Can Dogs See Color? What Colors Can Dogs See and More

Have you heard that dogs can’t see colors? The chances are good that you have, since this idea is widely believed and often repeated. Dogs can only see in black and white, someone might have told you, in an authoritative voice suggesting they had read all about it and knew it for a fact.

Despite how many people believe this, it just isn’t so. Many people have false ideas about what their dogs can and cannot see, and as a result they badly underestimate their dogs´ visual abilities. If you took the idea that dogs only saw in black and white seriously, you’ll be surprised and delighted to discover that the truth is far more fascinating.

Can Dogs See Color?

Scientists who’ve studied the question have now revealed a ton of information about how dogs perceive their environments. As a result we now know that, like their human companions, dogs live in a world filled with color.

Dogs absolutely can see colors. They just don´t see all of them. It would be correct to say they are partially colorblind, but not completely so. When you’re with your dog and watching a scene unfold in front of you, there’s a great similarity in what you both are seeing. There are differences, in both color content and in how bright certain things appear. But you can rest assured that your dog is not seeing black, white and gray exclusively. What they are looking at is far more vivid, complex and interesting than that.

What Colors Can Dogs See?

The world as a dog sees it exists as varying shades of blue, yellow and gray. Where you would see a range of colors other than this, everything they see is grouped into one of these three categories. Despite the limitations in their visual range, there is still diversity, because they do see both lighter and darker versions of the three primary colors they can perceive.

If you’ve ever known a person who has red-green color blindness, meaning they can’t see those two colors, you’ll be familiar with someone whose visual capacities are very close to those of your dog. In a dog’s vision, greens become grays, and reds become dark brown, meaning they can be seen but not in the same way as they appear to humans. It should be noted that dogs can detect the contrasts that exist between the different colors of the objects they see in their environment, even if they can’t perceive every color with 100-percent accuracy.



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