Haven’t you always wanted to see the world through your dog’s eyes?
Me, neither. Nevertheless, there’s a new web app called Dog Vision that let’s you see things as your dog sees them. You simply upload any photograph, and the app shows you the same picture as it appears to your pal.
For instance, if you were to upload a photo like this…
Ha ha. Just kidding. Dog Vision would apply differences in canine color perception, brightness discrimination and visual acuity to show you this:
Ha ha. Kidding again. The living squirrel above would look like this to your dog.
That is, unless you own one of those monster Great Danes, like the late great Zeus, who I’ve written about before, and who was possibly the largest dog ever, in which case the squirrel would look like an ant (in the picture of Zeus at left, what looks like a cat is actually a jaguar).
Obviously, the biggest difference is in the way our pets see color. The Dog Vision website tells us:
Dogs are not completely color blind since they have a dichromatic color perception. Unlike humans who have three different color sensitive cone cells in their retina (red, green and blue) dogs have only two (yellow and blue). This does not mean that dogs can’t see green or red objects! It only means that they can’t distinguish green, yellow or red objects based on their color. However they can still distinguish a red ball from a green one if there is a difference in the perceived brightness of the two. The color vision of dogs is similar to a person suffering from deuteranopia (red-green color blindness). Red, yellow and green are perceived as one hue. Blue and purple are perceived as a second hue. Cyan and magenta are perceived as a neutral hue (grey).
I’ve known people who had deuteranopia, and they were very nice people, although I tried to avoid being in cars that they were driving.
And this color blindness does not quite explain why, when I throw a ball for my sheltie puppy Riley, he sometimes brings back a pine cone.
But it does point out why Riley would rather watch old X-Files episodes than anything NBC puts on the air (really!).*
*Although it doesn’t explain why NBC has such low ratings among people.