Do dogs see differently at night?
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Thread: Do dogs see differently at night?

  1. #1
    guinnysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultDo dogs see differently at night?

    Guinness seems to startle much more easily at night than during the day. With most of our walks now after darkness, we have noticed that he will freak out during the walk when encountering things that are mundane but out of the ordinary (this week someone had put a couch out to the side of the road for pick up and Guinness tried to run away and barked and barked at this big scary object!) He has a few odd quirks and chooses to "like" some people over others, but we see much more barking/defense at night than during the day. Sometimes even the sound of the leaves falling off the trees in the yard are cause for a bark and sudden investigation at night. Any one else have this, and how do we help him take everything in stride?

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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    hmmmm good question.. THAT I DON'T KNOW THAT ANSWER TO! lol well god luck i really don't know

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    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    HK is skittish in the dark also. One of the things she is most afraid of is the solar powered landscape lights prople put out in the front yards.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    There is a specific eye disease that manifests itself first as night blindness. Any dog freaking out a bit in the dark should be seen by a canine ophthalmologist.

    http://www.bestbeau.ca/bmd_health_links_5.htm#PRA



    Laura





  7. #5
    guinnysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    Wow I really hope its not something THAT serious : Any other ideas? I will however bring it up with my vet next time we're in.

  8. #6
    Merlot_1 Guest

    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    I am prety sure they can see as well in the dark as in the light. When I get home from work and play frisbee with the dogs, it is very dark. I have no idea where I am throwing , but I can here them catch the frisbees in mid flight, and they always retrieve them with no problems. So, to answer your question, you might want to have the vet, or a canine opthamologist check her eyes out.

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    How old is Guinness? He looks young in the picture. They go thru another fear period around 9 months and the behavior you describe would be typical. It's important to get them out and about at that age to experience lots of things, people, places, sounds in daylight and darkness. They so want to act tough but they are usually afraid so lots of positive experiences are a must during this time.

    Oh, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have his eyes checked either.

    I adopted Murray when he was almost 2. He started bumping into furniture (ie the bed) during the night, banging his head on the table or corners of the wall, falling off the dog walk during agility at night. I was very concerned that he may have PRA. I spent $500 for the othamologist to tell me Murray was clumsy : and really didn't care if he banged his head but it was money well spent since it gave me peace of mind.

  10. #8
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    Dogs see FAR better at night than people do but they do not see as well at night as they do during the daytime.

    But dogs do tend to react to any differences or changes in their expectations in the way they've experienced the world. So if that sidewalk area hasn't ever had a sofa sitting beside the street, that's something many Labs would bark at -- at least my Puff would.

    I'm sure some dogs are far more reactive to those changes than others and my Puff is on the quite sensitive side: I've not noticed any difference between day and night in her. I have no memory of my Bess barking at strange objects so she was presumably far across the range from the most sensitive pole.

    Puff was far more sensitive to change or different objects during her first two years. During that time at Halloween and Christmas, when people often put displays in their yards, Puff was continually barking on walks. Now that she's six years old and has become a more sophisticated and worldly wise lady, she does it much less often but it hasn't completely disappeared.

    If you want more info about the night vision of dogs, I suggest you Google dogs' night vision There have been many studies of their visual acuity, night vs. day vision (rods vs. cones), etc.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    guinnysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Do dogs see differently at night?

    Thanks for some more responses. I think Guinness may be on the more sensitive side to noises etc. I maybe just see more of it at night because that's when we tend to be out in the neighbourhood for our walks etc. He does seem to startle easily with unfamiliar things - he tucked tail and ran one night when a lady came up to him wearing a BIG poncho type thingie. I thought it weird too : so just let it pass. He also is leary about some people and not others. Haven't come up with a common thread yet, but it seems some people just make him nervous ( for no reason I can easily) figure. Guinness will celebrate his 1st birthday on Nov. 5 so maybe he just has some more learning to do!

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