Here is a question that many may have asked themselves: Can dogs see in low light or in total darkness? The answer is Yes, but with some distinctions.

The Vision Of Dogs At Night

The human being is absolutely unfit to live in darkness. We live in brightly lit rooms, and some people even need light on the bedside table to be able to fall asleep in peace. We even coined a term to describe the fear of darkness: acluophobia.

The same cannot be said of our dogs. Their ability to see in the dark, although not at the level of cats, far exceeds that of humans.

This is possible thanks to Tapetum lucidum, which is a reflective layer placed immediately behind, and sometimes inside the retina that allows to increase the amount of light that can be captured by the retina itself.

The dog’s eye has many more rods than the human eye, but it has only two types of cones (the human eye three). This means that, given also the wide dilation of the pupils, the dog can see better than a human being even with a very dim light, but distinguishes a smaller number of colors.

Moving Objects

Along with night vision, another extraordinary ability of our dogs is to perceive anything in motion. The sticks, in addition to the ability to see in low light, are also responsible for the ability to perceive moving objects.

On reflection, it is not so absurd that dogs have developed these two extraordinary abilities in the course of their evolution.

Their survival has depended on their ability to detect and capture prey in order to feed themselves (especially at night).

Their eyes are able to capture and process images in a way that is reminiscent of burst shooting cameras, so their vision becomes similar to a slow sequence of images.

In a study completed in Great Britain in 1936, 14 law enforcement dogs were examined. The experiment showed that dogs were able to recognise a moving object from a distance of about 900 meters, but found it very difficult to recognise the same object if it was standing still at a much closer distance.

This also explains why dogs take advantage of their olfactory organ by finding themselves in front of objects at a close distance. They can perfectly overcome with their sense of smell the difficulty they have in focusing on very close objects.