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Can dogs see through glass?

Can dogs see through glass?

Hang around your dog long enough and you’ll quickly notice some of their fascinating habits. Some dogs may like to try out different sleeping areas from time to time. Others may prefer bringing their toys wherever they go.

Another interesting habit you may notice involves your pet dog looking through the window or perhaps a glass door. After some time, you may be wondering about what exactly they are seeing. Since dogs are so different from us, it’s fair to wonder if they can see through the glass the way we do.

For this article, we’ll examine exactly what dogs see when they gaze through the glass. Are they seeing something there or is the reflective surface simply something that is mesmerizing them? Continue with this article to find the answer to that question and other relevant queries.

Can Dogs See Through Glass?

Let’s get to the main question right away. Can a dog see through an object made out of glass? Yes, dogs can see through glass.

There are even some telltale signs which indicate that dogs are capable of seeing through a glass object just fine. Learn more about those telltale signs below.


Many dogs instinctively sniff anything strange they find in their vicinity. It’s the method they use to gain information about their surroundings.

A dog sniffing a glass object in front of them is an indicator that they see it. Whether or not they will do something to it is another matter altogether. They may just be content to ignore it and move on with their day.

Becoming Alert

The sight of a glass panel may also cause your dog to become more alert. They suspect there’s something in front of them, but they cannot tell what it is. Just to be safe, they may decide to assume a guarded position as they approach the glass object.


If your pet grows suspicious of the transparent object in front of them or the dog reflected there, they may start barking. They may continue barking until they conclude that the reflection is not a threat to them.

Head Tilting and Pointed Ears

We’re grouping these two together because they generally indicate curiosity on the part of your dog. To be more specific, the tilted head and the pointed ears are indicators that your dog is mystified by the glass object.

Can Dogs See Through Glass at Night?

The quality of our vision is not always consistent. When it’s dark outside or we’re in a dark room, we often have a tough time seeing our surroundings. Many of us use our hands to feel around and avoid bumping into something.

You may be wondering if dogs experience those same vision struggles at night. Interestingly, studies have shown that dogs actually see very well in low-light situations.

Dogs don’t see as clearly as we do and they struggle in particular with colors because they are lacking in cone receptors compared to us. While dogs cannot pick up on as many colors as we do, they do have us beat in one distinct way.

Compared to us, dogs have significantly more cone receptors in their eyes. On top of that, dogs also have tissues in their eyes that direct more light into their retinas. Those two physical traits combine to give dogs great night vision.

Unlike us, dogs can see very well even in low-light situations. The aforementioned physical traits can also help explain why their eyes tend to light up in the dark.

Given how well dogs see in the dark, it should come as no surprise that they can look through glass without any issue even at night. You don’t have to worry about your pet bumping into glass doors just because the lights have been turned off.

Can Dogs See Through Mirrors?

Dogs mostly see mirrors the same way we do. Most mirrors are designed not to let us see through them. That is the case for dogs as well.

We may be able to see through some mirrors depending on how light is dispersed. Once again, dogs are affected by that too.

It’s the way that dogs react to mirrors that is arguably more interesting.

Upon seeing their reflection in the mirror, your pet may start barking and assuming the guarded position. That’s because your pet thinks they are seeing another dog instead of their reflection. Your pet may even paw at or try to sniff their reflection to figure out the identity of the strange dog.

Of course, your pet dog will not stay in that mode forever. They may keep going for a while, but they will eventually get tired and realize that the “other” dog is not a threat.

What Do Dogs See When They Look Out the Window?

From time to time, you may catch your pet taking a glance outside of a nearby window. It may even happen while they’re riding in the car with you.

We can see the beautiful world around us when we look outside the window. Does your dog see the same thing?

In all likelihood, what your dog sees is something a bit different.

We already touched on this earlier, but the type of vision dogs have is not completely similar to what we have. Their inability to perceive as many colors as we do is something that significantly affects their view of the outside world.

Experts believe that dogs particularly struggle to see shades of red in their surroundings. They may not notice anything special about the red roses lining some gardens or the red cars in the driveways.

Although dogs can see better in the dark than we do, they still may not see much if they look through a window at night. They will probably just see the reflection of the home interior in the glass window.

Why Does My Dog Stare Out the Window?

Have you ever wondered why your pet dogs like to stare out the window? It seems like such a curious habit for them to develop so is there a deeper meaning to it?

There actually are interesting explanations for why dogs stare out of windows. Learn more about those potential explanations in the section below.

Dogs Stare Out the Window to Stave Off Boredom

Although your pet may find your home to be comfortable and accommodating, they may still find it kind of dull whenever you’re not around. Because of that, they may look elsewhere for entertainment. The window just happens to be a good source of entertainment for them.

All kinds of things outside may catch their eye. You may even see their tail wagging as they look outside. That’s an indicator that your pet is having fun.

Don’t worry if your pet has developed a habit of looking outside. It’s just something they find enjoyable so let them have fun.

Dogs Stare Out the Window to Look for Potential Threats

Dogs may also stare out the window because they are worried about a possible threat. Someone may have knocked on your door so your dog went to the window to see what is causing the noise. After a plumber or electrician leaves your home, your dog may also look out the window to see if the stranger is still nearby.

Basically, your dog’s instinct to protect is just kicking in at that point. After they calm down, they will likely stop looking for the stranger.