Why Do Dogs Hate the Color Red?

Why Do Dogs Hate the Color Red

There are many beliefs out there about what colors dogs can see and what dogs hate to see.

One color in particular that intrigues many people is the color red.

Dogs are commonly known to see blues, yellows, and grays. Greens, reds, pinks, and purples register differently in their eyes.

Although we can understand that these colors might be complex, many people believe that dogs hate the color red in particular.


Is this true? Well, not really. Dogs cannot see the color red, so there is no ground for dogs to hate that color. We will discuss this more in the later parts of this article.



Is It All Black and White for Dogs?

Many people, including vets, have the perception that dogs could only see black and white.

But as technology continue to advance, many studies now pose new findings.

And these findings have shown that dogs do not just see the world as black or white.

They see better than that but still not as vivid as the human vision.

The fact is that dogs see the world around them as either blue, yellow, or a combination of those colors.

The rest are simply gray, grayish-brown, or black.


Do Dogs Dislike the Red Color?

puppy staring at a red ball

First, dogs cannot see the actual red color, but in their eyes, it appears brown or a bit yellowish, sometimes even yellowish-green depending on how dark the red is.

And that color is tough to see in your dog’s eyes.

So, the next time you throw a pink ball, it might just blend with the grass in your dog’s eyes.

The reason is protanopia, which causes the difference in color perception of mammals.

So, since they cannot see the actual color, there is no sense for your dog to be angry at it.


What Is the Science Behind This?

Dogs can see only blues and yellow tones.

Your dog cannot see the other colors apart from colors in shares of blue and yellow.

Many studies try to explain this phenomenon, but as dogs really cannot talk, all results are mainly based on observations.


However, researchers seem to point out that the color perception of dogs is similar to the human condition of protanopia.

Scientists have discovered that the secret to the disparity in color vision between dogs and humans is in the retina.

Millions of light-sensing cells make up the retina, including rods and cones.

Rods are susceptible cells that detect movement and function under low-light conditions.

Cones are the ones that regulate color vision and function under bright light.

The disparity in color vision seems to be because dogs have more rods than cones in their retina, while humans have more cones.


People have trichromatic vision, the same as some other apes, fish, and birds.

That is why we have better color perception than dogs.

Dogs, on the other hand, are dichromatic. They lack the red-greed cones.

Many mammals have protanopia, not just dogs—the same as why insects generally cannot see red but can see UV lights, and why some fishes and birds see better than humans.


What Is the Most Attractive Color of a Dog?

Dogs can discriminate between blue, yellow, and gray, according to some reports.

But they cannot differentiate from shades of red. For example, orange, red, and pink all appear yellowish, while purple is like blue due to protanopia.



Learn More:



What Is the Color That Soothes Dogs?

dog playing with a blue ball

While we can see vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow activate human us and either make us hungry or happy, we cannot say that dogs also associate those feelings with colors.

But some studies show that dogs prefer the blues over the yellows as that is more soothing to them.

Yellows, grays, and white often appear dull, so they are not a favorite choice as the blues.

Take, for example, a blue toy and a yellow toy. Your dog will most likely pick the blue toy since it is more eye-catching.


Can Dogs See Color at Night?

Yes. Dogs can see things in the dark.

In fact, they can see in the dark better than humans that is why they often growl at things we cannot see.

Inside the eye, dogs have a tapetum that functions as a mirror, projecting light back into the eye and allowing the retina another chance to register it.

As a result, dogs are better at seeing in the dark and low-light conditions than us.


How Does Your Dog’s ‘Color-Blindness’ Significant to You?

Since dogs cannot clearly distinguish colors, nature helped them evolved with a far better sense of smell and instinct than humans.

But although they can rely on those, it is still our responsibility as their owners to help where we can.

For example, choose items that contain colors that they can see.

This information can explain why certain dogs go nuts for yellow tennis balls but are uninterested in pink or red tennis balls.

Whether you are tossing a ball, a squishy toy, anything to your dog, do not choose something red because your dog will most likely miss catching it.

If you are teaching him to distinguish between two toys or using obedience training tools, make sure to get one blue and one yellow to make things easier for your dog.


Key Takeaway

Dogs do not hate the color red.

They do not see it, so no source of hate there.

Maybe you happened to give your dog something that they hate, and it just happened to be red.

Your dog will only see shades of blue or yellow.

The rest are dull gray colors.


So, you must consider this.

Giving a pink chew toy to your dog because of its bright color will not get you the same effect as when you see the pink color of the toy.

It is best to give them something blue or yellow, instead. For sure, your dog will be able to see that.


See Also


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.