Do Dogs See in Black and White?

brown and white pitbull with hazel eye

More and more dogs are becoming more than pets in our homes. They’re family members, campions and much like having children for some. As we spend more time loving our furry friends, we can’t help but think if they too experience life as we do.

Do they understand the love you give to them when petting and snuggling with them? How their comfort can help you after a bad day – or even do they see the amazing colors on the trees during your fall season walk – or smell the aroma of a freshly baked pie?!

The question of whether or not dogs see in black and white has been studied for ages. What scientists have come down to is that while dogs don’t see the full range of colors and vibrancy we do as humans, they do in fact see more than just black and white figures.

The science behind it involves the nerve cells that are located in the retina of the eye. These cells can detect light and motion and in humans, also differentiate colors. Where things get different is that dogs only have 2 of these identifier cells versus humans who have three. This difference means we can see colors and combinations. Dogs instead only have 2 cells and because of this can only truly distinguish between yellow and blue. The other colors are more of a muddied brown color or similar to blue or yellow to.

You can keep this in mind next time you shopping for toys for your dog but just because they don’t see red and green colors well doesn’t mean they are totally lacking as they make up for it in their sense of smell and ability to detect moving objects as well as see things in low light – far more than any human can.

There are a few other interesting ways your pup sees differently too beyond just color. Did you know your dog can also see a greater range in their peripheral view? These differences are part of their innate design to protect them in the wild.

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