How Dogs See Colors — Limited Color Vision, Not Black & White

August 21, 2009


The site has a very good article on canine vision, here. Humans, as you know are trichromats with three channels for processing color information. Dogs are dichromats, having only two. This means that they have limited color vision, not black and white vision as was once commonly thought.

As they say towards the bottom of the article the best ball you could get for your dog’s vision would be colored white and purple for contrast against most backgrounds, especially the green of your yard’s grass, assuming you have some left. I have a three year old Labrador who is ball crazy and her racing, sudden turns and leaps in the air to catch her favorite ball is in direct opposition to a lush green yard.

Below are two examples I’ve created using a program called Sim Daltonism. The image on the left side represents normal human color vision; the right hand image is how your dog would see the same scene. Click on the images for larger size.



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