38 Best Brindle Dog Breeds: Common & Rare Coats

Brindle-Boxer-dog-posing-outdoors-lying-down-on-fallen-maple-leaves-in-autumn

Brindle dogs have striking coats with a brown foundation featuring black or browns stripes overlaid.

Now, many different breeds come with a distinctive brindle coat, and it’s caused by a recessive gene as we’ll outline below.

When brindle coloring is heavier and darker, this is the traditional brindle. When the coloring is lighter, it’s known as reverse brindle. With reverse brindle, the lighter color is more pronounced against the darker background.

Some brindles have a hue of blue, while others are reddish brown.

What this means is that anyone looking for a brindle dog first needs to consider the breeds most likely to exhibit this coat before doubling down on the type of pattern that most visually appeals.

Today’s roundup of the best brindle dog breeds covers all the dogs most likely to be brindle. You can also find striped coloring in other breeds.

What about this recessive gene, then?


What Causes The Brindle Pattern on Some Dogs?

The brindle coat pattern is caused by a genetic trait just like other coat colors.

The gene series on a dog’s DNA strand determines his color pattern. These are lettered with the mutation found at the K locus responsible. There are three different gene variations at this locus. One of these makes the dog all black. One is a default option from one of the parents. The other of these makes a dog brindle. With this mutation, although brindle is dominant over yellow, it remains recessive to the dog’s black gene.

So, if you like the idea of bringing one of these eye-catching beasts into your home, stick with any of the following breeds and you’ll maximize your chances of finding a brindle fur baby.

Best Brindle Dog Breeds

1. Pit bull

Brindle Pit Bull

Brindle Pit Bulls have suffered over the years from a sustained attack in the media. While these dogs can be vicious, they are among the more lovable breeds when they are properly trained and part of a loving home.

Small and stocky, these dogs are like a bullet of pure muscle and energy, with tails constantly wagging and eyes filled with fun.

Brindle is one of the more common color patterns in this breed, so if you’re prepared to act in the face of the hype, a pit bull makes a great pet.

2. Greyhound

Brindle Greyhound

Greyhounds are one of the most breeds most commonly associated with brindle coats.

Brindle Greyhounds a variety of brindle colorings from black and blue to red and fawn, as well as different combinations within that palette.

You might imagine these dogs are always on the go, and they certainly are active. They require 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day, but they are prone to lengthy spells on the couch, too. Greyhounds make relaxed and loving pets.

If you find a rescue greyhound, you may find that maltreatment over the years leaves these dogs rather shy and retiring, possibly problematic for first-time owners looking for a more interactive pup. If you want a lovable and charismatic brindle beast, a greyhound should be one of your go-to options.

3. Akita

Brindle Akita

Akitas come in assorted colors, several brindle combinations included.

These dogs were bred for hunting and tracking, so make great guard dogs. This wolf-like breed is stubborn and independent but has a fiercely protective streak. They will need careful socialization to stop their aggressive nature coming to the surface. This breed also has a powerful prey drive, meaning they often react unfavorably to other dogs in the house.

Like rescue greyhounds, Brindle Akitas are challenging pets for first-time owners, but they make a solid choice for anyone experienced raising dogs.

4.  Boxer

Brindle Boxer

Boxers are either fawn or brindle. The brindle trait is dominant in this breed, so only one copy of the recessive gene is required to bring about a brindle boxer. As such, brindle boxers are commonplace.

Sensitive and friendly, boxers form close, strong bonds with their families. Brindle Boxers super-patient around children and babies, too.

This breed demands a reasonable amount of input. If you’re prepared to spend plenty of time playing with your boxer as well as meeting his energy demands, he’ll bring you bundles of joy, and there’s every chance he will be brindle in color.

5.  Great Dane

Great Dane

One of the world’s largest breeds, great Danes weigh up to 200 pounds and they can stand almost 3 feet tall. Given these supersized dimensions, this breed is a poor choice if you live in an apartment or cramped house.

One of the major drawbacks of this breed – aside from the food bill – is the amount of drool they produce. Not only do some people find these unappealing or distasteful, but it also tends to get all over the floors and furniture if you’re not careful.

That said, these dogs are remarkably lovable and they are calm around the house despite that towering size.

Owning a Great Dane is an experience, but it’s an experience you need to be ready to embrace head-on. Among the 9 differently colored Great Danes, you’ll find brindle.

