What Color Do Dogs See Best?

People often select toys or obedience training dumbells that are red or pink in order for their dog to locate them more easily in the grass, however this assumption is usually incorrect.

Humans enjoy seeing an infinite rainbow, while dogs’ vision is restricted by only having two types of cones that recognize color – this condition is known as dichromatic vision.

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Blue stands out to dogs. It’s the color they associate with their sandbox, water dish, toys and most food dishes – even their favorite food dish! Therefore, having blue toys or beds may cause your furry friend to prefer them over others. Dogs don’t recognize red as an individual color while green can appear similar to yellow and blue so its best to steer clear from items featuring these hues for their safety.

One common belief about dogs is that they’re entirely colorblind and only see the world in black-and-white. But this couldn’t be further from reality – dogs can detect colors such as blue and yellow clearly – just not with as many different shades as humans would experience them.

Researchers suspect that dogs’ color vision resembles that of people suffering from red-green color blindness, in that they lack specific retinal cells to recognize certain wavelengths of light. People affected by this condition will still be able to detect some hues such as yellow and blue; however, reddish hues or orange tones appear as dark brown-gray or even black in their vision.

Dogs differ from humans by possessing only two types of color-detectors in their eyes compared to three. These cone-shaped receptors can identify various combinations of red, green, and blue hues and hues; due to this fact they only see limited ranges of colors – known as dichromatic vision.

Red, pink and purple all appear yellowish to a dog, making things like finding tennis balls in high grass more difficult or telling red toys from yellow ones more challenging.

There’s good news – your dog can learn to appreciate more colors by using toys and beds in blue, yellow or gray hues. Additionally, try dimming down the brightness of your home lights to help them see more of what they want them to see.


A common myth among dog lovers that they are colorblind and only see shades of black, white and gray is false. Although their vision may be limited, dogs still see some colors that they can differentiate between; blue yellow and various shades of gray being particularly notable among them.

Humans possess three photoreceptors known as cones that help identify light frequencies reaching the retina, while dogs only possess two cones which serve to identify light frequency that reaches their retinas. Therefore, humans can see more colors than dogs do and are therefore considered trichromatic while dogs are dichromatic (i.e. they only see half).

According to behavioral testing on dogs, yellow is the color they most readily identify with. Blue and grey were next in line. A dog may be able to pick out these colors due to how much they stand out against their environment.

A dog may see primary colors, but lacks the specific photoreceptors needed to differentiate red from green. Therefore, shades of both colors appear similar or may even merge into each other or even appear as shades of brown or gray to them.

It can become confusing if you provide multiple toys of the same hue, or are training your dog on a course with poles, jumps and tunnels with different colors. Furthermore, it may be hard to tell whether your pup has a red, yellow or even grey ball!

Though dogs may appear colorblind to us humans, it is still important to keep in mind that they can see some colors. Doing so helps them navigate their surroundings more easily – that is why agility trainers use equipment with different hues so obstacles will stand out easier from one another and allow their canines to see them more quickly! Likewise, pet owners commonly purchase toys and beds in blue and yellow shades because these will most easily draw a dog’s attention!


Dogs don’t possess green vision. In reality, their vision consists of both blue and yellow colors combined. Due to this fact, some may assume that dogs only exist in black-and-white world. But that is simply not the case!

Behavior testing has revealed that dogs have exceptional vision when it comes to blue, yellow, and gray hues – known as dichromatic vision since dogs only contain two types of color pigments as opposed to three in humans’ eyes. People suffering from red-green color blindness still can detect yellow and blue, though green often appears as shades of gray to them.

Therefore, when throwing a green tennis ball in the grass, your dog may have difficulty finding it. Particularly in tall grass areas where green may appear more like dead hay to them than its lush hue we see every day.

If you are concerned about your dog’s eyesight, a veterinary eye specialist can perform a visual exam to assess his eye health and color perception. Most specialists also offer additional eye care options like prescription glasses or contact lenses as needed.

As a dog owner, understanding how your pup perceives their world can provide invaluable insights into what interests them and how best to meet their needs. Knowing this will enable you to select toys or other items which appeal specifically to them. Understanding which colors your dog perceives may make a huge difference in their happiness so it’s vitally important that we become familiar with how our pup perceives colors.


While dogs don’t see the full spectrum of colors that humans do, they’re certainly not color blind. Dogs can recognize various hues such as shades of blue, yellow and gray; although red may be difficult for them to discern as accurately. Their world is far more colorful than what the public assumes!

There have been various theories put forth as to why humans and dogs do not see the same colors. One popular theory suggests that dogs only see black and white; however, this has since been debunked as false information. Another popular belief states that they cannot see colors at all; again this too has since been disproven.

Recently it has been proven that dogs can understand a similar range of colors as humans and are quite adept at doing so. While we see each shade more easily due to our having more red-green receptor cells in our bodies than dogs do (known as being color blind), dogs cannot. Unfortunately, due to lacking these cells they cannot appreciate a complete spectrum of hues like us humans do.

Dog’s eyes contain more rods than cones, giving them the superpower of seeing well even in dim lighting conditions. Furthermore, they possess an additional layer behind their retinas called tapetum lucidum that reflects light back onto the retina and further contributes to night vision. This explains why so well at night vision exists amongst these pets.

As this also explains their inability to distinguish certain flowers and plants, this also helps explain why they don’t react the same way to yellow tennis balls as we do, instead being less interested. Given they evolved as nighttime hunters, their best work occurs under low light conditions where contrasted colors help them see clearly against a background, picking out movements which stand out against it more easily – something many dog trainers recommend using when training your pup! It is also why students using obedience training equipment such as dumbells have to wear clothing when training their dog – something trainers recommends so they can quickly spot movements and signals and spot these movements or signals more quickly against its surroundings! Contrasting colors are used by students when training dogs so their movements and signals stand out against its background more easily – something many dog trainers advise.

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