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Top 20 Brown Dog Breeds: Small, Big, Fluffy & More (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

brown dog in the sun

Although many breeds, in one way or another, are a shade or an array of brown tones, surprisingly, very few possess all-brown fur! Narrowing down which have the truest of brown coats can pose as quite the challenge. 

Whether you are searching out of sheer curiosity or because you’re looking to adopt a new brunette companion, we have noted the largest and smallest pure coco-colored breeds, each detailed and paired with photo for reference. 

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Big Brown Dog Breeds:

1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever in the wild
Image Credit: mtorben, Pixabay

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, typically solid brown, is a revered hunter. In addition to mastering the art of prey watching on land, this breed’s waterproof, oil-coated fur and athletic build also make them skilled waterfowl hunters. 

However, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is much more than an excellent hunter. They also serve as a loyal, affectionate, and protective companions. This active dog is the perfect partner for running, hiking, or even swimming. The breed is intelligent but prefers doing things its own way, so consistent obedience training is always recommended.

2. Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel
Image Credit: gettyimages

Of the Spaniel breeds, the Irish Water Spaniel is one of the largest and has a grande personality to match. As the name suggests, this dog excels at swimming and other watersports. While their head and body are covered in tightly coiled, dark brown fur, their tail appears virtually hairless and resembles that of a rat. 

The Irish Water Spaniel is a hard-working breed that requires an active lifestyle to remain healthy and content. Neglecting the breed’s exercise needs can result in a defiant and destructive dog. This breed is the perfect companion for avid runners, hikers, and cyclists. Additionally, the Irish Water Spaniel is highly receptive to obedience training.

3. Newfoundland

Image Credit: Needpix

Though Newfoundland puppies can have an array of different coat colors, chocolate brown is one of the most common. This large and powerful breed has a deceptively gentle temperament and affinity for swimming. In fact, Newfoundlands are commonly water rescue dogs in parts of North America.

Contrary to what you might believe, this “nanny dog” is infamous for its sweet disposition around young children, and would fair as a wonderful family pet. Despite being warm and incredibly loving, owning a dog that might outweigh you will undoubtedly have their challenges so consistent, gentle training and early socialization is imperative and can help ensure the Newfoundland grows up to be an outstanding canine citizen.

4. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
Image credit: 272447, Pixabay

Easily one of the most common and cute brown dog breeds on our list, the Chocolate Labrador Retriever is a loving family dog who is social, affectionate, and always eager to experience the world around it.

While the Labrador Retriever makes for an outstanding household companion, it is still a high-energy and athletic breed. Labs are infamously prone to obesity, so regular exercise is a necessity. Along with daily walks and games of fetch, consider involving your Labrador Retriever in canine sports like agility or dock diving. After all, the breed also loves to swim!

5. German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer pointing
Image Credit: Burry van den Brink, Shutterstock

The German Shorthaired Pointer is an adaptive hunting dog who is both incredibly athletic and affectionate. While they are the ideal hunting companion, they are also a great snuggle partner at home. With two variations of brown coat patterns – one being a solid rich brown, the other white with brown spots, the German Shorthaired Pointer is arguably one of the most beautiful pups on our list.

This breed’s energy reserve can seem endless, so regular exercise is a must. While the German Shorthaired Pointer was originally bred for all-day hunting, the breed also enjoys running, swimming, hiking, and participating in a range of canine sports. Thankfully, this dog is remarkably trainable despite its boundless energy.

6. Great Dane

great dane in forest
Image Credit: belu gheorghe, Shutterstock

At their peak, Great Danes tip the scales at an incredible 175 pounds and often tower over their owners while standing on their hind legs. The Great Dane’s coat may be a few different solid shades of brown in addition to a number of other coat patterns. For being such a massive and powerful breed, they only require about 90 minutes of exercise per day. 

However, you should not be fooled by their stature as this breed has fallen into the most fitting of nicknames—the gentle giants. Some of their most endearing qualities include the patience they have with children, their eagerness to please their owners, and of course, an admirable ability to make friends quite easily.

7. English Mastiff

English Mastiff drooling
Image Credit: GoDog Photo, Shutterstock

The English Mastiff is one of the largest canine breeds—reaching an average of nearly 250 pounds in adulthood. There are a limited number of coat colors, mainly fawn or light beige, but are always offset with black facial markings, also referred to as a black mask. 

This breed is the ultimate blend of ideal dog traits! Confident, yet benevolent, courageous while remaining obedient—this docile and powerful canine would make for an excellent family pet. Before adopting, ensure that you have the space to raise such a hardy dog, as they will require a ton of it!

