Brindle Dog Breeds

If I were a dog, I would certainly want a clear brindle coat. Even though a lot of dogs have beautiful coats with typical solid colors or a blend of two or three colors, nothing beats the strikingly beautiful brindle coat color and coat patterns.

While brindle is not the ordinary color you’ll find in every dog, some breeds, such as the Kai Ken, Dutch Shepherd, and Boxers, have the brindle color as a typical coat coloring. Others, like the Greyhound, Bouvier des Flandres, and Bullmastiff Dog, have several variations of brindle and brindle patterns.

You’ll love the sight of brindle coats adorned by the 26 dog breeds presented in this article, even as you learn a couple of other facts about them.

26. Greyhound Dog

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The fastest member of the dogdom is America’s most popular racing dog. Because they were bred as independent sighthounds, Greyhound can be standoffish and make training more demanding.

But the champion dog runner becomes a gentle and loving pet with good early socialization and training. If you are lucky, you can own a brindle Greyhound with brindle or one of the varieties of brindle patterns like black brindle, blue brindle, red brindle, or a combination of these with white.

25. Bouvier des Flandres

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Bouvier des Flandres is one of the furry-coated breeds developed to herd cattle and do heavy work in medieval Flanders. This explains their fearless and resolute temperament even though these dogs can be trained to become calm and docile pets.

Bouvier des Flandres have a rugged and tough double coat with harsh hair covering their entire body. The hairs may make the brindle color less obvious. But the breed has several brindle variations including gray brindle, black & brindle, and brindle markings.

24. Bullmastiff Dog

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The Bullmastiff Dog is a large muscular breed, even though not as large as the Mastiff. Originally bred to work with British gamekeepers against poachers, Bullmastiff dogs have since changed their careers to be the loyal, affectionate, brave, and loving family dogs that we know today.

The Bullmastiff’s short, dense, and weather-protective coat can be fawn, red, or brindle. Their brindle coat is one of the most versatile, with fawn brindle, red brindle, and red fawn brindle variations.

23. Belgian Malinois

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The Belgium Malinois are smart, confident, and energetic family dogs that thrive best with exercise and the loving company of their owner.

Originally bred to be shepherding dogs, Belgium Malinois have maintained their hardworking spirit, playing a notable role in the military. A Belgium Malinois, Cairo, is famous for being part of the team that captured Osama bin Laden.

The brindle color is listed among the extremely versatile coat colors of the Belgium Malinois.

22. Bull Terrier

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Bull Terriers have their origin dating back to the 19th century when breeders crossbred Bulldogs and Terriers. Their intent was to produce a breed with the power of a Bulldog and the courage of a Terrier for the bull-baiting and dogfighting sports.

Bull terriers have maintained their original energy and agility. But these dogs can also be playful, smart, and charming pets.

Bull Terriers typically come in white or solid brindle coats that have or are without white markings.

21. Rhodesian Ridgeback

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The well-built Rhodesian Ridgeback resulted from early crossbreeds between the African Khoikhoi dogs and European hounds and terriers.

Even though bred to be a fierce lion-hunter with a strong prey drive, today’s Rhodesian Ridgebacks are affectionate and calm, though slow at warming up to strangers.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have also kept an air of independence, making them harder to train. The red wheaten and light wheaten are the common colors of the breed, but Rhodesian Ridgebacks also come in brindle coats.

20. French Bulldog

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The French Bulldog is a pet in many homes of America and the world. It’s friendly and playful nature has always made the erect-eared Frenchie a desirable family dog.

But you can still count on your French Bulldog for a watchdog. Besides, the Frenchie is intelligent, adapts easily, and is easy to train. 

The Frenchie’s short and smooth coat typically comes in cream, white, and fawn colors. However, brindle is also considered one of the possible patterns and markings on a Frenchie’s coat.

19. Irish Wolfhound

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The Irish Wolfhound is among the tallest and largest dog breeds in the world. But they have a short lifespan of 6-8 years.

Bred to hunt the wolf and the Irish elk, these dogs were associated with courage and an intimidating posture. But years of domestication have made the courageous hunter calm, gracious, and ready-to-please.

Irish Wolfhounds have a rough, hairy, and hard double coat that adorns a variety of colors including brindle, black, pure white, gray, red, and fawn.

