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Home Bella Woof Are Dogs Colorblind? – Whole Dog Journal

Are Dogs Colorblind? – Whole Dog Journal

by Bella Woof

What colors can dogs see? The colors dogs see well are yellow and blue. Red and green are not distinct. This is due to the dog’s eye having only two types of “cone photoreceptor cells” in their eyes. Dogs cannot see the range of colors that normal people do. Instead, their vision is similar to people with dichromatic – often referred to as “colorblind” – vision.

In addition, purple and blue will look alike to your dog. Red may appear brown or gray. Colors like yellow, orange, and green will all look yellow to a dog.

While your dog may not be able to tell apart toys or balls of different colors if they fit into this dichromatic color scheme, he can identify differences in brightness.

Dogs have more rods than people in their retinas, which enables them to see better at night. Superior night vision was important for hunting. Some genetic defects that cause night blindness in dogs. Briards can have this problem, which has been successfully treated with gene therapy.

Canine vision is also keyed into movement. While dogs might miss a “frozen” prey animal like a rabbit sitting still, but they quickly pick up that same rabbit if moves.

Some dogs will have difficulty picking out a red or orange toy on the lawn if it is stationary. If it is still moving, they will follow the movement of your throw. Once the toy is no longer flying through the air, bouncing, or rolling, you will notice your dog using his sense of smell to pick up the odor of the toy or your scent on the toy.

Dogs also tend to be nearsighted and have less visual acuity than humans. But, while dogs can’t match people visually, they are far superior when it comes to scenting. For a fascinating look at the color stream humans can see compared to what dogs can see, go to

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