Have you ever seen a gorgeous, striped dog and think “what type of coloring does he have?” This type of color is referred to as brindle, and there are several types of dogs that have this type of coloring. In fact, there is a gene that is required by a dog to be considered a brindle dog breed.
A dog can have brindle coloring in one of two ways – either brindle or reverse brindle. Brindle coloring can be absolutely stunning and can come in a few color types including brown, fawn, red, and blue brindle as well as a mix of white with any of these four. If you’re searching for a brindle dog that’s also the best dog breed for your household, here are a few brindle dog breeds with striped coats that have beautiful colors.
What Does It Mean for a Dog to Have Brindle Coloring?
The brindle coloring has been around as long as dogs have. The brindle color is a recessive gene that is characterized by having either black stripes or coloring that appear on a coat that is orange and allows the orange to be seen in spots. You can also see stripes lighter in color over a dark coat or background that almost look like a tiger’s coat.
The heavier or darker brindle coloring that a dog has is considered a traditional brindle coloring while the light brindle color is referred to as a reverse brindle, which is a coat type that has a light color that is more prominent when found on a darker coat. Certain breeds have a more blue or gray coloring of a brindle color while others have a red or orange color coat that is called a red brindle. Fawn colors that are a kind of tan or light orange color are also common.
Which Breeds Have a Brindle Color Gene?
One of the more striking dogs that sport a brindle coat, a Dutch Shepherd carries the brindle gene as well as amber-colored eyes. Very intelligent, the Dutch Shepherd is typically used for military and police work. Challenging to train, this breed is a good choice for an experienced dog owner, so it’s important to make sure that you have prepared to invest money and time into training this breed to ensure that you have a well-trained and behaved family dog.
Sporting a soft coat with a gorgeous brindle tiger stripe, the Bullmastiff features the brindle gene. Considered a gentle giant, the Bullmastiff has a pretty good likelihood of having the brindle coat color. Like the English Mastiff, this brindle color combo makes the Bullmastiff look more imposing than the small brindle dog breeds.
Similar to the English Mastiff, the Bullmastiff is headstrong and stubborn as well as a little lazy if they want to be. Their stubbornness can drive a new owner crazy, but they are great with other dogs and children if they are socialized correctly. Plus, they are a great guard dog as well as a family companion.
English and American Mastiff
A mastiff is imposing and large but are wonderful family dogs. Featuring a gorgeous brindle coloring, both the American and English Mastiff carry the genes responsible for the brindle coloring— very popular in the mastiff community. When you combine this coloring with their size, you can make the Mastiff seem even more imposing than the other types of breeds on this striped brindle list.
A Mastiff isn’t the best dog for a first-time dog owner, so you should only get one if you are a firm leader with dogs and have the time to spend training one. A Mastiff is extremely stubborn, so much so that they may appear stupid, however, they are incredibly smart and will use their intelligence to their advantage whenever they get the chance.
Featuring a reverse brindle coat, the Irish Wolfhound is not as common a coat color as it is for other breeds. The Irish Wolfhound often falls into the reverse brindle category thanks to their wiry coats which tend to be on the lighter side, however, you will see a bit of tiger striping coming through to help them fall into the reverse brindle category. The reverse brindle Irish Wolfhound is actually pretty common for this breed, while it’s a little harder to view since their coat is somewhat dense and rough.
Often a recommended dog for first-time owners, the Irish Wolfhound is similar to a mastiff in that they can be a little standoffish with a stranger, but they will open up once they are invited and known as a part of the family. Well known as a giant dog, the Irish Wolfhound is a beautiful breed with its brindle coloring.
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Featuring a rougher and denser brindle-colored coat, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is not as well known in the United States. This terrier breed is known for its reverse brindle coat, and similar to the Irish wolfhound, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has a more dense and rougher coat.
A dwarf breed, the Glen of Imaal requires moderate exercise when you compare them to other terriers in the same class. This type of pup is very smart and is a good choice for a first-time dog owner. They run in the medium activity range, which means he won’t be as active as a Lab puppy. This breed is very stubborn and smart, so you will need to train him immediately.
When it comes to a breed color choice, the Brindle French Bulldogs are pretty popular. French Bulldogs are one of the most popular small breeds in the U.S., and they look like a full-sized bulldog if you can get past the fact that they have a similar look to Batman thanks to their ears. They are super affectionate and make awesome family companions.
