Are dog color blind and they don’t recognize colors? Dogs really see everything in black and white? These claims of the grey dog existence are persistent. Is man’s best friend really at home in a monochrome world? We have taken up the trail to the truth and experienced amazing things.
Dogs and their relatives see in the spectral range from yellow to green and blue. This means they see red things as yellow. And other colours that are not in their spectral range they see as grey.
In addition, they perceive things, they move much better than things that remain still. Sure, as hunter and prey, that’s super important! But we will go into this in more detail in a moment.
In 1989, scientists at the University of California in the USA presented the results of their research in a study entitled “Color vision in the dog“: dogs see in color, but differently. The vision of dogs is similar to that of people suffering from red-green vision problems. Dogs’ eyes recognise colours mainly in the yellow and blue ranges. This is because they perceive everything that is red as yellow tones; green is not colourful for them either.
Are dog color blind or can they see yellow, red and green tones?
This is due to the types of cones present in the eye, i.e. the receptors responsible for colour vision. The dog has only two of them, which perceive yellow and blue tones. The healthy human eye has three types of cones: for yellow, red and green tones.
Even if the four-legged friends do not recognize so many colors, they orient themselves more strongly by them than generally assumed. This is what Russian biologists found out in 2013 on the topic of colours as a source of information in dogs. Previously, the opinion was that differences in brightness were more important for them. This is because the dog’s eye has a particularly large number of rods that are responsible for light-dark vision. Here the dog is better than the human being. In return, humans score points for their visual acuity – dogs are a little short-sighted.
Pity for short-sighted dogs with colour vision deficiency? No reason! Nature provides for compensatory justice. Dogs have excellent twilight vision and a large field of vision of up to 240 degrees. In addition, they have excellent hearing and an incredibly strong sense of smell. What more does the dog want in order to successfully go in search of food?