What toy colors are best for your dogs

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, April 6, 2023
Lock pup 6
Lock seems to be staring into the depths of your soul

Did you know that dogs don’t see the world in the same way we do?

On Thursday, I stood in the center of the expansive aisle of dog toys at our local farm store. I needed to pick out new toys for the puppies.

Do you know which color of toy I chose?


Well, you are in luck!

Today, you’re going to learn how a dog sees.

Mammal eyes have tiny cones and rods located in their retina.

Rods interpret light and cones interpret colors.

Cones are a type of light-sensitive cell. They give us our color vision. Cones are concentrated in the center of our retina in an area called the macula and help us see fine details. The human retina has approximately 120 million rods and 6 million cones.

There are three types of cone cells in the human eye:

  • L-cones (long wavelength)
  • M-cones (medium wavelength)
  • S-cones (short wavelength)

NOTE: Longer wavelengths are on the left, shorter wavelengths are on the right.

In contrast to us, dogs only have two color cones in their eyes.

  • L-cones
  • S-cones

Unlike a human who can see the entire light spectrum, a dog’s L-cones light up in the yellow range and S-cones light up in the blue range.

Therefore, dogs do not see red and violet in the same way we do. Red looks like a murky brown, while violet remains indistinguishable from blue.

Dogs have twice as many S-cones as they do L-cones, saturating their vision with a flood of blue.

But they are completely missing cones in the green part of the visible light spectrum.

According to many, a dog's ability to detect color is similar to that of a person with deuteranopia (red-green color blindness).

Fascinating Insight: Humans have approximately one cone for every nine rods. Dogs have a ratio of about one cone for every 20 rods. This means the dog is much more sensitive to light changes. As a result, they can see much better in lower light environments.

When you want your dog toys to be vibrant and exciting for your dog, do like I did and choose BLUE toys!

Here are some great examples:

Don’t forget!

If you want to go active for the Miners litter out of Baluster (Essex/Mary) and Opal (Lab/Shepherd), time is running out.

The waiting list closes for this litter on April 3rd, 2023.

That’s only three days away, folks.

Check the waiting list to make sure it is accurate.

Here is the link:

And… if you haven’t yet gotten on our waiting list… we’ve been waiting for you!

Here’s the link to get the process started.


Enjoy your weekend! Chat with you again on Monday.

P.S. I had a very interesting conversation with Chat GPT about the information above. If you are fascinated by the science behind how a dog sees, AI scoured the Internet in seconds to answer all my questions about this subject. Here’s the link to read the AI conversation:

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.