Many people think that dogs can only see in black and white, but this isn’t true. However, while dogs don’t see colours in quite the same way as humans, they can see more than just black, white and grey.
As I’ve described in a previous post, white light from the Sun is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. When light waves travel into your eye, messages are sent to your brain to tell you about what you can see. This short cartoon video explains how the human eye works.
There are two special kinds of cell inside your eye that help you to see different colours. Your eyes use cells called ‘rods’ to see black, white and grey; and three types of cells called ‘cones’ to see red, green and blue. Your brain uses information from your rods and cones to help you see all the colours of the rainbow!
Dogs (and most other mammals) only have two kinds of cones in their eyes, so they can’t see as many colours as us humans. Scientists have discovered that dogs can see blue and yellow as well as black, white and grey. But dogs can’t tell the difference between red and green (like some people who are colour-blind).
So, to try to answer my daughter’s question about a dog’s favourite colour, I guess it would be either blue or yellow, since dogs can’t see red or green. But I really don’t know if dogs think about colours in the same way as a 6-year-old human in order to choose a favourite!
If you have a dog, do you think it has a favourite colour? Does it particularly like things that are a certain colour? Are any of those things yellow or blue?