How many Colors do Dogs See? About the Vision of Dogs

How many Colors do Dogs See

As far as we know dogs can only see black and white. But did you know that it is not so? So, do they see the color?  How many colors do dogs see? Why does a dog’s color vision differ from ours? You may have questions like these. Beneath, you’ll discover the answers to these questions more broadly.

Dogs can only see black and white. Is that true?

When you play with the dog if he loves red tennis balls more than a yellow tennis ball, it’s probably because he looks good at it. Then you may think their color vision same as you.  But it’s a little different. There has been a lot of research into how dogs see color. The results show they do not see all the colors that people see, but they see that it is not only black and white that they see. Of course, the world of dogs is more colorful than we think.


Most people see the full spectrum from red to violet, but dogs do not see certain colors because they do not have certain light receptors in their eyes. Therefore, their color vision is not bright as that of a human. According to research, dogs have only 20% of the photoreceptor cells that control the color perception of humans.

Can Dogs See Color?

The simple answer is Yes. But there are differences. As we talked about earlier, dogs can see colors but not in the same way as humans. People can see the colors of the rainbow with variations including violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. But dogs can only see blue, yellow, and some shades of gray.

Dogs see a rainbow as dark yellow (sort of brownish), light yellow, gray, light blue, and dark blue. Dogs don’t see red, purple, or orange as we do. So, the researchers confirmed that dogs see yellow, blue, and gray. If a dog looks at a red or green suit, it looks faded brownish, gray, or indistinct. Look at the image below to get an idea of the colors that dogs see.

How many Colors do Dogs See, Can Dogs See Color

How Dogs See?

Dog eyes behave similarly to a camera. The pupil allows light to enter. The amount of light allowed in is controlled by the iris, a structure that can expand and compress. The light is then focused on the retina, a light-sensitive layer, by passing through the transparent cornea and lens. Color-sensitive cones, as well as motion- and light-sensitive rods, all convert light into electrical signals in the retina. Cones and rods deliver these impulses to the brain via the optic nerve, which assembles an image from them. In contrast to human eyes, which have three types of cones, dogs only have two. As a result, dogs are unable to differentiate between as many hues as humans.


Are Dogs Colorblind?

Colourblindness is a term used to describe changes in the ability to recognize colors. Dogs that see only yellow, blue, and gray but not color blind. However, the colors they see are limited relative to the spectrum we see. The dog color field is mostly yellow, blue, and gray. Dogs can’t tell the difference between “human” reds, greens, and orange therefore they can appear somewhere on the yellow-blue spectrum.

What is the reason for this? The human eye contains more types of cones while the canine eye has more rods and no fovea, which is responsible for sharp visual detail in humans. As a result, dogs have greater night vision and can detect movement better than humans, but they see fewer colors and forms, and objects seem in much less detail. As an example, tossing an orange ball onto green grass may appear to your dog as yellow against yellow, but his keen sense of motion will aid him in retrieving it.

Can Dogs See in the Dark?

In low-light or dark circumstances, dogs have excellent vision. This is due to the structural differences between their eyes and those of humans. Their eyes are more sensitive to motion and light because they have more rods in the retina than humans. This enables them to identify the presence of visitors or prey by picking up on minor movements.


Dogs have a reflecting membrane layer at the rear of their eyes, just like other predatory animals. This membrane bounces light that isn’t absorbed by rods back to the retina, allowing the eye to take in lighter and improving night vision. This also creates the sense that the eyes of dog’s glow in the dark.

What is the difference between a dog’s vision and that of a human?

In comparison to humans, canines have some optical advantages. Dogs have eyes that are placed more to the sides of the head than humans, giving them a wider range of peripheral vision. Dogs do not have the same depth perception as humans since they have a narrower range of visual acuity. Dogs’ pupils dilate to their maximum size, helping them to absorb as much light as possible.

The tapetum, which is formed by reflecting cells beneath the retina, is also present. The tapetum provides dogs with a “shiny eye” appearance and helps them see better in dim light.

In addition, dogs have more rod cells in their retinas than their human. Rods oversee detecting light and motion, including little motions across long distances. Dogs, in comparison to humans, can see better in low light (dusk and dawn) and detect motion more accurately.


Dogs are nearsighted, which means they can’t see as far as we can. They do, however, have far greater peripheral vision! They see 250-degree views, whereas humans see 60-degree views since their eyes are more to the side of their skulls. As a result, while humans can see everything around us, our dogs can’t. The best vision your dog has is right in front of them. The rest of their vision is hazier than what we perceive.

As you can see, dogs and humans have quite different perspectives on things, but this isn’t a bad thing. Our dogs can see the mouse or squirrel twitching in the field far away, even if it’s dark outdoors. And, contrary to popular belief, they do not live in a black-and-white world.

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