A coat of brindle fur is instantly recognizable – this mesmerizing pattern resembles brilliantly multi-color tiger stripes. The brindle coat is a recessive gene that many breeds share, which means you’ll have plenty of breed options if you want a brindle-coated dog! Learn more about brindle breeds below.
Brindle-colored dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and some brindle breeds aren't dogs at all – you can find brindle coats in cats, horses, guinea pigs, rodents, and lizards. Cattle can have brindle coloring too.
While it might be cool to own a brindled lizard, we'll stick to a brindle dog for now.
The brindle pattern is distinctly unique, but if you yearn to adopt a pup with this beautiful multi-colored coat, you have plenty of great breeds to choose.
We're sharing more about the brindle coat and giving you the rundown on the best brindle dog breeds, so you can adopt your best-suited brindle pup!
What is Brindle Dog Coloring?
A brindle coat contains almost every classic dog color in a tiger-stripe pattern. The coat's base is typically a light brown, with darker tones flecked throughout it, although a "reverse brindle" is primarily dark, with flecks of light.
Some brindles also have white markings on their coat, called a trindle.
A dog may be brindled all over their body, or just in certain areas, like the head.
Not all brindled pups have the same type of markings, and some aren't striped at all – each brindle coat is unique in its own way!
Why can different breeds be brindle?
The brindle coat doesn't belong to a particular breed because it's a genetic mutation of the Agouti gene, common among several breeds.
The Agouti gene switches on and off the expression of black and red pigments in a dog's coat. This is why we see variety in the breeds with a brindle coat without the need for cross-breeding.
It's excellent news for potential owners looking for a brindle dog, because there is plenty of variety in temperament, size, and energy levels that will suit anyone's dog needs.
Brindle Dog Health
Brindle coats aren't dangerous for a dog's health or associated with any issues. When we mix a brindle gene with other color genes with health issues, the dog will become susceptible to these issues.
One particular problem lies in the merle coat coloring. This makes pups susceptible to ear and eye issues. Any brindle-merle mixes will be more prone to these conditions too.
The 20 Best Brindle Dog Breeds
The Dachshund breed is instantly recognizable with its distinctive body shape: little, stubby legs and a long, hotdog-like body. They come in several colors and coat types, with the brindle coat being rarer.
Dachshunds are relatively little, and though playfully energetic, they do quite well living in the small space of an apartment or condo.
This low-maintenance breed makes some of the best dogs for first-time owners.
#2: Treeing Tennessee Brindle
This relatively new dog breed originated in the 1960s, and the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Treeing Tennessee Brindle in 1995.
Although their history is much shorter than many breeds, they're a fantastic breed to own or consider if you love brindle coats. The coat of these pups is usually brindle or black with brindle trimming. Aptly named, hunters have their Tennessee Brindle treeing targeted prey by directing and forcing the game to run up a tree.
The Treeing Tennessee is relatively high energy and requires regular exercise.
#3: Cardigan Welsh Corgi
These short, stout, furry-bummed cuties are loyal, fun-spirited, and are quite happy to live in smaller homes.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an ancient breed that has been around for almost 1000 years, first used by farmers to herd sheep and other livestock. These dogs are happiest with ample amounts of exercise and play each day.
Pembroke Corgis have the orange and white coats you may be familiar with, but the Cardigan breed can be red sable or brindle with a white belly and chest.
#4: Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier has a unique, egg-shaped head with a very flat skull. Its looks give off an impression of stubbornness – and it usually is!
These pups are incredibly affectionate and fun-loving, but they require adequate training to be well-adjusted.
Bull Terriers also require plentiful exercise each day to avoid boredom, which can make them destructive.
#5: American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers, or Staffies, come in a variety of coat colors, including the brindle.
Staffies love people and are very focused on their families, so they do best in homes where their owners are often around.
This intelligent breed is very easy to train and requires very little grooming, but tends to shed frequently.
#6: Great Dane
The massive Great Dane is one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs you'll ever meet. They're fantastic around children and other animals, making them one of the best family dogs to own.
Great Danes can be brindle, black, fawn, merle, mantle, blue, and harlequin – so many options!
