What Is a Dog’s Favorite Color? [Surprise Answer]

As any dog owner knows, it’s essential to know your pooch’s preferences, and this is relevant when picking any object they interact with regularly. Besides texture and size, one of the considerations that people jump to is color–after all, we all have a favorite color, so don’t dogs?

However, this provokes the age-old question: what is a dog’s favorite color?

what is a dogs favorite color
What is a dog’s favorite color? [Surprise answer]

While some people dismiss this question based on the (incorrect) assumption that dogs are colorblind, there’s more to it. Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know about a dog’s favorite color.

Because of the way dogs’ eyes work their favorite colors are yellow or blue.

How Do Dogs See?

bright dog color
A particularly bright color-loving dog!

Dogs view the world through dichromatic vision. Humans have trichromatic or tetrachromatic vision, meaning that we have three to four color receptors through which we process light. On the other hand, dogs have just two receptors, meaning they process just two kinds of colors.

Now, there’s a common misconception that dogs are colorblind and can only see shades of gray, and that isn’t the case. Recent research has indicated that dogs can see more colors such as blues, yellows, and gray.

The other key thing to know about canine eyesight is that it isn’t particularly sharp. Dogs have more indistinct vision than humans. To us, it would be comparable to looking through a pair of dirty eyeglasses.

The lack of sharpness means that color is extra vital for dogs, as it can help them distinguish an object from its surroundings.

These findings become essential when trying to determine a dog’s favorite color.

red and white parti cavapoo
Distinct Parti or Bicolor coat Cavapoo dogs are super impressive!

What Are Dogs’ Favorite Colors?

Since dogs can only see blue, yellow, and gray shades, it’s pretty easy to assume that a dog’s favorite color is one of those three

Then, considering that dogs see much of the surrounding world as gray, it seems likely that wouldn’t be their favorite color since it’s just too familiar. The process of elimination leaves just blue and yellow as options.

colorful dog toys
A happy puppy playing with his colorful dog toys outdoors.

Do Different Dogs Have Different Favorite Colors?

For reasons as unclear in human brain sciences as canine brain sciences, specific individuals prefer certain perceptual stimuli–smells, tastes, sights–over others, including colors.

Just as your favorite color might be magenta while your best friend’s favorite is teal, dark blue might attract your neighbor’s dog while your dog prefers light yellow.

It all depends on the dog and the complex cluster of memories, associations, and ineffable factors that go into making them the perfectly individualized dog you know and love.

different dog breeds
Different dog breeds posing together.

How Do You Figure Out Your Dog’s Favorite Color?

If you’re dedicated to determining your precious pooch’s favorite color, you’ll need to adopt the good old-fashioned scientific method and conduct some experiments.

Common sense might tell you that you can tell your dog’s favorite color by the toy they choose. But the truth is that there might be any number of reasons they like that toy. It could be texture, size, or simple familiarity.

If you really want to get a good idea of your dog’s preferences, you’ll need to present them with multiple options–and what’s more, options that they’ve never seen before. 

Now, get your dependent and independent variables in order because you want to be scientific. Translation: make sure that the objects are identical in every way except for color. That way, you can be reasonably sure that your dog isn’t picking one item for other features besides color.

This means that you’ll want to get items that are identical in texture, size, shape, and other designs–everything except color.

There are a few options you might select. For instance, you could go for bowls, which often come in multiple colors. You could also choose a rope, frisbee, ball, or stuffed toy.

Once you’ve laid these options out before your eminent dog, you’ll be able to see the color on which they bestow their favor.

Russian toy terrier with frisbee
A Russian Toy Terrier plays with a frisbee. Small dogs play frisbee too!

What To Do When You Discover Your Dog’s Favorite Color?

Don’t let the naysayers say nay to you: knowing your dog’s favorite color is a way to get intimate access into the inner machinations of its psyche.

That said, what you can do with that information is limited.

what is a dogs favorite color
Bright colors for a bright smiling Golden Retriever

Although knowing your dog’s favorite color can potentially help you pick out toys and other objects, the reality is that it might not be the deciding factor in whether they like certain things over others. For dogs, playing with a toy is about experiencing its fun textures or the mobility that it allows, and not as much as its color.

That said, it’s impossible to truly generalize! It’s entirely possible that your dog will feel just a marginal bit more comfortable in a yellow blanket than a blue one or might have an easier time locating an ocean-colored toy instead of a mustard-colored one. 

Knowing their favorite color can be good if you’re looking to train your dog in feats of agility. If you find that they can discern blue more readily than yellow, you could design an obstacle course with that color combo in mind.

If you want to support your dog in that way, you have the freedom to delve into their minds and determine their favorite color!

Golden Retriever jumps over a fence
A Golden Retriever jumps over a fence at a dog show.

Wrapping Up

So, what is a dog’s favorite color? In summary, scientific research (indirectly) suggests that a dog’s favorite color will be either yellow or blue. Conduct experiments to see what your dog’s specific favorite color is.

While that information may not be conclusive, it can be a great way to support your dog better!