The term “brindle coat” is prominent in the dog world. It refers to a unique pattern in the dog’s coat caused by two colors that blend in patterns, typically swirls or stripes. They can be red, silver, blue merle, fawn, and brown. Brindle dogs stand out in a crowd of others simply for their beauty.
There are no specific breeds associated with brindle, some are even the most popular dog breeds. Rather, it’s a color pattern, such as black stripes, that may show up on multiple breeds.
The look has, in the past, gained some negative stigma because it can be intimidating, and therefore, many people have deemed them aggressive. However, the brindle coat has no bearing on a dog’s personality.
The beautiful brindle color is a result of gene variants and cannot accurately be predicted among breeders. However, all of the coat colors are stunning, whether they’re dark or light, or a mixture of both with black stripes like tigers or swirls.
Brindle Dog Breeds
There are many dog breeds that exhibit the brindle color. Each of those listed below has different traits that appeal to different people. Here is our top selection of brindle dogs with beautiful coat colors.
Basenjis are one brindle dog breed that warrants another look. They got their coloring from breeders who imported dogs from Central Africa in an effort to extend the gene pool. This dog is a loyal breed that has a gentle and calm demeanor. The Basenji is a dog that loves to groom itself much like a cat, so you can expect it to be relatively clean.
They stand at a height of around 16 to 17 inches and tend to weigh 20 to 25 pounds, so they’re definitely on the smaller side. Their coats are very short, too, and they have pointy ears that stand up.
The breed, regardless of their base coat color, has white feet, tail tip, and chest. Sometimes, they have white legs and collars, too. These brindle and white dogs live, on average, 12 to 16 years.
The Boxer dog is one of those dog breeds that make goofy companions. It has such a playful nature that shines through even when it’s combined with other breeds. Brindle markings are very popular on the Boxer and Boxer mix and may consist of the entire coat or patches.
Boxers belong to the brachycephalic breed category, which means they have a flat face and may suffer respiratory issues or overheat easily in warmer temperatures. They’re a very athletic breed that needs regular exercise, and therefore, while they make great family pets, they might not be for homes with small children or for apartment living.
Boxers are medium-sized dogs that stand 21 to 25 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 70 pounds. Their coats are short and easy to maintain. You can expect healthy Boxers to live from 10 to 12 years.
If you’re looking for a massive dog with brindle markings, you’ll love the Bullmastiff. This dog is a gentle giant with an intimidating appearance that makes it an excellent guard dog. However, at home, it’s very docile and calm, a trait true of all Mastiff breeds.
It’s also a loving pet that requires little maintenance despite its enormous size. They’re also known as one of the top dogs with the strongest bite force.
Mastiffs are among the largest dogs in the world, and the Bullmastiff is no exception. Brindle coats on the breed are typically dark with lighter streaks and may cover the entire body, or they may have white patches on their chests. It stands 24 to 27 inches tall with a weight of 99 to 130 pounds. They have a typical life expectancy of a large dog, between 8 and 10 years.
4. Bull Terrier
The brindle Bull Terrier is certainly a sight for sore eyes. It has the classic egg-shaped head of the breed and pointy ears that stick out. Bull Terriers come in a variety of colors, including solid white, like the Target dog, and have a goofy personality.
Bull Terriers are also very stubborn, which means they need consistent training to keep them on their best behavior, but they are great family dogs.
The Bull Terrier is a medium-sized pooch that ranges from 21 to 22 inches tall with a weight of 50 to 70 pounds. The bodies of Bull Terriers are muscular, and they like to run around. Bull Terriers have a lifespan of between 10 and 14 years.
5. French Bulldog
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance brindle dog, you’ll find it in the French Bulldog. It’s a very relaxed breed with plenty of charming qualities and makes for great family pets.
French Bulldogs like to play with other dogs and need to be socialized. These dog breeds hate to be ignored and will act out if they don’t get the attention they feel they (rightfully) deserve.
French Bulldogs are small in size, standing approximately a foot tall and weighing between 16 and 28 pounds. Their coats may be cream, fawn, or red brindle, and are very easy to care for. The French Bulldog tends to live around 10 to 12 years, but this may vary depending on the pup.
6. Cairn Terrier
If you look closely at a Cairn Terrier, you’ll notice the brindle in its shaggy, wiry coat. These pups are loving with a personality you won’t be able to ignore. They are spunky dogs that do wonderful in homes of all sizes. They get along with other pets and children, making them a good choice for the family pet.
This breed is small, small enough to fit in a handbasket ala The Wizard of Oz style. They’re hypoallergenic with a double coat and stand around 9 to 13 inches tall. They will weigh between 13 and 18 pounds. These brindle dogs have long lifespans that can last between 12 and 15 years if they remain healthy.
7. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi looks much like its Pembroke Welsh counterpart with one notable difference: it has a tail. It also has a lot of brindle on its coat, with white markings that encompass the neck, chest, legs, belly, and tail tip.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are friendly, affectionate household pets that enjoy playing with other animals. They’re great dogs that are also drawn to children, with instincts taking over and making them the essential nanny dog. One thing to know about the breed is that it tends to be a barker.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is low to the ground and has a thicker coat that requires regular brushing. It is usually between 10.5 and 12.5 inches tall, with a weight that falls between 25 and 40 pounds. Cardigan Welsh Corgis typically live an average of 12 to 15 years.
8. Dutch Shepherd
The Dutch Shepherd is one of the true brindle dog breeds that will always have a brindle coat. They’re usually red or silver brindle, and it encompasses the entire body. Dutch Shepherds aren’t a common breed and were originally bred as working dogs.
