Dogs are born blind
During the first 10-14 days after birth, a puppy is deaf and blind. After this period – also called neonatal phase – the eyes open and the closed ear canals open.
Dogs are color blind
To be able to detect colors, special cells are located in the retina that catch light; so-called cones. People have 3 types of cones, each cone is sensitive to a different color: red, green and blue. With these 3 cones together we are able to see everything in ‘full color’. Dogs only have 2 types of cones and they also have less as we do. They therefore see fewer colors and the colors they see are less intense.
Jay Neitz researched color blindness in dogs at the University of California. He always showed dogs 3 light panels in a row, 2 of which had the same color. The dogs then had to designate the abnormal color. With a good answer the dog was rewarded. The results of this study show that dogs can distinguish the colors yellow and blue in particular.
In the image below you can see that orange, yellow and green are all slightly similar; these colors and are perceived as a mustard yellow color by a dog. Red, like green, also looks like a brown mustard color or sometimes even black. So dogs can hardly make a distinction between red and green. Violet and blue fuse, as it were, to the same blue tint.
Where is the red ball ?
Many dog ??toys are red in color, but how does a dog see that? Since for dogs green and red are almost the same color, you can imagine that a red ball in the grass does not immediately stand out for a dog.
And what about the feed of our dogs? We tend to think that chunks should be red and we also think that red steak is delicious. A dog does not have a message about that and will mainly go for his nose. Red dyes that are added to feed with the aim of making the food look better, are therefore unnecessary.
Dogs see better in the dark
The wild relatives and ancestors of our dog are / were active at dusk to hunt and it is therefore important for them that they have a good view in the dark. Dogs still have this property. There are 3 reasons why dogs see better in the dark.
In the retina there are other light-sensitive cells next to cones: rods.
Rods are very light sensitive and ensure that we can see even in low light. Dogs have more rods than we do.
In addition to the rods, there are 2 parts of the eye that are important for the amount of light that enters the eye: the cornea and the lens. The cornea – also called cornea – is the transparent part on the outside of the eye through which the light falls through. The lens is located behind the pupil
Dogs have a larger human ear membrane that allows them to absorb more light.
You’ll probably have seen it in a cat in the dark or on a photo that uses a flash: eyes of some animals light up in the dark as if there are lights in it. Behind the retina is a kind of mirror – the tapetum lucidum – it has a shiny surface and it reflects incoming light. In this way, incoming light can be used extra. Dogs also have a tapetum lucidum and therefore see better in the dark than we do.