Are Dogs Colorblind? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you that dogs are colorblind, or even worse dogs can’t see color at all. But that isn’t quite true. They may not be able to see the same range of colors as humans, but dogs do see some color, and there are different types of colorblindness in humans and dogs too. Here at Pet Gifts & Toys, we will answer the question of if dogs are colorblind.

Why Does My Dog Treat Me Differently When I Wear Glasses?

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Ask any dog owner if their canine companion has a favorite person, and you might get an interesting response. Some will tell you that their pet absolutely loves one human in particular—while others are quick to note that their dog treats everyone equally well. But what happens when your favorite human is sporting new glasses? Does your pup change his or her perception of that person? A recent study from City University London explored just how dogs respond to humans wearing different types of glasses. Specifically, the team observed whether or not dogs would show a preference for either the right-handed or left-handed model of the test subject. For this experiment, researchers had a right-handed person wear glasses with blue lenses on the left side of their face and clear lenses on the right side. For left-handed individuals, they swapped out the blue for clear lenses on both sides.

What Colors Do Dogs See?

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When we look at a rainbow, it’s easy to take for granted that each of us can see all of its beautiful colors—and more. But what about your dog? Most dogs don’t see rainbows as we do. Research indicates that dogs are actually red-green colorblind, which means they only see two colors: yellow and blue. So when you show your pet an orange ball, he or she will just see it as yellow because there is no green in the mix. That doesn’t mean that the animal sees nothing but black and white though; some research suggests that dogs might be able to distinguish between shades of gray. In one study, 18 dogs were trained to find either a brown or white tennis ball in the dark. Even though the balls were identical in shape and size, the animals could tell them apart by sniffing their scents.

True Facts About Seeing Eye Dogs

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Those dogs you see leading a blind person around are more than just cute service animals; they’re actually trained professionals. Seeing-eye dogs need to be trained extensively, so they know how to respond when their owner falls, when and where to cross streets, and how to avoid obstacles like crowds or cars. Some of the most common breeds used for seeing-eye dogs are Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Labradoodles, and mixed breeds with at least one of these types of breeds in them. A dog can start training for being a seeing-eye dog as early as six months old (although older dogs can still learn). They have to pass multiple tests before they’re considered qualified for the job.

Should you treat a colorblind dog differently?

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Dog owners may have noticed that their furry friend is behaving differently around certain objects. For example, a green ball might be completely ignored while a yellow ball is immediately pounced on. It’s possible that your dog is colorblind, but you might be surprised to find out how common it really is. Studies show that up to 95% of dogs are believed to be colorblind. That’s because dogs can only see in shades of black and white, with occasional blushes of gray or blue thrown in for good measure. So even if your pup can’t tell the difference between red and orange, they’re still seeing the same thing as you do – just not as vibrant and bright as we humans do.

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