17 Irresistible Brown Dog Breeds for a Heartwarming Home

brown dog breeds

If you’ve spent your entire life around dogs, like I have, you’ll notice that they come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. However, there’s something truly special about brown dog breeds: it’s a color that really emphasizes their features. 

Whether they’re the lightest tan, a yellowish hue of deadgrass, or the darkest chocolate, brown dogs come in a variety of shades on the spectrum. They are all equally stunning in their own ways, whether the brown takes up all of their fur or just spots. 

The gorgeous colors that we see in these brown dog breeds are thanks to Eumelanin, a pigment that contributes to the coloring. In order to get a brown coat, whether full or partial, puppies must inherit a recessive gene for the color from each parent. 

Brown Dog Breeds

There are so many popular brown dog breeds out there that it was hard to limit ourselves. But we’ve found 17 of the top brown dogs that you’re sure to love!

1. Labrador Retriever

brown dogs
DOG’s SIZE21.5″ to 24.5″
WEIGHT55 to 80 pounds
FUR AND COLORShort, smooth dense double coat; chocolate, black, or yellow
LIFE SPAN10 to 12 years

If you asked me to name my favorite pup ever, it would no doubt be the Labrador Retriever dog. The chocolate Labrador Retriever is truly stunning with its light eyes that complement its darker coat and its soft, silky fur, whether short or medium-length. 

The Labrador Retriever is an all-around fantastic dog from its personality — it’s spunky, playful, and oh so affectionate — to its size and intelligence.

You will need to exercise your Labrador Retriever, and I’ll warn you now, if it sees a body of water, you might as well just let it go. If you have kids, like I do, this pup will be their best bud!

2. Vizsla

brown dog
DOG’s SIZE21″ to 24″
WEIGHT44 to 60 pounds
FUR AND COLORShort, smooth coat; golden rust
LIFE SPAN12 to 14 years

Looking for a companion that will follow you anywhere … yes, even there? Enter the Vizsla, otherwise referred to as the Velcro dog, because it wants to be where you are. At. All. Times. This pup is more of a reddish-brown color. 

Vizslas are very energetic pups built to spend their days outside retrieving game as gundogs for hunters. As such, the breed needs a lot of exercise, so an apartment will definitely be out of the question for this dog.

However, once it’s done working and it’s worn out? It’ll cuddle with you, the kids, other dogs, and even cats, but proper training and socialization are essential.

3. Dachshund

brown dogs breeds
DOG’s SIZE5″ to 6″ (Miniature)8″ to 9″ (Standard)
WEIGHT11 pounds or under (Miniature)
FUR AND COLORShorthaired, longhaired, and wire-haired varieties; chocolate, beige, fawn, tan, black, red, blue, and others
LIFE SPAN12 to 16 years

What would a list of brown dog breeds be without the wiener dog? The Dachshund is one of those pups that you just can’t help but gush over with its short legs and long body.

In addition to the wiener dogs’ curious nature, Dachshunds are a protective sort. Their brown fur comes in varying shades and may take up their entire bodies or just have some brown markings.

Dachshunds have a sweet nature, which makes them a wonderful companion dog. If you adopt a Dachshund, you’ll want to keep an eye out for its prey drive — it is a hound, after all — but this is easily solved with training. 

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

light brown dogs
DOG’s SIZE12″ to 13″
WEIGHT13 to 18 pounds
FUR AND COLORMedium-length wavy, silky fur; coat color in black and tan, ruby, black and white, blenheim
LIFE SPAN12 to 15 years

One of the most soulful pups out there, you won’t be able to resist anything the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel asks for when it looks upon you with those puppy-dog eyes. They are simply that charming. Their coats come in a few different shades of brown, such as tan and dark ruby. 

These pups are sociable, happy-go-lucky, and affectionate. They will cuddle in your lap and be content to stay there all day. You couldn’t ask for a better family dog. Their floppy ears need extra care, and their long fur will need regular grooming.

5. Boxer

brown dog types
DOG’s SIZE21.5″ to 25″
WEIGHT50 to 80 pounds
FUR AND COLORShort, smooth coats; fawn, brindle, black mask and often, white markings
LIFE SPAN10 to 12 years

A charming pup that will always keep you amused with its antics, the Boxer Dog breed is one you have to own to understand. Boxers love to prance around and have seemingly boundless energy, so you’ll need a decent yard for this pup to run around in.

Boxers come in a variety of colors, including solid brown with white and brindle that has brown mixed in. 

In order to keep up with a Boxer, a powerful breed, you’ll need to be active yourself. This means regular walks and a seemingly never-ending game of fetch. However, when it’s worn out, the Boxer will be your best cuddle buddy, and who could ask for more?

6. Poodle

small brown dogs
DOG’s SIZE10 inches tall or under (Toy), 10″ to 15″ (Miniature), 15″ (Standard)
WEIGHT5 to 9 pounds (Toy), 15 to 18 pounds (MIniature), 45 to 70 pounds (Standard)
FUR AND COLORDense, curly coat; solid coat colors in white, gray, brown, black, and apricot
LIFE SPAN10 to 18 years

The Poodle is one pup that it’s hard to find anything negative about. It’s truly a good, charming, sweet pup that would make anyone a great companion dog. They come in three sizes — the Standard Poodle is the largest, then there’s the miniature version, which is slightly smaller.

