Home > Learning Center > Pet Health & Routine Care
Was this page Helpful

Are Dogs Red-Green Color Blind? Facts about Color Blindness in Dogs

Updated by Sheryl on Jul 22, 2021

Are you the one who ever wondered how the world looks via the eyes of your dogs? Or you may think about whether your dog can easily see all rainbow colors? If you own dog eyes, then you will see everything differently. It was an idea that the researcher accepted for decades, but according to new results and research, though dogs cannot see all the colors that human beings can, they still can see few colors. The answer to your question of “Are dogs color blind” and “What kind of colorblind are dogs” is yes and they are red-green color blind. They are unable to perceive green or red color as well as are unable to perceive the shades consists of these two colors like orange, purple, and pink. Shades of green and red look just like grayscale and brown to your dog. The dominant colors in the color vision of dogs are yellow and blue. For more detail, read on to learn about why our dogs are so-called red-green color blind.

white dog with black eyes

The red-green color-blindness in humans is one of the common types of color deficiency. It is generally caused by deficiency or abnormalities of color-detecting molecules commonly found in the retina and are known as cones. The retina is the part of the human eye present at the backside and helps convert light to electrical impulses. Furthermore, these signals conveyed the message to the brain with the help of the brain, and the image is formed on the retina. But unfortunately, people with missing photoreceptors are unable to recognize lightwaves, and it makes them color-blind.

Generally, your dogs' eyes consist of two cones, which means that they are unable to perceive green or red color as well as are unable to perceive the shades consists of these two colors like orange, purple, and pink. Will Judy, who is the publisher of do Week Magazine, lifelong fancier and writer, claimed to be the first person who declares the poor vision of dogs. He thought that dogs would not see the single tones and shades but only see general shapes and outlines.

Dogs and humans both have two kinds of color receptors known as rods and cones. Rods tackle to see in the dark and provide an ability to watch everything around and side to side. Similarly, the cone can easily handle daytime vision and handle color perception in dogs. Both cones in dogs can detect the light wavelength. The vision of the dogs closely resembles the people who have vision deficiencies of red-green color. These people are unable to distinguish between green and red colors.

 dog's view and human's view

Research led us to believe that all dogs in the world can see the world via the unique spectrum of color. The dominant colors in the color vision of dogs are yellow and blue. Shades of green and red look just like grayscale and brown to your dog. Blue, violet, green-blue look just like changing shades of blue.  The missing color receptors in dogs are not the single thing that distinguishes the vision of dogs from human beings. Generally, dogs are nearsighted, and the vision estimation in dogs is 20/75. It means that when your dog can look at anything that is 20 feet away, it appears to be seen at 75 feet away. You can estimate by these facts that your dogs are poor nearsighted because of their terrible vision. But thanks to the wide-set eyes of your dogs, they have not a broader field of vision but can see things in a faster way. It is the facts that make your dogs better at spotting instant-moving prey.

 dog's color vision

Guide dogs are skilled at securely guiding a human to a predetermined place. This includes keeping an eye out for dangers. Curbs, steps, and potholes, as well as low-hanging tree limbs or power wires, can all be hazardous to a blind person. Guide dogs can be well trained at specific schools or by their owners.

However, there are some things they simply cannot accomplish. As dogs are red-green colorblind so you might be confused, how do they detect traffic signals when the light of traffic turns from one color to another.

Actually, guide dogs distinguish the traffic light relying instead on two lamp brightness to difference, though, the red light and green light in their eyes are grey but is can distinguish different gray, dog's ability to identify subtle variations in shades of gray is very strong, rely on this ability, can distinguish objects of light and shade change, produce three-dimensional visual images. They can then be trained to judge traffic lights based on different shades of grey.

Besides, when there are other pedestrians around, a guide dog will choose to observe other people's movements. If most people choose to pass, the dog will give its owner an ok signal. If not, the dog will wait. If there are no pedestrians around, the dog will observe the traffic flow by itself, and when the direction of passage is confirmed, the dog will send a signal to its owner to pass. Also, some crossings feature audible signals, which can be useful.

A lot of times, the dog's and handler's talents need to work together to complete their travel plans.

What are they taught in a training session?

Because of color blindness, guide dogs are well trained in a proper way. They are taught:

  • Avoid any types of obstacles on their way
  • To walk without sniffing along the pavement centrally
  • Stop to indicate raised steps and sidewalk
  • Always attentive for the instructions and never turn at the corners unless someone asked them to do so
  • Easily travel on all types of public transport.
  • Find places, crossings, and doors that are regularly visited

It is all about why dogs are red-green colorblind from our side.  You might notice that dogs are unable to see colors like purple, green, pink, red, and orange, so it isn't easy to see the objects present in these colors. Well, in a sense that they can see everything in only the white and black version and they are unable to see the complete color spectrum as humans do. The best way to check whether your dog can see these colors is simply to look at their favorite toys.

Kindly provide us with your kind suggestions and tips regarding how dogs can easily see color and complete their daily routine tasks.


Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. Click here to learn more.Got it