It’s common knowledge that dogs don’t see the world the same way we do, but there are a lot of misconceptions about how dogs see the world — now, a new app simply called Dog Vision shows us just how dogs see.
Dog vision differs significantly from human vision, primarily in color perception and visual acuity. Humans have trichromatic vision, meaning we can see a wide range of colors due to the presence of three types of color receptors (cones) sensitive to red, green, and blue light. Dogs, however, are dichromatic, possessing only two types of cones sensitive mainly to blue and yellow wavelengths, making their color perception more limited. They cannot distinguish between red and green, seeing the world in shades of blue, yellow, and gray.
Many people believe dogs see in black in white, which is simply not true; their vision is more similar to blurry color-blindness, with less sensitivity to shades of grey. Dog Vision takes into consideration what we know and transforms images into their “how doggy sees this” equivalent. The differences are evident.
First of all, dogs see less colors than we do. The cone cells in our eyes are responsible for day vision and color perception; each cone detects a different wavelength of light, so we can see a broad spectrum of colors. Dogs have cone cells too, but unlike humans who have three types of cones, they have only two, like red-green colorblind people. This makes their color vision very limited. Simply put, they see less colors than us.
Dogs are also very short sighted – a special test, custom-made for dogs, puts them at around 20/75 vision, according to Psychology Today. This means a human could barely see at 23 metres (75 feet) is what a dog can just about make out at 6 metres (20 feet).They are also worse than us at detecting brightness differences (shades).
But don’t feel bad about our canine friends – while sight may not be their best sense, they more than compensate with their other senses.
So, head on and experiment with your own pictures — maybe of yourself — to see how your dog sees the world around him!
Update: the app on which this article was based is no longer online. At the time of the writing, the app had good reviews and seemed scientifically backed. Several other dog vision apps exist at the moment
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