Psst. Have you heard the one about dogs being color blind? Well, what do you think… are dogs color blind or not?
There’s a rumor that’s been circulating around for decades (at least!) that dogs are color blind. The way it’s told is that dogs see the world in only three colors: black, white, and gray.
But is this really true? Are dogs color blind or is this just a myth that needs to be busted?
Well, the quick answer to that question is NO. Dogs are not color blind. But there’s a little more nuance to the reality here so, to set the record straight, let’s dig in a little further.
Dogs can see more than just three colors. The world is not just a big blur of black, grey and white for our furry little friends.
The myth of dogs being color blind likely came from a misunderstanding. Because, while they do see colors, dogs do not see them the same way we do. Their perception of colors and the range of colors they see is very limited compared to what we see.
So, while they do see colors, they see fewer colors than we do.
Oftentimes, a dog’s color field can only see blues, yellows, and violets. They do not see the colors red, green, and oranges the same way we do. Instead, they see those colors in either yellow or blue.
The reason behind their limited color eyesight is because of the way their eyes were created. A dog’s retina contains just two types of photo receptors, rods and cones.
While that limits the colors they can see, a dog’s eyes can see sharper and in much more detail than we humans are capable of seeing. This is because dogs have more rods in their eyes than we do. This is part of the reason why dogs are brilliant at tracking movement and at night vision.
So, despite the fact that dogs see fewer colors than we do, in other ways, their vision is superior to ours!