Yes, German Shepherds have good vision.

Their vision varies from the one human have.

This generally goes for the variety of colors they see and their peripheral vision.

Although it’s different, it helps them notice danger and react fast in situations.

Here’s all you should know about German Shepherds’ vision.

German Shepherds Vision Quality

  • Color
  • Motion
  • Low Light
  • Sharpness
  • Peripheral Vision


Except for color-blind people, most people are trichromatic.

The three fundamental colors can be perceived by humans thanks to cone receptors in our eyes.

We can observe approximately 1,000,000 various tints and mixes thanks to trichromacy.

Dogs exhibit dichromacy, which is different from trichromacy in humans.

They only have cone receptors capable of perceiving the colors blue and yellow. [1]

Dogs are only thought to be able to distinguish between around 10,000 different colors.

All of them are variations of the two primary colors of blue and yellow.


German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is better than humans at detecting motion.

It is because they have more rods in their eyes.

Your German Shepherd is good at sensing motion, which enables it to know you from a distance.

They can only see about 10,000 different colors, compared to about 1,000,000 for humans.

They can only distinguish between combinations of the two colors blue and yellow.[2]

Low Light

Dogs have night vision that is sharper and superior to that of humans.

This is caused by a combination of the fact that their eyes have more rods than a human eye does.

Also by the fact that they have a tapetum.

In a dog’s eye, a tapetum functions similarly to a mirror.

A dog’s tapetum reflects light back and forth far more frequently than a human eye once it enters the eye.

A dog will be able to see things better in the dark than a human since a dog’s eyes can absorb more light photons as a result. [3]

As a result, in photos of GSD taken in low light, their eyes frequently appear brilliant and sparkly.


When it comes to perceiving distant objects, human eyesight outperforms dog vision.

The average dog has 20/80 vision compared to the average person’s 20/20.

This indicates that for a dog to see an object as clearly as a person can from 80 feet away.

The object must be within 20 feet of the dog. [4]

Some dog breeds, such as the German Shepherd, are bred to have good vision.

As a result, they typically have better vision than other dog breeds.

Peripheral Vision

The position of a dog’s eyes concerning its head greatly affects its field of vision.

On the sides of a dog’s head are where its eyes are positioned.

They have a far wider field of vision than people do because of this.

A GSD’s field of vision is 250 degrees, compared to 190 degrees for humans.

Dogs, on the other side, have about half the amount of binocular vision that humans do.

The intersection of the left and right eyes’ visual fields is known as the binocular visual field.

We can concentrate on and judge the distance of an object thanks to binocular vision.

Dogs’ binocular overlap is 75 degrees.

But the human binocular overlap is about 120 degrees. [5]

What Does a Dog’s Vision Look Like?

A dog’s vision is sharper than a human’s and dichromatic.

In comparison to humans, dogs’ retinas contain more rods.

Rods react quickly to changes in shape, movement, and low light.

Dogs are 10–20 times more sensitive to motion than humans.

They can see moving objects considerably clearer than stationary ones.

Dogs are sensitive to even the slightest changes in posture and movement.

This is one of the reasons why dogs can be trained utilizing hand gestures as silent cues. [6]

Their retina contains more rods, which perform better in low light.

Their eyes receive more light thanks to larger pupils.

Since their lens is nearer the retina, the image is brighter.

Better night vision is made possible by the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light.

Are German Shepherds Color Blind?

Yes, German Shepherds are color-blind.

The prevalence of color-blind dogs is higher than 94% in every study.

Only shades of blue and yellow are visible to them.

These dogs only have a two-color vision or dichromatic vision.

Grayscale is also visible to them.

They cannot see hues like red, orange, and green because they are outside of their color spectrum.

Hunters can wear orange to make themselves noticeable to other hunters.

However, they will not be noticed by animals. [7]

Trichromatic vision, as it is known, allows people to see a much wider range of colors than dogs.

A study on 21 domestic dogs was provided by Marcello Siniscalchi and a group of scientists.

All of them had the same results on the number of color variations they see.

They were all red-green color blind, according to the test results. [8]

Do German Shepherds Have Poor Vision?

No, German Shepherds don’t have poor vision.

Their rods are more populated than in human eyes.

This allows them to notice movement very quickly and be able to react.

It also lets them see well in dim light and dark.

However, they are prone to some genetic sight disorders.

These predispositions may lead to poor vision later on in life.

They even might lead to a complete loosing of vision.

One of the most common disorders in GDSs is the pannus.

Pannus is known as chronic superficial keratitis.

A disorder known as pannus that affects the cornea is immune-mediated. [9]

The cornea develops a non-painful, raised pink mass, mostly on the lateral or outside side.

Usually, both eyes are affected, but sometimes one may look worse than the other.

The third eyelid seems enlarged and swollen.

As the pannus worsens, the lesion will flatten, and spread and scar tissue will cover the cornea.

A mucoid discharge could be seen.

Visual impairment may occur as a result of the dark pigment obstructing vision. [10]

Understanding Color Blindness in GSD

When light wavelengths bounce off an item through the pupil, colors are perceived.

It then reaches the retina, a light-sensitive layer of the eye.

Photoreceptor cells take in light and transform it into neurological messages.

Let’s explain color blindness a bit more.

Contrary to humans, who typically have three different types of cone photoreceptors.

There are three types of these cones: long-wave, medium-wave (green), and short-wave (blue).

Only two cone receptors exist in dogs.

They are identical to the human short-wave and long-wave sensitivity. [11]

It is accepted that dogs are unable to distinguish between basic color cues.

Red-green color blindness could be attributed to German Shepherds.

They can see varying tones of brown, blue, and yellow.

They also pick up on the different shades of gray, black, and white.

So an orange toy, which is a blend of yellow and red, will appear a brownish yellow to your dog.

Whereas a red toy will appear brown to him.

It also implies that you should look for toys that are either blue or yellow. [12]

They should stand out from the duller tones of brown and gray in your dog’s line of vision.

It will help completely engage all his senses during playtime.

This may assist to explain why dogs adore those tennis balls in brilliant yellow color.

Can German Shepherds See Color?

Yes, German Shepherds see color.

However, they are unable to see all of the colors humans do.

Due to a difference in the types of cones in their retinas, they are red-green color blind.

The other attributes like sharpness and motion, are more developed than in humans.