Being a pet owner, have you ever though how your pup sees the world around him? There are a lot of misconceptions floating about how dogs see the world and one of them is that dogs only see the world in black and white. Different researches on the vision of dogs have disproved this myth. Dogs can see the colours just like people with red-green colour blindness and they have some amazing visual capabilities. The way they see the world is quite different from the way we see.
Colour Vision For Dogs
In the last few decades, many researches and examinations have done on the eye structure of dogs and it has been concluded that basic design of human and dogs’ eyes have some differences, driven by evolution and function. Due to the nocturnal behaviour, canine’ eyes have adapted to see well in the dark and to track plus catch their food at night. For hunting purpose at night, dogs’ eyes have a larger lens and corneal surface with a tapetum, a reflective membrane that boosts vision of night. Scientists have found that the colour perception difference between humans and dogs is because of retina that is composed of millions of light-sensing cells. These include:
– Cones responsible to deal with colour perception and start work when light is bright.
– Rods are extremely sensitive cells that work and catch movement when the light is low.
People have more cons on their retina whereas dogs have more rods which improve low-light vision. Cones control colour perception and day vision. Humans as well as few other primate species are trichromatic and have three kinds of cones. Dogs have only two types of cones, so they are dichromatic. Each type of cones detects a different wavelength of light. Humans can detect a full spectrum of hues including red and green by using their three types of cones. Dogs and colour blind humans are missing red-green cones and this made their vision of colour very limited. Some fish and birds are tetrachromatic and can see a broad spectrum colour range because they have a fourth type of cone receptor that absorbs ultraviolet light.
Different Colours Through The Eyes of a Dog
Now-a-days, there are various online apps that can show you how your pooch will see the world. Simply upload a photo and within no time, these apps will show you how your dog would see that scene or thing. You can use these apps to see what your dog is seeing at any time. Different researches have conducted and now scientists believe that the colour vision of a dog is comparable to a red-green colour blindness person. Both struggle to distinguish between certain colours like red and green, and the shades of grey. It has been observed that dogs are able to distinguish yellow and blue from green and that is why they prefer blue and yellow toys and balls over toys and balls of different colours.
How Do Dogs Actually See The World?
If you have ever wondered that how do dogs see the world, the answer is simple: not very clearly. Their far vision is poor and hazy as compared to human beings. With hazy vision, your pet will not be good enough to recognize you at a distance. However, for dogs, to see the world around them, vision is not that important because their hearing and smell senses also help them in this respect. In fact, dogs use different tools to understand the world. Though, they have the same senses that we have such as taste, hearing, smell, sight and touch, but the importance of these senses has different levels for them. Sight can considered the most used sense in humans as they often tend to believe what they see, however, senses are ranked differently in dogs. Along with vision, dog’s hearing and smell senses help them to define how they interact, understand and see the world around them. If dogs will lose their hearing or sense of smell, it will definitely affect their eyesight. It is quite strange that there are many dog toy manufacturers who design toys for dogs in different colours irrespective of their limited colour vision. For example, it is quite difficult for a dog to find out the bright red ball on the bright green grass that you have just tossed for them to fetch. Luckily, they can find the ball by using their exceptional sense of smell instead of their eyes. It is easier for dogs to find out the toys or balls of highly contrasting colours like deep purple or bright white in the grass as these colours can be seen most vividly to dogs.