Last Updated on April 24, 2023
Brindle dog breeds have a unique coat pattern that’s often described as tiger stripes. However, this coloration typically looks blended rather than showing distinct stripes.
Your dog’s coat can have a varied effect on its genetic makeup. If you’d like to learn more about what makes brindle dog breeds, then keep on reading.
What is a Brindle Dog?
Brindle is a coat color pattern that many dog breeds carry. This pattern has a brown base color that’s overlaid with dark brown to black stripes.
It’s a beautiful coat color and will undoubtedly have people looking when you walk down the street with your doggo.
Merle is another coat pattern that’s a partially dominant gene that produces irregular patches of diluted pigmentation on a solid black coat.
Whereas the brindle pattern is a recessive gene of the K locus, which is dominantly black, that causes the tiger stripes to be seen.
The darker brindle coloring is the most commonly discussed, but a lighter brindle pattern is also known as reverse brindle.
Not every pooch comes with the brindle coat, though. This marking needs to carry a specific trait.
Genetics of the brindle coat: What causes brindle coloring in dogs?
As common as brindle seems, it’s not dominant. Instead, it’s a recessive gene of the K locus.
The K locus with the Agouti genes controls how pigmentation works. Thus, producing dominant black, brindle, or fawn colors.
Your dog’s coat color is made up of different genes, controlling two pigments. These pigments are pheomelanin (red-yellow) and eumelanin (black-brown). To get the brindle pattern, your pooch needs to have the Agouti gene.
The Agouti gene controls the coat’s coloring, turning red and black colors on and off. This gene is so important to coat color that certain combinations even create tricolor coats for dogs.
Different combinations of Agouti genes will determine different brindle patterns.
Every brindle coat pattern is unique. There’s no way to determine how the brindle pattern will come out, such as their stripe width. We don’t know what brindle puppies will truly look like until they grow into their fur.
Brindle dogs can also have white markings on their coats.
Brindle patterns can come in various shades and tones. Some are light with darker stripes, and others are the opposite.
For example, if your dog has a light coat with darker stripes, it may have a reverse brindle pattern called a black brindle.
Fun fact: the brindle coat pattern isn’t just for dogs. This coloring can be seen in other animals such as cats, horses, lizards, and rodents.
If you’re interested in bringing an eye-catching brindle fur baby with you at home but have no idea what dog breeds have brindle coats, you’re in luck.
We’ve put together 21 dog breeds that can have a brindle coat pattern for you to check out.
Small Brindle Dog Breeds
If you’re looking for a quiet pup, then the Basenji may be right for you. This pooch came from Central Africa, which is where it got the brindle gene. These doggos are typically loyal, gentle, and calm.
2. Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier can come in about three different brindle coats, among other colors. This pooch will make for a good apartment dog due to its small size.
However, this dog breed isn’t well suited to live in super hot or cold areas.
3. Cairn Terrier
The brindle pattern on the Cairn Terrier can be hard to see due to their wiry coat. However, this dog is confident and clever.
They’ll enjoy romping around the yard with you, but be careful as they enjoy digging and chasing small rodents.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize brindle being a color pattern for this sausage dog. However, there are several Dachshunds that have a coat pattern that resembles striped brindles.
These dogs are great with kids, though they’re vocal and protective.
5. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs have a short coat that is typically the brindle color. These pups are friendly, goofy, and loyal to their family. Frenchies will enjoy a nice lounge on the couch to take a nap or chase a ball in the backyard with you.
Medium Brindle Dog Breeds
6. American Staffordshire Terrier
Similar to Pit Bull Terriers, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a misunderstood dog breed. However, these doggos are friendly, loyal, and loving. These pups can come in a couple of different brindle patterns.
7. Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier comes in a few different brindle coat patterns, among other colors and markings. While this dog breed may chew a lot, they are one of the friendliest and loyal dogs to add to your family.
8. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are devoted to their family, loyal, clever, and playful. This dog breed was crossbred with a herding dog that is now extinct, making them one of the oldest breeds from the British Isles.
9. Dutch Shepherd
You will only see a Dutch Shepherd with a beautiful brindle coat pattern. They typically come in silver or red gold. This doggo is a people pleaser. Therefore, they’re easy to train, highly intelligent, and energetic.
10. Mountain Cur
Mountain Curs are easy to train and will make great family dogs. They will get along great with kids if they are properly socialized.
In addition, they’re incredibly loyal and will protect their home, making them excellent guard dogs.
11. Plott Hound
The Plott Hound is a tracking dog that needs a lot of space to run around. They have high energy levels and need plenty of exercise throughout the day.
This dog breed is sweet and affectionate and will typically get along with other dogs.
12. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
They’re affectionate and thrive on attention so that they won’t do well being home alone for long.
13. Treeing Tennessee Brindle
The Treeing Tennessee Brindle is known for tracking and treeing various game species. They have strong noses and are highly intelligent, though this dog breed isn’t easy to train due to their high energy levels.
Whippets were used for racing and hunting rabbits. This dog breed is sensitive, though they are friendly, sweet, and affectionate. The Whippet can come in six different brindle patterns, according to the AKC’s breed standard.
Large and Giant Brindle Dog Breeds
Yes, brindle dogs can come in all shapes and sizes. This includes large and giant dogs, exceeding up to 80 pounds (36 kg) and more.
Akitas were initially bred as hunting dogs. This is why early socialization and training are a must so that this pooch doesn’t become aggressive.
They can be challenging pets for first-time down owners, but the Akita is loyal to their family.
Boxers are energetic, fun, and affectionate, which makes them great family pets. However, due to their large size, training at an early age is a must.
