Have you ever taken a moment to try and see the agility course from your dog’s perspective? The colours, the obstacle placement, the view our dogs see from their level? (Yep, this might mean getting on all fours!)
I recently did this after reading a great article written by Nicki Gurr from AniMotion Agility. Nicki is an avid and accomplished agility competitor, judge and instructor, and her article is called the “Dog’s Eye View”. When I read “Dog’s Eye View” I knew instantly I needed to interview Nicki and share this awesome information with you guys.
Now I feel I must warn you that what you’re about to find out could completely transform the way you think about the colours you see in agility…
In this video interview with Nicki Gurr you’ll discover:
- What your dogs actually see when you’re training them,
- Why colour selection matters,
- How to test your dog’s vision,
- And how to set your dog up for training success!
This important information transcends dog agility and applies to many dog sports and even daily life.
Today I’m grateful for having the ability to walk in my dog’s shoes and the awesome technology available to us that helps us take a sneak peek into our dog’s world.
This was fantastic! Thank you.❤️
I knew about the yellow & blue colors. I never saw that the green looks like yellow to our dogs!?
People are saying solid weave pole are easier for dogs to see-
Inside arena has white wall clubs weave piles one white solid other pole lavender no stripes.
Another dark red and blue poles outside and another club had yellow poles with yellow tunnels in background.
Am I the only one concerned about this as everyone says it’s easier for dogs to see
These are points that I never thoughts about. I immediately went into my closet and selected what I could wear for the next Agility! Thanks so much
Hi – this is a great article! It looks like you use purple, blue and yellow tunnels at your training facility. I’m buying a new tunnel that will be used outside on grass. Is blue color the best choice? Thanks for all the info you share!
This explains a lot for me. In a recent trial, one of my dogs was having a perfect Jumpers run until she knocked a bar and support post down. The bar was white wrapped with yellow tape, the support post was yellow and she was running toward the back wall of a barn which was a brownish color and the lighting on that side of the building was a bit darker than the area she had turned away from. The floor was also brown dirt. I do think she was thrown off by the darker lighting as well as the similarity of colors in that area.
Excellent Information!! Sure helped me to understand some of the experiences I had with my dog over the summer. We are learning alot together and I plan to use this knowledge to improve my dogs ability to succeed! Thank You for sharing!
I tested colour perception with my students using different coloured football markers (rubber mats. None of the dogs went to the red one when told to ‘mark’ but they all preferred the blue one and the bright yellow one. This was in a village hall.
Two years ago I was asked to demonstrate a send away with my rescue dog on a field. SHE IS A GOOD SEND AWAY DOG. BUT THE MARKER CONE WAS RED. I was embarrassed to find that she appeared not to be able to see the cone and just ran forward and looked at me.
Keep up the interesting blogs
Interested to understand what this info might imply regarding the color of a long line: Of course, the color contrast would depend on the working environment, and the answer may be dependent on the type of work being done- but what about the idea that the color could be chosen to more stand out to the dog, such as blue (he/she will have a visual reminder that the long line is there, because the blue will -almost- always stand out) or the reverse, that the color of the long line could help the line to visually blend into the surroundings so the dog is not as visually aware of it’s presence, and not “depending” on the awareness of the long line’s presence to perform/obey. Any thoughts on this?
Explains why my orange cat thinks she is invisible in the grass.
That’s super interesting! I’ve never really thought about how my dog sees an obstacle. Yet, I have noticed that Josey who is normally a terrific jumper has never dropped a
bar jump except for the few times I used the bamboo sticks vs. the pvc pipe poles decorated with green frog tape.
Great discussion and valuable information. Please continue with this topic often as this can be very valuable to success and safety in the ring for dog and human. Thanks
Could this be the real reason some dogs knock bars or what is your opinion on ETS (early takeoff syndrome)
I remember black and white TV and Movies. Those shades of grey registered in the brain with no real issue, and the vision was clear despite having no red or yellow or green or any other colour.
Being an observer of dog (and horse) reactions to various colour dependant situations, it is obvious that certain colours do not stand out against the background as much as others. But they don’t for us either. Jump bars are thin and can blend easily into the background, unless given a really strong visual aid, such as black stripes. Adding black just makes sense, and I don’t need an app to tell me that.
I found this interview inspiring.. thank you to you both. I directed my clss clients to it and the app and we changed our Heelwork to music props and outfits and the dogs are working more confidently, particularly when undertaking distance work from the handler. I am also reviewing my Competition obedience retrieve articles and sendaway markers and body awareness equipment. If we can make our dogs lives easier by understanding them better then we will all be happier 👍🐾
Is the app available to download and use and if so where from please? Many thanks.
This is the link for the Dog Vision for the Android app in Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fr.nghs.android.cbs.dogvision
Don’t know where you’d get it for an iPhone though.
Is there a way to check the study done by Nicki Gurr
Hi Fernando, Nicki’s article is linked above in the post.
Here it is for you – https://www.animotionagility.ca/dogs-eye-view/
I’m not convinced that the dog vision app pictures are an accurate representation of what dogs see because the value scale of objects in the scenes are so different from what we see. I think a bar with red stripes, if it were a true red rather than pink or light orange, would appear to be dark yellowish gray rather than the bright yellow that the app images show. If dogs saw so little value scale they would have great difficulty negotiating their world at all. Whereas my dog can race through the marsh in a sea of green and brown, leaping over branches and vegetation smoothly and confidently. This is a great area for research and your article was a valuable addition to the discussion. I just think we need more research to really understand what they are seeing. Thanks!
I went out and got blue, yellow, and black tape to wrap jumps and weave poles. I threw away my red colored targets (raisen box lids). Kept the blue “targets”. I think my little girl is seeing the weave poles a lot better, because they are colored to allow more vision. THANKS for the great information!
WOW! I knew dogs saw yellow and blue. I had no idea it was this crazy. Thank you for sharing this. More to chew on and do.