Can Dogs Actually See Color? The Truth Behind the Myth.

Can dogs see color? Are dogs color blind? 

I remember growing up my parents told me that dogs can only see in black and white. But is that really the case?

Recent studies in the past decade have proven that while dogs don’t see all of the colors that humans do, they can see some colors, like yellows and blues.

can dogs see color the dog color spectrum

What Do Dogs See?

It turns out that dogs can see blues and yellows, as well as combinations of those colors.

This means that your luscious green lawn looks like a soft, brown dead lawn to your dog.

And your fluffy red slippers look like two brown blobs on the floor. That doesn’t make them any less fun to chew on though!

So are dogs color blind or just spectrum challenged?

Well if most dogs saw colors but one breed did not, then that breed would be considered color blind.

However, a dog’s vision has been based down by their ancestor: the wolf.

The Wolve’s vision evolved so they could become fantastic nocturnal hunters.

Seeing in this way helps them catch prey at night as well as see movement from larger predators. 

“For the purpose of hunting in the dark, canine eyes have a larger lens and corneal surface and a reflective membrane, known as a tapetum, that enhances night vision,” explains AKC’s chief veterinary officer, Dr. Jerry Klein. “They also have more rods, which improves low-light vision, in the retina.”

To put in terms that regular people can understand, the retina is the key difference in vision between dogs and people.

The retina is made up of rods and cones. Cones work in bright light and control the perception of color.

And rods are extremely sensitive cells that catch movement and work in low light.

Dogs have more rods and less cones than humans, making them more able to see at night and see less colors during the day. 

can dogs see color the difference in pink and red

What Toys Can Your Dog See?

Most toys sold in stores today are made out of bright colors like red, pink, and orange.

Colors like these blend in with the grass and your dog may have trouble finding them.

Instead, try to look for toys that are yellow or blue because dogs can distinguish green grass between blue and yellow objects.

Your dog will likely enjoy them more, and fetch will go more smoothly!

Is Your Dog Sad Because They Can’t See Color?

Don’t feel too bad for your pup because they can’t see all colors of the rainbow.

All dogs are born with this type of color scope and they have never experienced other colors. So they really don’t know any better!

Unlike their human companions, dogs rely less on their eyesight and more on their hearing and sense of smell to navigate the world.

They might not be able to see the color red, but they can smell you from over 10 miles away!

can dogs see color yes


We now know that a dog’s vision doesn’t look like a 1950’s sitcom, but they can actually see shades of yellow and blue.

Keep this in mind when buying things like food bowls and toys for your dog to make life easier for them.

Regardless of the colors they see, as long as they see you each and every day, I’m sure your dog will be just fine. 

Want more great articles on dog facts, health, and training? Click here!

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