What do dogs see

What do dogs see

As pet owners, we often wonder what our furry friends are thinking and how they perceive the world around them. One of the most common questions is what do dogs see? While dogs and humans have some similarities in vision, there are also some significant differences. In this blog post, we will explore what dogs see and how their visual perception affects their behavior.

Color Vision

It was once believed that dogs could only see in black and white, but research has since proven otherwise. While dogs do not see colors in the same way that humans do, they are not completely colorblind. Dogs have two types of color-sensitive cells, or cones, in their eyes, while humans have three. This means that dogs have a limited color range and can only see shades of blue and yellow. Colors like red and green may appear as shades of brown or gray to dogs.

Visual Acuity

Visual acuity refers to the sharpness of vision or the ability to see fine details. Dogs have lower visual acuity than humans, meaning that they cannot see small details as clearly as we can. Their vision is more geared towards detecting motion and tracking movement. This is why dogs are often able to catch a frisbee or ball in mid-air - they are able to track its movement through the air.

Night Vision

Dogs have a specialized structure in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back through the retina. This helps to amplify even the smallest amount of light, which is why dogs have better night vision than humans. Dogs can see in low light conditions, and some breeds are even able to see in complete darkness.

Field of Vision

Dogs have a wider field of vision than humans, as their eyes are positioned on the sides of their head. This means that they are able to see more of their surroundings without having to move their head. However, this wider field of vision comes at a cost - dogs have a smaller binocular field, which means that they have a smaller area of overlapping vision. This affects their depth perception, making it more difficult for them to judge distances accurately.

What Dogs See and How it Affects Their Behavior

Understanding what dogs see can help us understand their behavior. Dogs rely heavily on their sense of vision to navigate their environment, detect prey, and interact with other dogs and humans. Dogs that have poor eyesight may be more fearful or hesitant in new situations, while dogs with sharp eyesight may be more confident and outgoing.

Dogs that have a wider field of vision may be more aware of their surroundings, but they may also have more difficulty focusing on specific objects. This can make it harder for them to learn obedience commands or to follow visual cues.

Dogs with better night vision may be more active during the nighttime hours and may be more alert to sounds and smells that are not as noticeable during the daytime. This can lead to barking or other vocalizations that may disturb their owners or neighbors.


While dogs and humans see the world in different ways, understanding what dogs see can help us better understand their behavior and how they interact with their environment. Dogs have a limited color range, lower visual acuity, better night vision, and a wider field of vision than humans. These differences affect their behavior and may impact their ability to learn and follow visual cues. As pet owners, it is important to be aware of these differences and to adjust our interactions with our dogs accordingly.

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