In addition, this pooch doesn’t handle hot weather well due to the wrinkles on its face, and it may tend to drool a lot.
This dog breed carries the brindle gene, so they will most likely be seen with a brindle coat pattern.
While they will protect their family and get along with kids (if socialized well), Bullmastiffs can be stubborn and play down their intelligence to be lazy.
18. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is part of the Mastiff family and is considered the Italian Mastiff who carries the brindle gene. They will need early training so that they know you’re the boss.
After that, they’ll protect their family but will be aloof around strangers.
19. Great Dane
Along with a variety of other colors, the Great Dane can also come brindled. This gentle giant will make for a great family dog. They get along well with others, including kids.
However, they are a giant dog breed and sometimes don’t realize just how big they are.
Greyhounds may not look like they have a brindle pattern because of their short coat, but it’s there. These dogs are friendly and affectionate, though they do have a strong prey drive.
So, if you have smaller animals living at home, they’ll need early socialization.
The Mastiff, such as the English Mastiff and American Mastiff, are giant dog breeds that need early socialization and training to manage them.
Otherwise, this pooch is calm, affectionate, protective, and loyal. They can come in brindle, apricot, or fawn coat colors.
Other Brindle Dog Breeds to Check
Many other brindle dog breeds can be included in this list.
Just to name a few, other breeds that can have this coat color maybe a German Shepherd, American Bulldog, Chihuahua, Kai Ken, Irish Wolfhound, Corsican Dog, Anatolian Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Catahoula Leopard, Presa de Canario, and the Bulldog.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are brindle dogs rare?
Despite how many dog breeds can have the brindle coat pattern, this coloring is rare. This is because every dog’s genes are 50% their mother and 50% their father.
For the brindle pattern to appear, both parents need to carry the recessive brindle gene.
If one parent carries this recessive gene and the other parent doesn’t, then whatever dominant gene they have will get passed down to the puppy.
Can mixed breeds have brindle coats?
Yes, mixed breeds can have brindle coats. Here are some of them:
- Rottweilers Pitbull Mix
- Doxie Chihuahua Mix
- Labs Pitbull Mix
- Mastiffs Pitbull Mix
- Mastiff Lab Mix
- Danes Lab Mix
- Doxie Corgi Mix
- Boxer Pitbull Mix
- Mastiff Boxer Mix
Are brindle dogs aggressive?
Coat patterns do not affect the personality and temperament of dogs. So, you don’t need to worry about wanting a brindle dog breed and possibly having an aggressive temperament or shy personality.
Watch these brindle boxer puppies play around and have fun:
When looking for a dog to bring home, you should always research the dog breed itself. No matter what coat color or pattern they have, breeds have their general temperament.
Does brindle coat affect dog breed health?
Luckily, the brindle coat pattern alone won’t affect your dog’s health. However, if this pattern is mixed with other coat patterns, then it may pose a problem.
For example, merle patterns are known for causing ear and eye health issues. Together, these two patterns create a beautiful coat with dark long and short stripes with spots.
While it’s pretty to look at, it will cause many health issues for your pooch, so it’s best to get your dog tested.
Dogs should be tested if it’s believed they have a merle gene. This is so it doesn’t get passed down to other generations. If both parents have a merle gene, then that may produce a double merle puppy.
Unfortunately, double merles end up with more severe health problems.
Where can I find dogs with brindle coats?
You can find brindle dog breeds in two ways: reputable breeders or rescues. Rescues and animal shelters will take all dogs, no matter their size, breed, or coloring.
So chances are, you’ll be able to spot a brindle dog and give one a good home.
You can also ask around rescues and shelters if they typically find brindle dog breeds.
In addition to giving a loving canine a good home, the rescue workers should be able to tell you a bit of the dog’s personality and temperament. This way, you’ll know if they’re a good fit for your home.
If you decide to go through a reputable breeder, be sure to do your research. Ensure the parents have gone through testing to ensure you get the brindle coat and that it’s not mixed with other coat patterns, such as the merle.
In addition, you’ll want to get to know the breeder so that you can see they know the dog’s breed, coloring, history, and temperament. You’ll also want to make sure the puppies are as healthy as possible.
What colors look good on a brindle dog?
Brindle coat patterns can come in a few different shades and tones. Unfortunately, you won’t know what exactly your dog’s coat will look like until they grow into their fur.
This means, even though they’re brindle, the coloring may change slightly as time goes by.
With that said, brindle is typically a brown base color with black stripes. Sometimes there’s tan coloring along with apricot, red, and fawn.
This pattern typically gives your dog a darker look so that some colors may suit them better than others.
For example, you’ll most likely want to get a collar and harness that’s lighter in tones so that you can see it easier, and it’ll compliment your dog’s coat nicely.
Which Brindle Dog Breed is For You?
Are brindle dog breeds necessarily the best dogs to bring home? That depends on your opinion and which dog will be the right fit for your home.
However, so many breeds come in the brindle pattern that any pup will be a delight to have at home.
Remember, when searching for a brindle pattern dog, be sure they have no hidden pattern genes that may cause health problems down the road.
Do your research on the dog breeds themselves before deciding to buy. You want to make sure you and the doggo will be a good fit for one another.
Do you have a brindle dog breed at home? Which breed are they? Let us know in the comments below!
Further reading: Dog Breeds with Coats as Solid Colors
Cess is the Head of Content Writing at K9 Web and a passionate dog care expert with over 5 years of experience in the Pet Industry. With a background in animal science, dog training, and behavior consulting, her hands-on experience and extensive knowledge make her a trusted source for dog owners.
When not writing or leading the K9 Web content team, Cess can be found volunteering at local shelters and participating in dog-related events.