In creating the very best toys worthy of the Wham-O Pets brand name we focused on the requirements of dogs; first and foremost. One critical consideration was color and it came to light that dogs have vision different than our own, just not in the way that most people assume.
It’s commonly thought that dogs see in black and white, or more accurately, in grayscale, like an old photograph. However, scientists have long suspected that based on the construction of canine eyes dogs probably saw colors in the blue and yellow spectrum.
While researchers knew that the biological circuitry was there to receive color in the eye, what wasn’t known for certain was what dogs were actually seeing. A more nuanced question was, were dogs experiencing color? Were they able to discern and react to different hues?
A 2013 study* set out to find answers to these questions. A series of controlled tests were used to determine if dogs could discern color within their suspected visual gamut. Based on the research conclusions, it has been confirmed dogs are indeed red colorblind but they do see and experience blue and yellow colors. You can see for yourself what colors dogs see by uploading any image to this Dog-Vision Tool.
What would be the point of making a red flying disc — so often sold in pet supply stores — when it would be such a similar perceptual color and tone of green grass it was likely to land on?
Don’t take our word for it, Dale Winslow of YouTube channel Think Fact reaches the same conclusion in this informative video:
Interestingly enough though dogs cannot perceive the color red at all, but the most popular color for dog toys is, guess it, red. So it’s actually a better idea to buy dogs blue and yellow toys because they have a hard time being able to identify red objects anywhere near green things, like grass for instance.
Agreed! Better to get a Wham-O Pets Frisbee in Photoreceptive colors your dog can actually see!
*Anna A. Kasparson, Jason Badridze, Vadim V. Maximov
Colour cues proved to be more informative for dogs than brightness
For media coverage of this research:
Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS – The Art & Science of Animal Behavior
Can Dogs See Color?; And How Do We Know?