What Do My Dogs See?

I was sitting here cuddled up with my dogs, riding out a torrential downpour, and I remembered hearing a vet say on the radio that dogs aren’t completely color blind after all. She said they are blue-yellow color blind, but not red-green color blind.

My apologies in advance to anyone out there who is color blind, because this will make even less sense to them than it does to me. Because I’m confused. Every time I think I get this, it seems to slip away again.

I always thought that if they were blue-yellow color blind they could see the green grass and the red apples in the bowl on my counter just as I did, and that Christmas must look just as Christmassy to them as it does to me. That made me happy.

But with time to kill as the rain came down, I started wondering how the world really does look to them. Via Google, I discovered that Blue-Yellow color blindness is called Tritanopia. That led me to a website called Colblindor.

There I learned that with Tritanopia, the color spectrum looks like this.


So wait, what? It’s called Blue-Yellow Color Blindness, but they’re seeing a lot of blue and no green? Hmmm. Okay. So no wonder they prefer their red toys.

But then I found another page on their website entitled “Can Dogs See Colors?” And it says, basically, that the question is controversial, but they conclude that dogs are in fact green blind, which is called Deuteranopia. If that’s the case, then what they see is this.


So much for the red toy theory. I guess they just like what they like. And that’s fine with me. I love them regardless.

The fact is, I still can’t wrap my brain around what my dogs see. I can’t imagine how I look to them. Heaven knows they see me at my worst. And as far as what they think about what they see? Forget it.


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

3 thoughts on “What Do My Dogs See?”

  1. Nature always gives with one hand and takes away with the other… dogs have good eyes for what they do. They can see well at night. They can spot movement. And don’t forget that their ears and noses are working at a whole other level than ours.

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