Can German Shepherds See in The Dark?
Yes, German Shepherd can see in the dark. The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) has many amazing abilities, including its keen night vision.
The German Shepherd’s ability to see in the dark is very important and beneficial because, with their great work drive and sharp intelligence, they are the first choice of all law enforcement authorities. This talent of seeing in the dark not only enhances their usefulness, but also gives them the opportunity to navigate safely and move gracefully alongside their owner.
GSDs are clever and powerful dogs and are always motivated to take care of their families and homes, which is why night vision is an asset for these dogs. However, they have trouble seeing colors.
If you want to know how the German Shepherd sees in the dark? And if the German Shepherd is color blind, read this article to the end.
Also read: Are German Shepherds afraid of darkness?
How can German Shepherds See in the dark?
The main parts of the dog’s eye are the cornea, lens, pupil, and retina. The retinas have photoreceptors that consist of rods and cones. The function of the cones is to absorb brightness and color, and the function of the rods is to absorb light.
The secret behind the mystery of dog night vision is that there are numerous light-sensitive rods present in the retina that absorb light. Basically, the pupil is the light control center of the eyes, and dogs have a larger pupil than humans, which allows the eye to absorb more light.
This increased number of rods and a wider pupil give the German Shepherd a great night vision benefit. However, there is another structure called tapetum lucidum that helps dogs see well than humans at night.
Tapetum lucidum is a mirror-like structure present at the back of the eye. This structure in the German Shepherd’s eye reflects light and returns it to the retina. This process increases their night vision. Not only does this essential structure reflect light and enhance their ability to see in the dark, but it also makes their eyes glow at night.
Difference between the day and night vision of German shepherds
German Shepherds have great visual abilities during the day and rely more on brightness and color to move in daylight. German Shepherds can see fewer colors not only during the day but also at night. This seems to be a disadvantage, but this ability helps them to look better in the dark.
The ability to see less color helps your German Shepherd focus more on shapes and brightness, and he can see in very dim light. Their night vision is as good as a special night vision scope.
Is German shepherd Vision Different from Human Vision?
According to Paul Miller, Professor of Comparative Ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the German Shepherd’s eye shape and other adaptive evolution help your dog navigate better in the dark.
Basically, German Shepherds can see well both in the day and at night. On the other hand, humans can only see well in bright light. Nobody knows how much a dog can see well than humans, but according to research, cats have the best vision in the dark; they can see in light six times dimmer than the lower limit of humans. On the other hand, dogs can see in light five times dimmer than human’s vision lower limit.
The dog is a predatory animal, and in such animals, the eyes are located on the side of the muzzle. This structural difference helps them see 250-270 degrees around them. This is the only reason that can explain why German Shepherds can pick those visual stimuli that human sense after a while. This ability also helps German Shepherds become great watchdogs.
There is another difference between the human eye and the dog’s eye is that the dog’s eye processes light faster than humans. This is due to the photoreceptors in the dog’s eye that provide your German Shepherd with a high flicker fusion rate.
Therefore, it means that the dog can see more of the environment and pick up more visual stimuli in the same amount of time as humans. This trait helps the ancestors of dogs locate their prey. Additionally, this skill helps your German Shepherd see the finest detail in the body movement of animals and humans.
Are German Shepherd colors blind?
Yes, German Shepherds are kind of color blind. They are not completely color blind and can see some colors. Centuries ago, scientists believed that dogs are color blind, and this belief stems from research on human color blindness.
But in 1930, Will Judy, a writer for Canine Magazine, said that people are beginning to believe that all dogs are color blind and can only see the spectrum of colors in black and white. However, modern research disapproves of this assumption for a good reason.
According to Dr. Stanley Coren, a canine expert, dogs can see color, but they are not like what humans see. The colors that German Shepherds can see are less vibrant, duller, less sharp, and less rich in hues and are even less detailed.
The ability to see colors differently is not a disease, and there is nothing wrong with your German Shepherd’s eyes. German shepherd eyes are naturally different from human eyes. Their detailed anatomical makeup may indicate the reason for this color blindness.
In the normal human eye, the retina of the eye consists of rods and cones. Cones can absorb and perceive different spectra of colors. The cones are of three types, which are green, blue, and red, and they have the ability to choose different colors. Similarly, the function of the rods is to absorb movement and light.
In the case of the German Shepherd, there is a difference in rods and cones. German Shepherds have two cones and almost five times as many rods in the eye compared to humans. This anatomical difference may explain that your German Shepherd cannot see colors better than humans, but they have much better vision than humans in low light conditions.
Do Dogs See Color? What Colors Do Dogs See?
Humans are mostly red-green color blind, while in the case of your German Shepherd, they are red and green color blind. Therefore, there must be a question in your mind what the German Shepherd will see when they look at the color red and green.
Dr. Lynn Buzhardt from the VCA Animal Hospital explains this confusion by saying that “red looks like gray, dark brown and black to your dog and other colors that are orange, yellow and green look a bit yellowish to them.
So when your dog is playing with his toys, he cannot explain the difference between the yellow ball and the red ball. But due to their tremendous sense of smell, they get to know their ball and avoid getting confused. Similarly, there are some visual differences in human and canine eyes.
In some cases, dogs cannot see as clearly as humans. Basically, dogs are shortsighted compared to us. When we look at an object from a distance, it can appear very clear to us but blurry to our dog. The average human vision is 20/20, but in the case of a dog, it is 20/80.
Can German Shepherd Husky Mix See Colors?
The German Shepherd husky mix is considered color blind. They can only see a limited range of colors such as gray, blue, and yellow.
Verdict – Can German Shepherds See In The Dark?
German Shepherds are very talented dogs, but they have something of uniqueness in the case of sight. They have much better night vision than humans, but have some color confusion that can be covered by their sense of smell.