It is a commonly held belief that dogs can't see in colour, only viewing the world in monochrome. However, scientists in Russia have proved we have been wrong all along.

A report from the Daily Mail revealed how man's best friend have a colour range, albeit limited, and that they also use this spectrum to distinguish between objects.

This is the conclusion of researchers at the Laboratory of Sensory Processing at the Russian Academy of Sciences, who worked with eight different dogs of diverse breeds and sizes to establish what mutts do actually see.

Their work was based upon that of professor Jay Neitz of the University of Washington who found that canines have one less 'cone' in their eyes than humans, which means they can only differentiate between blue and yellow, but not green and red.

The Russian scientists expanded on Mr Neitz's work by placing different bits of card in front of bowls of food to see if dogs used brightness to determine different items.

At first they placed a piece of dark yellow card in front of a food to ensure the mutts associated the colour with food. Once the connection was made, they looked to see if it was the brightness or colour they used by putting dark blue paper in front of one bowl of food and light yellow ahead of the other.

If the dogs picked the former, this would suggest they were using brightness for decision making, while the latter would point towards colour.

In the experiment, dogs opted for the light yellow paper over 70 per cent of the time, confirming an awareness of colour, with three-quarters of the mutts picking this between 90 and 100 per cent of the time.

'We show that for eight previously untrained dogs colour proved to be more informative than brightness when choosing between visual stimuli differing both in brightness and chromaticity," the researchers said.

"Although brightness could have been used by the dogs in our experiments, it was not."

"Our results demonstrate that under natural photopic lighting conditions colour information may be predominant even for animals that possess only two spectral types of cone photoreceptors."

Written by: Adrian