By Kelly Marshall
Many people have been misled to believe that their canine friend is completely colorblind, when in fact, dogs can see colors and they register more than black and white or grays.
Dogs, however, see colors in a way that’s different than the way humans do, which is why the theory came about that they are colorblind.
The color range that dogs see is limited, but they can see certain colors. So when buy certain toys for your dogs, when you know the colors they can see, you can be sure to get them in these colors.
So What Colors Can My Dog See?
Your dog sees mostly blues, yellows and grays with reds, greens and oranges typically not being distinguishable to your pooch. Instead, they may appear more blue, yellow or dark gray.
The retina in your dog’s eyes is different from human retinas in that they contain two different types of photoreceptors — cones and rods.
Human eyes contain several types of cones, but canines have more rods and have no fovea, which is what helps with the vivid image colors that humans see.
This means that your dog has excellent night vision that is far superior to humans because their motion detectors are much keener than that of humans.
If you throw an orange ball or Frisbee on the green-colored grass, your dog may see it as yellow on yellow, but they can easily catch it because of the great motion detection that they have.
If you want your dog to see the colors you see, then you should buy him blue or yellow toys.
Remember, your dog only has two cones in each eye, while you have several, so while your dog sees colors, her perception is very limited and not as keen as humans.
Colorblind indicates that the dog sees no color, which is not true. A person who is completely colorblind can only see shades of gray, similar to watching a movie in black and white, but your dog can see some colors.
Earth tones are typically seen by dogs more in a gray fashion, so if you have brown carpeting, your dog does not see the brown, but more of a brown-gray. If you have green carpet, it may look yellow to your dog.
On the other hand, if you think about many dog toys, they are in red, but dogs cannot see red, therefore, anything red will appear dark gray to your dog.
If you want to choose toys that your dog can see similar to how you see them, then you should choose blues, grays, or yellows, since these are the colors that your dog can see better than any other. It is also good to know the colors that your dog can see when you are doing various training, because it makes it easier for him to find the toys better than if they are blending into the carpet.
Finally, knowing dogs see colors (even if only a few) are very comforting to those who’ve always assumed that their dog was colorblind.
The next time you pick up a toy for your pooch, consider a blue or yellow toy so that your dog can see it in the correct color.