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How Your Dog Sees The World

Dogs are colour blind, perceiving only shades of blue and yellow, but have better night and motion vision than humans.

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Featured photo Javier Brosch/shutterstock

Did you know that dogs have better night vision than humans, thanks to their rod-dominated retinas? Along with being able to see well in the dark, dogs have better motion visibility than people. What they can’t see is the full colour spectrum; a dog’s ability to see colour is quite limited compared to ours. It is a misconception, however, that dogs only see shades of grey. Dogs see combinations of two colours—blue and yellow—allowing them to perceive grayish brown, dark yellow, light yellow, grayish yellow, light blue, and dark blue.

Dog's ability to see colour spectrum





This is because dogs, like most mammals, have two types of cones (colour receptors) in their eyes, whereas humans with full colour vision have three. (Humans with full colour vision see the spectrum of visible light—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.) A rough comparison for a dog’s ability to perceive colour would be the vision of humans with red-green colorblindness, since they, too, only have two cones.

Human eye colour spectrum

Although a dog’s perception of colour is limited, studies have found that they do discriminate between objects based on hue.Dog vision supplement for healthy sight

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This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!



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