Because of their unique beauty, brindle dog breeds are some of the most highly sought after dogs in the canine kingdom.
Are you considering investing in a brindle dog? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are introducing you to 15 brindle dog breeds you probably didn’t even know existed.
Let’s get started!
The Genetics Behind A Brindle Dog
Brindle dogs are some of the most sought after, thanks to their unique coloring.
Coat color in dogs can be complex, especially considering how many varieties and alleles are available that contribute to the combinations of coat color in the canine kingdom. That said, when it does come to the foundation of a dog’s coat color, the two base genetic colors are red and black.
All other colors derive from there, according to experts. And while there are around 8 billion base pairs of DNA resulting in thousands upon thousands of genes leading to genetic traits, dogs have only eight genes that play a role in the color or pattern of their coat.
These eight genes, also known as loci, include:
- A (Agouti) Locus – (Contributes to coat patterns)
- B (Brown) Locus – (Contributes to colors like chocolate, liver and brown)
- D (Dilute) Locus) – (Contributes to diluted colors turning gray to blue or black to gray)
- E (Extension) Locus- (Contributes to yellow or red coats, and black face markings)
- H (Harlequin) Locus- (Contributes to patterns like black patches or merle, often associated with the merle gene or the M Locus)
- K (Dominant Black) Locus- (Contributes to brindle, fawn and dominant black colors)
- M (Merle) Locus- (Contributes to the merle coat in all its colors and forms)
- S (Spotting Locus) – (Contributes to unique patterns including particolor, white, white spotted and piebald)
Each of these above genes can have a few different alleles. Alleles are different variants of one particular gene.
For example, The K locus, which is the locus responsible for the brindle coloring in dogs, has three different alleles. These alleles include KB, which is the dominant black gene, Kbr,which is the allele responsible for brindle, and Ky, which is responsible for dogs with non-solid but primarily black coat colors.
The brindle gene is considered an unstable gene, which means that it causes some cells to behave as black dominant genes, while it leads others to behave as brindle genes. There is, of course, so much more to a brindle dog coat than this nutshell explanation, which you can learn about here.
But what is the brindle coat color in dogs, anyway?
The brindle coat pattern is often described as a stripped pattern, sometimes compared to that of tiger stripes. Dogs that are brindle are often brown or tan, though some can have black and even white markings on their bodies.
The brindle gene is a gene that is common in a wide variety of animals and species, including guinea pigs, cats and sometimes even horses. Brindle is, of course, also possible in dogs.
Brindle is considered a dominant gene, but it’s also considered a rare color when it comes to dogs. Furthermore, there are a few pros and cons that come with obtaining a brindle dog you should be aware of.
First, because they are rare, a brindle dog may be more difficult to find. A brindle puppy may also be a bit more costly when going through a breeder.
For the most part, though, brindle dogs are not at a higher risk for health complications or temperamental issues. This is especially true when you go through reputable sources to obtain your brindle dog.
But we will talk more about how to find a brindle dog through a quality source at the end of this article. For now, let’s talk about 15 brindle dog breeds you need to see to believe.
1. The English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is available in a number of coat colors and patterns, but we can’t get over the stunning brindle coat of this one.
Height: 14 to 15 Inches
Weight: 40 to 50 Pounds
Temperament: Friendly, Relaxed, Mild-Mannered, Brave, Funny
Best Suited For: Laid back families, couples, singles, seniors, retirees
Lifespan: 8 to 10 Years
Health Issues: Cardiac Disease, Respiratory Issues, Hip Dysplasia, CHerry Eye, Heat INtolerance, Digestive Issues, Skin Fold Issues, Allergies and Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
The English Bulldog is currently named the fifth most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. This compact little dog is known for his flat, wrinkled face, stubby legs and affectionate personality.
Bulldogs are friendly and do well with people and other pets. In spite of being originally bred for bull baiting, the English Bulldog of today is a calm, laid-back dog that enjoys lounging about and watching his family partake in activities from afar.
