15 Brindle Dog Breeds Bringing Stripes Back in Style
While many dogs tend to resemble wild wolves, some breeds bear a closer resemblance to the regal tiger—when it comes to their fur color, at least. Brindle dog breeds have unique stripes setting them apart from solid-colored or spotted pups.
"In simple terms, a brindle coat pattern refers to stripes or streaks of color, most commonly black hairs streaked within a red base coat color," says Don Woodman, DVM, Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association board member and owner of Animal Hospital of Northwood in Florida. "It is similar to tiger stripes, but the 'streaking' pattern may not be as distinct as tiger stripes and may appear 'muddy.'"
Essentially, if a dog has stripes, they're sporting a brindle coat. But some brindle dogs may have the streaking pattern across their whole body, while others only have patches. Brindle-colored dogs are the result of complex genetics that allow the same genes to produce different colors, so no two brindle dog breeds appears the same and there may even be variance within a specific breed. The dogs below are the most recognizable brindle breeds boasting these beautiful, unique coats.
A litter of mountain curs may look completely different from pup to pup, but brindle cur dogs are a common manifestation of the breed. Active and alert, the mountain cur is compatible with energetic families down to have a canine companion on their adventures.
"Expect a companion that needs entertainment and activity and may bring home dead birds, squirrels, and other small game as a gift to you." Woodman says. "Great companion for an owner who likes to hike or run."
Perhaps best known for their muscular bodies and black face "masks," boxer dogs often have the brindle pattern mingled with flashes of white across their snout, chest, and paws. Despite a frowny-faced façade, boxers are actually super social pets and should have plenty of interaction and exercise throughout the day. Boxers are not meant to be left alone for long periods of time and are best as beloved family pets at the center of their family's activities.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The long and low-to-the-ground Cardigan Welsh corgi might not have the cute tail-less rump of the Pembroke Welsh corgi, but the two breeds share a friendly face and perky ears up front. Cardigan Welsh corgi coats appear in several different colors and patterns, but many have brindle accents. Their thick, double coats do shed, especially during the spring and fall, so weekly brushing is a good idea to keep up with flowing fur.
Don't let this little lad's stocky body give you the wrong impression. While he may seem like a tough guy, the bull terrier is an incredibly sweet dog. This breed also has a unique, clown-like appearance to match their happy personality, and their coat is often a brindle and white combo.
Unfortunately, research indicates brindle-colored dog breeds are less attractive to pet owners and may more commonly be left at shelters, Woodman says. However, several of the brindle dog breeds on this list hold spots as the most popular dog breeds in America, with the French bulldog taking the silver medal behind only the Labrador retriever.
"French bulldogs make great companions given their small stature and agreeable nature," Woodman says.
Looking for a short, wiry-haired best friend? The Cairn terrier volunteers. These little pups, who are most well-known as Dorothy's Toto in The Wizard of Oz, come in a variety of colors and patterns: black, red, white, and brindle, to name a few. They're small but spunky terriers and make perfect playmates for a family.
Long and lean, it's no surprise the greyhound is known for speed. But bursts of energy go as quickly as they come.
These lackadaisical loungers carry almost no body fat along with short hair coats, with the brindle pattern being just one variation the breed is born with—greyhounds range from black, white, blue, to red, brindle, and fawn.
If you want a cuddle bug, whippets are known as the Goldilocks of dogs thanks to their easygoing temperament and low-maintenance coat. A smaller cousin of the greyhound, whippets can come in many different colors and patterns—brindle is just one option.
The Great Dane is a stereotypical gentle giant. Maxing out at 175 pounds, these big dogs are often best buddies to children and other house pets alike, though supervision is recommended around smaller children and animals to prevent any accidents around the extra-large breed.
Being such a big dog breed, the Great Dane is prone to health issues and unfortunately must pack a lot of love into a shorter lifespan.
"Given their large size, they tend to live shorter lifespans," Woodman says. "Be prepared to have your companion be a part of your life for 10 years or less."
Like the Great Dane, the Irish wolfhound is a supersized pup. Standing at least 30 inches, this breed is one of the biggest, tallest, and calmest dogs in the world. But because they're so enormous, make sure you have a fenced-in yard and enough indoor space for this dog to stretch out before bringing one home.
Harsh, wiry hairs protect their insulating undercoat and come in shades of black, blue, silver, and even red and (of course) brindle.
"Bred for hunting, this dog is not suitable for the inexperienced dog owner," Woodman says. He says Akitas need an owner who is dedicated to early socialization and consistent positive reinforcement training to help keep these pups happy and thriving.
The Akita may always prefer his own humans over strangers and may be best as the only pet in the home as the center of your attention.
The mastiff is a drooling, doting breed and at over 200 pounds, is one of the largest dog breeds out there. As certified couch potatoes, these massive dogs love nothing more than lazing around with their loved ones and are fairly low maintenance despite their large size. Just have a towel handy for drool—it's practically in their DNA!
American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire terriers always seem to be smiling—probably because they know how handsome they look, especially with a brindle coat. Like all dogs, AmStaffs need lots of socialization early in life. And while they love their humans, many of these pups prefer being the only pet at home so they can get one-on-one time for snuggles and backyard play.
The Plott hound is a brindle dog breed that developed right here in the U.S. This mid-size, loyal pup loves to hunt and his beautiful brindle coat is easy to care for. If you're looking for an active, intelligent friend, the Plott hound is always down for an outdoor adventure by your side.
Meet your perfect training buddy. Cousin to the German shepherd, the Dutch shepherd is a smaller, boxier version of his German relatives. The easiest way to tell the two pups apart? The Dutch shepherd is a dog breed with a brindle coat, while German shepherds are solid or bicolor. But like German shepherds, Dutchies are active, intelligent herding dogs who need lots (like, lots) of exercise to be happy. Their favorite pastimes include hiking, running, or learning new and fun tricks.