Today, instead of farms, you can find Dutch Shepherds as service animals or police dogs. They are very intelligent and driven but also very energetic people-pleasers, so they will make excellent companions.
Dutch Shepherds tend to be around the same size as other shepherds, around 22.5 to 24.5 inches tall, with a weight between 45 and 75 pounds. The coats on these brindle breeds are short and easy to care for, and they have large pointy ears. Dutch Shepherds live around 11 to 14 years.
The Greyhound is renowned around the world for its racing ability. It’s a very fast dog that maintains a sleek silhouette. Greyhounds have short coats, which means their brindle markings are more prominent and, therefore, stunning.
The breed is also content to laze about on the couch with its companion, but it does have a prey drive. This means it’s ready to chase a smaller animal relentlessly if the mood strikes. However, when it comes to kids, they have seemingly endless patience.
Greyhounds are athletic and, therefore, tend to have thin, muscular bodies with long, narrow heads. They are tall, standing between 25 to 30 inches high and weighing 60 to 80 pounds. Greyhounds also come in several solid colors. The breed lives 10 to 14 years.
10. Great Dane
The Great Dane is another massive breed that can have brindle markings. These dogs, like the Mastiffs, are gentle giants that love nothing more than to spend time with their families. They are loving and friendly but do have a playful side, though they are powerful dogs, and their sheer size means you need to have enough room for Great Danes to run around.
Though they can be mildly aggressive with other pets, if they are properly socialized, you won’t have that issue.
Great Danes are huge dogs but excellent household pets! They stand around 28 to 32 inches tall and weigh a massive 110 to 175 pounds. Their brindle markings can take up the entire body or consist of patches on their short, sleek coat. The Great Dane lives a shorter lifespan because of its size, typically 8 to 10 years.
11. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell is a playful breed that loves to snuggle in your lap. Unlike the other dogs on this list, finding a brindle-colored one can be a feat. They’re very affectionate dogs and highly intelligent, always looking to please their companion.
One thing to be prepared for with this breed is that they are very energetic. They love to run around and need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, lest they turn to self-entertainment routes that may not be what you had in mind. They are also excellent escape artists who would love nothing more than to dig their way to China.
The Jack Russell is a smaller dog that stands 10 to 15 inches tall and weighs only 13 to 17 pounds. They typically have a shorter double coat that is either smooth or broken, a combination of both smooth and rough. You can expect a Jack Russell to live 13 to 16 years.
12. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most popular dogs you’ll find with a brindle pattern. This breed is a very loyal, devoted dog that has no problem climbing into your lap for some affection. The Staffordshire Terrier is a breed that you will need to make sure is engaged and within your company.
They hate to be alone, and separation anxiety can be a real problem with the breed. The Staffordshire Terrier is also very energetic and needs enough exercise. It’s a great family pet and gets along well with other animals, but it can be dominant, so proper socialization is important.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized dog that has a height between 14 and 16 inches and weighs between 24 to 38 pounds. Their coats are short, and a brindle dog of this breed tends to be dark. You can expect the Staffie to live around 12 to 14 years.
The Whippet is the Greyhound’s smaller, cuddlier cousin. They come in a variety of colors and coat pattern styles, including brindle. These pups have such a sweet temperament and are great companions.
They’re also very alert and pay attention to their surroundings. Like their bigger cousin, they are very fast and can easily take off after prey if not properly trained.
The Whippet’s coat is short and easy to care for, they require minimal upkeep and the occasional bath. Like Greyhounds, they have sleek, muscular bodies, just smaller in stature. They are around 18 to 22 inches tall and can weigh between 25 to 40 pounds. They live long lives, typically between 12 to 15 years.
Causes Behind Brindle Colors in Dogs
The brindle patterns are due to mosaicism, a gene variation where some of the dog’s cells express a different variant of the K allele than the others that help to determine a dog’s collar. The brindle gene, kbr, isn’t recessive or dominant but rather sits between the KB (dominant) and ky (recessive) alleles.
The color is determined by where the brindle gene kbr alleles fall on the A locus, which determines the base coat color.
There are no commercially available tests that can determine if a dog has the brindle gene. While breeders can certainly try to create puppies that have the brindle gene, there is no real way to determine what color a brindle pup will be when it grows up.
Are Brindle Colors Rare in Dogs?
It really depends on the breed. For example, seeing the brindle pattern on a Boxer or a Greyhound is typical, but you’d rarely see it on a Labrador Retriever.
Are Brindle Dogs Healthy?
Like personality traits, the brindle coloring isn’t associated with any health problems. It’s merely a unique color pattern that adds intrigue to a dog’s look.
What Kind of Breed Is Brindle?
Brindle isn’t a breed; it’s a color coat pattern. It’s important to distinguish the dog’s origins from its coat color.
What Kind of Dogs Have Brindle Color?
There are many brindle dog breeds that have color patterns, such as Boxer, Pit bull, plott hound, Great Dane, Greyhound, and Whippet.
As with any dog you consider adopting, it’s a great idea to do your research. While the beautiful brindle coat is certainly an attraction and has led more than one person to adopt without looking back, the true personality and traits lie within the breeds themselves.
However, it’s also equally important to know that the brindle coloring, which is also found on many other breeds, like different types of pit bulls and the English bulldog, has no bearing on their health issues, either. It’s not a sign that there is something wrong with the dog. Quite the contrary, it makes them stand out that much more.
If you’re looking for one of these gorgeous pups, you’ll have many brindle dog breeds to choose from, so make sure it’s everything you want in a pet, and remember, proper socialization and training is always key!