It was long believed that dogs could only see in black and white, and it is unquestionably true that dogs don't react to colors the same way humans do. However, modern science has given us a window into how dogs experience the world, and it has blown the old idea of dogs only seeing in black and white out of the water. Dogs cannot see the full range of colors that humans can, but their view isn't monochromatic, either. Dogs can see color, but they see the world very differently than humans do.


1. The Mechanics of Color Perception

The structure of the eye determines the amount of colors a creature can perceive. There is a specific type of cell, called a cone, which functions as a color receptor. Humans typically have three types of cones, which pick up red, blue and green. Dogs only have two types of cones, so they can perceive blue and yellow. Some animals have even more cones. For example, the mantis shrimp has 12 cones, which means it can probably recognize colors that humans cannot.

Close-up of black dog's eye timsa / Getty Images


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