What colors can dogs see?

This post may contain references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.


Mike Tanaka


Do you ever wonder what colors your dog sees and how they see the world? Are you curious to know how their vision is different from ours? 

In this post, we’ll explore the colors that dogs can see, breaking down the differences between their vision and ours and also which colors are their favorites.

Rather watch a video? We got you covered!

Difference between dogs and human vision

It is a common misconception that dogs are colorblind, however research has demonstrated that canines are not blind to color. Rather, they are able to distinguish fewer colors than humans due to their dichromatic vision. To expand on this finding, it is important to understand the underlying science that explains why.

The ability to distinguish colors is the result of specialized cells located on the retina called cones. Humans have 3 cones that help us see the world in three primary colors; red, green, and blue. We are considered trichromatic and are able to see the world in a wide range of colors.

Dogs, on the other hand, are limited to only two cones which means they see the world mostly in blue, yellow, gray, white and black. This is why they are considered “dichromatic” and their vision is limited to a different range than ours.

Dogs can see yellow, blue, purple clearly while they are colorblind to red, green and orange

Dogs are able to differentiate between colors as long as they are a mix of blue and yellow. But they have a hard time seeing red and green: To dogs, these colors look grayish yellow. So he will have a harder time finding a red ball on a grass field than a blue one as the ball’s red color will blend in with the grass.

List of what certain colors looks like to dogs

Difference of visible spectrum between humans and dogs
  • To dogs red looks like grayish yellow
  • To dogs green looks yellow
  • To dogs orange looks yellow

Dog’s favorite colors

With that said, can you guess their favorite colors? You guessed it, it’s blue and yellow! So when it comes to choosing a color for your dog toy, it’s good to stick to those two primary colors that dogs can distinguish. This makes it easier for him to find and focus on the toy which leads to more success in following commands such as fetch. 


Understanding the colors that your dogs can see helps us humans to better interact, communicate and bond with them. We hope this post helps you to pick the right color toys, choose colorful treats, and incorporate more blue and yellow into your dog’s environment. You’ll be showered with even more kisses and tail wags!

Leave a Comment