Can Dogs See in Color?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 26, 2016
Can Dogs See in Color?

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There are many myths surrounding the vision of dogs - of course, it's not like we can ask them. Years ago it was believed that dogs saw in black and white; nowadays, however, scientists' theories point in another direction. The sight of dogs, they say, is not monochromatic. In fact, dogs can see different shades of colors.

In this AnimalWised article we will explain the peculiarities of canine vision as well as some interesting facts surrounding this frequently asked question. Read on to find out whether dogs can see in color as well as some other vision-related facts that affect our friends' daily lives:

You may also be interested in: What Colors Can Dogs See?

Do dogs see in black and white?

Knowing the exact potential of canine vision is not as easy as you think. Humans are not able to exactly identify the level of their visual ability; however, we can safely say that the belief that dogs see in black and white is a false myth.

Thinking that their vision is so limited is far from the truth. The dog is a natural predator that would need to use all its senses for a hypothetical day in the wild. Can you imagine a wolf not being able to see well? Unable to pursue their prey?

Nevertheless, canine vision is not as strong as a human's, which has been adapting for centuries to different and strong visual and creative impacts.

Can Dogs See in Color? - Do dogs see in black and white?

Canine vision in detail

Dogs have two color receptors in the retina of their eyes, unlike humans, who have three. Receptors include cones and rods (for day and night vision respectively) and are found in the retina. Neurons that make up the retina can analyse colors, calculate distances or calculate the size of objects, which is essential for survival.

Possessing two receivers instead of three is evidence that dogs have lower quality vision than the much richer detailed vision of humans. However that does not mean that a dog's vision is worse or distorted, but simply covering a a smaller spectrum of colors.

Can Dogs See in Color? - Canine vision in detail

In summary: Dogs can see in color

Tests carried out by experts around the world claim that dogs see in color. They also say that they are able to differentiate between colors, estimate distances and focus on a particular object.

It's true that their vision capabilities are not as strong as human's, but that does not at all mean that their vision is blurred or that they cannot properly identify colors.

Can Dogs See in Color? - In summary: Dogs can see in color

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If you want to read similar articles to Can Dogs See in Color?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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