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Dog Vision Vs. Human Vision

Dog Vision Vs. Human Vision: The Eyesight Showdown 

The discussion of dog vision vs. human vision is common as most people try to figure out who has more visual advantages. 

Some aspects of human and canine vision make each one better suited for specific situations, but which is better?

There are rumors about dogs having night vision and being able to see further than humans, and we will discuss all of the aspects and get to the truth. 

Vision is a critical influencer of human and dog behavior, so understanding the differences will bring us closer to our furry friends. 

Dog Vision vs Human Vision

The question of human vs dog vision doesn’t have a clear answer since we see the world differently. Years of evolution have led dogs to see differently than humans, which is better or worse is a matter of perspective.

On a 20/20 scale, dogs cannot see as well as humans. 20/20 refers to human vision deemed “normal” or free of severe faults. People with 20/20 vision can see an object clearly from 20 feet away. Dogs, on the other hand, have 20/75 eyesight. 

This indicates that a dog must be 20 feet away from an object to see it as clearly as a human can from 75 feet away. Some dog breeds, however, have more precise and better eyesight than others. 

For example, because it possesses a vision near 20/20, the Labrador retriever is frequently utilized as a seeing-eye dog. 

Dog breeds have different genetic constitutions, so they have different ranges of eyesight capability, just like humans. 

A dog’s vision is generally hazy, although this does not always imply that it is “worse” than human vision.

Dogs have more excellent vision than humans in some circumstances. Dogs, for example, have rod-dominated retinas, which means they can see better in the dark than humans. 

Furthermore, rod-dominated retinas allow dogs to see moving objects far better than stationary items. Dogs’ motion awareness is almost 10 to 20 times greater than that of humans. 

Finally, canine eyes are wider apart than human eyes, giving them better peripheral vision. Neither dog nor human vision is “better” than the other. Instead, the two perspectives are just distinct. 

Dog vision, on average, is substantially blurrier than human vision. As a result, humans may be able to see better. 

On the other hand, dog eyesight is superior to human vision in certain situations, such as at night or when motion is detected. 

As a result, vision in both dogs and humans is conditional. Dogs, for example, have better peripheral vision, although humans see a wider range of colors. 

Every species’ anatomy contributes to their interpretation of the surrounding world, particularly regarding vision.

Differences Between Human and Dog Vision 

Most people understand that dogs cannot see as well as humans, yet many myths exist regarding how they perceive the world. 

However, a new web program, initially discovered by The Next Web, may show you how the world appears to your dog.

Contrary to popular opinion, dogs do not perceive the world in black and white. Their vision is most similar to that of those who are colorblind in the red-green spectrum. 

They can see colors, just not as many as most normal humans can. However, humans differ from dogs in other ways, such as being less sensitive to brightness and shades of grey.

1. Colors 

Human vision is colorblind in dogs. Contrary to popular assumption, there are various varieties of color blindness. 

For example, someone who is red/green color blind cannot see any color. The majority of people have trichromatic vision (three color variants). 

Individuals who are colorblind in both red and green are dichromatic (have two color variations). Dogs’ retinas can distinguish between two colors. 

These are shades of yellow and blue-violet. Dogs can tell the difference between different grayscales. Dogs cannot discern red, yellow, orange, and green colors.

2. Near-sightedness

Dogs are likewise extremely nearsighted in comparison to humans. According to Psychology Today, a test designed for dogs results in eyesight of roughly 20/75. 

This indicates that what a human can barely see at 23 meters (75 feet) is what a dog can barely make out at 6 meters (20 feet). 

3. Dog’s field of view

Dogs’ eyes are more’ spread out’ than humans’. Predators frequently have their eyes situated in front of their heads because they don’t have an intense fear of something sneaking up behind them and eating them, and it improves their field of view when pursuing prey. 

Dogs/wolves, on the other hand, are scavengers and strong pack animals, which means they must coordinate hunts among members of their pack and be aware of their pack members’ positions.

As a result, the dog’s eye set-up provides them with a fantastic field of view of up to 270 degrees, compared to humans, who can only see 180 degrees. The human advantage is that we get a better depth perception with a larger vision overlap than dogs.

4. Brightness discrimination

Dogs do far poorer than humans in detecting differences in brightness or different hues of objects. 

Dogs are twice as bad as humans at distinguishing between shades. That is why this photo of fall leaves differs from this one.

Dogs don’t simply look at color but consider smell, texture, brightness, and position. For example, seeing-eye dogs may be unable to distinguish between a green and red stoplight; instead, they focus on the intensity and placement of the light. 

5. Motion Detection

While dogs may live in a dismal, hazy visual world when compared to ours, there is one area where they outperform us: they are far better at detecting motion.

This is due to a phenomenon known as the crucial flicker fusion rate. Consider a light that rapidly flickers. 

Humans will believe the light is glowing consistently when it flickers 60 times per second. According to a 1989 study published in Physiology and Behavior, that same light must flash approximately 75 times per second to trick a dog. 

This talent allows canines to detect moving items, such as prey, considerably faster and more precisely than humans. This is one of dogs’ most significant advantages over humans despite perceiving less.

How sharp is Dog Vision

Sharpness is an essential part of vision as it helps in discerning objects. The high sharpness in human vision allows us to tell faces apart and see structures with more detail. So, how much sharpness do dogs get from their eyesight?

Dog eyesight is worse in sharpness than human vision and lacks some of the colors observed by human eyes. This means they can’t see objects with as much clarity as humans, especially if the objects are far away.

Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden developed a canine visual acuity test identical to those used by ophthalmologists in a 2017 study published in the journal PLOS One. 

Instead of needing to distinguish letters of varying sizes, the dogs were rewarded with treats for successfully identifying images that contained vertical or horizontal lines with decreasing amounts of space between them.

The researchers discovered that dogs, or at least the whippets, pugs, and one Shetland sheepdog who took part in the studies, were highly nearsighted. 

The experiment results indicate that dogs have 20/50 eyesight in well-lit environments. This means they must be 20 feet (6 meters) away from something to see it as clearly as a human 50 feet (15 meters) away from an identical object. 

While dogs’ night vision is very hazy, it is also far more sensitive than humans’ night vision, according to a 2017 study, at around 20/250. 

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs are crepuscular, which means they are most active during dawn and dusk. 

While human eyes have a lot of cones, which help identify colors and perform best in strong light, dogs’ eyes have a lot more rods, which detect light. 

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, they discriminate between dark and light and work best in low-light circumstances. 

Many dog breeds (but not all toy dog breeds) have a particular eye layer called the tapetum lucidum. According to a 2014 study published in The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, it reflects light toward their retinas, thereby intensifying the light that does reach the rods there. 

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the tapetum lucidum causes dogs’ eyes to glow a blue-green when light shines on them at night. It is a common thing in most canines, including cats.


You now have more information on dog vision vs human vision, and you can tell which option offers a bigger advantage. Humans have better eyesight than dogs during the daytime, but as natural hunters, dogs can see better at night. 

Dogs have less color perception, so their world is not as bright as ours. The reduced sharpness in their vision means that most objects are blurry to them, especially at a distance. 

Luckily for our furry friends, they have incredible senses of hearing and smell that make everything more apparent. 

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