Understanding Dog Vision
Have you ever wondered how your dog sees the world? Your dog has incredibly good eyesight but does not actually see things the way that a human does. The canine has a different visual perspective due to the unique structure of the animal’s eye.
Motion and Low-Light
The retina is located on the back, inside of the eyeball. It is made up of two types of cells, rods, and cones. The cones are what provide color perception and details and the rods have the ability to see motion and render a clear picture in dim light. The rods dominate in a dog’s retina which means they see much better in low light or the dark than humans. They can also detect motion easier.
How Do Dogs See Color?
Dogs do not see color the same way as most humans. In fact, canines probably see colors in a terribly comparable way as a color-blind human. A dog's vision can see hues of green, orange, red, and yellow along with varying shades of gray.
Position of a Dog’s Eyes
Your dog is a predator that is not extremely far removed from wolves. In predators, the eyes of the animal are typically located close together and straight ahead. A dog's eyes, depending on the breed, are usually set at a 20-degree angle. The angle maximizes the canine's field of view giving the animal far better peripheral vision.
Peripheral vision is the amount of binocular vision. With binocular vision, the field of each eye effectively overlaps which provides greater depth perception. A dog’s depth perception is best when the dog looks straight ahead. However, the animal’s nose can get in the way. Animals with abundant binocular abilities can leap, jump, and catch with ease - which is all necessary tools for predators to actively catch prey.
Does a Dog See 20/20?
Humans are said to have perfect vision when they see 20/20. However, a dog has less visual acuity. Humans can see objects at a distance of 20 feet very clearly, but dogs usually have what is referred to as 20/75 vision. In order for the dog to see something clearly, it must be at least 20 feet away. Some breeds are known to have better eyesight, such as the Labrador Retriever which is said to be close to 20/20.
Why Doesn’t Your Dog Recognize You?
Have you ever come home, and your dog did not immediately recognize you? The reason for this is that if you are standing still in the dog’s field of vision but you do not move then the dog simply cannot see you good enough to make an identification. The dog’s vision requires motion to truly home in on your presence. Your dog will probably smell or hear you before he completely recognizes you.
When training your dog, you should always remember how the pup sees so you can make any necessary modifications to ensure that your dog understands what you want such as a sweeping of the hand or some other arm motion that the dog can see clearly.