Colour-blind dogs can’t distinguish between red and green

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Dogs can’t tell the different between red and green, according to a new study.

While previous studies have shown that dogs tend to have poor vision, the reason for this has remained a mystery.

Now, experts have found that dogs suffer from a condition called deuteranopioa, which prevents them from distinguishing between the two colours.

The discovery was made after researchers tested it with a variation of a human-colour blindness test involving coloured cats.

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The researchers developed a colour blind test for dogs, similar to the Ishihara dot test that is used to test this condition in humans. The human version (pictured left) of the test has numbers hidden within a circle or red and green dots. But in the dog version, the researchers hid animations of cats in the dots (pictured right)

While previous studies have shown that dogs tend to have poor vision, the reason for this has remained a mystery. Now, experts have found that dogs suffer from a condition called deuteranopioa, which prevents them from distinguishing between red and green

COLOUR-BLIND POOCHES 

The researchers developed a colour blind test for dogs, similar to the Ishihara dot test that is used to test this condition in humans.

The human version of the test has numbers hidden within a circle or red and green dots.

But in the dog version, the researchers hid animations of cats in the dots.

The researchers showed the dot tests to 16 dogs of varying breeds – three Australian shepherds, one Épagneul Breton, one Weimaraner, one Labrador retriever and 10 mixed-breed dogs.

Results showed that most of the dogs could not see the animations – suggesting they couldn’t distinguish between green and red.

Researchers from the University of Bari in Italy were interested in understanding whether dogs were red-green colour-blind.

Before dogs were domesticated, they tended to be most active in dawn or dusk – at which point it wasn’t important for them to see in colour.

And researchers suggest that pooches’ eyes are yet to evolve to see in colour in the daytime.

The researchers developed a colour blind test for dogs, similar to the Ishihara dot test that is used to test this condition in humans.

The human version of the test has numbers hidden within a circle or red and green dots.

But in the dog version, the researchers hid animations of cats in the dots.

The researchers showed the dot tests to 16 dogs of varying breeds – three Australian shepherds, one Épagneul Breton, one Weimaraner, one Labrador retriever and 10 mixed-breed dogs.

Results showed that most of the dogs could not see the animations – suggesting they couldn’t distinguish between green and red.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Dr Marcello Siniscalchi, lead author of the study, said: ‘We show that dogs exhibit a behavioural response similar to that of red–green blind human subjects suggesting that dogs struggle to distinguish between red and green colours.

Results showed that most of the dogs could not see the animations – suggesting they couldn't distinguish between green and red (stock)

Results showed that most of the dogs could not see the animations – suggesting they couldn't distinguish between green and red (stock)

Results showed that most of the dogs could not see the animations – suggesting they couldn’t distinguish between green and red (stock)

‘It would be reasonable to hypothesise that dogs also have difficulty in discriminating between brown and orange but we have not directly tested these colour shades.

‘Besides contributing to increasing the knowledge about the perceptual ability of dogs, the present work describes for the first time a method that can be used to assess colour vision in the animal kingdom.’

The researchers hope their findings will encourage dog trainers to avoid wearing red clothing or shoes when working with dogs on green backgrounds, such as grass.

Dr Sinischalchi added: ‘Overall, the direct demonstration that dogs are red-green colour blind is not only important for people directly involved in dog training but also for owners who want to improve their dog’s attentive skills during some activities such as play that is at the heart of a healthy owner-dog relationship.

‘If at the park you want to get your dog to catch a flying Frisbee or to bring back a ball falling on the green grass it would be better if you thought of using blue instead of red toys.’ 

Ginger cats on the lookout for pesky dogs in the park can rest easy, as a new study has revealed that pooches are colour blind

Ginger cats on the lookout for pesky dogs in the park can rest easy, as a new study has revealed that pooches are colour blind

Ginger cats on the lookout for pesky dogs in the park can rest easy, as a new study has revealed that pooches are colour blind

 





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