Although the English Bulldog is a popular purebred, he also comes with a long list of potentially costly health issues owners should be aware of. One of these health issues, known as Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, is caused by his flattened face, leading to digestive issues, respiratory problems, heat intolerance and exercise-induced collapse.
2. The Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers are commonly found in white, black, brindle and other color combinations. (https://pixabay.com/photos/bull-terrier-dog-animal-canine-933843/)
Height: 21 to 22 Inches
Weight: 50 to 70 Pounds
Temperament: Playful, Funny, Clever, Curious, Mischievous
Best Suited For: Families, Singles, Seniors, Couples, Those With A Flexible Schedule
Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Luxating Patella, Heart Disease, Deafness, Ectropion, and Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
The Bull Terrier has been made famous in recent years by festive Target ads, but this dog is so much more than a commercial star. Though the breed does have a history in blood sports, the modern-day Bull Terrier is a brindle dog breed that is more of a lover than a fighter, according to experts.
This breed is gentle and affectionate, and becomes very bonded with his family. He is intelligent, though fairly independent and even stubborn from time to time.
Bull Terriers require committed owners who are available and willing to devote time to training, socialization, exercise and affection.
3. The French Bulldog
Frenchies are quickly becoming one of America’s most popular dogs, according to the American Kennel Club.
Height: 11 to 13 Inches
Weight: 28 Pounds or Less
Temperament: Playful, Intelligent, Affectionate, Funny
Best Suited For: Families, Singles, Couples, Retirees
Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Digestive Issues, Ear Infections, Skin Fold Dermatitis, Allergies, Conjunctivitis, Breathing Difficulties, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Spinal Issues, Eye Problems, Heat Intolerance and Exercise-Induced Collapse
Frenchies are rising quickly in their doggy stardom, with some canine enthusiasts predicting they will soon outrank America’s most popular dog, the Labrador Retriever.
The French Bulldog is a breed that is available in a wide variety of colors, but we love it when the Frenchie comes as a brindle dog. This coloring only helps to make this little cutie stand out with his flattened face, curly tail and comedic disposition.
French Bulldogs are outgoing and friendly dogs, though they can be prone to a number of serious health issues that can be costly due to their flattened skulls. Much like their English Bulldog counterparts, the Frenchie is predisposed to brachycephalic airway syndrome which can lead to respiratory issues, digestive problems, exercise exhaustion and heat intolerance.
4. The American Staffordshire Terrier
Also known as the AmStaff, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a popular and beloved brindle dog breed.
Height: 17 to 19 Inches
Weight: 40 to 70 Pounds
Temperament: Playful, Affectionate, Outgoing, Clever
Best Suited For: Experienced and Active Dog Owners
Lifespan: 12 to 16 Years
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Heart Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cerebellar Ataxia
Also known as an AmStaff, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a Pitbull Type dog with lots of personality. He is one of the only Pitbull types recognized by the American Kennel Club, and though he does have a controversial history, the AmStaff is a fast rising star amongst families and dog lovers.
American Staffordshire Bull Terriers make excellent companions for experienced dog owners. This brindle dog breed is an intelligent, outgoing, and beautiful dog that is also available in a number of other coat colors.
AmStaff dogs require lots of routine exercise, play time, training and socialization to grow up happy and healthy. When raised correctly, they make great companions for families and households with other dogs.
5. The Plott Hound
A bred hunting dog, the Plott Hound makes a wonderful and energetic companion for an active owner.
Height: 20 to 25 Inches
Weight: 40 to 60 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Intelligent, Focused
Best Suited For: Active Owners, Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 12 to 14 Years
Health Issues: Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat), Hip Dysplasia
Plott Hounds are incredible and athletic hunting dogs that are available in a few different coat patterns and colors. Most notable for their brindle dog pattern, the Plott Hound is designed for work and enjoys hunting. Described as a “relentless” hunting dog by the American Kennel Club, the Plott Hound is considered North Carolina’s state dog.
