Can you make dogs happier through colors?
An Innovative Toy for a Dog’s Visual Spectrum
HoundGames has released version 2.0 of its successful dog toy, the Doggy Play Mat, a toy designed to stimulate a dog’s senses through colors.
It’s been almost 30 years since Dr. Jay Neitz discovered a dog’s vision is dichromatic in nature, and that the color spectrum that dogs see is similar to that of a red-green color blind human. A red ball on green grass for example would be difficult to differentiate. The two spectral types of cone photoreceptors that dogs have allow them to only see in a spectrum of blue and a somewhat mustardy color.
Moreover, in July 2013, a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B revealed that for eight previously untrained dogs, color proved to be more informative than brightness when choosing between visual stimuli.
And on prizedwriting.ucdavis.edu student Terry Wong wrote a scientific paper entitled, Chew-Toy Color Preference in Kenneled Dogs, in which she offered varying colors of toys to 20 dogs. Her results indicated that the blue toys were significantly favoured over the other colors.
This research begs the question why aren’t more dog toys designed for a dog’s visual spectrum?
HoundGames, a small family run business, has used this research as inspiration for their dog toy, the Doggy Play Mat. The toy has been designed in the color spectrum of a dog’s eyesight and so far the results have been impressive.
The vast majority of dogs that have played with the toy have had a strong connection, with one owner stating, “One of the best items I have bought for my pups … They go nuts over this.” And another affirming, “My Toy Fox Terrier loves this product. It keeps her occupied for hours.”
The toy is targeted for the puppy and small dog market, and although the initial version of the product had its teething issues, a much improved version has just been released.
“We just wanted to make the best dog toy we possibly could and part of that was focusing on how dogs see colors. It’s difficult to say whether it’s the colors or the design of the toy that’s getting the positive results, but so far we’ve had a great response from dog owners,” said Geoff Boileau, creator of HoundGames.
With time and continued success of the toy, perhaps other dog toy manufacturers will follow suit. At the very least, it may press others to up their design game, which can only be a good thing for our four legged companions!