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I'd read somewhere that dogs aren't truly color blind. They can see yellow and blue. I filed this factoid away as an interesting but not useful piece of trivia.

This week we were playing fetch, and Galen kept losing his ball in the weeds. It would lie there in plain view, nestled between two tussocks, and he would run right past it. He's never had this problem before. I was puzzled until I realized, we've been playing with a red ball this week. His other balls are neon green, or purple, or blue, or white. Where I see a bright red ball against a bright green background, he sees grey against khaki. No wonder he keeps losing the ball!
 

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Just looked this up
Dogs would see a rainbow as dark yellow (sort of brownish), light yellow, gray, light blue and dark blue. Dogs don't see red, purple (violet), or orange as we do. So, while it is established that dogs see shades of yellow, blue and gray, if a dog were to look at a uniform that is red or green it would appear as faded brownish, gray or indistinct. See the color chart below for an approximate idea of what colors dogs see best.
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Color Improves Agility: Dogs do better at agility training when the weave poles, tunnels, jumps and boards are painted in colors they can easily discern.

Nearsighted: Dogs see 20/75, which makes them quite nearsighted.

Best Dog Toy Color: Based on what we know about dogs’ color vision, the best color for dog toys is blue.



Left: Human view of a dog with a orange, red, and yellow rope in his mouth. Right: The same scene through canine eyes, as interpreted through the Dog Vision Image Processing Tool.


Left: Human view of a blue and red tennis ball sitting in the green grass. Right: The same tennis ball through canine eyes, as interpreted through the Dog Vision Image Processing Tool. This helps show dogs are better able to distinguish blues than reds.


No, really Galen, there's a ball there :)
 

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I've done the same thing with Noelle. She only sees the red ball if it is in motion. Once it stops, it's invisible to her. Brand new yellow tennis balls never get lost. After they get dirty, they vanish in the grass as well. I trained Noelle how to sniff out her tennis ball on the cue, "Hunt!" Then she runs in a zigzag pattern on a hunt. She comes up with the ball most of the time.
 

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Did you train fetch or just throw a ball? I train fetch backward. I started with a sock with a ball in it to make it easy to grab. Trade tug for a treat for several minutes, tug, treat, tug, treat. "Accidentally" drop the tug. Wait for the dog to pick it up, go back to trading tug for a treat. Next day, same game, but "accidentally" drop the tug more often. Third day, tug for a treat, roll the tug three inches, back to tug for treat. Fourth day, tug for a treat, roll the ball six inches. Fifth day, tug for treat, roll the ball far enough for the dog to chase it, tug for treat. Sixth day, toss it gently, tug for treat. Seventh day, throw the ball farther and transition the game from tug for treat to run and get the ball for a treat.

After a few weeks of run to the ball, bring it back, get a treat, you can stop the treats because you'll have a ball fetching addict and just chasing the ball is enough of a reward.
 

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Meisha loves the squeaky chuck it ball and ignores the non squeaky one. I thought it was the squeaker, but maybe it is that the squeaky one is blue with a little orange and the non squeaky one is orange with a little blue.
 

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Did you train fetch or just throw a ball? I train fetch backward. I started with a sock with a ball in it to make it easy to grab. Trade tug for a treat for several minutes, tug, treat, tug, treat. "Accidentally" drop the tug. Wait for the dog to pick it up, go back to trading tug for a treat. Next day, same game, but "accidentally" drop the tug more often. Third day, tug for a treat, roll the tug three inches, back to tug for treat. Fourth day, tug for a treat, roll the ball six inches. Fifth day, tug for treat, roll the ball far enough for the dog to chase it, tug for treat. Sixth day, toss it gently, tug for treat. Seventh day, throw the ball farther and transition the game from tug for treat to run and get the ball for a treat.

After a few weeks of run to the ball, bring it back, get a treat, you can stop the treats because you'll have a ball fetching addict and just chasing the ball is enough of a reward.
Great advice! Thanks, I'll try it.
 

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I have two different coloured balls that are otherwise identical. A green Kong squeaky ball and a red one. Interestingly, Annie can see and find the green ball far more easily than the red ball in the grass.

We have a cue 'wheres your ball?' where she starts sniffing, but she also likes to play a game with herself where she drops her ball, walk away 10-20 ft, then stars sniffing and looking for her ball.

The orange and blue chuckita are a good compromise. She can see the blue, I can see the orange.
 

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Dummies/bumpers for water retrieving come in just a few color choices: blaze orange, black and white, and all white. Humans prefer the orange, but dogs seem to do best with the black and white, because the contrast is easiest to see against the water.
 

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Rose-n-Poos I love that well researched post on this topic. Thank you so much. I knew nearly all of that, but seeing it all in one place was great.
 
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