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February 2024

How well do dogs see?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Dogs can see colors but not as well as we can. They have a smaller ratio of cones to rods in their retinas.  Cones enable color vision and rods, black and white. There are a lower number of cones in a dogs retina. Dogs can see much better in dim light than we can. Remember, dogs hunted in the dawn and dusk hours so it makes sense that they can see well in dim light or the dark. The dog’s eye also possesses a light-reflecting layer   that acts as an image-intensifying device. The reflection makes objects that are seen in dim light, more clear. Dogs eyes shine in the dark.

Dogs don’t see as much detail as we do but they perceive motion much better. If an object is far away and is stationary, it is nearly invisible to a dog.  Tests have indicated that a dog cannot see it’s owner if he stands still 300 yards away but a dog can easily detect someone a mile away waving his arms or running back and forth.

Dogs have a wider field of view than humans do.  A greyhound has a visual range of 270 degrees. Typical dogs have about 250 degrees. Humans have only 180 degrees.

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