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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seeing the world through your dog's eyes!

The age old question. “Can my dog see color?” The age old general answer. “Dogs are color blind." So is this correct? Are dogs color blind?

Not exactly. Dogs see color but they see it differently then we do. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs have color sensitive cones in the eyes as do humans, but dogs have fewer of these light catching cones so it signifies that a dog’s vision would not be as rich as a human’s. There are different types of cones and each type of cone tunes into different wavelengths of light. Humans have three different types of cones whereas dogs have only two. So while they see color, they see fewer colors. Basically they see their world in colors of yellow, blue, and gray. So something green, orange, or yellow would be seen as more of a yellowish color. Blue/green may be seen as a bluish/ gray color. However dogs were able to see differences between various shades of blue and violet that the humans could not.
In the picture below you can compare the differences between the site of humans as to that of dogs.
So hopefully this ends that age old question and helps you pick out the best new color toy for your dog to help him see it more easily. And while I am glad a dog sees in color, I am also glad that no matter what, they see the world as a happy place to be and they always give humans a second chance!

Here’s a test you can try on this link on  just to keep it interesting.
Take three objects that are exactly alike in shape and size. Get a blue, green, and red one. Train with the blue one that anything that comes from the blue object gets the dog something positive. Give a command that names the blue object. Once the dog understands that, then bring into the mix the green and red one. Wash them all so there is no specific scent on the blue one, then lay them out and ask the dog to get the blue one.

I did try this with  Casey with three freshly washed hand towels and the time it took to learn the color blue and to pick out the blue towel amongst a green and red one took all of about 10 minutes.  Casey is a 9 year old Golden with some sight issues but was still able to do it. Click here to see the video   You just have to get past a little baking as he figures out what I want from him

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