At home, the Plott Hound makes a relaxed and loving companion. However, he does best with experienced dog owners due to his high prey drive and incredible energy. Plott Hounds can get along well with children and other dogs when properly socialized, but they can be problematic in households with other, smaller pets like cats, rodents and birds.
6. The Greyhound
Greyhounds are famous for their incredible bursts of speed. They are lesser known for their beautiful brindle coats.
Height: 27 to 30 Inches
Weight: 60 to 70 Pounds
Temperament: Sweet, Gentle, Calm
Best Suited For: Owners With A Flexible Schedule
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Epilepsy, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Hemophilia A, Hypothyroidism, Chronic Kidney Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Intolerance to Heat or Cold and megaesophagus.
The Greyhound is one of the world’s most popular dogs thanks to his racing fame. These days dog racing is largely banned, but that hasn’t stopped people from falling in love with the speedy and intelligent Greyhound.
Available in a long list of coat colors and color combinations, we’re obsessed with the brindle dog version of the Greyhound. This color pattern is eye popping on the breed thanks to his elegant shape and bone structure.
Coat color aside, the Greyhound is also one of the most laid back and low maintenance dogs on our list of brindle dog breeds. Does this surprise you?
While Greyhounds are famous for racing, they are actually more prone to quick bursts of speed. Otherwise, for the most part these guys enjoy lounging around with their human families.
Bred hunting dogs, it’s important to always walk a Greyhound on a leash. These dogs have an incredible prey drive and once they get running you’ll be unable to stop them.
7. The Boxer
Named for the unique way he plays, the Brindle Boxer is one of the most common Boxer color varieties.
Height: 21.5 to 23 Inches
Weight: 65 to 80 Pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, Friendly, Outgoing, Playful, Energetic
Best Suited For: Active Families, Outgoing Couples and Singles
Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Cancers, Aortic Stenosis, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Degenerative Myelopathy, Gastric Dilation Volvulus (Bloat), Allergies and Epilepsy
The Boxer, named for the unique way he “boxes” when he plays, is an adorable dog on our brindle dog breed list that comes not only in the brindle color, but also in other color combinations like brown, tan, and more.
Boxers are spirited dogs that make wonderful family companions. When properly trained and socialized, they get along well with children and other pets and enjoy active, outdoorsy families.
These dogs do not do well if left to their own devices for too long, however, and are best suited for homes with a large backyard where they can run and play freely after walks or outings. They also prefer to spend lots of time with their people, and become very bonded with their human family.
8. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, not to be confused with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is an intelligent, active, and beautiful brindle dog.
Height: 10.5 to 12.5 Inches
Weight: 25 to 38 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Intelligent, Loving
Best Suited For: Active Families, Couples, Singles
Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Intervertebral Disc Disease
Small and athletic, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is one of the dogs on our brindle dog breed list that was bred for herding. Herding dogs are, as you may already know, famous for their incredible intelligence.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is no exception, and this clever little dog is a focused working machine. As such, he does well with active dog owners who can help keep him engaged, exercised and mentally stimulated to help reduce behavioral issues and emotional problems like boredom, anxiety and stress.
Otherwise, so long as all his needs are met, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi makes a fabulous brindle dog for the right owner or family.
9. The Chihuahua
Chihuahua dogs can come in a brindle coat pattern, believe it or not! That said, the color is considered quite rare in the breed.
Height: 5 to 8 Inches
Weight: 6 Pounds or Less
Temperament: Human-Like, Clever, Independent, Charming
Best Suited For: Singles, Seniors, Retirees, Couples
Lifespan: 14 to 16 Years
Health Issues: Hypoglycemia, Tracheal Collapse, Luxating Patella, Dental Disease, Spinal Injuries, Obesity, Bladder Issues and Kidney Stones
As Mexico’s National Dog, the spirited and clever little chihuahua is famous for a lot of things. But did you know this is also a dog that comes in a few different coat colors, combinations, patterns and types?