This Frenchie features a true brindle coat that has a blend of merle in it. With their beautiful coloring, the brindled French Bulldog is pretty common, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one for yourself.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Providing a more imposing look than they normally have, the brindle dog American Staffordshire Terrier is often confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier. An English Staffordshire Terrier was originally bred in the 19th Century as a fighting dog and was used as a baiting bull during an animal fight. In comparison, the American Staffordshire Terrier is typically leaner and taller than his English relative. Used most commonly for fieldwork, this breed features a gorgeous red brindle coat and is a good choice for a house pet.
Pretty much all Boxers have a variation of a gorgeous brindle coat. Popular in the U.S., the Boxer is a good family pet with lots of energy. This breed got its name from its ability to jump up on its front paws thanks to its powerful and muscular build. Protective and intelligent, this is a good family dog that is easier to train than some of the other more stubborn breeds. Featuring a red brindle color, a brindle boxer is actually fairly common, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding one for your family.
Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terriers are not usually completely brindled, but they can have the coloring on parts of their body. A little rarer, the brindle-colored Jack Russell Terrier is an incredible mix of energy and color. Super smart, they are easy to train, which makes them good family dogs that are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. Agile and small, the Jack Russell Terrier is a great companion for outdoor activities and loves to go on hikes.
Of the two, a Greyhound tends to be reverse brindle more so than having the standard color. The most popular dog for racing in the U.S., the Greyhound carries the brindle gene less frequently than the apricot, white, merle, and black coat colorings. A good choice for families, the Greyhound can interact with outsiders when they are socialized early and are introduced properly. Greyhounds love to lounge around making them great homebodies.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The only Corgi that carries the brindled coat gene, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a small breed that carries the brindle gene and can also have merle coloring. The brindle-colored corgi is not as common making them a more expensive choice. Making good family dogs, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is very smart and easy to distinguish by their docked tail. This adorable pup is popular on social media thanks to its adorable appearance.
You will find Great Danes with brindled coats, but they are not as common as their other color combinations. Similar to a Mastiff, this large dog has an imposing physique, especially with the brindle pattern, which can also make them more expensive. These sweet dogs are very friendly and great family dogs that love to lie around at home. If you have the space in your home, a Great Dane can be a great addition to the family.
In a Cairn Terrier, the brindle color is a little rarer, which makes the dogs that have it more expensive. Along with this beautiful coloring, the Cairn Terrier is an adorable furball with a fun personality. Originally bred as a working dog, the Cairn Terrier has been around for a while. Super intelligent, these fast learners are great to take along hunting and are a good choice for a first-time dog owner.
Although they are not as common, Akitas are also known to have a fluffy coat with a brindle color. Capable of carrying the Brindle gene, an Akita is often compared to the Siberian Husky in appearance, it’s the ability to have the brindle coloring that sets it apart. While it isn’t the most common color an Akita can have, it does make it rare and more special.
Known as the National Dog of Japan, the Akita was bred for use as a police or military dog, sled work, and as a guard or hunting dog. This is a stubborn and headstrong dog that is not a good choice for a first-time dog owner since he requires a firm owner in order to get the most out of Akita’s personality.
While a Brindle-colored Dachshund is also rare, you can find the coloring both short and long-haired Dachshunds. Known for carrying the Brindle gene, it isn’t as common as it is with a terrier or bulldog. Featuring either short or long coats, the Dachshund is normally either tan, brown, or black, but the Brindle-colored Dachshund won’t necessarily cost you more than the other colors when purchasing him from a breeder.
What kind of dogs is brindle?
There are several dogs that can have brindle coloring including French Bulldogs, Great Danes, Cairn Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Boxers, Jack Russell Terriers, and Greyhounds.
What causes a dog to be brindle?
The brindle pattern is due to the interaction of a dog’s Agouti gene and various other genes. A brindle-colored dog has brown fur along with dark-colored flecks. This brindle pattern can be found all over the dog’s body, or it can just be found on certain areas like his back.
Are brindle dogs aggressive?
No, the coloring of the dog does not affect whether or not they are aggressive. This trait is the same as any other colored dog that is the same breed.
Are brindle dogs healthy?
Having a brindle color pattern won’t cause a dog to have health issues, but when you mix it with other color genes, the dog may be susceptible to specific types of health conditions. One example is eye problems that have been known to be caused by the merle gene.