Whether you have a young pup or are curious and want an inside scoop on how dogs see the world, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we go into how our four-legged pups view the world in terms of perspective, color, and what dogs can and can’t see, so be sure to read until the end to have a better understanding of your dog.
How Dogs See The World The Overall Picture
Dog’s eyes come in many shapes and sizes, from giant blue eyes to small and dark eyes and even mixed eyes!
Although dogs have great-looking eyes, it’s essential when understanding how dogs see the world that eyesight in dogs is an “accessory.”
Essentially dogs mainly use eyesight as a “secondary” sense while their primary sense is their nose. This is expected given their strong olfactory system.
As a rule of thumb, the dogs’ hierarchy is Nose → Eyes → Ears, most important to least.
When a dog views the world, it’s mainly through the dog’s smell then visual.
Can Dogs See Color?
One of the biggest questions many owners have when trying to understand how dogs see the world is wheather or not dogs see color.
Although many believed that dogs only see in black and white, we now know that dogs can see color!
Even though dogs can see colors, it’s not as accurate as our eyes.
To be more specific, your average dogs mainly see two spectra of colors, one which is blue and the other being greenish-yellow.
How Good Are A Dogs Eyes?
As we mentioned earlier, for dogs, their eyes are more of an “accessory,” which means that dogs don’t rely on their sense of vision.
A dog’s vision isn’t as acute as ours; the average dog struggle’s with seeing things up close and may often overlook objects that are right under their nose!
Although the average dog may struggle with simple objects being in front of them, they are adept at picking up movement better than we are!
It’s important to understand that dogs are predators first, so their eyes and body are adjusted for picking up and detecting movement.
How Dogs Perceive The World, We Live In
Dogs view the world visually in a unique way compared to us humans.
As humans, we tend to overgeneralize and view things as a whole. For instance, when we walk in a group of people, we see a “crowd,” or when we go hiking, we see a “forest.”
Humans see the whole picture, whereas dogs don’t. Dogs instead see the tiny little details we overlook!
For instance, instead of dogs seeing a “crowd,” they see each detail in each person, whether they have a beard or not, how tall a person is, whether they are wearing a hat or not, and even the specific way that an individual walks!
The little details that we overlook dogs see, you may not notice that tiny little black bag on the street, but I bet your pup does, you may not notice a big crack on the road, but I bet your dog does!
Seeing The World Through Smell
We can’t go into how dogs see the world without going into a dog’s sense of smell.
A dog’s life is all about smell!
A dog’s eyes are more of an accessory sense, whereas a dog’s nose is a primary sense.
When a dog looks at something, whether it is a person or an object, a dog may not have the visual acuity to recognize what he/she is looking at entirely. Instead, a dog uses its nose to confirm what he/she is looking at
Seeing The Past, Present, and The Future
It’s no mystery that dogs have a strong sense of smell, so strong in fact, that some dogs can smell when an individual’s mood changes because our body releases chemicals whenever we are excited, scared, nervous, etc…
When dogs are smelling the world, it’s essential to understand that dogs aren’t just “seeing” things that are present.
If your dog is smelling a tree, your dog isn’t just smelling the tree.
Your dog is also smelling scents that previously interacted with the tree in the past, while also smelling the smell currently present.
What’s even more fascinating is that a dog can also get a hint of the future when he/she is smelling something. For instance, let’s go back to the dog smelling a tree. If there is a slight breeze downwind, a dog can also sense what is approaching his direction.
How dogs see the world very differently than what we may ever imagine, with a unique olfactory system and their detail-oriented eyes. A dog can experience and see many things we often overlook and may never notice.
So when your pup is sniffing or looking at something, try to put yourself in their paws!
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