Brindle dogs are some of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are loved for their stunning coats that are often described as tiger-like.
Dogs with brindle are usually light tan, fawn, gold or brown with black, dark brown or gray stripes.
The pattern is not specific to a type of dog or group. It is a coat color and pattern that only some dog breeds can inherit and does not appear in all breeds.
Keep on reading to learn about 30 brindle dog breeds and how they inherit this coat…
Table of Contents
A brindle dog does not refer to a dog breed. It is a coat color and pattern that some breeds inherit through a rare recessive gene. Their coats are normally fawn or brown with stripes of black.
Some breeds with this pattern might look similar to brown dogs. However, their striping pattern makes them different. A brown dog’s coat will be a solid brown. A brindle patterned dog will have a solid brown or fawn coat, but it will also have dark stripes over its body.
In many breeds these markings look like a tiger stripe, but some dogs can be blotchy and not well-defined.
The pattern is much more common in breeds with short hair. Long haired dogs may have this parent, but many times the striped pattern is distorted by their long hair.
Not all brindle breeds will look exactly the same. The pattern will differ slightly among different breeds. Some dogs will have their full body covered, while others only have only patches.
The brindle color can also be a variety of shades, from a light cream to a deep red. Dogs that have a reddish color are called “red” brindles. “Blue” brindles have blue/grayish stripes standing out from the light brown background.
There is also another type called a reverse brindle.
This is the opposite of the traditional pattern, but is still considered brindle.
Reverse brindle appears when the striping pattern is so thick that it barely lets the light color seep through. Sometimes the dark color is so dense that the dog appears nearly completely black. Many dogs can have this dense striping pattern.
What Causes Brindle In Dogs?
The brindle coat color is caused by a rare recessive gene. It is a genetic mutation of the black gene. For a dog to be brindle, it must inherit both recessive genes, one from each of its parents.
If a dog inherits a dominant black gene from one parent, the dog will have a black coat. The black gene is dominant and will always mask the recessive brindle.
How the brindle pattern is expressed can vary between different breeds.
Many genes are involved in determining the final appearance of the brindle. The genes that control the width of the stripes are still unknown. Because of this, there is still no genetic testing available to identify whether a puppy will be brindle.
Brindle Dog Breeds
The brindle color is one of only two colors that are accepted as standard for Boxers.
Brindle is very common in all types of Boxers. It is actually dominant in these dogs. This means that if they have just one copy of the gene, they will still have the pattern.
Their brindle coat is short, shiny, and stuck tight to their well-muscled body.
Sometimes Boxers can look black, but this is actually just an illusion. Boxers with a reverse brindle can have dark stripes that are so thick that the fawn color barely peeks through the black stripes.
2. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs are like a miniaturized version of the Bulldog, but they have bat-like ears that stand up high.
Since 2020 French Bulldogs have been the second most popular breed in the United States.
The traditional brindle coat is pretty common in Frenchies with either black or gray markings. However, French Bulldogs can also come in fawn or merle brindle too. Fawn Frenchies have a light cream background and merle have a spotted pattern.
Mastiffs are a giant, but gentle breed with intriguing tiger-like stripes.
The full brindle coat is very popular amongst Mastiff fans. Their body must be either apricot or fawn and covered with very dark stripes. This pattern, along with their enormous 230 pound body, gives these dogs a unique appearance.
Unlike other brindle breeds, white markings are not accepted on the Mastiff. The only exception is a small amount of white on their chest. According to the American Kennel Club, the muzzle, ears, and nose must be dark. The blacker they are, the better. The Mastiff’s black mask can never be missing.
The Mastiff’s history can be traced back as far as ancient Rome where it was used as a guard and hunting dog. While it is still as courageous and powerful as it was before, the Mastiff is a loving and patient dog that makes a great family pet.
4. Cane Corso
Cane Corsos are a type of mastiff dog from Italy. Their name roughly means “bodyguard dog” in Latin. These muscular dogs are perfect for what they are named for, guarding and intimidating.
Brindle is actually a common coat color on Cane Corsos. Actually, there are three possible types of brindle:
Gray brindle is the most expensive color on this breed at $3,000.
Similar to the Mastiff, white markings are not accepted on this breed. Instead, they must always have either a black or gray face mask.
5. Great Dane
We all know the Great Dane from Scooby Doo! But did you know that Great Danes can come in 12 colors and brindle is one of them? However, this color pattern is quite rare. It does not appear as frequently as other colors, like fawn and black.
Brindle Great Danes must have a black chevron pattern and their face must be covered with a black face mask. Too much or too little brindling are undesirable.
White brindling is known as “dirty colored brindles” on a Great Dane. Their brindle must have a yellow gold base color.
Bullmastiffs are large dogs that were bred from the crossing of Bulldogs and Mastiffs. They can inherit a brindle coat from both sides of their original parents, Bulldogs and Mastiffs.