6. Basenji

Brindle Basenji

Up until the 1980s, the Basenji in the United States did not come in brindle form. As a result of the health conditions afflicting this breed, some breeders imported Central African Basenji, dogs with the brindle gene.

Calm and quiet, Basenji have an enduring reputation for loyalty. These dogs might not be the most common breed but they make a smart choice for new dog owners looking for an easy introduction to pet parenting.

7. Mastiff

The mastiff comes in fawn, apricot, and brindle color patterns. As long as you have plenty of space at home, a mastiff will slot neatly into any family. Although they are large and bulky, you won’t need to devote too much time to exercise.

Brindle Mastiffs are perfectly content to loll around at home for extended periods. This makes them pretty low maintenance pets, and they would also be ideally suited to new owners prepared to deal with a dog that can weigh north of 200 pounds.

If you’re up for the challenge, a mastiff will soon endear himself to the whole family.

8. Dachshund

Dachshund

Wiener dogs or Dachshunds are characteristically low dogs with a friendly and outgoing nature.

The American Kennel Club does not recognize brindle among the colors dachshunds display, but many breeders have introduced this variety of wiener dog.

These dinky dogs are great if you have kids in the house. Their scaled-down dimensions also make them perfect dogs for apartment dwellers. That said, they can be extremely vocal, so they don’t make the best if you like a quiet, calm home base.

9. Bull Terrier

Brindle Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers are medium-sized dogs with a very peculiar appearance and bags of character.

You’ll find this breed with 13 different color patterns. Among these are several brindle patterns.

Although you might imagine these brawny and muscular furballs are standoffish, they are friendly and amazingly loyal, even by exacting canine standards.

If you’re thinking of bringing a bull terrier home, you should be aware of their reputation for aggressively chewing. Make sure they have an indestructible bed and the right rugged chew toys.

10. Boston Terrier

Brindle Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is informally known as the American gentleman. He is named thus for his polite manner and coat resembling a tuxedo.

Among the five standard color patterns found in Boston Terrier, there are three different brindle varieties.

This breed is prone to overheating when the mercury rises, just like other short-faced breeds. That said, they also have very short coats and small statures, rendering them less than suitable for cold climates.

Brindle Boston Terriers are pocket-sized, weighing anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds. They make a great dog if you live in an apartment or anywhere with limited space.

11. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was bred for herding duties.

These dogs come in a handful of color patterns, brindle included. Their coats are very dense and prone to shedding, so make sure you’re aware of this before adding one of these dogs to your home.

House training this breed can be awkward, so first-time owners should think twice.

While you may not imagine this when you see their stubby legs, these dogs are very active and agile, so be prepared to give them plenty of exercise to prevent restlessness.

12. Plott

Brindle Plott

The Plott hound was originally bred to track and corner game like boar and bear. Today, the dogs are still extensively used for this purpose. They have also become quite common as pets.

If you’re an inexperienced dog owners, we would suggest exploring other brindle dogs.

Plott hounds need plenty of room to roam and stretch their legs. They are also likely to manifest destructive behaviors unless you give them enough exercise on the daily. You’ll need to make sure you have the right dog fence in place if you bring one of these hounds home.

As long as you’re up for the challenge, a Brindle Plott can be a rewarding pet. Sweet and loving, they also usually get along well with other dogs. This breed is simple to groom, too, and they don’t shed profusely either.

13. Treeing Tennessee Brindle

Brindle Treeing Tennessee

As the name makes abundantly clear, the Treeing Tennessee Brindle comes with a distinctive brindle coat pattern.

For the majority of owners of this breed, the brindle coat pattern is not the key selling point, but rather its inbred tracking characteristics. They can tree game with incredible precision.

First created in the Ozarks, the dogs were used to track and then tree a variety of game species. Today, they are occasionally found as pets, but their extremely vocal nature makes them a bad fit for anyone looking for peace and quiet at home.

For many people looking for a brindle dog, this breed makes the default choice purely due to its name. Make sure, though, this dog is the right fit before committing to purchase.

14. Whippet

Brindle Whippet

Whippets, just like greyhounds, were historically used for racing as well as for rabbit-hunting.

It was soon discovered that these dogs required much less food and space than greyhounds, making them ideally suited for lower class coal miners.

Despite these roots, most whippets today are household pets, and you can find these dogs with brindle coat patterns.

