Canine Color Vision: What Colors Can Dogs See?

Have you ever wondered what colors your furry friend can see? As pet owners, we want to provide our dogs with the best possible care, including consideration of their vision. Understanding the range of colors visible to our beloved pets can help us better understand their world and tailor their interactions with the environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of canine color vision and the colors your dog can see.

Dog Vision Vs Human Vision

Dogs do not see the world in the same way humans do, and their color vision is no exception. Humans have three types of color-sensing cells, or cones, in the eyes that allow us to see a spectrum of colors ranging from violet to red. In contrast, dogs only have two types of cones, limiting their color perception to shades of blue and yellow. This means that dogs’ color vision is much less vivid and somewhat similar to red-green color-blindness in humans.

Dogs and Red-Green Colors

While dogs can see blue and yellow, they are not able to distinguish between different shades of red and green, which appear as a grayish-brown hue to them. This can have practical implications in the way we interact with our dogs. For example, red or green objects may blend into the background, making them difficult for dogs to notice. On the other hand, blue and yellow objects are easily distinguishable and can be used in training and play.

Breed-Specific Vision Variations

Interestingly, dogs’ color vision can also vary depending on their breed. Certain breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, have a genetic variation that enhances their color vision. These dogs have an extra type of cone, allowing them to see more colors than their counterparts. However, this enhanced vision is still limited to shades of blue, green, and yellow.

Colorblindness in Dogs

Colorblindness in dogs is also more prevalent in certain breeds. For example, male Beagles are more likely to have red-green colorblindness than other breeds. Similarly, female Dalmatians can have a form of colorblindness, resulting in difficulty distinguishing between blue and yellow.


While dogs’ color vision is limited in comparison to humans, they still have a unique perspective on the world around them. By understanding the colors that dogs can see, we can make their environment more stimulating and engaging, whether it be through training, play, or everyday interactions. Keep in mind that your dog’s color vision may also be influenced by their breed, so it’s always a good idea to pay attention to their particular abilities and limitations. Next time you’re playing with your pup, take a moment to appreciate the colors they can see and how they make their world a little brighter.