Can dogs really see like us? In this article, we will answer this question.

One of the most frequently asked questions that arise when welcoming a dog into the family is: how do dogs see?

Much research has been undertaken over the years with respect to this very interesting issue. Let´s take a look at it together.

How dogs see colours and distance

We can start by stating that the dog definitely sees a less colourful world than ours, a little more faded and less bright, but he absolutely does not see only black and white. In fact, dogs are able to distinguish some colours very well, whilst others tend to confuse them.

Here, then, is how the dog sees colours: blue, white and yellow are perceived very well by the dog, whilst the same cannot be said for green, orange and red, which are not seen well. This happens because of the so-called “cones”, one of the two types of photoreceptors present in the retina. We humans have three, but our furry friends only have two; so even if they can see very well even in poor light, dogs struggle to perceive some nuances of colours.

How do dogs see

Many people will find this information about dogs´ sight satisfying enough, but that’s not all. The dog also struggles to see well up close, yet sees much better from a distance and, above all, perceives movement very well. Dogs’ eyes are positioned to allow a field of vision of 240 degrees and, compared to us humans, they have better peripheral vision.

Unlike dogs, we have a field of view of only 180 degrees. Attentive and fast in detecting movements, our furry friends can perceive a movement with great rapidity. Remember that the more frontally positioned the dogs eyes are, the greater binocular vision will be, but at the expense of the visual field. An example of this is the Bulldog, whereas the German Shepherd has its eyes positioned more laterally and thus has a greater field of vision.

Do dogs see in the dark?

Finally, we often wonder how dogs see in the dark or, at least, if they see us. The answer is yes:  our four-legged friends´ eyes tend to “shine” at night, because behind their retina there is a structure called the tapetum lucidum that allows them to capture all the light possible and to see even in the dark. Now that you know everything about how dogs see, all you have to do is choose the coat in their favorite colour!