SEP 29, 2017 11:40 PM PDT

Here's What Dogs Really See

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


A common myth is that dogs can only see in black and white, while humans can see colors. On the contrary, dogs can see some colors, just not as many as we can.

Individual sensors called rods and cones reside in the back of the eyeball and determine how well we can see and what colors we can make out. Rods are responsible for handling low-light vision, while cones allow us to see a plethora of different colors.

Humans have three types of cones, which discern shades of red, green, and blue. Combined, these permit us to see a wide variety of vibrant colors. On the other hand, dogs only possess two kinds of cones, so they see fewer colors.

Scientists aren't completely sure what colors dogs see, but some theorize that they can discern shades of blue and yellow.

While dogs might have limitations when it comes to seeing colors, studies have shown that they have more rods in their eyes than humans do. More rods, coupled with a layer of tissue called the tapetum lucid, mean better vision in lower-light conditions than we have.

Perhaps it's a worthy trade-off to have, but it simply isn't accurate to say that we have better vision than dogs, given the circumstances.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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