Ask A Vet: How Does a Dog See The World?

Ask A Vet: How Does a Dog See The World?

Have you ever wondered how do dogs see the world? A lot of people believe that dogs see the world in a similar manner as we humans do.

Well, this is not entirely true.

It is because there are some features that we humans possess, but dogs do not.

This week, the dog experts at Proud Dog Parents cover the topic: how do dogs see the world? 

How Does a Dog See The World?

There are three types of colour detecting cells that a normal human eye contains. There are also referred to as cones. These three types of colour detecting cells help us differentiate blue from yellow and red from green. It is exactly what the difference between a human eye and a dog eye is. Dogs do not have three types of cones. In fact, the majority of mammals do not possess this feature. Now, as they only have two types of cones, they are just able to differentiate blue from yellow. It is not possible for them to distinguish red from green. It implies that dogs can not see every kind of colour and ultimately see the world entirely different from humans.

I guess you might know about the people who are colour blind. You can relate their colour vision with that of dogs’. As dogs do not have three kinds of cones, so does the colour blind people. It makes them see only a few types of colours. Ask a colour blind person how he sees things, and you will get a little bit of an idea of how dogs see some of the things in this world.

Myths Associated With Dog’s Vision

It is not the first time that we are talking about the myths related to dogs. There are numerous myths associated with dogs, and a myth related to the dog’s vision is no exception. Most of the time, it is believed that does only see two colours. Black and white. Well, this is not true and is absolutely a myth.

Myths Associated With Dog’s Vision

Let’s go back to 1937. Will Judy, a publisher of a dog magazine, was the first to claim that dogs do not have a proper vision. He believed that dogs were only able to see tones and shades. He also stated that dogs could only see the general shapes and outlines. Accordion to Will Judy: “It’s likely that all the external world appears to them as varying highlights of black and grey,” Judy wrote in his 1937 manual, “Training the Dog.”

In addition to this, many researchers previously claimed that primates are the only mammals who can recognize and detect different colours. However, even though many researchers claimed this point, there was a lack of scientific research to prove it. Later on, it was revealed that dogs are colour blind.

Are Dogs Able To See Better In The Dark?

It is one of the most commonly asked questions, and the simple answer to it is “yes”. There is no denying that dogs are able to see better when at night or in dark places. Why is that so? It is because they have established some of their senses as night hunters. Dogs have to track and catch their prey at night time. For that purpose, they need to have a better vision in the dark so that they can easily carry out their task at night.

Difference Between The Vision of a Human and a Dog

As mentioned before as well, most humans have three kinds of cones. On the other hand, dogs only have two kinds of cones. It makes them see only a few of the colours. This is one difference. Another difference between the vision of both is created by the rods. You may be wondering what exactly the rods are. These are basically the highly sensitive cells, and their main responsibility is to detect the action and movement in dark light, usually at night time.

Difference Between The Vision of a Human and a Dog

We know that as compared to dogs, humans possess more cons. With that being said, if we talk about the rods, the dogs possess more rodes in their retina in contrast to the human eye. The retina is the thing that makes the real difference between both a human eye and a dog’s eye.

Place Where You Can Get a Side by Side Comparision

If you want to see a clear difference in the vision of a dog and a human, you can visit the website Dog Vision. It is a wonderful source from where you can get pictures of a clear side by side comparison of how dogs see in contrast to humans.

What Do Dogs See When They Look at People? 

You are a proud dog parent just like me. I have 2 dogs myself and the longer you spend time with your canine friend, you notice that over time your dog begins to recognize you. At the same time you notice that he reacts differently to strange people. He will be a little more reserved than when he sees someone familiar. At the same time, he recognizes people he has not seen for a long time.

In short: your dog recognizes people. Much research has been done on the perception of dogs. But what does your dog actually recognize? Read this article about the studies on dog perception.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Do dogs see in 3d? 

Dogs, like humans, see in three-dimensions. It is not clear if dogs can see well in 2d like television screens and computer screens.  

Q2. How do dogs see humans? 

Final Thoughts

From the information that has been discussed above, it can be said that dogs have always been colour blind.

What Dogs See When They Look at People

Even though a few claims stated that dogs could only see black and white colour, these were merely the myths that were debunked later on. This information is very important for you because if you know how your dog sees, you will be able to make the right decisions while purchasing toys or other products for your dog. You would not buy products with those colours that your dog is not able to see. Choosing the blue or yellow colour for your dog would always prove to be helpful. Therefore, whenever you decide to buy training tools, toys, or any product for your dog, make sure it is blue or yellow. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you want more information on dogs, you can read my other articles.

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