According to the AKC, there are 18 different coat patterns found in whippets. These span the spectrum from white through to black with all colors in between. Six of these color patterns are classified as brindle.

Whippets are friendly dogs, and they are also very sensitive and ready to shower their owners with affection. Of all the brindle breeds we highlight today, Brindle Whippets are among the strongest choices for first-time owners. Tidy, whippets don’t drool or shed too much. They also typically enjoy robust health.

These dogs have highly refined prey drives, so they might not react well around other animals at first.

15. Cairn Terrier

Brindle Cairn Terrier

You’ll find many brindle cairn terriers. Where they have shaggy and wiry coats, it can be slightly more difficult to determine the pattern.

The color tones of these terriers tend to get lighter as he advances in age.

Brindle Cairn Terriers have oodles of confidence and character, but they tend to bark and dig regularly, so be prepared for these traits to come to the fore. Careful training is key.

16. Dutch Shepherd

Brindle Dutch Shepherd

This breed of dog is exclusively brindle. The most common varieties are red gold or silver.

Although Dutch shepherds once exhibited different colors, the breed standard changed to create a distinction between this arresting breed and the Belgian Malinois and German shepherd.

The Dutch Shepherd makes a wonderful addition to the home, assuming you have some confidence and experience around dogs. Although they are easy to train and eager to please, you’ll need to show this dog who is in charge through demonstrating calmly controlled confidence.

17. French Bulldog

Brindle French Bulldog

Among the most popular breeds in the United States, French bulldog are lovable, cheeky pets.

The French Bulldog is frequently found with brindle coat markings.

While these dogs look incredibly cute, their truncated noses lead to breathing problems and overheating. They don’t thrive in warm climates. If you take on one of these dogs, make sure you get adequate insurance and prepare yourself for some potentially stiff vet bills along the way.

18. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers frequently sport brindle markings. Often, the shades of brindle are extremely dark.

Staffies act more like cats than dogs, despite a somewhat misguided reputation. They commonly climb onto your lap looking for some extra attention.

These dogs love company, so they don’t make a smooth fit if you live along and spend lots of time away from home. They can suffer from separation anxiety. If you have a family looking for an interactive and loyal addition, consider a brindle Staffie.

19. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Many Irish wolfhounds are reverse brindle. These dogs always have pale coats, but you’ll often notice tiger stripes throughout the wiry fur.

This is another breeds that’s inadvisable for beginners. Brindle Irish Wolfhounds need careful training and socialization. With this taken care of, they’ll soon integrate into a family home. New dog owners should consider a less challenging introduction, though.

20. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers can sometimes gave brindle colors on their coat. This is quite rare in this breed, making brindle JRTs highly desirable.

One of the smartest doggies out there, it’s super-simple to train a JRT and they are unsurprisingly one of the most popular breeds in the US today. Energetic and always ready to embrace the great outdoors, take your brindle Jack Russell Terrier hiking or walking and he’ll be in his element.

21. Cane Corso

Brindle Cain Corso

Powerful, protective, and intellectual. The Brindle Cane Corso’s loyalty to its owner shines bright with this breed. Experienced pet owners will come to enjoy this beautiful beast, given proper training and a watchful eye.

As history tells it, this breed used to protect land and people from lions, in the frozen Tibetan Highlands! Today, the Cane Corso retains its tough attitude, but when given exercise and obedience training, will temper out in the long haul. 

Given these facts, it’s best to house them in a single-dog household, and should be kept at a distance from young children.

22. Pug

Brindle Pug

A true companion for those late nights on the couch, the Pug’s bulgy features will keep you snuggled up to them when needing it most! And only one percent of Pugs turn out brindle, so consider yourself lucky to have found such a unique coat. 

The Pug boasts a small frame but can put on the pounds if its diet is haphazardly planned. Additionally, their health is often a focus because of common breathing issues and overly-large eyeballs prone to damage.

As long as you keep their health in focus, the Brindle Pug makes for a lovable companion that can co-exist with just about anyone.

23. Bullmastiff

Brindle Bull Mastiff

Prepared for slobber? Great, because this playful giant pays no mind to how messy it is! The brindle Bullmastiff finds joy in playing with people and other animals, making for a great family dog.