18. Basenji

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The Basenji is another of the hound breeds that is often described as the “barkless dog” despite its hunting role. As a pet, the Basenji stands out as a smart and sweet companion though with tendencies of independence.

The Basenji’s short and smooth coat has an elastic skin with a selection of colors, including the brindle. All brindle Basenjis have black stripes on a chestnut red background and with white on the tail, feet, muzzle, and chest.

17. Mastiff Dog

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The good-natured and diligent Mastiff Dog is one of the oldest dog breeds, anciently likened in fierceness to bears, tigers, bulls, and lions. The breed’s face can be scary for first-timers, but that does not cancel the Mastiff’s docility and noble appearance.

The Mastiff’s double coat can be brindle, among other colors. Fawn and apricot make the background for the dark brindle stripes. Brindle Mastiffs may also have a white patch on the chest.

16. Whippet Dog

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Talk of super-fast dogs and the Whippet Dog is top on the list, resembling the Greyhound but for a smaller build. The Whippet is a superb family pet, with a sweet, friendly, and loving demeanor.

Its coat does not fail it in elegance either. The Whippet has a short, tight, and smooth coat. And about its coat colors, the ACK states “color immaterial” which means irrelevant and not criteria for discrimination. And that includes the beautiful brindle pattern.

15. Cane Corso

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La Cane Corso has its origin in Southern Italy. It is registered by the AKC among the working group, considering its association with ancient Mastiff giant dogs bred by the Molossi of Greek.

Cane Corso dogs have a short and shiny double coat. Brindle patterns are allowed on the black coat and all the darker and lighter shades of gray, fawn, and red.

The “fearless bodyguard” as often described, is also affectionate, smart, and easy to train.

14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is linked to the Mastiff-like breeds originating from cross breeding Bulldogs and British terriers.

You’ll notice this muscular but agile and active dog for its smooth coat which can be brindle or take special adornments of brindle-white patterns on red, fawn, white, black, or blue coat colors.

The Staffordshire Bull Terriers are by nature smart, courageous, and tenacious. But with good breeding, they become affectionate and playful pets with special tenderness for children.

13. Boston Terrier

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If you’ve heard of the “American Gentleman”, then you know the title belongs to the smart, friendly, bright and playful Boston Terrier.

Boston Terriers have the Bulldog and the extinct English Terrier for parents. “Judge” was the first Boston Terrier sold by his English owner to an American.

Boston Terriers have a compact build with short tails and a stylish “tuxedo” coat. They come in white, seal, and black colors whose beauty can be enhanced by brindle patterns.

12. American Staffordshire Terrier

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As with all bull-type terrier breeds, American Staffordshire Terriers stand out for their stocky, muscular bodies. They are the American version of the Staffordshire Terrier, only taller and leaner.

Also known as Amstaffs among their fanciers, American Staffordshire Terriers are confident and smart and become good-natured and affectionate with early and proper training.

You should know that a brindle American Staffordshire Terrier, Stubby, was promoted to the rank of sergeant for his participation in WW1 alongside American soldiers.

11. Pug

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The Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds of Chinese origin, existing way before 400BC. The breed has remained popular among lovers of toy breed dogs for its loving, affectionate, and playful nature.

Pugs have a soft and smooth short coat that appears glossy. You cannot describe it as either woolly or stiff. Official pug coat colors are black and fawn, and even though brindle Pugs exist, they are not recognized by either the English or the American kennel clubs.

10. Catahoula Leopard

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You’ll appreciate the Catahoula Leopard’s watchfulness, agility, and endurance if you want a guard dog. But the well-built dog also makes a playful, smart, and loyal pet. Nonetheless, early socialization and training are needed to tame their independence and tendency to be protective and territorial.

Catahoula Leopards do not just have a wide range of color coats, they also have a line of alternative names and come with different eye colors. Brindle is listed among the breed’s official coat colors.

9. Corsican Dog

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Previously known as the Corsica after the place of origin, the Corsican Dog is today also referred to as Cursinu. The breed risked extinction in the last century with only hundreds of dogs left but was revived and recognized by France’s Société Centrale Canine.

The brindle pattern is common in the Corsican Dog’s thick, medium or short-length coat. Cursinu dogs are intelligent, energetic but have a docile and calm temperament, making them loyal and affectionate with their owner.

8. Mountain Cur

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Another of the hunting dogs with excellent treeing instinct. The Mountain Cur is an American dog without deceit, originally used by frontier families to guard them and their livestock against invaders and wild animals.

