Your Dog Wants Toys This Color

best color for dog toys

Do dogs see color?

At one time, it was thought that dogs could only see shades of gray. but it’s now known that dogs do see colors, although in a smaller range than humans. Dogs don’t see colors the way we do, but they do notice differences in colors by the shade intensity. Humans have three color detecting cells called cones. They can identify red, blue, green, and yellow wavelengths.  Dogs have only two cones that allow them to only see the blue and yellow wavelengths.

So what’s the best color for a dog toy?

Next time you wonder why your dog isn’t interested in a certain toy, maybe it’s because he doesn’t notice it. I have a red ball in my backyard that my dogs have never picked up. I suspect it’s either just blending in with the grass color or my dogs don’t care for ball toy.

best color dog toys human vs dog vision

To dogs, red looks brownish, purple looks blue, and green/yellow/orange toys, depending on the shade, can all look yellowish. So if you’re looking for the best color for an outdoor fetch toy, pick a color he can easily see in the green grass.  The best color would be a blue toy to contrast with the grass. Or pick a toy color that will contrast with the color of your indoor carpet. Now having said this, we know that dogs have an excellent sense of smell, so they should still be able to sense where toys are.

Although they have better peripheral and night vision, dogs have worse eyesight in general than humans. Dogs’ eyes have blurry vision, with as much as 20%-40%  more blur than humans. This may vary also depending on the breed. So bigger and brighter toys will be better for your dog.

Next time you go to the pet store, remember the best colors for dog toys are bright blue or yellow.

How dog’s eyes are better than humans

  • Dogs have better peripheral vision. Since their eyes are placed more towards the side on the head, they may see 240 degrees wide depending on the breed. Humans normally can see about 200 degrees wide.
  • Dogs also have better night vision, whereas humans see better in daylight.
  • Dogs are better motion detectors. If a prey animal even slightly moves, your dog will probably notice before you do.

These last three points can help owners of reactive dogs on their walks.  My working dog breeds are reactive, especially towards squirrels. My Dobermans HATE squirrels.  To make dog walks easier for me, I only walk them during the day. Also, during our walks, I’m constantly scanning the area so that I can see squirrels before my dogs do.

Want to see what you look like to your dog?

Here’s a fun dog-vision image processing tool to find out how your dog sees you.

best color for dog toys
WHAT YOU SEE

HOW DOGS SEE PEOPLE

What color is your dogs favorite toy?

Read more: Have you seen the Doberman who arranges his toys in patterns?

13 thoughts on “Your Dog Wants Toys This Color”

  1. Meh….there is other science out there that says they prefer black and white toys. Although dogs have limited color sight, they will play with what they want. Honestly, it could be the smell of certain toys that makes them ignore it. (And I have a chicken doo doo eating dog fyi and ALL she wants are the squeaker out of her toys. Doesn’t matter what color it is, but she leaves every other tennis ball (all colors).

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  2. All 3 of my dogs like a green stuffed pickle I bought a couple Christmas ago, pretty much anything red and green my dogs love! They don’t play with any of the blue toys I’ve bought for them. I wonder if these eye people for dogs even have it correct as to what colors a dog can see, it’s not like any dog spoke and said yes mr scientist I can see those colors and after reading this article and the reviews afterwards I believe that dogs can see red, orange and green just fine.

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    • My dogs favorite toys are dark pink. He is a min pin, weeny dog, chihuahua mix. He has five little buddies round that squeak real loud & have big eyes & mouths. He goes ape nuts when I pick them up.

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  3. I pulled this article up as I was telling my sister that my dog’s favorite color is red and she disagreed saying they were colorblind. Shocking To find out many other articles state blue and yellow but my dog will only play with red toys. He 100% ignores blue or green toys. He’ll go up to them, smell them for a second or two and will walk away. With his red toys he will find them through out the house and bring them to me when he is ready to play. He loves every type of toy balls, frisbees, plushies, chew toys, spiral toys etc but if they aren’t red he will not bother. There’s got to be an explanation for this I’m sure 🤔

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  4. My dog (rescue, GSD, husky & OES) loves her pink toys, if dogs can’t see shades of red or even voilet I don’t know why she loves her pink toys the best. She has 3 or 4 toys that are pink and those are the ones she generally plays/sleeps with. Maybe the pink looks very light grey to white and she likes that. Interesting article.

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    • I just got a gsd puppy, and I have the same experience! He kept chewing my socks, but especially the pink ones are irresistible to him, and in fact I noticed, he loves everything pink!

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  5. My Chihuahua mix loves to chase rubber squeezy balls that squeak. But only the lime/neon green ones! Wants nothing to do the yellow or red ones. He won’t even chase the yellow or red ones!

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  6. My doberman’s favorite is pink. He will pick a pink toy or pillow every time. A funny sight is 110# dobie with his stuffed pink lamb. The only thing he has ever taken from a bag is a pink pillow. He is eight yrs. old.

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  7. We have a 1 year old GSD and since she was a puppy shes always preferred the orange chuck it whistle balls to the blue or any other color. I thought at first that maybe it was because the original orange ball was broke it that she favored it but as I’ve made more purchases of the same balls(probably a dozen times since we’ve had her at 8 weeks) she always picks the orange balls and has very little interest in the blue ones. I’m curious as to why, because this goes completely against what this article is suggesting.

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  8. Why are Chuckit brand balls orange when dogs don’t see orange? The only thing I can think of is that they make them orange so that the humans can easily find them.

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  9. I’m doing a middle school science fair project on what is a dog’s favorite color. It’s really cool, and this article helped.

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