It's not all black and white...
is official. Dogs are able to see in colour. However, they only see colour in the yellow and
blue range. The ability to see in the red spectrum was lost to many of our mammalian ancestors
during the Jurassic period when mammals did not venture out during daylight hours. All very
interesting, I hear you say, but what has this got to do with agility? Our favourite the
Agility Whisperer explains...
If dogs can see yellow and blue tones
but not red ones, does this have an impact on their performance on contact equipment? Would it
not be interesting to experiment to see if dogs are more successful when having to make contact
with yellow, blue or green contacts than say red or white?
This brings me on to another related topic –
clothing for agility handlers. What sort of impression does TV coverage of agility give to
people who are not involved in the sport? The purple polo shirts - any size as long as it is XL
so it seemed - hardly help to raise awareness of the sport. If we look at other sports, say
cycling, as an example where there has been a revolution in clothing performance and design.
Clothing is no longer just functional. It is about image. Okay, so we have club shirts but even
there you have handlers with different versions from the last 10 - 15 years.
So what should be
I have a suggestion. What we need are well designed agility handling outfits in a
beautiful blue and yellow colour which the dog can see and thus pick up body language easier.
They perhaps have 'lycra' in them to help the fit – well, perhaps not the lycra! They should
come with bright yellow tight fitting gloves useful for directing the dog. I wonder what judges
would do about that.
So are there any budding researchers out there
who want to check whether there is a best colour of equipment for training. Do we need to train
on several different colour ranges of equipment? Should show schedules say what colour
equipment will be used for each class? Finally, are there any clothing designers out there who
want to take up the challenging task of smartening up agility handlers. Last, but not least, we
need volunteers to model the new creations. I could suggest a few, but perhaps, having just lit
the blue fuse paper, I should retreat to the safety of my anonymity.
About the author...
The Agility Whisperer prefers to remain anonymous but beware. He/she could be