If you want to pack all of these features into a pint-sized pup, look for a Toy Poodle

Playing is a must when you own Poodles because they love to bound around and chase after toys and roughhouse with other dogs. You will find that you need to groom this dog much more than some others because their dense, curly coats grow very fast, like human hair.

7. Chihuahua

brown puppies
DOG’s SIZE5″ to 8″
WEIGHT6 pounds or under
FUR AND COLORSmooth, short or long coat; comes in a variety of coat colors, including chocolate, fawn, tan, black, white, blue, cream, and others
LIFE SPAN14 to 16 years

If there was ever a pup that packed as much personality as possible into a small space, it’s the Chihuahua. Though they are small, Chihuahuas are definitely mighty. They have confidence in spades, but they are total lovebugs to their owners. 

If you own a Chihuahua, you’re in for a wild ride. They love to play and do need a bit of exercise despite their small stature, but you can wear them out with a daily walk or a variety of indoor games.

If you’re interested in the breed, you should definitely check out the different types of Chihuahuas

8. Basset Hound

brown Hound dogs
DOG’s SIZE15 inches tall or under
WEIGHT40 to 65 pounds
FUR AND COLORShort, smooth fur; coat colors may be white, brown, tan, yellow, black, mahogany
LIFE SPAN12 to 13 years

For a working dog, the Basset Hound sure is lazy. It loves to just lounge at your feet and get in your way as best as it can. Basset Hounds are loving creatures; they will gladly be your companion all day long, but they are also very stubborn. 

These pups are commonly white and tan, though you might see the occasional (rare) all-brown Basset. If you’re interested in one of the hound dog breeds and want one that is a little more laid-back, the Basset Hound is your best foray into this world.

9. Shiba Inu

golden brown dog
DOG’s SIZE13.5″ to 16.5″
WEIGHT17 to 23 pounds
FUR AND COLORShort, stiff outer coat, soft undercoat; black and tan, black, sesame, and red with white
LIFE SPAN13 to 16 years

Did someone order a fox? The Shiba Inu sure looks like one! This ancient Japanese breed is one of the most commonly known brown dogs out there. When it comes to personality, the breed can be a bit aloof with strangers but are affectionate dogs with its people. 

Shibas are very intelligent, and did you know that they scream? That’s right, instead of a bark, this dog breed has what’s known as the “Shiba Scream,” a wild noise that will probably scare the heck out of you the first time you hear it. 

10. Australian Shepherd

long haired brown dog
DOG’s SIZE18″ to 23″
WEIGHT40 to 65 pounds
FUR AND COLORMedium-length double coat; blue or red merle, red, black, copper, brown
LIFE SPAN12 to 15 years

If you have an active family or you have a farm and need someone to keep your livestock or fowl in line, you’ll appreciate the work ethic of the Australian Shepherd. These pups are herders and love to nip even their humans to get them to go where they want them.

That said, Australian Shepherds are extremely smart, and beware, they will try (and probably succeed) to outsmart you. 

This pup is not for inactive people who live sedentary lives. They need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. For this reason, they do very good at agility training and competitions. 

11. Pomeranian

little brown dog
DOG’s SIZE6″ to 7″
WEIGHT3 to 7 pounds
FUR AND COLORLong, double coat; several color varieties, including orange, cream, red, black, brown, sable, and blue
LIFE SPAN12 to 16 years

Pomeranians are cute little balls of fluff that aren’t afraid to let you know they’re in the room. They are bossy little things, but with early training and socialization, you can nip this in the bud before they nip you. 

That said, the Pomeranian makes a great companion dog and is happy to be with its human all day. When it comes to grooming, the Pomeranian is pretty high-maintenance.

They need regular brushing to prevent tangles in their beautiful coats, which come in a variety of brown shades.

12. Great Dane

large brown dog
DOG’s SIZE28″ to 32″
WEIGHT110 to 175 pounds
FUR AND COLORShort, smooth fur; fawn, brindle, black, black and white, blue, and harlequin
LIFE SPAN7 to 10 years

Who let the horse in the house? Oh, it’s just a Great Dane, one of the gentle giant breeds. These pups are huge … there’s no getting around that.

So, you have to ensure you have quite a bit of space for them because they do take it over. Yet, they’re just the sweetest pups. 

Great Danes have large personalities to meet their large stature. They are loving and affectionate and truly believe they are lap dogs. This brown dog breed is also very devoted to its humans, and even though it’s big, it is fantastic with children.

13. Saint Bernard

fluffy brown puppy
DOG’s SIZE26″ to 30″
WEIGHT120 to 180 pounds
FUR AND COLORDense coat, long and silky or short and smooth; white with brown, brindle, or red accents, black mask
LIFE SPAN8 to 10 years

Saint Bernard is a well sought-after dog, thanks to movies like “Beethoven” that showcase the fluffy, drooly floofball in the perfect environment.

