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Thread: Do You Think Dogs Are Color Blind

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    Default Do You Think Dogs Are Color Blind

    When I first started with retrievers I was told they couldn't see orange very well because they were color blind. Since then I have always thought they could only see thing in black and white. The other day I was listening to a radio program and they said that humans have 3 color cones in their eyes blue,green and red. then they said dogs only have 2 color cones in their eyes blue and green which is why they can't see some colors like red or orange and it limits them to a wide range of other colors that are mixed with red but they can see the colors blue,green and a mix of the two like yellow. I was just wondering if I'm the only one who believed they only saw things in black and white?
    Last edited by Scott Parker; 02-18-2013 at 06:44 PM.
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

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    Senior Member Lonnie Spann's Avatar
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    I used to think that dogs could only see in black and white, however my friend "Fishduck" has a female that sees color! Lined many blinds marked with an orange pole.

    Lonnie Spann

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    Ringo, our old male Chesapeake, definitely could determine orange and that it meant "blind". He once lined a blind between two trees and straight to an orange ribbon and the judge couldn't figure out how he did it! Silly! He saw the ribbon!

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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Dogs can't distinguish reds from greens. Just like a person that is red/green color blind.

    That's not the same thing, as seeing the world in black and white, or not being able to see red or green.
    Last edited by copterdoc; 02-18-2013 at 07:20 PM.

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    I really don't know if a dog is color blind or not. I do belive that some dogs think like some judges as to where a blind should be placed. I have seen numerous dogs run beautiful blinds due to practice,, over different obsticles, across angle entries, and angle exits. I'm just amaised at what some of our can do, when asked. Bill
    'Show up for work, do the best job you can and treat others the way you would like to be treated'

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    Junior Member Kat's Dogs's Avatar
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    Yes, current thinking is that dogs have dichromatic (two-color) vision compared to our trichromatic (three-color) vision based on the photo receptors in their eyes. "Color blind" does not always mean black and white vision - black and white vision would occur if you had no cone receptors (very rare). Dogs, however, have two types of cone receptors in their eyes, so this just results in a limited color spectrum compared to humans. Specifically, we think dogs are red/green color blind (i.e., they cannot distinguish red from green).

    Dogs are certainly capable of learning visual discriminations based on the color or shade of objects. For example, you can teach your dog to pick up a blue ball versus a green ball on cue. Do keep in mind that dogs can also see gradients, shades, and shadows (or else they would be running into things all the time!), so an orange pole marking a blind does not necessarily suggest that the dog can see the color orange - rather, it just tells us that the dog can see the pole against the surrounding environment.

    Their vision might look something like what these photos on the right depict. Notice how the red and green toys are still distinguishable from the grass because they are a different shade, but the blue toys are a different color altogether.


    If you are interested in more facets of dogs vision or more of the technical components, there is an article by Miller & Murphy (1995) that was a nice summary. You can access a copy of the article here:
    www. daisypeel.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dog-vision-miller-murphy.pdf
    Katherine

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    That was a very informative post. Thank you Katherine
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

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    I think the reason some dogs run right to an orange ribbon on a blind is not because they can see the orange in the ribbon it's because they see the movement of it if the wind is blowing.
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

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    Senior Member frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Parker View Post
    I think the reason some dogs run right to an orange ribbon on a blind is not because they can see the orange in the ribbon it's because they see the movement of it if the wind is blowing.
    I agree. That's why it's not a good idea to put a ribbon on a blind stake.
    "Force fetch isn't about retrieving as much as it is conditioning a dog to handle pressure, in a very controlled environment. It's about putting a dog in the position of having to figure out how to turn off pressure by finding the correct response. This translates into numerous areas in training." Sharon Potter.

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