What Is a Brindle Dog and Where Does It Come From?

A brindle boxer standing on a brick walkway

When people look to adopt dogs, they usually have specific ideas for what breed of dog they want, why they want the dog, and other similar reasons. For example, a person living alone and working at an office during the day may not want to adopt a dog breed known for its high energy and exercise needs. On the other hand, families with multiple people may be able to adopt a dog breed that requires a lot of attention because more people can give him attention.

Another reason that people choose specific dogs is because of their coat length and even coat pattern. The brindle dog is just one of the many types of dogs that people enjoy. Today, we’ll talk about what a brindle dog is, how they get their coat pattern, and the different breeds a brindle dog can be.

What Is a Brindle Dog?

You may be wondering, what even is a brindle dog? Contrary to what many may believe, a brindle dog is not a specific breed but a pattern used to describe a dog’s coat. A dog with the brindle pattern (a brindle dog, for short) is simply a dog that appears to have a stripe coat pattern. Some people may even say that the coat pattern of a brindle dog resembles that of a tiger’s stripes.

A brindle dog usually has a brown base color, with darker fur colors as the stripes. Dogs with a brindle coat pattern may exhibit the brindle pattern over their entire bodies, or the pattern may be localized to a specific portion of their bodies. Brindle dogs usually always have short fur, but a few breeds of dogs with medium-length hair can have the brindle coat pattern. Now let’s look at how brindle dogs get their signature coat patterns.

Happy mixed breed brindle in a sunny park

How Do Brindle Dogs Get Their Signature Coat Pattern?

The reason that some dogs are brindle and others are not can be attributed entirely to genetics. The brindle gene is a rare and recessive gene that mutates the black coat color gene. If one parent has a dominant black coat gene and the other parent is brindle and has the brindle gene, the puppies will be black because the brindle gene is recessive. As you may have noticed, the stripes and splotches of the brindle pattern have varying degrees of thickness and length. At the time of writing, it is unknown which combination of genes causes the thickness and length of the brindle stripe. One of the reasons the brindle dog is so sought after is because there’s no available testing to see whether a puppy will be brindle. People seeking to adopt brindle puppies have to wait until the puppy is born and developed for a certain amount of time to tell whether or not they have the brindle pattern.

Most Common Brindle Dog Breeds

Now we’ll look at some of the most common dog breeds that have the brindle coat pattern, the history, and any specific or unique traits those breeds have.

The Treeing Tennessee Brindle

One dog breed with the brindle color is the Tennessee Brindle. Let’s take a look at this breed.

History of the Tennessee Brindle

The first record of the Treeing Tennessee Brindle dates back relatively recently, to the 1960s. It originated in the United States and descended from the Old Brindle Cur dog. It got its Treeing name because treeing is a specific type of hunting where a dog will chase its prey up a tree. The Tennessee Brindle was originally bred for hunting– treeing, to be more specific! They also were bred to be scenting dogs and are known for their intelligence. Let’s look at some more general information about the Tennessee Brindle!

General Tennessee Brindle Information

The Tennessee Brindle is a brilliant dog and makes an excellent companion. They are also smaller dogs, but their speed makes up for their smaller size. The Tennessee Brindle is only bread in two colors, the brindle coloring, and black. They can also have white markings throughout their coat. The average weight of a Tennessee Brindle dog is anywhere from 30-50 pounds, and they live an average of 10-12 years.

Cute Treeing Tennessee Brindle striped dog flying through the air air to catch a disc

The Boxer

Another dog that the brindle color can appear on is the boxer dog. Let’s take a look at some information about them.

History of the Boxer

The history of Boxer dogs is rich. The Boxer originated in Germany, and the first reports of a modern Boxer were around the early 1900s. However, many ancient relatives of the Boxer date back to the time of Ancient Assyrians, occurring around 2000 B.C.E. After much crossbreeding between different ancient breeds, the Germans started to use modern Boxers for bull-baiting dogs, which helped control cattle in their pens. Other records report that the Boxer got its name from the way the dogs engage in playing because they resemble boxers. Now we’ll look at more general information about the current boxer dog.

General Boxer Information

Boxers are on the larger end of the dog size spectrum, with males weighing up to 80 pounds at the largest. They have faces that are squished in and have naturally floppy ears. Boxers are very energetic, requiring a lot of playing and exercise daily. In modern times, they are still used for bull-baiting but can also be guard dogs. Their coats are shorter in length and mainly colored in a fawn color or brindle pattern. Many boxers also have white markings on their chest and legs. The brindle boxer can get overheated easily, so they must be drinking lots of water and not left outside for extended periods in warmer climates.

The Dutch Shepherd

The third breed of a dog seen with the brindle pattern is the Dutch Shepherd. Let’s take a look at its history and general information about it.

History of the Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd has the first official records of the breed dating back to the 19th century in the Netherlands. At the time, the Netherlands was known for its livestock and crop farming, and demand for multiple farming services was steeply growing. The Dutch Shepherd was bred to be able to herd livestock as well as be a guard dog to the livestock. Some larger and stronger Dutch Shepherds were also used to pull carts of materials over the farm. However, when WWII happened, farming was no longer in demand, and the breed nearly became extinct. It is still around today, but it is considered a rarer breed.

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General Dutch Shepherd Information

Dutch Shepherds are brilliant animals and can do many different things. They also have a lot of energy and like to be sociable, making them an excellent option for families with children or lots of time to play with them. They have many different coat types, with long fur being the most common. The brindle pattern is the most common coat coloration in the Dutch Shepherd. They are larger dogs and can weigh up to 75 pounds. The Dutch Shepherd can live for up to 14 years. Other breeds of Shepherd dogs can exhibit the brindle color, including the Anatolian Shepherd and the German Shepherd.

