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What colours can dogs see? Do they see what we see?

It should come as no surprise that here at Tug-E-Nuff, we love bright colours! But the colour of our toys isn’t just influenced by the colours that humans like..

Most of our toys intentionally feature blue and yellow - the colours that dogs see best. 

This helps your dog enjoy the visual stimulation of our toys alongside the extra sensory enrichment of their texture, scent and flexibility. 

Let’s explore a little more about what the world looks like through a dog’s eyes. 

what colours can dogs see? Side by side image of brightly coloured dog toys as humans see them and how they look in blue, yellow and grey for dogs

Dog vision vs Human vision 

The retina comprises cells designed to detect light. Among these cells are photoreceptors called cones, which play a crucial role in perceiving colours. 

While humans possess blue, red, and green cones, dogs have only two types: a blue-sensitive cone and another cone sensitive to a range between red and green - which appears as yellow.

Dogs have what’s known as dichromatic vision which means they see the world in shades of blue and yellow (although they can also see shades of grey).  

People have trichromatic vision which allows us to see the world in a wider array of colours and shades. 

Dogs also have a wider field of vision than humans because their eyes are further apart and at a different angle - this gives dogs an amazing almost panoramic view of the world!  

Are dogs more sensitive to motion than humans? 

Dog’s eyes have more photoreceptors called rods in their retinas than humans. This makes dog’s much more sensitive to both light and movement. 

Dogs excel at detecting moving objects compared to stationary ones, boasting motion sensitivity levels 10 to 20 times higher than those of humans.

This is why our super animated chaser toys are so exciting for dogs, they can’t get enough of the thrilling movement you can create thanks to their super long bungee handles!

Can dogs see in the dark? 

Dogs have a different eye structure to humans. Their Tapetum Lucidum which is located behind the retina reflects light for better night vision giving them better sight than humans in the dark. Their pupils are also bigger than humans, allowing more light into their eyes. 

However, a 2022 study into the  Multisensory mental representation of objects in dogs found that in the dark, dogs rely far more on their olfactory system than vision. 

The same study concluded that given the choice, dogs prefer to rely on vision to locate an object - and will only defer to other senses such as smell when needed. 

This suggests that dogs favour using their sight to locate items such as toys where possible. Our range of blue and yellow dog toys offer you the opportunity to try both and see what your dog prefers! 

The Clam is a clever treat dispensing dog toy which you can hide treats inside and then hide for your dog to find. This is a great way to encourage your dog to use their nose and engage their olfactory system which offers fantastic mental stimulation. 

blue and yellow treat dispensing dog toy

Our dog ball toys all feature flecks of blue throughout the handle and our Powerball which is made of natural rubber and has a blue outer shell to help your dog spot it and retrieve it. 

What colour is the perfect dog toy?

Researchers from the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School undertook a study looking at dog’s preferences and attachments to toys - and colour didn’t get a mention!  

Co-author Anne Pullen of the University of Bristol research team said that the perfect dog toys should be “soft, easily manipulable toys.”

“Dogs quickly lose interest in toys with hard, unyielding surfaces, and those that don’t make a noise when manipulated,” 

Anne Pullen - University of Bristol

All Tug-E-Nuff toys are designed to be ultra flexible and malleable - yet ultra hard wearing so your dog can thoroughly enjoy the satisfaction of gripping, biting and tugging on the super plush bite areas. 

Our squeaky dog toys have a puncture proof squeaker so the squeak lasts giving your dog more satisfaction - for way more play! 

John Bradshaw, a coauthor of the study said, “For an animal as social as a dog, toys only become really exciting when they are part of a game with a person.” 

This was music to our ears! Every single Tug-E-Nuff toy is designed for interactive play, because time spent with you is the ultimate reward. 


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