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Closeup to a dog's eyes, exploring the concept of what do dogs see through their eyes

What Do Dogs See Through Their Eyes? All About Dog Vision

The world through the eyes of a dog is an interesting and baffling thing. As you probably know, dogs do not see as we do. The things that their eyes pick up and the ways that their eyes pick up things are completely different from our own vision.

Modern science still hasn't proven exactly what the world looks like to one of our dogs, simply because there is no way to truly see through their eyes, and they can't just tell us what everything looks like. This leads to scientists studying the composition of the dog's eyes as well as working with our canine friends personally to see how they react to things.

This is the only real way that we have to study what dogs see and how they see those things. While there hasn't been enough testing to find out exactly how this works, there has been enough for us to have a basic idea of what our dogs are seeing and how they are processing it.

Dogs Actually See Based On Movement

Did you know that your dog can identify you by site better at a distance if you are moving rather than staying in one place? This is a good thing to know, especially if your dog happens to have run loose from the house or if you are playing with them at a dog park and you've thrown the toy a far way.

This ability is based on the way dogs' eyes react to light and movement. The light bounces off everything around them twice as fast as it does with our eyes.

This is why it's difficult for us to identify someone if they are in constant motion, but a dog is able to catch things in motion, like a ball or other interactive toys. If your dog is having issues identifying you from other people, try moving around. Their eyes will actually focus on you more, and they will be able to respond faster.

Vision Problems: Do Dog Eyes See Color?

Dog looking at camera with good vision

Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not color blind. For years people have believed that dogs only see in shades of black, white, and gray. This is far from the truth. However, the range of colors that a dog can perceive is much more limited than what we as humans can see with our eyes.

Most of what our dogs see are shades of yellows and blues. The reds, greens, and oranges that we are able to pick up usually appear on their yellow to blue scales.

To put it simply, they are basically red and green color blind. So, as you can imagine, the world looks very different to them.

The reason for this is because the retinas of both humans and dogs contain two different types of photoreceptors. These are called rods and cones.

Humans have more cones in their eyes, while dogs dominate on rods and have no fovea. The fovea is responsible for the sharp details that we get when we look at things.

So, what ends up happening is that the dog sees fewer colors and shapes. Also, objects have less detail to them than we see.

Tossing an orange ball onto green grass is probably going to look like you are putting something yellow onto something else yellow, but they are able to find the ball anyway because of their ability to track movement.

They probably cannot tell the true difference between a red ball and a green ball. However, it is likely that because of the way that the light reflects off of each color, they can tell there is some kind of color difference.

Unfortunately, this also means that they can't appreciate all the amazing colors in the dog shirt you have on. But hey, at least it still looks pretty for you!

Dogs Vision Vs. Humans Field Of View

Now, just because they can identify you from a long way if you are moving doesn't mean that they can clearly see you in detail. Our dogs' vision is more fuzzy than our own vision.

You've heard people compare their different eyesight acuity. Normal acuity is referred to as 20/20 vision. What this means is that at a distance of 20 feet, we can see two things that are 1.75mm apart.

Now, dogs do vary in different visual acuity just like humans do; however, most dogs are somewhere around 20/75. This means that they would recognize something 20 feet away that we would normally detect at 75 feet away.

This doesn't mean that they can't perceive it at 75 feet, it will just be very fuzzy and won't come into focus until the object is 20 feet away from them. Thankfully their eyes react fast, so once the ball coming at them comes into focus, they are able to catch it with little problem.

Night Vision: Your Dog Can See In The Dark

Husky climbing over a fence at night

The presence of more rods in a dog's eyes than we have means they are truly superior at detecting light and movement. Their eyes are much better in low-light situations than ours are.

Because of this, they are known as crepuscular or "twilight" hunters. This means that they are much better at spotting things lurking around the yard during dusk and dark than we are.

This is great for them and not so great for us, usually because that is when the barking occurs because they are trying to alert us to the thing over there that we are not perceiving. In flash photography, there is a tapetum lucidum that shows up in their eyes that has a greenish hue.

This particular surface is able to send light back over the retina of the eye and give twice the chance of picking up light via the eyes' photoreceptors. Basically, things feed through their eyes two times, as to where they only make it through our eyes once.

This is why they pick up movement at night better.

What Do Dogs See Through Their Eyes FAQ

What color do dogs see through their eyes?

Dogs mostly distinguish between blue and yellow colors.

Why do dogs look into your eyes?

Many experts believe that this is to read our emotions. That being said, we should also return the effort and try decoding their moans and other languages.

Are dogs near-sighted?

Yes, they are. According to studies, at least.

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