Are Dogs Colour Blind?
Are dogs colour blind? Unlike Humans whose colour makes seeing beautiful, I can’t say the same for our furry friends.
For humans, the brain and eyes translate light into colour. Moreover, sensations of colour are produced when light receptors within the eye transmit messages to the brain.
Colour vision is not limited to humans. Besides, color vision gives the ability to animals to perceive differences between the light of different wavelengths independently of light intensity.
We can see many colours and interpret without an issue but do our canine friends do so also? Even so, do dogs see colour in black or white, clear or blur? This has been a topic of discussion by dog owners to clearly understand their dog colour vision.
Dogs can live in a colourful world only that it is limited due to their rods and cones which are different from humans and play a huge role in colour production.
How a Dog Eye Sees Colour Compared to The Human Eye
Rods and cones in the human eyes help in sending messages to the brain so that one is able to see colour. We have 120 rods around the edge of the retina in the eye while cones are in the middle.
Importantly, cones in each eye transmit the higher levels of light intensity that create the sensation of color and visual sharpness. They work concurrently with the brain to send messages and humans are able to name the colours.
In addition, dogs too have cells, namely, rods and cones in their retina that assist in colour vision.
Unlike humans who have six million cones in the retina, dogs have two types of cones. Indeed, our furry friends can only discern blue and yellow. This causes them limited colour perception called dichromatic vision.
Clearly, with numerous rods in dogs’ retina, they are able to see objects more clearly in low light or moving ones compared to humans.
Is Color Blindness A Reality to Our Canine Friends
The term color blindness leaves room for research as it is not entirely true that canines are color blind.
Let’s look at how our human eyes interpret and see colour. To start with, when light hits an object, the object absorbs some of the light and reflects the rest of it. The properties of the object will determine the wavelengths that are reflected or absorbed.
Alongside this, the wavelength of the object will bounce back and one is able to interpret the colour of the object, for instance, a red apple. The last result, in this case, is that the eye will be able to see red light.
When you look at an apple, the wavelengths of reflected light determine what color you see unless you are colour blind. Colour blindness is caused by abnormalities in color-detecting molecules (photoreceptors), known as cones, in the retina.
Types of Colour Blindness
Color blindness in people can be grouped into two types:
- Red-green color blindness
- Blue-yellow color blindness.
Colour blindness limit one in the ability to perceive colour even for our canine friends. Subsequently, dogs are affected by red-green color blindness hence not able to distinguish the colour red and green.
Having said that when dogs run after their toys in a game of fetch it might be hard for them to know the colour red toys you throw around compared to other colours like blue that are visible.
Dogs have numerous senses and even if their colour vision is not so good their sense of smell is high. A dog will know his item by just smelling even if he can’t see the colour. In a pack of dogs, the smell can lead her to her litter, ball, and stroller with no difficulties.
Does Color Blind Mean No Vision For Your Dog?
They are books that try to bring clarity on color blindness and how it affects a dog’s vision. Through dogs’ eyes by Ceasar is a classic example to understand your dog’s vision.
Though the dog’s colour vision is limited and perceives their environment in a different way he still sees colour. Dogs fall in the red-green colour blind group.
Importantly, dogs are less sensitive to variations in gray shades than humans are, as well as only about half as sensitive to changes in brightness.
Following this, a dog is able to detect movement and smell faster than a human being. The other dog’s senses are heightened and assist despite his color limitations.
Dogs and Colours
Dogs cannot experience colour the way humans do. Understanding them when playing. It might not be shocking to see your dog struggle to find a red ball in a green backyard due to the color vision predicament.
Their sense of smell and movement detection is way better than humans making them great hunting partners.
Try to understand the dogs’ world in relation to colour. For a long time, we thought dogs just were able to see black and white and not different colour variations.
Research has shown dogs are able to see colour but not as well as Humans. According to research conducted by Jay Neitz, who runs the Neitz Color Vision Lab in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington, a dog’s color vision is similar to that of a person who has red-green color blindness.
The intensity and shade of colour can vary greatly as the dog can see red as dark brown as dogs are in the category of the red-green colour blind group.
Not only, is the dog grouped in the low light and peripheral vision but also he is able to hunt well at dawn and dusk being dichromatic.
Dogs have amazing peripheral vision and can see up to 240 degrees, unlike humans who can see up to 180 degrees. Even so, Dogs are considered to have deuteranopia which is a form of color blindness.
Also, dogs are able to see objects that are way far from near. Objects that are near appear blur. Regardless, of that dogs have a sharp ability to detect motion due to many rods in their retinas.
Undoubtedly, dogs can see colour but in limitation. For example, a dog will be able to see toys that are blue and yellow better than red and green items.
Finally, let dogs enjoy their world altogether and remember they can see other colours better than others.