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Hundeblick: How do dogs see the world?


The dog view is optimally adapted to the conditions that prevailed when dogs were still wolves. In order to hunt, they had to see well at dawn and be able to quickly recognize movements. The variety of colors, however, was never particularly important for the animals. This dog masters the Dachshund look perfectly - Shutterstock / leungchopan

For this reason, dogs' eyes still perceive things that people overlook. In return, people see details that remain hidden from a dog.

Are dogs color blind?

Scientists used to think that dogs see the world in black and white. Today we know that a dog can see at least certain colors, if not as many different shades as humans. All eyes have a retina that is important for both light sensitivity and color recognition. So-called rods and cones are on the retina. The more rods on the retina, the more light it can absorb. The more different cones there are on the retina, the more colorful the world appears.

The human eye is equipped with three different types of cones and can therefore recognize a color spectrum of red, green and blue in its gradations. A person can distinguish up to 200 shades in this way. Dogs, on the other hand, only have two different types of cones in their eyes, so their color spectrum only includes blue-violet and yellow. The color red appears to dogs like yellow, the color green they do not see and the purple appears to them like gray.

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Dogs see well at dusk

In return, dogs have more chopsticks in their eyes than humans. This means that they need less light to see everything with their dog's eyes. The many sticks in the dog's eye ensure that the animal already absorbs very small amounts of light, such as those that prevail at dawn or dusk. However, dogs cannot see anything in total darkness.

Field of vision and movements in the dog's eye

Unlike humans, dogs are a little short-sighted. At least as long as objects stand still, the dog's eye cannot see them at a distance of more than six meters. On the other hand, a person can see sharply about 20 meters away. However, if an object moves, dogs can see it from a distance. This is extremely practical for hunting, as a dog or wolf can recognize a rabbit or other prey on the run even at dusk.

A dog's field of vision covers an angle of up to 240 degrees, depending on the breed of dog, because its eyes are further apart than in humans. However, dogs cannot see so much with both eyes at the same time, so that their spatial depth perception is less pronounced.