Dogs are said to be color blind, but are they really? The answer is no, not really. Dogs are not color blind in the sense that they see only black, white, and greyish hues. They can see colors, but the range is limited to the spectrum we see.

What's Color Blindness


First and foremost, what is color blindness? In the late 18th century, an English scientist named John Dalton conducted research on color blindness because he and his brother could not distinguish some colors.

He then found out that there is such a thing as color blindness that is due to abnormalities in the color-detecting molecules in the eye’s retina. The retina is a liner in the back of the eye that converts light to electrical impulses which are then hauled through the optic nerve, then to the mind and which forms a picture. Missing a number of these color-detecting molecules will not recognize specific light wavelengths. This is what causes color blindness.


The retina of humans and dogs contains two types of photoreceptors, the rods and the cones. The cones operate in glowing lighting and restrain color perception, while rods are incredibly sensitive cells that capture work and movement at low light.

The human eye contains more cones compared to dogs. Dogs, however, have more rods. This explains why dogs have superior night vision and are better at tracking movements.

Dogs have a special way of perceiving things around them. Again, they are able to see colors, but not in the same way we humans see them. This is due to the fact that dogs only have two color-detecting cells in their retinas compared to humans who have three.


Dogs can actually see hues of blue, yellow, and brown, in addition to those of black, white, and grey. This means that if your pet has a red toy, then it may appear brown to them. Whereas an orange toy may appear somewhat brownish-yellow. This could be the reason why dogs love playing with brightly colored tennis balls.

If you feel bad that your dog does not see the world as colorful as you do, remember that his many other skills make up for the vision disadvantage. Aside from having a better night vision than us, dogs have a great sense of smell. A dog’s olfactory sense is 10,000 stronger than that of humans, which makes them a great partner in solving crimes and mysteries, as we often see in films, television, and in real life. Dogs have amazing senses!