Is Your Dog Color Blind?

A common question that many people have is whether all dogs are color blind. For many years, it was assumed that dogs could only see shades of white, black, and gray. However, Studies revealed, that dogs are able to see color. But dogs cannot see color in the same way that people do.


Examinations of the structure of the canine eye have revealed differences in design between dogs and humans. The differences are driven by evolution and function. The eyes of dogs have adapted over centuries to catch movement and see well in the dark. Canine eyes are intended for hunting at night. They have a corneal surface, a larger lens, and a reflective membrane. The reflective membrane refers to as a tapetum, which enhances night vision.

The structure and function of dog eyes is similar to that of our own. The retina acts as a movie screen where the light translates and focuses more on shapes and colors. These colors and shapes translate into images. Similarly, both dogs and people have rods and cones, which specialize in light-sensory equipment.


Scientists believe that the color vision of dogs is similar to that of an individual who suffers from red-green color blindness. Dogs are able to make out blue, yellow, and combinations of these colors. This renders the world grayish-brown. A green lawn will probably look like a field of yellow hay to your dog. Red probably looks dark brown in the eyes of your dog.

Armed with the knowledge that dogs are not able to see certain colors, it makes sense to select products that are aesthetically pleasing to your dog. Dogs tend to prefer yellow tennis balls over pink or red tennis balls. Strangely enough, the most popular colors for dog toys are safety-orange or red.

However, the truth is that it is difficult for dogs to see the color red. As noted, this color appears dark brownish gray or even black to your dog. As a result, this means that a dog toy that is bright red may be hard for your dog to see. Many myths surround the ability of dogs to see.

So, when your pet runs past the toy that you tossed, it may be that your dog is not able to see the toy well. In the eyes of your dog, the toy may be hard to distinguish from the color of the ground.