Are Dogs color-blind?
The materials required for this science project:
- 5 plastic balls
- 5 plastic dog bones
- 5 breed of dogs together with owner or trainer
1. A Golden retriever
2. A Rough Collie
3. A Poodle
4. An Alsatian
5. A Jack Russell Terrier
- 4 boxes of same size each wrapped in blue, yellow, red and green color papers
- 1 box of dog snacks
- 1 spray can of air refresher
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the dog breed and the color of the boxes. The dependent variable is the box chosen by the dog. This is determined by observation. The constants (control variables) are the amount of training given to the dogs, the toys used and the type of treat given to the dogs.
2. The dogs are trained for 2 weeks with the help of the owners and dog trainers. When the word “ball” is said out loud, the dogs are trained to take ball out of the blue box. When the word “bone” is said out loud, the dogs are to retrieve the bone out of the red box. When the dogs perform the tasks correctly, they were rewarded with a dog snack. During the training sessions only one box was placed in front of the dogs, either the blue box or the red box.
3. After the 2 weeks of training. the dogs are ready for the science experiment. The 4 colored boxes are prepared and air refresher sprayed over the boxes so that the dogs do not depend on smell to select the boxes. The balls and plastic bones are also washed with scented soap.
4. For the first trial, the blue and yellow boxes are placed 2 meters apart in front of the dog. The ball is in the blue box. The word “ ball” is said out loud and the dog is released. The first box the dog runs to is recorded. The position of the box is randomly changed and each dog is given 10 attempts to find the correct box and all observations are recorded.
5. For the second trial, the red and green boxes are placed 2 meters apart in front of the dog. The bone is in the red box. At the command “bone” the dog is released. The first box the dog runs to is recorded. The position of the box is randomly changed and each dog is again given 10 attempts to find the correct box and all observations are recorded.
Be careful when handling unfamiliar dogs. Have a dog trainer or dog owner handle the dogs.