Dear Dr. Zeus,
I have great eyesight, or at least I am pretty sure I do. But here’s my problem, when I am playing ball with my people and they kick it close to me, it just disappears! It’s usually right in between my feet or close to me so why do I lose sight of it?! Am I going blind?! Am I far sighted?! – Chester, the Labrador
Do not worry, my friend! You are not going blind. We dogs have good long distance eye sight, but let’s be truthful here, we will never be able to read The Times or Vogue. A vast majority of us cannot see anything clearly closer than 1 1/2 feet a way! This is why even we geniuses can loose a toy right under our noses!
There was a time when I was a hunt test with a friend and he kept running over his land bird. We were all so surprised he couldn’t find it even though it was right in front of his face! The reason why he couldn’t find it though was because he was looking at the ground and nothing was in focus and there was so much scent on the ground he couldn’t pin point it! I personally can see a bird drop 100 yards away but it’s always when I get close that I end up having to remember where I saw it fall and smell for it.
I am going to get a little technical on you to explain further about why we dogs are farsighted. What it really comes down to is our paws. We do not have opposable thumbs and we have no need to examine something at arms length, thus we never developed the need and ability to be near sighted. Alternatively, even if we did have 20/20 vision, so much of our brain is devoted to processing smells that we wouldn’t need it. Our nose is like a second set of eyes. So here’s an example, when your people throw you the ball and you lose it right between your paws you instinctively smell for it and find it. It may not be as quick but it is just as accurate!
So have no fear Chester your eyes are perfect the way they are! I hope this helps you out and that you continue to enjoy playing ball!
Regards, Dr. Zeus
Category : Ask Dr. Zeus