When it comes to selecting your next family dog, you’ve got a wide sampling of coat types, colors, sizes, personalities, and breeds from which to choose. Most dog owners have preferences in all of these categories, making them spoiled for choice when it comes to options. Brindle is a type of coat color or pattern that is common to many different dog breeds. If you find yourself drawn to this particular hue but haven’t yet nailed down which breed is your ideal fit, you may be asking—what are the top ten brindle dog breeds?
What is Brindle?
Brindle, sometimes referred to as striped coloring, is a type of coat color that expresses itself in a unique almost tiger-like fashion. It is most typically laid against an all brown (or all red) background with stripes in either deep brown or black on top. Depending on the positioning and intensity of the stripes, brindle coats can resemble the tiger’s coat or may just appear as a series of blotches against a solid brown (or red) backdrop.
Though a highly desirable color pattern amongst many dog owners, brindle is not a color that all breeds have. Brindle coats come in a variety of colors with black and tan among the most popular options. Sometimes the coat will only express black, brown, or red shades while at other times, the brindle may be interspersed with some white as well. Brindle markings may occur all over the dog’s body or may only appear in one central area such as the dog’s head.
What are Some of the Most Popular Brindle Dog Breeds?
If you’ve decided a brindle coat is a must have in your next dog, you may be wondering what breeds can be born with this particular coat type. Since brindle is the result of a mixing of a unique brindle gene with what is known as the agouti gene, not all dog breeds are capable of producing this much beloved coat pattern.
If you’re looking to narrow down your options as you search for your ideal brindle-coated canine companion, check out our list of the top ten most popular brindle dog breeds:
The spirited, social Boxer is a popular family dog. A member of the working group, the Boxer is a highly intelligent breed who thrives when given a job to do. This dog type has a penchant for mischief, adding to the breed’s natural charm.
Available in several different color variations, brindle is one of the most sought after colors in this highly active, sweet-natured breed.
The lively, independent Cairn is full of terrier attitude and spunk. A breed made popular through the film the Wizard of Oz, Cairn Terriers have been winning hearts the world over since the breed’s development in its native Scotland.
A dog prized for its intense hunting drive, the true Cairn is a spirited and joy-filled dog that excels not only as a hunter but also as a family companion. This breed should have a weatherproof double coat that is characterized by a soft undercoat and a harsh top coat. Cairns can come in any coat color including brindle with only one exception: the Cairn can never be white.
The French Bulldog traces its roots to England where the breed was developed to be a smaller version of the nation’s favorite pooch: the English Bulldog. Brought to France by lacemakers looking to further their trade, it is from this move the Frenchie changed its nationality from English to French.
A sturdy dog, the French Bulldog enjoys immense popularity today. The breed is charming and comical. With low activity requirements, the Frenchie is well-suited to any living situation including apartments. Intended to be a family companion, the French Bulldog eagerly laps up the life of luxury as a pampered pet, a role at which he excels.
The American Kennel Club’s official French Bulldog breed standard lists the Frenchie’s colors as white, cream, fawn, or any combination of those colors. Brindle is considered to be a pattern that is commonly seen in the breed. The standard further explains that the brindle pattern can range from only a small amount of these markings to intense black striping which can sometimes be so thick that the underlying fawn base is almost undetectable. When this occurs, the color is referred to as “black brindle.”
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
One of two Corgis that hail from the country of Wales, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a distinguished gentleman that traces his roots back to over 3,000 years ago. Corgis were originally intended to function as working dogs with their main role being to herd cattle on their journey to market.
Today, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi enjoys life as a beloved family companion. The breed is gentle by nature and loving and affectionate with children. The one defining characteristic that sets the Cardigan apart from its close cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is its long sabre-like tail.
The main colors the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are available in are red, sable, brindle, black with or without tan or sable markings, or blue merle with or without tan or brindle points.
