Creature Feature: A dog’s view

11 May
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Family, 1E, May 11, 2011

By Rhonda Owen, Special to the Democrat-Gazette 

 When I’m playing ball with my dog Waldo, sometimes he’ll be standing right in front of his ball after it lands and not see it. He has to sniff around to find it. I thought dogs had better eyesight than people so this is weird. Am I wrong or does Waldo need his eyes checked?

The answer to whether dogs’ vision is better than that of humans is yes and no, experts say.

Dogs have less visual acuity, which means they don’t see details as well as we do, says veterinarian Bruce Fogle in The Dog’s Mind. However, dogs have better peripheral vision than humans, at least when it comes to detecting objects in motion.

“A typical dog has a visual acuity of 20/75, which means that a dog has to stand 20 feet away to clearly see an object that a person with normal vision sees well standing 75 feet away. The dog has to get much closer to the object than we do,” animal behaviorist Temple Grandin explains in Animals in Translation.

Stanley Coren, a psychologist and animal behavior expert, cites the same numbers as Grandin in an article in Psychology Today but also notes that dogs see more than we think they do.

 “Although the dog’s visual acuity is considerably less than that of a normal human,” he says, “a lot of information is still getting from his eyes to his brain, even though the focus is ‘soft’ and he won’t be able to make out many details.”

A dog’s vision is “like viewing the world through a fine mesh gauze, or a piece of cellophane that has been smeared with a light coat of petroleum jelly,” Coren says.READ FULL ARTICLE


2 Responses to “Creature Feature: A dog’s view”

  1. John Hardy May 11, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Good stuff Rhonda, enjoyed your article in this morning’s paper….

  2. Arkie Mama May 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Daisy can lose her football in the grass, and yet she spots you immediately if you pass a window while she’s all the way across the yard!

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