• Question: do dogs see in black and white ?, if so why?

    Asked by caitlink0406 to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 13 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by aokane542, eviej26.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      In the eyes of mammals, we see by converting light into electrical signals. Light comes in different colours (frequencies). Some of our eye cells (cones) don’t care much about the colour or frequency, they just turn on and off at any frequency. Other cells (rods) are sensitive to the frequency, and give a stronger signal for particular colours.

      Humans have three types of rods, roughly lining up with red, blue and green. This lets us tell how much each colour is made up of red, blue and green light.

      Dogs, and most other mammals except for monkeys and marsupials, have two types of rods. They can see colors, but they are color-blind. That is, some things that look like different colours to us look like the same color to dogs. In particular, they have trouble telling red and green apart.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Looks like Drew knows a lot about this – I’m sitting beside a vet right now and she agrees! She says that dogs can see in colour but its not as good as our colour vision! 🙂

    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      You are asking lots of good question today caitlink0406. Another great answer by Drew!

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Colour blind dogs… Tes throw a red ball into green grass…??? Would this work? I’d imagine they would see a change of shade rather than different colour..

      Good answer drew!

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Nice answer Drew!! That is a great description. I think I will try to test my dogs 😉

      Keep the great questions coming!!