Brindle Dutch Shepherd

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has big ears and a small body. Let’s look at where the breed originated from and some other general information about it.

History of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

There is not one solid first record of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi because it has been around for a long time. It originated in Wales more than 3,000 years ago as a descendent of the Teckel family of dogs. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was originally used to herd cattle and rid the land of potential predators. They also made good family pets, as they were incredibly social creatures. Fast forward to the 1800s, and you’ve got what many consider to be the modern rendition of a traditional Corgi dog. If they weren’t so popular in dog shows, they might have even gone extinct due to invented machinery that made cattle herding and farming easier. The first record of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi in the United States occurred in 1932 when a famous brindle stud came to the United States to be bred with other dogs.

General Cardigan Welsh Corgi Information

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a small dog about the same size as a fox. They have large ears with a bushy tail and shorter but stockier legs. They weigh up to 38 pounds if male and can appear in many different coat patterns (brindle, red, sable, blue merle, and black). The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an excellent breed for people who have a lot of time to spend with dogs but can also be left alone. They’re also brilliant and naturally alert.

Brindle welsh corgi cardigan jumping into the water against the backdrop of a bright autumn landscape

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

History of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The original purpose of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is somewhat of a sad one. They were originally bred for their gameness and were often forced into dog fighting, bullfighting, and other harmful games. Thankfully, these blood sports were outlawed in 1835, putting a new perspective on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s uses. As blood sports were outlawed and the breed was brought into the United States, they became family pets or guard dogs.

General Staffordshire Bull Terrier Information

The American Staffordshire Terrier may appear intimidating or scary to some people, but they are one of the most family-friendly breeds there. They tend to have more muscular builds but are fond of people and make good family pets or guard dogs. They are also highly intelligent and learn at a fast rate. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can come in many colors and coat patterns, including black, brindle, red, fawn brindle, white, and blue. Many of them also have different white markings on their chests and legs. Other bull terrier dogs exhibiting the brindle coloring include the brindle Pitbull (American pit bull terrier) and the brindle French bulldog (French bulldog).

The Plott Hound

The Plott Hound is another breed that can feature the brindle pattern. Let’s take a look at some of its characteristics and history.

History of the Plott Hound

The history of the Plott Hound is fascinating. Two German brothers in the 1700s, whose last names were Plott, were renowned hunters and gamekeepers. They always kept packs of hounds to hunt wild boars, the origination of the Plott Hound. Although details of the journey aren’t confirmed and may be uncertain, many records believe the Plott brothers were hired in the United States as gamemasters and hunters. They made the journey to the US to fulfill their contract, bringing the dogs with them. Some of the dogs they got had the brindle coat pattern; the rest is seemingly history!

General Plott Hound Information

Many Plott Hounds today are still used as hunting dogs. They are intelligent, larger set dogs that have great determination and grit. They are also loyal and require lots of room and time to exercise. If you have a family that has time to play with the Plott Hound and take him on walks, this breed would be an excellent breed for you to adopt. Their coats are generally shorter, making the grooming process easier. The coat color they can appear in includes the brindle color as one of them.

Brindle Plott Hound lying on a rug

The Greyhound

History of the Greyhound

The Greyhound is one of the oldest breeds, dating back to Ancient Egypt. If you’ve seen cave paintings, pottery, or other art with Pharaohs with dogs by their side, you’ve likely seen a Greyhound! In ancient times, they were gifts to the people with the highest royalty statuses. Greyhounds had many purposes throughout history, but in the United States, they were mainly used as racing dogs due to their long yet slender build. The first records of Greyhounds in the United States date back to the early 1910s in Florida.

General Greyhound Information

The most noticeable feature about the Greyhound is that they are long and slender. They are larger dogs, too, and can weigh up to 70 pounds. They make for excellent family dogs and work well with other pets too. They’re very social creatures and love being played with and taking walks. You can find the Greyhound in many different colors, including brindle, blue brindle, and red brindle, to name a few. Generally, the Greyhound is a very healthy dog breed, and their shorter coats allow for easy upkeep with their grooming and bathing.

The Bullmastiff

History of the Bullmastiff

The history of the bullmastiff dates back to the 1800s in England. Farmers and gamekeepers sought ways to protect their livestock and game from being poached. Bulldogs were too aggressive, and the mastiff was too large, so the bullmastiff was born after much crossbreeding. The bullmastiff was mainly used as a game protector, although they also made good guard dogs. The brindle pattern was among the most popular coat patterns because of how well it blended in with the surroundings.

General Bullmastiff Information

Today, the American mastiff makes for a great family dog. They’re incredibly social dogs who can be around people and other pets without causing any harm. They are intelligent and determined, making for good guard dogs as well. Bullmastiffs love their exercise, but they can also be left home during the day if necessary. Their short coats make the grooming and bathing process much easier, but they tend to drool more than some of the other dog breeds we’ve looked at so far. According to the American Kennel Club, these dogs have a shorter lifespan and can live roughly only 8-10 years. Their coats can come in a few different patterns and colors, with the brindle pattern the most desirable.

the brindle bullmastiff posing in the summer


We hope that you were able to learn a lot about the brindle dog and just how a brindle dog gets its famous brindle color. Although not all breeds of dogs can exhibit the brindle pattern, many do, and there’s sure to be a brindle breed out there that’s perfect for you and your family.

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