Are Dogs Really Color-blind?


I’m sure most of you have seen the video of a dog looking at two different colored socks and not being able to tell them apart. This has led many people to believe that dogs are color-blind, but is that really what’s happening? The short answer is no; dogs can see colors just fine. What they lack in their ability to distinguish certain shades, they make up for with an enhanced sense of smell and hearing.

What color dogs see the best?

Dogs are much more likely to be able to distinguish shades of blue, violet and green than they are red or yellow. This means that colors like bright pink will stand out well for your dog because it’s a combination of the two colors their eyes can see best (blue and yellow).

Unfortunately this leaves you with very few options when dressing up your pet! Bright orange, purple or brown might just do the trick though. So there you have it; dogs aren’t color-blind but certain colors may appear less vibrant than others depending on how good each shade is in triggering their senses, smell, touch and hearing all play an important part as well. If we had noses as powerful as our canine friends maybe we’d appreciate their world just a little bit more.

Why do we think Dogs are colorblind?

There are a couple of reasons why this myth started in the first place. For one, dogs do tend to notice motion better than they recognize colors; it’s hard for them not to when everything is moving so fast!

Another reason is that some breeds actually can be color-blind depending on their genetic background. Some Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes may have trouble distinguishing between shades of blue or yellow — just like people who suffer from red/green color blindness .

Other animals with natural eye shape (like owls) also find themselves limited by certain wavelengths because they simply don’t see things ‘our way’. That doesn’t mean all other species lack the ability to distinguish these colors at all it’s just not as easy for them and they may require more time to notice the difference.

This is why we often find that dogs don’t respond well to traffic lights; their limited range of colors makes it hard for them to see red, yellow and orange (green tends to be one of those shades they can spot easily). This also leaves us with a pretty big blind spot when training our pets because standard dog-training techniques usually rely on visual cues like hand signals which some breeds may miss entirely!

At least now you know what your pet will actually focus on so you’ll have an easier time getting his attention next time around. Just make sure he doesn’t get distracted by something else before he has a chance at understanding.

How can you tell if your dog is actually seeing color or not?

In order to find out whether your dog is actually seeing colors or not, you’ll have to do a fun test at home! It’s simple and doesn’t require much preparation. All you need is a piece of paper with an object drawn on it in one color (make sure the shade stands out well against the background) and something else that contrasts with what you’ve chosen so they can see it clearly from a distance.

For example: white dots over black would work really well as long as there isn’t too much light shining into their eyes. If possible turn off all lights around them before doing this experiment because bright lamps may affect how easy it will be for them to spot those contrasting colors; but don’t leave them completely in the dark either.

Once you’ve got those two items ready, sit your pet down and let them get used to the new surroundings as well as the object on paper for a few minutes before trying anything else out. If they seem calm enough, take off any collars or harnesses that could make it harder for them to concentrate this will also help prevent choking accidents! You can offer treats if necessary but try not to do so until after they have actually seen what you wanted them too; otherwise their attention may focus more on getting something yummy rather than spotting the contrasting color.

At this point, gradually move closer with that item in hand which has been specifically chosen to stand out against its backdrop . Once you’re about two to three feet away, hold it up so that your dog can see the contrasting color clearly. If they seem pretty interested in what’s happening and are able to focus on spotting this object from a distance without getting too distracted by anything else, congratulations! They do have certain levels of vision which means there is at least some light entering their eyes when looking for differences between colors !

  • Dogs can see colors, but not as well as humans
  • The human eye has three types of cones that detect color and dogs only have two
  • Dogs are more sensitive to light than humans, so they might be able to see better in the dark
  • One study found that dogs could tell the difference between red and green lights
  • Another study found that dogs would salivate at a higher rate when shown pictures of food with their preferred color (e.g., yellow)
  • A third study found that dogs were capable of discriminating between different shades of gray.


In conclusion, it is a common misconception that dogs are color-blind. Dogs have the ability to see colors just as well as humans do and their visual system actually has more rod cells than cone cells which allows them to see better in low light conditions. They also have dichromatic vision meaning they can only distinguish between blue and yellow so these colors will appear different from what we see.

Because of our trichromatic vision where reds, greens, blues all register. This makes sense since many animals such as cows or deer primarily rely on sight for navigation instead of smell like other predators who hunt with sound. It’s not surprising then that this would be true for domesticated dogs too!