This breed can reach up to 130 pounds, has a tendency to bark, and can be quite the guardian angel. But the drawback to their size is the health issues common for Bullmastiffs. For instance, pressure on aging joints, bloating, and dermatitis in their many facial folds. Keep careful watch over them in those senior years.

Owners, be prepared for a pup with some stubbornness. But otherwise, witness a breed that grows into a beast with a “mastiff” heart.

24. Bulldog

Brindle Bulldog

With a larger-than-life head and a frequent choice as a mascot, the Bulldog is a caricature of an animal. They’re prone to making silly (bodily) noises, so it’s best to come prepared!

The Bulldog is a courageous and fairly stubborn newborn. It’s important to correct for these behaviors early on, or you may find yourself with an unruly adolescent. Fortunately, they’re captivated by treats, so use that to your advantage.

Potential owners will find these dogs easygoing and gentle to work with. If you’re looking for an entertaining and loving animal, the Brindle Bulldog would be an excellent match.

25. Chihuahua

Brindle Chihuahua

The Chihuahua will become the center of attention at home and there’s nothing to be done about it. They’re the epitome of sass and spice. Beyond their spunk, the Chihuahua will love that you love them, and will treat you in kind.

A brindle version of this breed adds even more glamour to its already booming personality. And given these traits, potential owners should consider if this apartment-friendly animal makes a good match. 

For example, you may find yourself carrying this dog as they tire easily on long walks. Vet visits are also common as dental and cardiovascular risk becomes a heightened risk.

26. Labrador

Brindle Labrador

Originally bred to work with fisherman in the welcoming province of Newfoundland, Canada, the Labrador is practically waterproof, and a waggler to boot!

The Brindle Lab is a classic family-friendly choice, with high energy and exceeding affection towards others. They will require a lot of space for exercise though, so potential owners should be prepared for a lot of interaction with these animals.

With their excitability comes the potential for excessive barking and jumpiness, so it’s best to train them accordingly. An important note on brindle Labs is their attachment to the owner. If you notice them excessively hovering, you may want to employ strategies that reduce separation anxiety.

27. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow – serious in its nature, powerful in its gait, and snobbish in its attitude. Potential owners will find them more cat-like in their personality than an actual dog. 

While independent animals, training early with positive reinforcement is a must for them. This fluffy brindle will attract a lot of attention, so you will want to prepare accordingly with early socialization.

The Chow Chow is not quite affectionate towards children and other pets and can develop a serious knack for barking. So, if you’re looking for a beautiful creature that will be admired at a distance, this could be a great choice for your needs.

28. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Weighing in at a handful of pounds, the Brindle Shih Tzu is a quiet and intelligent observer. Once prized by Chinese royalty, this breed continues to remain loyal to its owners, in apartments and palaces alike.

A priority for caring for this dog is its flowing coat. Owners will need to brush and maintain it on a daily basis. In addition, it’s recommended to keep an eye on allergies at an early age, watching for signs of skin and ear infections.

If kept in good care, the spunky Shih Tzu makes for a friendly and lovable animal. Don’t let their size fool you, its heart is three times as large!

29. German Shepherd

German Shepherd

German Shepherds set the stage for great working dogs. Sheepherders, police companions, and guides for the blind; they can do it all! And their watchful eyes contrast beautifully with a brindle coat.

Speaking of coats, the breed is prone to shedding, so best come prepared with grooming equipment. Another word of wisdom is to work-in plenty of mental and physical stimulation to their daily routine. Their high intelligence and curiosity requires attention from you.

The Brindle German Shepherd is the type of dog that will remain loyal forever, once bonded with its family. So, if you can provide a bustling environment for them, a wonderful friendship is in the making.

30. Catahoula

Brindle Catahoula

Equal parts independent and loyal, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is an impressive animal to watch out for. Named after the area of Louisiana they were bred in, the breed was built for swimming, hunting, and guarding. 

These pups boast beautiful eye shades that light up against a brindle backdrop. But with stunning looks comes a protective attitude. Potential owners should provide early socialization and a space for activity. If uncared for in this regard, they may become issues in the home.

Their tough personalities don’t need to clash with yours though, as long as you provide them with a job to get the energy out.

31. Poodle

Poodle

How do you like your Poodle, Standard, Miniature, or Toy? This brindle breed is versatile and elegant, carrying itself to a high standard in the grooming department.