The easy-to-please breed is friendly with family but shy with strangers. Brindle is among the official color coats of the Mountain Cur. Brindle markings on its other coat colors are also recognized including black, brown, blue, red, and yellow.

7. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

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The long but short Cardis is named after the medieval kingdom of Cardiganshire. They were bred to be herding dogs and were fit for the job because of their size and coat colors.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a masterwork when it comes to coat colors, which could justify AKC’s stand: “There is no color preference.” The brindle shade is often represented in Cardis’ medium-length and dense double coat and is often combined with black and blue merle.

6. Treeing Tennessee Brindle

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The Treeing Tennessee Brindle dogs are a healthy and sturdy breed with strong scents from their original hunting role. The name comes from the dog’s skill of forcing the prey to climb trees and then baying to alert the hunter.

As pets, the Treeing Tennessee Brindle dogs are friendly, alert and intelligent. Early breeders selectively focused on breeding a dog brindle in color. Both brindle and brindle trim markings are among the recognized coat colors of the breed.

5. Plott Hound

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Descendants of the German Hanover hounds, the Plott Hounds are known for their stamina and endurance that combines with the agility and fierceness of a hunting dog. But these dogs are also loyal, smart, and eager to please pets.

The brindle coat is common among Plott Hounds, usually taking a dark color over a lighter one. Brindle coat colors include black and dilute black, buckskin, yellow, tan, chocolate, brown, orange, liver, red as well as gray and blue.

4. Great Dane

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The Great Dane is not just great by name and popularity but also for its friendly, patient, and loyal nature. The tall stature of the Great Dane can be intimidating but makes them good guard dogs.

Though the Great Danes are commonly identified with the black and white patches (harlequin) coat color, the brindle is also an official color of the breed, with the black marks always appearing on a yellow gold background in a chevron (V-shaped) pattern.

3. Boxer

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Boxers are a popular dog breed, probably because of their good looks. Their fame in history is also linked to “Bang Away,” the GOAT Boxer dog who won most in champions and sired plenty of other champion Boxer puppies.

Brindle is among the two common colors of the Boxer, ranging from sparsely but clearly defined black marks on fawn to heavy black marks that almost conceal the fawn, almost like a reverse brindle. White markings may also come with brindle colors.

2. Dutch Shepherd

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The athletic Dutch shepherd was originally bred to herd. As a pet, it still retains the temperament of an intelligent, watchful, independent, and active shepherding dog, even though with a touch of obedience, reliability, and loyalty.

The Dutch Shepherd’s rough-haired coat has a curly presentation that tends to conceal the brindle pattern. The breed’s coat color is simply brindle with base colors either golden or silver and the brindle color varying from black to dark brown and spreading throughout the body.

1. Kai Ken

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The Kai Ken dog can rightly be described as the hallmark of brindle dog breeds. According to the standards of the International Federation of Kennel Clubs, all Kai Ken dogs have clear-color brindle coats ranging from black brindle, red brindle, and brindle. Solid coats in puppies turn brindle as they grow.

Originally from Japan, these dogs are as rare as their name. Kai Ken dog’s temperament is shown in their being loyal and eager-to-please pets. They are smart and keen and, thus, easy to train.

Related Questions

Are Brindle Dogs Rare? Brindle dogs are rare thanks to the genes rule: a dog’s coat color is determined by the parents’ gene pool. Each parent contributes an allele with a 50% chance to be passed on to the puppy. Unless both parents are carriers of the allele that produces brindle coats, the dominant coat color allele always prevails.

What Is The Difference Between Brindle And Merle? While brindle is one of the recessive alleles of the K locus (Dominant Black) that causes “tiger-striped” patterns on a variety of dog coat colors, merle is a partially dominant gene that causes irregular patches of diluted pigmentation on solid black color coats. So, dogs without the genotype for black pigmentation cannot express merle, even though two recessive carriers can produce a merle offspring.

Is Brindle Dominant In Dogs? Color variation in dog coats results from two pigments: eumelanin or black and pheomelanin or red/yellow. MC1R, the Agouti genes plus the K locus (Dominant Black) control how pigmentation works in dogs by producing dominant black, brindle, or fawn colors. Brindle is one of the non-dominant (recessive) alleles of the K locus.

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Pete Decker