Brindle German Shepherd: 2022 Color and Breed Facts (Guide)

Brindle is a rare, but stunning, variation in the German Shepherd coat pattern.

In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the brindle German Shepherd, its unique coat pattern, how to care for them, and if this would be the right pet to adopt into your family. 

Brindle German Shepherds

German Shepherds are traditionally tan and black in color.

Brindle is one of the 13 color patterns found in German Shepherds. Unlike the classic tan and black coloring, this fur pattern isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club, which makes it a rare feature within the breed.  

This specific color variation is caused by a recessive gene and, contrary to what some have speculated, isn’t the result of mixed breeding. 

A Brindle German shepherd can technically be purebred, but because this is such a rare color pattern, it’s more likely that the ones you see will be mixed with another breed such as the Dutch Shepherd.

These breeds are sometimes confused with each other but are two separate types of dogs. In this case, many of their characteristics will still be similar to a purebred. 

Brindle German Shepherds don’t require different care from their counterparts with a standard colored coat. Although there’s a genetic component to being brindle, it won’t affect their behavior, medical predispositions, or grooming needs. 

For more information on brindle breeds, stop by our Best Brindle Dog Breeds article! We dive into the top breeds that boast this unique coat and their personalities.

How are they Unique? 

The color pattern will appear as a blended brown and tan combination where the lighter section of fur looks like highlights. The pattern may resemble stripes and Brindle German shepherd puppies are usually born a darker color that changes as their fur grows. 

As the name suggests, the German shepherd originated in Germany around the mid-1800s. They were bred to be working dogs and their loyal, hard-working average-sized demeanor is proof of that. Today these dogs make great companion animals for active families. 

The hard-working nature of a German shepherd can be noticed today. They’re known for being one of the most athletic, loyal, and hardworking dog breeds in the world.

Their adaptable nature makes them a good option for:

  • A house pet
  • Hunting dogs 
  • Guard dogs
  • Service dogs
  • Agility training 
  • Herding dogs

How Much Will It Cost to Get a Brindle German Shepherd?

Rescues are the most affordable place to get a German shepherd, where the average adoption fee is around $200. You can even adopt from rescues specializing in German Shepherds if you’re looking for a purebred. 

Rescues are always a great place to get a brindle German shepherd. There are many rescues that specialize in this breed and puppies are often placed in adoption centers, as well. 

German Shepherd puppies cost an average of $1,000. Puppies bred for show will be the most expensive, upwards of several thousand dollars.

If you’re looking specifically for a purebred puppy or the brindle color, it’s recommended that you find a reputable breeder through the American Kennel Club’s list of registered breeders. This is important to prevent the health issues caused by improper breeding. 

Health Concerns

This breed, like others, has health concerns to be aware of.

German shepherds live an average life expectancy of 13 years, although this will vary depending on the individual health status of the dog (see the chart below).

They’re susceptible to some health conditions including: 

  • Cancer 
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Arthritis 
  • Obesity 

To prevent these health issues from occurring, you’ll need to schedule regular checkups with your vet and keep an eye out for symptoms that may signal a problem. Specialized diets for German shepherds can help improve their longevity.


German shepherds have a short coat that won’t require much grooming outside of regular brushing. It’s recommended that you brush your dog’s coat 4-5 times per week. More frequent brushing and baths will be needed if they spend lots of time outside.

This breed is a high shedder. They have 2 coats that protect them from both the summer and winter climate. The German Shepherd sheds year-round and frequent brushing will help minimize the amount of fur on your couch. 

You can use a de-shedding shampoo to soften the blow during their highest shedding season. Check out our 5 Best De-Shedding Shampoos guide here.


This breed has a confident demeanor and German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and obedience to their owners. German shepherds are intelligent dogs that enjoy being active, and if they don’t receive proper training, they can become aggressive or destructive.

