You know that humans can be color blind, but are dogs color blind? If not, what colors do dogs see? It is a common myth that dogs can only see in black and white, but dogs can actually see blue and yellow. This means dogs have dichromatic vision. Your dog’s eyes can only see two colors because he only has two types of cones in his eyes. Humans have three cones (trichromatic vision) which allows us to view a greater range of color. The cones in your eyes allow you to see color. Color blind people have damaged cones thus making some colors such as red and green become hard for them to see. Since dogs can only determine various shades of blue and yellow, colors such as red and green most likely look like a dull yellow or dull blue to dogs. So don’t ask your dog to help you choose which shirt to wear if you want to rep the Crimson Tide or the Oregon Ducks (Who’s excited for football?). But what about at night? Can dogs see and what colors do dogs see at night?
Despite not being able to see a full range of color, dogs are equipped to see in the dark. So how do dogs see at night? Dogs’ eyes have more rods which helps their vision in the dark. Rods are used to help you see in low-light and to detect motion. In addition to having more rods, dogs have larger pupils than humans so more light can enter their eyes. However, the biggest advantage dogs have is having a tapetum. A tapetum is in the back of a dog’s eye and is like a mirror in that it reflects light in the eye, so the retina has another chance to compute the light that came into the eye. It’s like having an instant replay camera inside your eyes. That is why a dog’s eyes are 5 times more sensitive to light than ours are. The tapetum reflects up to 130 times more light than human eyes. Ever tried to take a picture of your dog with a flash and seen your dog’s eyes glow? That’s also because of the tapetum. But what do dogs see at night? Because of their ability to see in the dark, dogs can see almost as well as they do during the day. Which also means they still see various shades of blue and yellow.
Dogs’ eyes are pretty amazing and that helps them be great personal protection dogs! Integrity K9 Services protection dogs have your back, day or night. Check out our available dogs here!