Please note that these articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of BestFamilyDog.co.uk. As with all matters relating to your dog, please use your own judgement where appropriate.

Can Dogs see Colour?

The older generation amongst us may remember a time when black and white TV's were the norm and colour was a luxury, for which the British TV licence was more expensive...which led to an old joke about a dog licence being cheaper as they only see in black and white. Or do they?

Most people, when asked, still believe that dogs cannot percieve colour at all and can only see the world around them in varying shades of grey. In reality however they can see in colour, although to a lesser degree than we humans can. Dogs have dichromatic vision, compared to humans who have trichromatic vision, meaning they have access to a more limited range of colours recognition than we do. Their colour vision is roughly equivalent to that of a person with colour blindness (normally red or green). So in fact dogs do see the world in colour rather than from the viewpoint of a 1940s war film.

Dogs also have better vision than us in low level lighting conditions, thanks to their large pupils and high concentration of rods in the cornea, but they can only detect differences in brightness about half as well as we can. They can detect motion better than we do but their focus is not as good. For example, they may not notice someone standing a few hundred yards away, but if that person started moving or waving, they would spot them straight away.

Submitted by Mike Thompson June 2012.