Are Our Canines Colourblind? Discover How Dogs Distinguish Colours

If asked what we thought was our dogs strongest sense, we’d immediately think of their ability to smell and hear.

The perception of our canines perceptiveness is often a negative one.

Growing up we all learn that our poochs are colourblind and from watching movies we might imagine this to mean that they see the world in black and white…

But this is a common misconception.

The truth is that dogs are colorblind but that doesn’t mean they can’t see color.

In this post we’ll explore how our canines eyes work and what is really means for them to be colourblind.

What Does It Mean To Be Colourblind?

Let’s start by exploring what it actually means to be colourblind.

Colour blindness describes an inability to differentiate between colors or to see certain colors at all.

To be colourblind means having a deficiency in your coloured-vision.

But just because someone sees colours differently that doesn’t mean that they see the world in black, grey and whites – that affliction is known as achromatopsia.

As humans, we perceive colours through a series of receptors in the retina of our eyes called cones.

We have three kinds of cones – each of which is activated by a specific wavelength of light and corresponds to a certain set of colours.

The typical human being has three different types of cones that divide up visual color information into red, green, and blue signals.

A defect in one of these cones leads to the color deficiency we associate with people who are colourblind.

But what about our doggy friends?

How Dogs See Colours

Despite the Hollywood portrayal of poor black and white vision, dogs can actually see very well and did you know their brains process visuals faster than our own?

Studies have shown that dogs can distinguish a range of colours and don’t see in greyscale

Instead of black and white, our dogs see colours within the yellow and blue spectrum.

This is known as dichromatic vision: where they see the world comprised of two colours whereas most humans have trichromatic vision.

So what colours do they see?

The two types of cones that dogs do have allows them to distinguish shades of yellow, blue, and brown as well as black, white, and grey.

However, they cannot see reds and greens so they would instead see them as shades of brown and grey.

Final Bark

Contrary to popular belief dogs don’t see in black and white. They have dichromatic vision which lets them see a range of colours! So, remember when you’re purchasing your next BusterBox to avoid red and green coloured toys for your dogs full appreciation!

So concludes the first part of our doggy deep dive exploring the way they see the world.

Keep your own eyes peeled for next weeks edition, where we explore their night vision and how their perception compares to our own.

Enjoy this piece? Be sure to check out the rest of our doggy library and join the pack on our journey to finding our more about our dogs one paw at a time.

Join the BusterBox pack today and get a free bed on sign up!