These dogs need ample training and socialization to help them gain awareness and control of their big bodies. A Great Dane does well in larger spaces that they fit within a little easier.
#7: English Mastiff
These chunky, big-headed doggos typically have a dark muzzle with a brindle, fawn, or apricot-colored coat. The English Mastiff is a big boy (or girl) – some of them weigh over 200 pounds!
They're large, powerful, and devoted, making very loyal guard dogs for their family. An English Mastiff can have overprotective tendencies, so proper training and socialization are necessary.
The Mastiff's sheer size makes them best suited for an experienced and strong owner that can better handle them.
#8: American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terriers are closely related to Staffies, which originate across the pond in the UK.
They have a harsh and unfair reputation as a vicious attack dog. This isn't a fault within the Pit Bull breed, but within the owners training them.
Dogs are only as good as the owners, and American Pit Bulls are adorable dogs when well-trained and socialized!
They're sweet, affectionate, and very dedicated to their owners, which makes them lovely family pets.
These long, lean, running machines come in black, blue, grey, and several brindle pattern types.
The Greyhound is sweet, whip-smart, and can be a little mischievous. While they're talented in sports of all kinds, they prefer to be snuggled up on the couch most of the day, making them an excellent human's companion.
This massive Japanese pup initially guarded royalty, and it comes in all sorts of colors, including brindle!
Akitas are loyal and affectionate with close family, and they like lots of attention from their owners. They make a fantastic pet in active family homes with children.
The Akita is a hunting dog, so adequate training is necessary.
Most Boxers are fawn-colored, but the brindle coat pattern is prevalent in this breed too.
These pups are enthusiastic and energetic, requiring consistent training and loads of exercise every day to stay happy and well-adjusted.
The Boxer breed is highly-intelligent – these dogs do well with lots of mental stimulation to keep them on their toes. Boxers are very loyal to their owners!
#12: Boston Terrier
A Boston Terrier has a sweet, black and white tuxedo coat, and the brindle variety looks like a fancy, patterned tuxedo.
These pups are very social and friendly with anyone they meet, so they do best in homes where owners are often home.
They're quite small in size and have low-maintenance exercise needs, making them happy in small spaces.
The Plott hound comes in almost every color variety, including nine types of brindle patterns!
Plotts hunt big game, so they need plenty of training and socialization to keep them friendly with other animals.
The French Cursinu was almost extinct in the 1900s, but it is since back from the brink.
These medium to large-sized dogs make excellent guard and hunting dogs and require ample training and plenty of exercise. This country dog adapts well to city life, as long as it exercises daily.
These big pups are a mix of English Mastiff and Bulldog, so they're understandably pretty hefty!
Their dark brindle coats, paired with their size, makes them look quite intimidating, but they're quite sweet with owners and children.
#16: Jack Russell Terrier
These tiny, highly-intelligent dogs are energetic and fun, though they have quite a stubborn streak! Training a Jack Russell Terrier is difficult, but it’s necessary to keep these pets well-adjusted.
This dog should exercise regularly, because a bored Jack Russell is a mischievous Jack Russell.
The smallest dog on our list, the brindle Chihuahua is a more comfortable pup for the first-time owner to handle.
They're feisty and affectionate, but require less exercise and space than other breeds. A Chihuahua can get bored and act out, so be sure to give them lots of mental stimulation.
#18: American Bulldog
These pups come in several different colors and combinations, with the brindle counted among them.
The American "Bully" is incredibly social toward its owners, but tends to be a little wary of strangers. Lots of social training is required!
#19: Cane Corso
This usually brindle-coated Italian pup looks eerily similar to a Mastiff, because it is a type of Mastiff, of course.
The Cane Corso is patient and dedicated to their owners but tends to be a bit warier around strangers and requires good socialization.
These pups are similar to the Greyhound in shape and run at lightning-fast speed like them, too.
They love to chase everything in sight. Keep your Whippet on a leash at all times, unless in a fenced-in area. They love big families and lots of lively action at home!
Final Note: Our Favorite Brindle Dog Breeds
With so many brindle breed options, it can be hard to narrow them down and make a choice. Hopefully, this guide has helped you make the decision.
Whichever brindle pup you go with, we're sure you will be very happy together!