Brindle Bullmastiffs tend to be either fawn or red. Their coats are short, dense, and rough.
Because these dogs are so large and muscular, they can appear a bit intimidating. Their brownish coat definitely adds to the effect. In reality these dogs are very gentle and complete sweethearts.
7. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are known for their “tuxedo” coat. They often have a dark coat covering their back with a white underbelly. While most commonly you think of their ‘suit jacket’ being black, it can also come in three different brindle varieties:
Boston Terriers have been nicknamed “The American Gentleman” because of how good-natured and well-behaved they are.
You might know these dogs for their short legs and a long body resembling a sausage. Did you know that the Dachshund can also have tiger-stripes?
The brindle gene is a rare Dachshund color, but the markings are still accepted by the breed standard
Brindle can appear on these dogs whether they have short or long hair. However, the gene is only inherited by Dachshunds who have smooth hair.
Chihuahuas can come in over ten different colors and patterns. Brindle is just one of these possibilities! However, it is not the most common color. It is also not accepted by the American Kennel Club.
These tiny pups can come in chocolate fawn, blue fawn, or fawn black brindle. Mixes can also be a red brindle.
One thing you should know about Chihuahuas is that, even if they are small lap dogs, they have big personalities. They are loyal companions, but there is no messing with this feisty pup.
The Greyhound is the fastest dog breed on the planet. When you see it run, you can easily mistake it for a striped tiger cub.
Greyhounds can have a variety of brindle shades including blue, red, white and blue, and white and red.
Akitas are the national dog of Japan, they are also the largest Japanese dog breed. However, very few people know there are two different bloodlines of Akita: American and Japanese.
Both types of Akita can have traditional and reverse brindle patterns.
12. Bull Terrier
When you see a Bull Terrier for the first time, you will probably notice its unique “egg-shaped” head. The next thing you will notice is their brownish coat.
The American Kennel Club say that brindle is the preferred color for Bull Terriers when they are not fully white. They often have white markings over their head, chest and legs.
These dogs love to play, joke around and get into mischief. They can be frustrating for first time owners but if you are happy to laugh off any silliness, you will get along just fine with this quirky breed.
13. Plott Hound
Plott Hounds descended from the German Hanover hound. They were bred in North Carolina by the German immigrant Johannes Plott, who they are named after. Plott Hounds are now recognized as North Carolina’s official state dog.
The preferred color of Plott Hounds is brindle.
Their pattern can be of any shade including black, tan, brown, blue, gray, orange, red, and gold. If their coat is black, then it can have a brindle stripe.
The Whippet is very similar to the Greyhound in body shape and speed, however they are smaller and rarely bark.
Whippets are a playful breed that can come in a variety of brindle coats such as blue, fawn, red, and black. Some also have white markings on their short-haired coats.
The Basenji is a dog breed from Africa that was bred for hunting. It is unique among hunting breeds because it does not bark. While it cannot bark, it does make a sound that is “something between a chortle and a yodel.”
A brindle Basenji is rare, but it does exist.
It is possible to see this short-haired breed in brown, red, or chestnut with black stripes. Sometimes they will also have white on their paws, chest, and tail.
16. Mountain Cur
The Mountain Cur is a rare dog breed that not many people know of. They are not even official members of the American Kennel Club, though they are fully registered with the Kennel Club in England.
Despite being rare, it is common to see Mountain Cur dogs in brindle. They can also come with brindle patches on a black coat.
Mountain Curs were bred to be hunters and were important for the livelihood of the American Settlers that moved to the Southern Mountains. For these reasons they are named the “All-American Pioneer dog”.
17. Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard is known for the wide range of coat colors and patterns it can come in. Black, chocolate, merle and brindle are all common. The Catahoula Leopard is used as a multi-purpose breed for jobs such as shepherd dogs, bay dogs, tree dogs, watchdogs, and guard dogs.
What makes them unique from other working dogs is their ability to create a “canine fence” around a wild herd which then the master can direct.
18. American Bulldog
American Bulldogs are rugged and sturdy guard dogs that are always ready to protect their family.
Many Bulldogs are white, but brindle is common too. Usually their body is fawn or red with black or gray stripes. Sometimes this dog has patches of brindle over a white coat.
19. Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds have a wiry, rough and dense coat. They are known for coming in a reverse brindle with black, white and gray markings. These markings can make a Wolfhound’s tiger stripes hard to see at times.
Wolfhounds can also have gray, red, or wheaten brindle coats.
Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest dog breed on our list. Their height helped them when they were hunters of large game such as wolves.
20. Dutch Shepherd
Dutch Shepherds are intelligent, passionate and hard-working dogs. They were originally bred for herding, but, today you will find them in military, police force or search-and-rescue teams.
Brindle is the only coat color that you will ever see on a Dutch Shepherd.
Silver and gold brindle is the only accepted color for this breed. They will also often have amber eyes.
