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Can Your Dog See in Color?

Despite common misconception, your dog can see in color. He can't see the same range of color you see, but he can use color to distinguish between different objects.

Scientists believed for many years that dogs could only see in black and white, but recent research has shown differently. In fact, dogs see colors the way a color-blind human sees them. Read on to learn how your dog sees the world in color...

A sky of blue and grass of... gray?
Because dogs have fewer light-catching cells, called cones, they can only see colors in the blue and yellow wavelengths. So they can see blue and yellow, but not red and green. Overall, their world is colored in yellow, blue and gray.

Can they see light or dark colors?
Although their color range is limited, dogs can see different shades of color. If seeing a rainbow for example, they'd see it in shades ranging from dark and light blue to gray, light yellow, dark yellow and dark gray. Tests show they detect items based on color and shade, so the ball you throw him might appear light yellow against the gray-looking grass.

Canine closeup
Although some breeds can be nearsighted or farsighted, dogs in general have less visual acuity than humans. They can see fast-moving objects, but can't clearly focus on objects up close, which might look blurry or out of focus. If Fido visited a human eye doctor, for example, he'd be classified with 20/75 vision instead of 20/20.

Now that you know more about your dog's view of the world, be mindful of the colors you choose. When training, avoid red and green objects together as they might be confusing. Choose dog-friendly colors instead.


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