If a potential owner needs a hypoallergenic pup, the Brindle Poodle makes a great companion. In addition, they’re incredibly intelligent and trainable, so having them around kids and animals is a walk in the park.

Their sensitive coat can expose the breed to allergens and irritation, owners should provide a clean environment for them to prevent issies. And when well-maintained, the Poodle exudes a loving attitude that will keep you company.

32. Mountain Cur

Mountain Cur

The dog “barking up the right tree” is the Mountain Cur. Its brindle coat keeps it camouflaged while hunting boar, raccoons, and squirrels in the woody mountain pines.

While its history might be conflated with an aggressive temperament, these animals are quite obedient and hardly callous. In fact, they will shine bright with love when given plenty of work to do. This includes a large tract of land, with opportunities to seek, guard, and play.

A particular type of owner would be suited best for the Mountain Cur, long periods of boredom will cause anxiousness for this brindle breed.

33. Belgian Malinois Brindle

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois Brindle is often confused as a Shepherd, and rightfully so! However, this breed weighs less on average and is more sensitive to new environments

It’s highly recommended that an experienced owner takes the lead with these pups. A calm, responsible, and steady hand is the best method to nurture them. And given their needs, keep them separated from other pets and small children.

If you’re seeking a working dog that will stay by your side in the long term, you will be pleasantly surprised by these incredibly intelligent Belgian Malinois.

34. Pomeranian

Brindle Pomeranian

Quite literally the “cotton-ball” of the dog world, the Pomeranian makes for an entertaining and loud companion. Fun fact – this brindle breed used to weigh five times as much a few centuries ago, which is why they carry the matching attitude

When reaching adulthood, the Pomeranian can exhibit some separation anxiety as they are quite intelligent and affectionate. So make sure they have plenty to entertain themselves with! 

An additional quality is their habit to bark at everything, training them at an early age will help keep the home quiet. This tiny companion makes for a joyous adventure.

35. Boerboel

BoerBoel

Originally bred to protect livestock on the farms of South Africa, the intimidating Boerboel is quite a docile and friendly creature.

The Boerboel makes for a great outdoor adventurer and entertainer outdoors. So potential owners can expect some rough-housing and affection from these giants. That doesn’t make them unsafe for family environments. But it’s helpful to keep a lookout for when smaller children are around.

Potential owners will want to train this breed early on, as they can be stubborn and may try to exploit any leeway in behavior. Think twice if you’re a first-time owner!

36. Goldendoodle

Goldendoodle

An absolute gem of a playmate, the Brindle Goldendoodle is respected for its ability to bond with humans and other pets. The stimulation of other companions and outdoor space mix perfectly for them

This interesting breed originated by the desire for something larger than a Doodle, and with the friendliness of Retrievers. The outcome is a purebred that exceeds as a guide dog, rescue animal, and therapy companion

The important thing for owners to tend to is a routine for feeding and training. Goldendoodle puppies will listen intently and are prone to anxiety if poorly tended to.

37. Rottweiler

Rottweiler

The motto of the Rottweiler is “work hard, play hard”. This brindle bulldozer will knock over just about anything, but it’s from a place of warmth.

This breed is not meant for inexperienced, laissez-faire owners. Rottweilers have possessive tendencies, so coaching them out of their stubbornness is key to long-term companionship. In addition, early socialization is best as they can be territorial

All that said, the breed’s complex personality will include plenty of love towards its family. Just make sure to provide it space to grow and have fun!

38. American Staffordshire Terrier

Brindle American Staffordshire Terrier

This is a breed that enjoys mental stimulation and challenging tasks. Giving them plenty of outside time and exercise is a great way to stimulate their mind and feed their curious personality. Keeping their mind occupied on a task is a great way to keep their temperament down as they’re known for developing an angry stir. 

The Brindle American Staffordshire Terrier’s health can lead to joint pain and cardiac diseases as they age.


Conclusion

The breeds we outline today are not the only ones featuring brindle colorways, but they are the most common.

We’ve tried to draw your attention throughout to any breeds that first-time owners should consider avoiding. It takes a while to become confident owning a dog and asserting your authority over him in the right way. Why make things harder on yourself than necessary when you’re starting out?

Before closing, we’d ask you to take a moment to bookmark BarkVA. As always, our content slate for the summer months is loaded and we’ll be bringing you more great guides on all aspects of dog ownership. Pop back soon and thanks as always for stopping by.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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