I was watching a movie, and there was a part where they tried to show things from the dog’s eyes, and it was all black and white. This made me wonder, is my rottweiler color blind?
Rottweilers are color blind, but they do not see in black and white. While we humans have three color receptors, canines have only two. Their vision is limited to the spectrum of blue, yellow, and violet. They cannot see colors ranging from red to green.
What is color blindness?
Humans and dogs have similar eye structures, but there is a huge difference in their color spectrum and visual focus. Color blindness is basically the reduced ability to differentiate between specific colors.
This is a common condition in humans, and red and green color discrimination is also a common form of color deficiency.
Dogs, including rottweilers, can’t see specific colors. Colors like orange, red and green aren’t distinguishable by rottweilers.
The canine color palette only consists of yellows, violets, and blues. So your rottweiler can see a blue frisbee but can’t distinguish the difference between an orange and an apple.
Cones are photoreceptor cells that are responsible for colored vision and eye sensitivity. Similarly, the retina is a lining that connects the eyes to the brain, converting light into electric impulses. These signals are later converted into images in the brain.
The missing of these color molecules causes rottweilers to be color-blind.
Can Rottweilers See colors?
Rottweiler can see colors to some extent. They can see the shades of blue and yellow, but their eyes are incapable to see colors ranging from red to green.
Sadly, most dog toys are made with warm colors like red, pink, and orange.
It’s difficult for your Rottie to differentiate between an orange ball and a pink ball. I would highly recommend you to buy toys that suit their color spectrum. This will allow your dog to have fun and not be visually challenged.
Spectrum challenges faced by Rottweilers:
In the last few decades, there have been hundreds of experiments conducted by various scientists. According to the examination, canines and humans have similar eye structures, but there is a huge difference between their cones.
This difference is created due to the evolution and functional difference in humans and dogs. Dogs have developed their senses regarding hunting, night vision, and catching movements. They also have more rods, which helps in improved night vision.
The retina consists of two key components called the rods and cones. Cones control bright light, give color perception, and rods help catch movements and allow night vision. This is one of the reasons why dogs can capture faster moments compared to humans.
According to Dr. Jerry Klein, ‘for the purpose of hunting, dogs have a large lens and corneal surface, resulting in better night vision compared to humans.’
Each cone helps in registering different types of light wavelengths, missing cones or defective cones can cause color blindness. The cones responsible for red-green shades are missing in canines, resulting in a restricted color spectrum. So basically, your fluffy friend is spectrum challenged and not completely blind.
Myth: Everything is black and white
The whole concept of dogs having a black and white vision results from thriller spy movies portraying the visual representation of canines.
According to the movies, everything looks black and white or grey, or blurry. But this is not true, and dogs can actually see colors and react to them.
According to Will Judy, a dog expert and the past publisher of Dog week magazine, his theory states that dogs can only see shades of black and white.
He was claimed to be the first human to build a theory that dogs have poor vision and that their life is colorless. His ideology also stated that canines can only see the outer lining of objects and only in one shade. Later the theory was partially proven wrong and was proven that dogs could see colors, but their color spectrum is restricted.
Basics difference between human and dog eyes
The basic difference between human and dog eyes is the number of cones. Rottweilers have only two cones while humans have three cones, this results in a restricted color spectrum. In the most human sense, this is considered color blindness.
Fun Fact: Some birds and aquatic creatures have four types of cones, resulting in a broader color spectrum and the ability to absorb ultraviolet light.
Now that you know that your rottweiler can’t see certain colors, it would be easier for you to pick proper toys for your dog. This might explain the crazy excitement that dogs show when they see a yellow ball.
Now you also know that your dog doesn’t see the world in black and white and has some sense of color and that they also enjoy colors. So let’s pledge to buy more yellow and blue toys for our best friend and avoid anything red, green, or orange.