Dutch Shepherds look like German Shepherds, but do not have long coats. The short-haired variety is most common in the United States.
21. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is another brindle dog from the Bull group. This breed has a history of blood sports, but is not as scary as some people believe. Staffies have a heart of gold and a gentle soul.
There are many coat colors accepted for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The most famous is the tiger striped brindle! It is possible white markings may also be present on their coats.
22. Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherds are one of the oldest dog breeds, going back to as early as 2000 B.C. They are large and strong dogs that were bred to guard flocks of sheep against predators. Nowadays, they are dedicated protectors of their families or farms.
Brindle is not very common in Anatolian Shepherds. However, when it is present, it is fawn or apricot with black stripes.
23. Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois can come in five different colors, with the most popular being fawn and sable. They look like a German Shepherd.
Brindle is not accepted as a standard color, but, it is still listed in their breed standard as one of the many possible colors. No matter what color this breed is, they should always have a black mask. Any white markings, except for a little bit on the toes or breastbone, are faulted.
The Belgian Malinois is an intelligent, hard-working and hyperactive breed that needs to work. Giving the Belgian Malinois a job to do will give it a sense of purpose.
24. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
There are two types of Corgi, the Cardigan and the Pembroke. Only the Cardigan Welsh Corgi can be brindle.
A brindle Corgi coat is rare so breeders tend to sell these tiger-striped pups at a higher price.
Everyone loves Corgis for their friendly and quirky nature, but they are also a pretty active breed. Corgis used to herd sheep, so they need plenty of exercise and play.
25. Bouvier Des Flandres
The Bouvier Des Flandres was bred to be an all-purpose farm dog. Belgium Farmers used to claim this dog could do everything except milk the cows. As a result, they have developed a strong-will and independent temperament.
Bouvier Des Flandres have powerful, strong bodies under their double-layered coat. Their coat can be traditional or gray brindle, but the long hairs make the pattern seem less obvious. Black brindle markings are also possible, though they are not accepted as standard.
26. Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terriers were made famous by the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. Dorothy’s trusty companion Toto was a black Cairn Terrier.
The brindle pattern is not common in these shaggy terriers, but there are a number of Brindle colors that are accepted as standard. These include:
Silver and wheaten brindle are also possible, but these dogs will not be allowed in the show ring as they are not recognized colors.
27. Glen Of Imaal Terrier
The Glen Of Imaal Terrier is one of four terrier breeds that come from Ireland. Despite being famous in Ireland, this gentle terrier is not commonly known in the United States.
There are only three accepted coat colors for the Glen of Imaal Terrier: blue, brindle and wheaten.
The brindle can be any shade, but it is almost always a blue. This blue is a mixture of dark blue and light blue hairs over a tan body. The blue and tan hairs can come in any combination, but quite often the coat will be reverse brindle.
28. Kai Ken
The Kai Ken is one of six dog breeds native to Japan.
This beautiful and rare breed can only come in one of three brindle colors: gray, red and black. Out of all the patterns, red is the rarest. Surprisingly, puppies are born with a solid black coat which then turns brindle as they age.
The pattern helps the Kai Ken blend-in with the mountainous forests of Japan when it is out hunting.
29. Perro de Presa de Canario
The Perro de Presa de Canario is known as the Canary Dog of Prey in English. This mastiff-type dog comes from the Canary Islands, where it was bred to work as a guard dog for farms and a cattle herder. Like many other mastiff-type dogs, the Perro de Presa de Canario is independent and brave.
Perro de Presa de Canarios always have short and coarse coats. Their coat can come in all shades of brindle, from a warm dark brown to a pale gray or blonde.
30. Treeing Tennessee Brindle
The Treeing Tennessee was bred in the United States around the 1960s. They were used as hunting dogs that could track and climb up trees to chase after their game.
As their name suggests, these dogs are brindle. While black brindle is an accepted color, most commonly you will find them in a traditional pattern.
Brindle is a coat pattern that only some dog breeds can inherit. It is frequently described as tiger-like stripes, but sometimes these stripes can appear distorted and blotchy. Not all brindle dogs are alike.
In some dogs the brindle color is much more common than others. For example, it is very common to find brindle Boxers, whereas brindle Great Danes are rare.
Many people adopt brindle dogs for their unique tiger-like appearance. But, not all dog breeds can inherit the rare, recessive brindle gene.
Which breed were you surprised to see in Brindle? Let us know below!
Thank you for the excellent article. We recently got an Aussie Doodle puppy that has very nice Brindle markings.
My brindle is a Pomeranian
My brindle is a German Shepard Pit.
My brindle is similar. Dad was a mix of German Shepherd and pitbull and mom was a Rottweiler.
Thank you for helping me identify my dog as a Mountain Cur. He has a very beautiful coat. He is very intelligent. I got him at a Humane Society. I knew he was a Cur , but I wasn’t sure what kind of Cur