Everyone loves some version of art, right? From abstract images, to watercolor pastoral scenes and graphic design, most of us can appreciate some form of artistic expression. But what about our dogs? Do they enjoy expertly-applied brushstrokes and vibrant color schemes?
Before explore whether or not dogs appreciate art, it’s important that you first understand how a dog actually sees the world, and especially how they see color.
How Do Dogs See the World?
Luckily, we’ve got an informative article here that covers the basics. Essentially, dogs can only process the colors blue and yellow, plus shades of gray.
Dogs don’t see the same range of colors that their humans do because they only have two cones in their eyes (which have cells that are sensitive to certain colors), as opposed to the three cones we have in ours.
However, thanks to evolution, dogs do have much better peripheral vision than their human buddies, and can see movement at a pretty far distance.
Do Dogs Even Notice Art?
Dogs don’t respond to 2D visuals the same way they do to people in the flesh, so it’s often supposed they won’t pay art much attention.
However, experts have noticed that canines are able to recognize their owners from pictures or images on screens. In fact, some research has even suggested that dogs might have facial recognition skills similar to humans!
During that research, scientists also noticed that pups look at images of other dogs much longer than images of humans. So maybe our four-legged friends can at least appreciate images of other dogs?
So, Do Dogs Enjoy Something Pretty (Like Art)?
Well, it’s impossible for us to completely know how dogs feel about art – considering there’s a bit of a language barrier. However, we can get a general idea. Our four-legged companions do in fact enjoy the stimulus that many works of art can offer them.
Are there Art Shows for Dogs? Should there Be?
There’s actually an event describing itself as “America’s first art show for dogs” coming to New York this summer. Curated by former Washington Post critic Jessica Dawson, dOGUMENTA comes to Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan on August 11.
Featuring art from ten local artists, this show will have pieces at dog-eye level and in hues that perfectly cater to pups’ particular color sensitivities. The show will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to make sure that dogs don’t get overwhelmed by New York’s summer heat.
There was another show for dogs in London awhile back called Play More. Curated by Dominic Wilcox, it featured art installations like an open car window simulator, dancing dog bowl water jets, and eye-level paintings in colors dogs enjoy. After all, isn’t art for everyone?
Next Step: Get Your Dog to Create Art!
Or not. But regardless, there are plenty of dog-friendly paint options for getting creative with your favorite canine. Follow this simple tutorial for sprucing up you living space with some DIY Paw Print Wall Art for the super-crafty pup.
And there are furry artists out there to draw inspiration from. Check out this video: one incredible artistic movement showing 18 paintings created by shelter dogs shaking paint off onto canvases.
Of course (to be safe) the paint was edible ink, made of corn starch and food coloring. The project helped draw attention to all of the shelter dogs who are waiting for love, affection, and their forever home.
In the end, we can’t really know for sure whether or not dogs appreciate art or enjoy creating it, but we can keep our minds open to the fact that maybe it’s possible.
After all, don’t all of us deserve the chance to look at something beautiful?