He is even available in brindle, though this coat color is quite rare in the breed.
In fact, most experts agree that Chihuahuas are best suited for homes where he is the only dog. This could mean he’ll do best in single dog households where he can have all of your attention.
10. The Basenji
Basenjis are ancient dogs with origins dating all the way back to ancient Egypt.
Height: 16 to 17 Inches
Weight: 22 to 24 Pounds
Temperament: Clever, Independent, Focused
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 12 to 14 Years
Health Issues: Corneal Dystrophy, Patellar Luxation and Hip Dysplasia
For a long time, Basenji dogs were considered to be semi-wild dogs roaming Africa. They are considered one of the world’s most ancient breeds, and are famous not only for being one of our brindle dog breeds, but also for their rarity in the canine kingdom.
Basenji dogs are lightning fast and incredible workers. They are described by those who love them as catlike and fastidious, self-cleaning and independent dogs that display almost human-like tendencies when it comes to emotion.
While this brindle dog breed is not ideal for all dog lovers, he does make the perfect companion to experienced dog owners who are ready to commit time, attention and training to this unique dog.
11. The Great Dane
The Great Dane is the largest dog breed in the world. He’s also considered one of the most gentle.
Height: 28 to 32 Inches
Weight: 110 to 175 Pounds
Temperament: Mild-Mannered, Adoring, Affectionate, Gentle
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners, Families with Large Spaces, Ranch-Style Homes
Lifespan: 7 to 10 Years
Health Issues: Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (Bloat), Hip Dysplasia, Wobbler Syndrome, Cardiomyopathy, Osteosarcoma, Cataracts, Allergies, Skin Growths, Digestive Issues and Bone and Joint Issues
The Great Dane is not only one of our most coveted brindle dog breeds, but he’s also one of the largest. Considered a gentle giant, the Great Dane is the biggest purebred in the world, standing at an astounding 32 inches at his tallest.
Great Danes are affectionate and mild-mannered, though they can be riddled with a long list of health issues due to their massive size. They are also best suited for ranch-style homes without stairs, as their bones and joints can be prone to serious injury, especially as they age.
Otherwise, this brindle dog is sure to melt your heart. A lap dog in a horse’s body, the adorable and kid-friendly Great Dane does well with families of all shapes and sizes.
12. The Akita
Akitas are a Japanese dog breed with a devoted temperament and stunning coat.
Height: 24 to 28 Inches
Weight: 70 to 130 Pounds
Temperament: Incredibly Loyal, Courageous, Proud
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 10 to 13
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hypothyroidism, Elbow Dysplasia, and Progessive Retinal Atrophy
While the Akita is available in a wide range of coat colors, his most stunning color is arguably brindle. This is a brindle dog unlike any other, with his profound loyalty, lush coat and incredible intelligence.
Akita dogs are best suited for experienced dog owners who understand the importance of training and socialization. This is a dog who, once you’ve earned his love, will be devoted to you for the rest of his life.
13. The Perro de Persa Canario
The Perro de Persa Canario may look fearsome, but these dogs are actually highly revered family and companion dogs when raised properly.
Height: 22 to 26 INches
Weight: 80 to 110 Pounds
Temperament: Mild-Mannered, Confident, Independent, Stubborn
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 9 to 11 Years
Health Issues: Entropion, Hypothyroidism, Demodectic Mange, Cryptorchidism, Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Osteochondritis Dissecans, and Panosteitis
A brindle dog belonging to the mastiff family, the Perro de Persa Canario is a show-stopping dog indeed. Beautiful from nose to tail, this is a large breed dog that was once used as a steadfast guard dog and cattle herder.
Intelligent, calm, and devoted, the modern-day Perro de Persa Canario is one of our brindle dog breeds that is best suited for experienced dog owners who have a good understanding of working breeds.
These dogs are adoring to their family, but without training and socialization they can be wary of strangers.
