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How Do German Shepherds See?

German Shepherds possess a vision tailored more towards detecting motion and navigating in dim light rather than discerning a wide array of colors. Their vision is attuned to shades of blue and yellow, lacking the ability to see the full spectrum of colors that humans can. They excel in low-light conditions and have a broader field of view, which aids in their exceptional abilities as working and guard dogs.

A headshot photo of a happy German Shepherd

German Shepherd Eye Structure

To understand how German Shepherds see, it’s important to understand the basic anatomy of a dog’s eye. The anatomy of a dog’s eye is similar to that of a human, but there are some differences. The canine eye has a cornea, iris, pupil, lens & retina, just like the human eye. However, dogs have a larger lens and cornea and a smaller pupil compared to humans. Their retinas also contain more rods than cones, which makes them better at seeing in low light conditions but reduces their colour vision compared to humans.

How Does a German Shepherds Eyesight Differ From Humans?

German Shepherds have a different visual acuity than humans. They have a wider field of vision, but their visual acuity is lower, meaning they cannot see details as sharply as humans. They also have better motion detection than humans due to their higher number of rods in the retina. This allows them to pick up small movements and see things moving much faster than humans can.

German Shepherds are also red-green colourblind, which means they cannot distinguish between red and green colours as easily as humans can. However, they can see some colours and are not completely colourblind. They have a dichromatic colour vision, meaning they can see blues and yellows & shades of grey.

Can German Shepherds See in the Dark?

German Shepherds have better night vision than humans, thanks to a larger pupil and more rods in their retina. Their eyes are also adapted to low-light conditions, with a structure called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back through the retina, increasing their sensitivity to light. However, German Shepherds cannot see in complete darkness, as they still need some light to see.

What Colours Can German Shepherds See?

German Shepherds can see some colours, but not as many as humans. They can see blues and yellows & shades of grey. They cannot see red or green colours as well as humans can. This means that a red ball may look brown or grey to a German Shepherd.

How Does a German Shepherds Eyesight Compare With Other Breeds?

German Shepherds have a similar eyesight to many other breeds of dog. However, some breeds have better or worse vision depending on their history and breed traits. For example, sighthounds such as Greyhounds and Salukis have better visual acuity and motion detection due to their history of being bred for hunting.

Common Eye Conditions in German Shepherds

There are some common eye conditions that German Shepherds are prone to. One of these is cataracts, which is a clouding of the lens that can cause vision problems. Another condition is progressive retinal atrophy, which is a genetic disorder that causes the retina to deteriorate over time. Other conditions include cherry eye, glaucoma and entropion. It’s important to have regular check-ups with a veterinarian to catch these conditions early and treat them effectively.

How Do German Shepherds See – Are They Colourblind, How is Their Vision in the Dark & What Colours Can They See?