The Saint Bernard was originally bred in Switzerland, where the breed made its way through the Western Alps as search and rescue dogs to track down missing people, something it did well.

Today, they are still used for that purpose, but they are more known as loyal canine companions. If you’ve never been around them, one thing you need to know about Saint Bernards is that they drool. Like a TON. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

14. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

cute brown dogs
DOG’s SIZE21″ to 26″
WEIGHT55 to 80 pounds
FUR AND COLORMedium-length wiry or wavy coat; brown, dark brown, deadgrass, light brown, light or dark deadgrass, tan, and sedge 
LIFE SPAN10 to 13 years

Bred for hunting, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an expert at picking up fowl and small game shot down by hunters. They love to swim, and you will find it hard-pressed to keep them from jumping in any body of water. 

The personality of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever matches the other types of Retrievers in that it has a sunny, friendly disposition that makes it a wonderful companion dog as well.

These pups are seen in a mixture of brown shades from light to chocolate brown, plus white markings, and have droopy ears. 

15. Collie

brown dog breeds
DOG’s SIZE22″ to 26″
WEIGHT50 to 75 pounds
FUR AND COLORRough or smooth with soft undercoat; sable and white, blue merle, tricolor (including brown)
LIFE SPAN12 to 14 years

Ranchers and farmers have been giving Collies homes for more than a century. These hard-working pups are truly at home when they’re given a job to do, so don’t pick one up based solely on its looks.

They also make good family companions because they truly love children; just make sure your pup gets the exercise it needs. 

This beautiful dog is smart and inquisitive; they’re also problem solvers. Training is relatively easy because they are highly intelligent dogs, but they can also be stubborn and think they know best.

Early and consistent training will yield you a fantastic working dog. You should check out the other types of Collie dogs, too!

16. Chow Chow

fluffy brown dog
DOG’s SIZE17″ to 20″
WEIGHT45 to 70 pounds
FUR AND COLORCoat varieties include smooth or rough coat; cream, red, brown, black, cinnamon, blue
LIFE SPAN8 to 12 years

Did someone order up a teddy bear? The Chow Chow’s fluffy face immediately makes it look more cumbersome than it is.

These pups are fairly aloof, but they will bond with their people, given the chance. Their purple tongues and triangular ears are staple traits that will immediately identify their breed. 

Chow Chows are relatively laid back, though they are strong-willed, so training could take some time. They have high grooming needs because their coats are so thick. Brushing them twice a week or so is a good idea to prevent their coat from getting tangled.

17. German Shepherd

chocolate brown dog
DOG’s SIZE22″ to 26″
WEIGHT50 to 90 pounds
FUR AND COLORMedium-length coarse double coat; sable, solid black, black and cream, black and tan, black and red, black and silver, white
LIFE SPAN7 to 10 years

This breed originated from where else: Germany. These dogs fall into the herding class, but they are staunch working dogs that serve police, military, and search and rescue organizations very well.

German Shepherds are also popular service dogs. The German Shepherd looks like it means business — and when it’s working, it does — but it is one of the kindest breeds you’ll encounter. 

While the German Shepherd is a loyal and intelligent breed, early socialization and training are essential to harnessing its strong guarding instincts.

At home, it’s a lush, happy to bound around with other pets and children and cuddle up after a long day of work. Have you ever seen the rare white German Shepherd?


What Is the Breed of a Brown Dog?

There is no specific breed of brown dog, and many breeds produce pups in this color.

What Is the Coolest Dog Breed To Have?

If you’re looking at this list alone, I would say the coolest one to own would be the Collie. They are super smart dogs who love their families and love performing in agility contests and the like. They adapt to nearly any environment as long as their needs are met. 

What Does Brown Look Like to a Dog?

One of the most interesting facts about dogs is that they are mostly color-blind. While they can see colors on the blue and yellow spectrum, the rest of the world is a grayish-brown to them. So they would see the color brown as it is or in a muted version of the color.

What Is the Rarest Brown Dog Breed Today?

One of the rarest dog breeds out there with a brown coat would probably be the Pharaoh Hound, an Egyptian breed that is bred for rabbit hunting. 


This list just scratches the surface of the popular brown dog breeds. There are many other breeds that produce brown dogs, whether partial or whole. The good news is if you’ve got your heart set on pups with brown coats, you’ll have plenty of options.

Just be sure to do your research and ensure your next furry friend fits in with your lifestyle. If they need extra room to run, for example, not providing it can be hinder some to their development. 

Christina Drury
Meet Christina Drury, a dedicated animal enthusiast, and proud pet parent. She has a deep-rooted affection for all creatures, and Christina has called the Buckeye State home for the past four years. As a seasoned writer, she possesses a versatile writing style that spans various niches, yet her heart truly belongs to animals. With her innate connection and expertise, Christina is committed to crafting engaging and insightful content for animal-related issues.

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