We’ve all heard it, and some of us believed it or still believe in it: Dogs are colorblind, completely, and they can see the world in black in white (like old movies).
If you don’t already know, this is a myth. No one really knows how or why this myth developed, but whoever developed it must be very proud of it, it survived for decades and is scarily popular!
Of course, science had to say its word on the subject, and his judgement is that this myth is just a myth, but not entirely wrong.
You see, we’re able to see color and light through cones, rods and ganglion cells. As you can see in the image below, we-humans- have 20% more cones than dogs, however, dogs have more rods than we do. This means that in reality, dogs are about 5 times more sensitive to light than us.
However, humans can see clearer images, thanks to us having a Fovea, which is the part of the retina that is responsible for resolution (clear images).
As for colors, we-humans- are called “Trichromatic”. This means we have cones which allow us to seethree colors. Those are Blue, red and green, and using only those three colors we can see 1,00,000different colors/shades.
As for our furry friends, they are what’s called “Dichromatic”, this means their cones only allows for them to see two colors only, blue and yellow, and using those, they can see 10,000 colors/shades.
Have you noticed that agility equipment uses blue/yellow color scheme? Now you know why!
So the dog can see the equipment clearly and important contact part they must touch for them to not be disqualified.
Did you know that bulls can’t see red? Yeah, that’s true, and it’s true for dogs as well!
In fact, that’s one color that dogs can’t see at all. So the next time you see your dog searching for his red toy through the green grass and taking time to find it, remember that green and red look very much the same to his eyes.
So, to sum up:
Dogs are NOT completely color blind, they don’t see in black in white, however, they don’t see red at all.
Dogs can sense light better than us, which means they see much better in low-lightconditions. Dogs are also better in detecting motion (convincingly!). They also have a larger field of vision, but we see more clearly than them.
Want to know more? Watch the video below!