Most German shepherds have a large appetite and are prone to overeating. They may become territorial around food and toys when they’re not properly trained. If your dog isn’t socialized, it may also become aggressive around strangers and other dogs. 

Exercise Needs

When you bring home a German shepherd, you’ll need to find ways to channel their energy. They require 2 hours of physical activity a day, this includes walks and outdoor playtime.

Walking and swimming are great ways of exercising your German Shepherd because it burns off energy and will be easy on the joints. 


There are quite a few perks to owning a German Shepherd. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the top traits these dogs possess.


The Brindle German Shepherd is a smart dog, so obedience training will be easy. Some shepherd owners choose to advance into agility sports or hunting activities because these dogs are so good at following commands. 

By bringing this dog into your life, you’ll also live a healthier lifestyle as a result. German Shepherds will always be up for new adventures and can make a great companion for someone who’s looking to take their dogs out for fun activities. 


Since this dog has a loving and loyal personality, they seek to please their owners. When you have a German Shepherd, you can count on them being on your side no matter what. They’ll have a desire to make their owners feel safe and this breed is adaptable to a variety of homes. 

Life Expectancy

German Shepherds have a long life expectancy of about 13 years (for being one of the larger dog breeds out there). If you want to maximize the years you have with your future furry friend, this breed will be a good option to explore.  


Because of their devoted nature and large stature, the German Shepherd will offer a sense of protection. They make excellent guard dogs and they’re large enough to protect their owners in the face of danger. That said, the average-sized adult will still be able to handle them on leash with no issues. 

Suitable for any climate

Because German Shepherds have short double-coated fur, they’re suitable for hot and cold climates. Generally, these dogs won’t be bothered by rain or snow and will always enjoy being outside regardless of the weather. 


These are the traits of the German Shepherd that are widely considered difficult or negative. Pros and cons will be different for each prospective owner.

Energy level

For some, the high energy demands of this breed will be too much to handle. Without regular physical activity, this breed can become restless and may resort to tearing up pillows or other household objects if they aren’t given enough outlets to divert their energy. 


German Shepherds are naturally territorial. This makes them excellent guard dogs and allows them to work well in the military or police departments. In a family setting, this trait can be a downside to the breed. 

They need training to reverse signs of food aggression. They may also be hostile towards house guests.

The breed is prone to excessive barking. The bark of a German Shepherd is loud, so this is something to consider if you live in a city, apartment, or neighborhood. 

Training can be implemented to help regulate your dog’s barking. 

Health Conditions

The origins of this breed involve a small gene pool, which increases their chance of suffering from genetic health conditions. 

Some of the health complications like cancer or epilepsy can result in a decreased life expectancy if they’re not treated properly or go undiagnosed. 

Is a Brindle German Shepherd Right for You?

German Shepherds are loyal, intelligent, and energetic dogs.

This breed makes a great choice for active people, this includes first-time dog owners! Since they’re eager to please their owners, training a German Shepherd isn’t difficult. 

If an owner is willing to put in the time and effort required for exercising this breed, it will make the perfect companion for someone getting a first-time dog. 

German Shepherds are good with kids and make excellent family dogs when given the proper training. They’re better suited to families with older children based on their active needs and strong tendency towards hyper behavior. 

If the breed isn’t properly trained or given enough physical activity, they can become territorial around young children. This breed will benefit from a routine and do best in a structured environment. 

Keeping a regimen is the best way to implement a healthy lifestyle and ensures that your dog can exert his or her energy on a regular basis. 

Lifespan9-13 years
Weight50-90 lbs
Height22-26 in
Suitable forActive households
Grooming requirementsBrushing, 4-5 times per week
Health concernsCancer, hip/elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, arthritis, obesity 

The brindle German shepherd is an attractive dog that will suit a variety of owners. They were bred to be working dogs and enjoy having a job outdoors, making them a great addition to a farm with lots of land for them to explore.

If you want a hardworking, loyal companion, this may be the dog for you!


German Shepards 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 require 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.

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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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