What Colors Can Dogs See: Find Out What Color Dogs Like

George Michael
Advertiser Disclosure

Hey there! We just wanted to let you know that some of the links on this site are affiliate links. That means we may get a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. Don't worry, though - we only recommend products that we personally use and love, and we promise to drink all the coffee from the money we make from affiliate sales. Thanks for your support, and we hope you find our content helpful! Read our disclosure.

Dogs are part of our families, our trusted companions, and often, the subject of amusing anecdotes when it comes to their senses and perceptions. One particularly intriguing aspect is their vision, specifically, what colors can dogs see? For many years, there’s been a common misconception that dogs only see in black and white. However, science has brought us closer to understanding the reality of a dog’s colorful world.

How Dog’s Color Vision Works

How Dog's Color Vision Works
Image By Auero


Human eyes are trichromatic, meaning we have three types of cone cells enabling us to see a wide spectrum of colors. Dogs, however, are dichromatic—they have two types of cone cells, which simplifies their color perception.

In a dog’s eye, the two cone types are optimized for detecting wavelengths that roughly correspond to blue and yellow hues. This means the rich array of greens, reds, and oranges that humans easily differentiate appears vastly different to our furry friends.

What Colors Can Dogs See?

Unraveling the mystery, according to BC SPCA it turns out that dogs can actually see certain colors, albeit in a more limited palette. Dogs distinguish various shades of blue quite well, as well as yellows and grays. However, where humans see green, red, and orange, dogs will likely perceive a variation of grayish-brown or a yellowish hue, depending on the specific shade and brightness.

The implication is that a bright orange ball on green grass might not stand out to your dog as much as it does to you, blending into a singular tonal wash instead of two distinct colors.

Implications for Dog Owners

Understanding dogs’ color vision has practical implications. Knowing that blues and yellows are more vivid to dogs can influence your choices in toys, accessories, and even training tools. Opting for these dog-friendly colors might catch your pet’s eye more quickly and make playtime extra enjoyable.

Moreover, awareness of their color vision limitations can offer insights into certain behaviors or preferences your dog may exhibit, perhaps explaining why they seem to favor the yellow squeaky toy over the red one.

Exploring the Science Behind Canine Color Vision

The science of canine color vision largely concerns the biology of the eye. A dog’s retinal structure includes rod cells, which are good for low-light vision and detecting movement, and cone cells, which are responsible for color perception.

Recent research that delved into dog vision employed the use of specially designed tests to determine the exact range of colors a dog can see. These studies confirmed the dichromatic nature of their vision but also revealed a richness to their world that’s not just shades of gray.


Are dogs colour blind?

No, dogs are not color blind in the sense that they can only see black and white. They can indeed see colors, but have a limited spectrum compared to humans.

How do dogs (and humans) see color?

Humans see color with three kinds of cone cells, allowing us to see red, blue, and green. Dogs have two kinds of cone cells and mainly perceive the world in blue and yellow hues.

What does a dog’s vision compare to a human’s?

A dog’s vision is not as vivid or varied as a human’s due to fewer cone cells. Dogs also have better night vision and a broader field of vision than humans.

What color is best for your dog’s favourite toy?

Toys that are blue or yellow are likely to be more appealing to your dog due to the visibility of these colors in their vision spectrum.

What color do dogs see best?

Dogs see shades of blue and yellow best.

What is the easiest color for a dog to see?

Blue is one of the easiest colors for a dog to see and distinguish.

Do dogs see black and white?

Dogs see shades of gray where a human might see reds, greens, and oranges, but their vision is not limited to just black and white.

What does pink look like to dogs?

Pink, being a variation of red, would likely appear as a grayish or brownish yellow to a dog.

By weaving together the insights on canine color perception into daily interactions and choices, dog owners can better empathize with their four-legged companions and enrich their multi-sensory experiences. Whether picking out a new plaything or engaging in outdoor activities, considering dog vision in your decision-making connects you more deeply with the way your dog perceives their joyful existence.


Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Frenz Lifestyle & Wellness Blog

For Lifestyle trends, tips, and best product reviews

Join Our Subscriber List Today!

This will close in 0 seconds