The elegant, graceful Whippet is sometimes referred to as the Greyhound of the poor man. A breed renowned for its excellent speed, the Whippet makes for an exceptional hunting companion. The Whippet is highly intelligent and excels at many different activities including agility, lure coursing, Rally, obedience, and even flyball.
The Whippet is a social breed that enjoys being in the company of people; whether family, friends, or complete strangers. A high energy breed, the Whippet requires regular, vigorous daily exercise to remain physically and mentally content.
Both the Canadian and American Kennel Club breed standards for the Whippet list this dog type’s color as being “immaterial.” This essentially means that the Whippet can come in any color including brindle.
Truly a giant amongst dogs, the Great Dane is immense of size but gentle of heart. In possession of a natural grace and elegance, the Great Dane is one of the oldest dog breeds still in existence. Ancient artworks have been uncovered which bear the likeness of dogs that closely resemble the Great Dane, indicating that this dog type has been around for thousands of years.
Sweet-natured, affectionate, and loving, the Great Dane makes a wonderful family pet and is especially good with children.
The Great Dane breed standard lists brindle as its own unique color. However, in order to comply with the accepted standard, brindle in the Great Dane must be set against a yellow gold background and must display black cross stripes. Brindle markings are also acceptable in this breed and should appear as a black chevron design. Dogs that display brindle markings must have a fully black mask.
American Staffordshire Terrier
A breed of great power and elegance, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a beautiful dog characterized by its lean, well-muscled physique. The American Staffordshire Terrier, or Amstaff as it is commonly referred to affectionately, is a true people lover. The breed is exceptionally loyal and loving with people. However, the breed can find it challenging to get along with other pets due to its immense prey drive.
The Amstaff is highly intelligent and is in possession of an immense desire to make his owner happy, making this breed an excellent dog to train. The breed requires regular daily exercise to prevent boredom which can lead to the development of such nuisance behaviors as chewing or barking.
The American Staffordshire Terrier can come in any color including brindle. However, all white dogs or dogs that display more than 80 percent white, black and tan, or liver are considered to be undesirable in the breed.
A member of the hound group, the Greyhound found its original purpose as a hunter of small game such as rabbits, fox, and deer. Capable of immense speeds, the Greyhound easily races from 40 to 45 miles per hour. This unique trait earmarked the breed as the ideal candidate for racing.
But the Greyhound is a highly versatile dog, exceling at many activities including lure coursing, agility, obedience, and conformation. The breed has a natural gentle air and sophistication that endears it to may.
Though Greyhounds make for excellent racers, they are equally at home reclining on the couch next to their favorite person. In keeping with the same trait as the Whippet, the Greyhound’s color is considered to be immaterial. With this in mind, any color is permitted, including brindle.
A dog breed that hails from the Netherlands, the Dutch Shepherd’s original role was as a farm dog, employed in a wide variety of tasks. The Dutch Shepherd is a smart dog that is known for being easy to train. They excel at many different disciplines and have found themselves employed in a wide variety of activities including police work, service or therapy work, and most importantly, beloved family pets.
Though the Dutch Shepherd looks similar to both the German Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd, it is its own unique breed. The three breeds do share several traits in common. The Dutch Shepherd is considered to be rare, and they are highly prized for their excellent health and longevity.
Available in three unique coat types, all three are brindle in color.
The charming little dachshund is a member of a group known as scent hounds. Though originally bred to hunt badgers, the Dachshund excels at trailing many other animals on a hunt including rabbits, foxes, and even wild boar. This long-bodied dog type, often referred to as a wiener dog, is known for its immense versatility, making him well-suited to life as a cherished family pet, a devoted hunting companion, and even a career in the show ring.
In the Dachshund, brindle is considered to be a pattern. In order for a dog to be classified as brindle, it must have black or dark colored stripes that appear over the dog’s complete physique.
Thinking your next canine companion should be brindle in hue? Consider our list of the top ten most popular brindle dog breeds. You just might find your next best canine pal there!