see?
Colour improves agility. Dogs do better in agility training when weave poles, tunnels, jumps and boards are painted in colours they can easily distinguish.
Dogs see 20/75, which makes them quite short-sighted.
The best colour for dog toys. Based on what we know about dogs' colour vision, the best colour for dog toys is blue. Dogs help: Ten million Americans, most of them male, suffer from red-green colour blindness, a genetic trait passed on the X chromosome. People with the condition cannot clearly see the difference between red and green. They often mistake green for white and red for brown or dark grey.