Do dogs see in black and white or colour?

If you think you know everything about you dog, perhaps you’ll be in for a surprise when you learn that dogs actually see in colour. The whole thing about them only seeing in black and white isn’t a total myth but it’s not totally true either.


Dog years

There are lots of myths we believe without question about dogs like the one about every dog year representing 7 human years. Scientists and statistics tell us that the dog years notion is a misconception. The notion that dogs only see in black and white is also false.

Limited vision

A dog’s vision is limited but they can see in colour. The reason people think that they can’t see in colour is because a dog’s colour vision is very limited compared with ours. If you could see the world from a dog’s point of view, you would see things very differently.

Human vision

Human eyes have three types of colour receptor cells. Each in sensitive to different colours individually so you have one that senses red, another that senses green and a third that senses blue. Basically combinations of these three colours are put together in our minds to create the full spectrum of colour we experience on a daily basis. Those who are colour blind don’t issues with one or more of these receptors. The two most common types of colour blindness are red-green and blue-yellow. People with red-green colour blindness for example cannot distinguish between those two colours. Most dogs share this issue, although you wouldn’t call our canine friends colour blind.

Dog vision

So a dog’s vision is similar to a colour blind person who can’t distinguish red and green but there are other differences. Dogs are less sensitive to grey shades than humans, and they’re less sensitive to change in the level of brightness too.

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