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Dog Vision

What Dogs See

Dog vision, or what dogs see, is not the same as our vision, and it can vary from breed to breed.

Have you ever wondered what dogs see--exactly what your dog’s eyes are seeing? Do you know what your dog sees up close, and what she sees far away? What colors does she see?

How does your dog react to something so far away that you can’t even see it? Is his dog vision that good, or is he just using his other senses?

It may not surprise you to learn that what dogs see, is different from what you see!

Close-up Dog Vision

Close up, dogs don’t see as well as we do. They have difficulty focusing their eyes, at close range. And a dog’s eyes are located too far apart to give him accurate depth perception.

As a result, your dog sees objects close to him as being fuzzy. However, he sees objects far away, more clearly.


Knowing what dogs see will help
you understand your pet better.

Dog vision is different from people’s vision

Do Dogs Watch TV?

The answer to this question is yes…and no. It all depends on which dog breed you have. Some dogs do seem to enjoy watching a movie or television.

Most dogs won’t watch a movie or show from the beginning to the end, but some do show interest in TV. Others could care less.

It seems that different dog breeds are more attentive to movies than others. For example, American type Fox Terriers are very interested in movies or TV, while Springer Spaniels are not.


Dog Vision for Distance
Color and Movement

Dogs’ eyes and brains contain the cells that normally see color. But studies have been done, and it appears that dogs see only in shades of gray or red (depending on the source)—no range of colors.

Ancestors of the modern dog were carnivorous hunters, so lateral vision was very important. Even today, a dog’s peripheral vision is more developed and accurate than ours.

A dog’s wide angle of vision is also better than ours—but this varies from breed to breed, depending on how far apart their eyes are placed.

Movement is another story! Your dog can detect even the slightest movement, and then concentrate on it. His eyes are highly developed for seeing movements, especially at a distance.

And if you go walking with your dog at night, your dog will see better in the dark than you! Many dogs can dilate their pupils more than we can, to let in more light—this gives them better night vision.


Dog Vision Differs
From Breed to Breed

Dog vision and what dogs see, varies from breed to breed too. A husky’s eyes are slanted, letting him see sideways. His eyes are also surrounded by dark skin which reduces the glare from snow. It also makes his eyes a prominent feature for communication.

Hounds used for hunting, see movement of jack rabbits, coyotes, deer and other animals at incredible distances. One German study showed that some dogs could detect motion at 1000 yards away.

Afghan hounds are an example. They were actually bred for their acute vision and speed. Afghans’ eyes are much more sensitive to light and movement than are ours. If you look at an afghan’s face, you’ll see the slanted position of her eyes. This gives her exceptional peripheral vision.

And so, the next time you look at your dog and wonder what do dogs see…The answer is that they see better than we do, when detecting movement at a distance. But, like many of us over 40, close-up dog vision is not too good!


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