Are Dogs Color Blind?

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Are Dogs Color Blind?Are dogs color blind?  Many people wonder whether dogs can see the world in colors or if they see things the same way that we humans see the world.

You may have been told that dogs see things in black and white but that’s not correct.  In fact, dogs do see in colors but they are color blind.

Confused?  Here’s the answer.

Dogs have the same kind of vision as most other mammals.  They see the world dichromatically.  That means that they do see things in color.  They can distinguish blues from reds, for instance.


They can probably detect some differences in color shades though not as many as humans.

However, dogs are color blind in the same way that some people are color blind.  They can’t distinguish between red and green hues.  Red and green shades will often appear interchangeable to them or be lacking in pigment.

In humans red-green color blindness is the most common form of color blindness, occurring in about 7 percent of the population.  It is far more common in men than in women.  It can be genetic or congenital.

In dogs, however, red-green color blindness is normal throughout the canine population.  Red-green color blindness, or dichromatism, is normal for most mammals.

Dogs are also believed to have poor visual acuity.  That means that, compared to human eyesight, dogs have no better vision than people do and may have somewhat worse vision in some breeds.  A Poodle has been estimated to have a vision rating of 20/75 instead of the ideal 20/20 vision.

Are Dogs Color Blind?Fifty percent of Rottweilers are believed to be myopic (nearsighted).  Other breeds are estimated to have good vision, such as the sighthound breeds, but they rely primarily on their field of vision to excel in hunting.

A sighthound can have a field of vision of up to 270 degrees (compared to the human’s 180 degree vision).  Other breeds, with short noses or broad heads, may have a field of vision much more like that of humans.

The dog does far exceed humans in their ability to detect moving objects.  They can often identify humans, such as their owner, at a distance of up to a mile.  Dogs also excel at hunting at dusk and are able to hunt in low light situations.

In training your dog you should make allowances for your dog’s vision.  You can use different colored objects but do keep in mind that your dog may not be able to discriminate between red and green objects.

If you ask your dog to retrieve an object of a specific color (and many dogs can be trained to select for objects on the basis of color), you will need to give your dog some other clue about the object to be retrieved.  Your dog may need to identify objects on some other bases at times.

So, are dogs color blind?  Yes, but they can see many colors.  They have good vision though it’s not their strongest sense.  That honor goes to their nose and sense of smell which is thousands of times stronger than the human sense of smell.

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  1. Are Dogs Color Blind? | Natural Pet Care | Sco... - July 10, 2014

    […] Are dogs color blind? Many people wonder whether dogs can see the world in colors or if they see things the same way that we humans see the world. You may have been told that dogs see things in black and white but that’s not correct. In fact, dogs do see in colors but they are color b… http://www.holisticpetcare.info/dogs-color-blind/  […]

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