14. The Dachshund
Brindle Dachshunds come in three coat varieties, including wire hair, smooth coat and long coat.
Height: 5 to 6Inches (Miniature) and 8 to 9 Inches (Standard)
Weight: Under 11 Pounds (Miniature) and Up to 32 Pounds (Standard)
Temperament: Funny, Intelligent, Curious, Spirited, Friendly
Best Suited For: Active Families, Singles, Couples, Retirees
Lifespan: 12 to 16 Years
Health Issues: Eye Issues, Patella Luxation, Intervertebral Disc Disease, Hip Dysplasia, and Obesity
The adorable and comedic “sausage dog” comes in two sizes and three coat types, but he also comes in a long list of different coat colors and combinations. One of our favorite coat colors on the Dachshund is brindle, which can be found in all size and coat varieties.
The brindle Dachshund is no different from his other Dachshund counterparts – he is funny, sassy, and full of personality.
Once used as badger hunting dogs, Dachshunds are bred diggers and are fearless. While this does add to their character, these traits can prove overwhelming if not harnessed properly.
Dachshunds require plenty of time and attention from owners and devotion to training, socialization and exercise.
15. The Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a dog belonging to the Mastiff family, beloved for his intelligence and affectionate nature.
Height: 23.5 to 27.5 Inches
Weight: 88 to 110 Pounds
Temperament: Loving, Intelligent, Devoted
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 9 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Entropion, Ectropion and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
Roughly translated in Latin, Cane Corso means “Bodyguard Dog”. This is no surprise, considering the imposing and intimidating look and size of this massive brindle dog breed.
But don’t let their appearance fool you. When trained and raised correctly, the Cane Corso is an affectionate, devoted dog that does well with a wide variety of households and families. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them a joy to train and work with.
Of course, their massive size and incredible strength means they’ll do best with an experienced dog owner who is ready for all that this big dog has to offer.
Is A Brindle Dog Breed Right For You?
Purebred dogs aren’t the only dogs that are available in the brindle coat pattern. Many mixed breeds are brindle as well!
Are you trying to decide if a brindle dog breed would be right for you? We totally get it. A brindle dog is not only rare, but it is also a color combination that is undeniably stunning.
Still, most experts warn about investing in a dog based solely on his or her coat color.
Remember, all dogs are different, and not every breed is right for every owner. It’s also important to remember that you don’t only need to go for a purebred dog in order to get your hands on a brindle dog.
Many mutts and mixes are available with brindle coat patterns, which makes rescuing a brindle dog that much more attainable.
Regardless of which type of dog you choose, brindle dog, purebred dog, mixed breed or mutt, it’s important to obtain your dog through reputable sources. Avoid going through backyard breeders, unqualified online sellers, or breeders who are not licensed.
Doing so could make you more susceptible to winding up with a sick puppy or even accidently contributing to a puppy mill.
More concerning, dogs that come from irresponsible breeders or situations may be more prone to develop behavioral issues down the road.
When picking a breeder, be sure to do plenty of research and choose breeders that can provide you with paperwork proving pedigree, as well as health screening certificates proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
Of course, going through a breeder isn’t the only way you can land the brindle dog of your dreams. There are plenty of reputable shelters throughout the United States that can provide you with a brindle dog, though you may need to call in ahead of time and ask to be put on a waiting list.
Going through a rescue to find your brindle dog has plenty of benefits. These benefits range from a reduced price to health benefits and ethical benefits. Not only are you often paying a fraction of the cost of buying a brindle dog upfront, but many shelters will provide a free initial health exam. Best of all, you’re providing a dog a good and loving home.
Whichever road you choose to travel when looking for your brindle dog, the most important thing is that you go through a breeder or shelter you trust. It’s okay to take your time to ensure you and your family are making the right decision.
A dog is a long-term commitment both emotionally and financially. That said, a dog will certainly give you back so much more in love than he could ever take in work or money.
Now we want to hear from you! Which brindle dog on our above list was your favorite? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.