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Do Dogs See in Color?

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There’s an old myth that dogs only see in black and white. Luckily for our canine companions, this is not true! While dogs do not have the same range of color perception as people, they can see more than just black and white.

Dogs have dichromatic vision, meaning they have two types of cones in their eyes that can detect blue and yellow colors. The human eye has three types of cones that can identify red, blue, and green.

Nerve cells in the eye discern cones and their ranges of color. The retina has two primary types of cells: rods and cones. Rods pick up on light and motion while cones differentiate between colors.

While humans have more cones and can see a broader and brighter range of colors, dogs have more rods in their retinas. Having more rods in the retina allows them to see better in the dark and to identify the movement of prey.

Because dogs have fewer cones than people, they might not see things in the same color as us. For instance, similar colors such as purple and blue or red and yellow look the same to a dog. This is where a dog’s keen sense of smell comes into play when they need to identify something.

Check out some more fun facts about dogs, like how dogs sweat and why dogs turn in circles before lying down.

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