Facts about the animal kingdom

What Colors Can Dogs See?

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: March 17, 2020
What Colors Can Dogs See?

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When it comes to choosing a toy or a dog training tool for your dog, it is important to take into account which colors are the most striking for dogs. In this way, you can ensure that your dog can distinguish toys from other objects, include floors.

In this AnimalWised article we will be discussing what colors dogs can see. We will be including those that are most striking for dogs and those which are more difficult for canines to differentiate. Keep reading to find out more.

You may also be interested in: What Do Dogs See?
  1. Can dogs see color?
  2. What colors can dogs see?
  3. What are the easiest color for a dog to see?
  4. Dog vision

Can dogs see color?

Although a dog's primary senses are smell and hearing, sight also plays an important role in their life. Sight functions in helping a dog when it comes to satisfying their basic needs. However, there are many misconceptions around a dog's vision.

So, can dogs see color? The answer is yes. Dogs can see color, however not as we see them. Although there has been a misconception that dogs are colorblind and can only see shades of grey, it is now well known that dogs can indeed see colors. The colors they percieve are not at rich or as many as humans can see.

What Colors Can Dogs See? - Can dogs see color?

What colors can dogs see?

Dogs can see the colors we identify as blue, yellow and some shades of gray. While a human's visual cones are able to detect 3 different colors (blue, red and green) and its combinations, a dog's visual cone can only detect 2 (blue and yellow). This limited color perception is called dichromatic vision. To fully understand, take a look at the image above for a visual comparison.

What Colors Can Dogs See? - What colors can dogs see?

What are the easiest color for a dog to see?

As we've previously mentioned, dogs have dichromantic vision. Colors such as red or green will be perceived as a shade of gray. Therefore, blue or yellow are the easiest colors for dogs to see and the most attractive colors for them to see.

Dog vision

By looking at the image presented below, we can notice the difference between how humans distinguish color and how dogs distinguish color. In the dog side of image, we notice how canines strongly distinguish blues and yellows. However their vision of red, green and orange, have more of a grayish brownish hue.

For this reason, we recommend buying your dogs toys or devices which are blue and yellow. This will make it easier for your dog to distinguish their toys.

What Colors Can Dogs See? - Dog vision

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

  • Neitz, J., Geist, T., & Jacobs, G. (1989). Color vision in the dog. Visual Neuroscience, 3(2), 119-125. doi:10.1017/S0952523800004430
  • Jacobs, G., Deegan, J., Crognale, M., & Fenwick, J. (1993). Photopigments of dogs and foxes and their implications for canid vision. Visual Neuroscience, 10(1), 173-180. doi:10.1017/S0952523800003291
  • Kelber, A., Vorobyev, M. and Osorio, D. (2003), Animal colour vision — behavioural tests and physiological concepts. Biological Reviews, 78: 81-118. doi:10.1017/S1464793102005985
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What Colors Can Dogs See?