When it comes to dog coats, what’s your favorite color?
It’s hard to choose, isn’t it? That’s why we feel like you shouldn’t pick at all; instead, go with brindle, which covers a wide range of colors in one attractive smattering. The pattern is the result of a certain variety of gene that can be found in any number of dog breeds.
The dogs on this list obviously feel the same way we do, as they elected to go with a brindle coat instead of some boring, plain Jane solid color like black or yellow (no offense, Labradors).
The 17 Best Brindle Dog Breeds
These humongous dogs often have a dark brindle coat that can make them look even more intimidating than their stature already does. Sure, the Bullmastiff could have settled on just a single color — but are you going to tell him that he has to choose?
While Boxers usually have a base layer of white on their stomachs and chest, it’s usually overlaid with a beautiful rich brindle pattern. The coloring all comes together beautifully in their faces, which are usually a comingling of all the coat’s possible colors.
3. Great Dane
We suspect that the reason why Great Danes often have brindle coats is that there’s not enough of any single color to cover their entire massive bodies. Whether that’s true or not (it’s not) doesn’t matter, but what does matter is these gentle giants have some of the most beautiful markings around.
4. American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffies can come with monochromatic coats as well, but many are a mix of brindle and white. Their short coats don’t require a lot of grooming, but they can still shed a tremendous amount, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself wearing their coats as often as they do.
5. Treeing Tennessee Brindle
Gee, we wonder what color a dog called the “Treeing Tennessee Brindle” would be? If you answered “black,” well, maybe start this list over and read more slowly this time. These dogs were bred to tree raccoons and other game, and they’re extremely vocal, high-energy pups.
The Plott was bred to track and take down dangerous game like bears and wild boars, so you can bet that they’re formidable animals. They also make extremely loving pets, though, but they’re best left to the experienced owner (seriously, if they can take down bears, they can probably handle rookie dog owners, too).
7. Jack Russell Terrier
These tiny little mutts are predominantly white, but they often have other markings around their necks and faces, including brindle. The brindle pattern is rare, but in our opinion, it’s the most attractive color combination a JRT can sport.
These racing dogs aren’t often found with brindle patterns, but it’s not unheard of. Despite their athletic prowess, they prefer to be couch potatoes, and they can make great family pets. Even better, adopting Greyhounds can save unfortunate pups from some very undesirable circumstances.
9. Bull Terrier
The first thing you’ll notice about the Bull Terrier is its nose — it looks like someone hit it in the face with a shovel. Repeatedly. Once you get past that, though, you’ll likely be taken in by its beautiful markings, and a few members of the breed carry the brindle gene (they all carry the “hit-in-the-face-by-shovel” gene, though).
Akitas come in just about every pattern and color combination you can think of, including brindle. These dogs were bred to be working pups in Japan, and while they require a competent owner, they’re one of the best guard dogs you can possibly bring home.
If the Akita is possibly the best guard dog in the world, what breed do you think ranks #2 on that list? That’s right, definitely not the Dachshund. These little wienie dogs won’t scare anyone, but they’re still fun to play with, and they come in at least as many color combos as Akitas.
12. Cane Corso
If you think these dogs look like Mastiffs, there’s a good reason for that: they are. Hailing from Italy, these giant pups usually sport brindle coats and chocolate brown eyes. They’re just as patient and loving as other Mastiffs — and just as scary when they finally lose their patience.
13. Mountain Cur
The Mountain Cur is a member of the hound group, and it was bred to tree smaller animals like squirrels and raccoons. They almost always have brindle coats, and while they’re loving and gentle towards people, they’ll fight to the death to protect loved ones from predators (and also squirrels, presumably).
14. Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd is usually a lighter brown, but they can occasionally be found with brindle coats. These stubborn dogs require lots of training, but if properly socialized, they make loving family members and fearless guard dogs.
15. American Bulldog
The American Bully sports any number of color combinations, brindle among them. These dogs will lovingly dote on family members, but they tend to be suspicious of strangers. With plenty of socialization, though, they can become friendly and agreeable towards everyone.
16. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
These stumpy-legged dogs are different from their cousins, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is commonly orange and white. Instead, Cardigans look like brindle foxes, and they were actually bred to herd sheep, a fact that causes us to gain respect for Corgis while simultaneously losing respect for sheep.
These French dogs nearly went extinct in the 20th century, but a concentrated effort by breeders brought the Cursinu back to life. These animals have been given just about any job you can imagine over the years, including herding livestock, hunting boar, and guarding valuables.
Brindle for the Win-dle
If you can’t decide between adopting a dog or a tiger, a brindle-coated pup is a good compromise. As you can see, the gene that causes this pattern can be found in any number of breeds, from tiny Dachshunds to giant Great Danes.
Of course, you could settle on a monochromatic dog, but then you’d only get covered in just one color of fur.