8. Pitbull

pitbull dog lying on a white carpet
Image Credit: Ilona Krijgsman, Pixabay

Occasionally strong-willed, and a little stubborn, the Pitbull is an agile, energetic dog who, with the right owner and training, is a lovely companion. Chocolate brown and beige are solid coat colors you may find for this breed.

One of their most predominant traits would be their determination as they are dedicated individuals and always put their best paw forward in whatever it is they are doing. They are affectionate and may even be quite goofy at times. To their owner, they will always be true and loyal!

9. Leonberger

Leonberger | Image Credit By: sesheta, Pixabay

This breed appears to be a wonderfully magical combination of a lion and a canine. Their long tufts of neck fur and broad stance resemble that of a jungle cat. Even their coloring is quite comparable! Although their appearance has them looking a little wild, they have one of the sweetest treatments a dog could possess. So much so, that the Leonberger is considered an excellent therapy dog as a result of their nurturing and docile personality. 

As with most large breeds, early socialization and training will ensure your Lion Dog matures into a devoted support system for children and other pets.

10. Cane Corso

cane corso chewing its toy
Image Credit: Pixabay

There is no reason to be intimated by the Cane Corso’s intense appearance, as this breed is capable of being an ideal dog for a family with children and other pets. Early socialization and obedience training will be the difference in their personality as they grow. Their appearance is considered one of their defenses and is used to ward off intruders or potential threats. 

Their short sleek coat may be a variation of beige or rich chocolate color. If you are in search of a family guard dog, this may just be the breed for you.

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Small Brown Dog Breeds:

11. Maltese

brown maltese
Image Credit: PEAKPX

The first of our little brown dogs are known for their long, straight, and desirably perfect coats. Daily brushing and regular grooming are necessary to ensure their locks stay free of tangles and mats. You would think with such a luscious coat, this breed would have an issue with excess hair, but are in fact, are low shedding breed. 

This toy breed is sweet-natured, incredibly charming, and playful. With a few treats in hand, the Maltese is an eager learner and is quick to show off their tricks. Because of their small size, they have tendencies to be a bit snappy with children so they may not be the ideal family pet.

12. Chihuahua

Chihuahua yawning
Image credit: elbambolo bambolina, Public Domain Pictures

This boisterous terrier-like dog is among the smallest of breeds in the world. Both long and short-haired Chihuahuas are fairly common pets and a few in each litter are sure to have a striking brown coat. 

They will be the first to let you know when there is a threat approaching. This is a result of their alert and courageous personalities—Chihuahuas are instinctual protectors. With appropriate training, they can be excellent pets for families and are able to thrive in both apartment and home environments as they need very little space to get adequate exercise.

13. Pomeranian

tan pomeranian in the bed
Image Credit: Nick Stafford, Pixabay

This remarkable breed is quite recognizable—their fluffy bodies and teddy bear faces make them nearly impossible to mistake. Rarely will you see a pomeranian without some variation of a solid brown coat. 

The only thing that would outshine their adorable appearance is their lively personality and infectious energy. This affectionate breed thrives off of constant interaction and prefers to never be alone. A Pomeranian is would be considered a wonderful family pet for those who have a lot of time to spend with them regularly.

14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on grass
Image Credit: ErikaWittlieb, Pixabay

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is arguably the most popular of the Spaniel breeds. Toting wavy luscious locks, usually of the chestnut-colored variety, floppy ears, and the sweetest puppy pout, they represent true elegance. 

These Spaniels are ideal for those who love a graceful lap dog who doesn’t mind a bit of barking. In addition to their trusting nature, this sporting breed is well-rounded and easygoing. Keen on playtime, and generally fairly docile, Cavalier King Cocker Spaniels would be a great member of any family.

15. French Bulldog

Dark Fawn French Bulldog lying down
Image credit: Paul Brennan, Public Domain Pictures

Sporting a muscular, compact body, bat-like ears, and a flat face, the French Bulldog is a hardy and simply precious breed. If having a gorgeous brunette coat wasn’t lovely enough, this bright dog is often also blessed with striking eye color. 

The French Bulldog is very social—they love interacting with other pets. In fact, this easygoing breed will be popular among other dogs at the dog park. They are great with children and may just be the missing link your family needs!

16. Dachshund

dachshund licking
Image Credit: Pixabay

Lovingly known as the “wiener dog,” the Dachshund is a stout, long-bodied breed with sweet eyes and a bold personality. As a fitting member of the Hound group, the Dachshund also tends to display a strong prey drive and willful streak. This breed comes in a range of coat textures and colors, but shades of brown are the most common.

Despite its size, the Dachshund can be fearless to a fault. It makes an excellent watchdog, alerting its owners and intruders with a bark that sounds like it belongs to a much larger dog. While the breed’s personality is bold and constantly alert, it only requires moderate exercise. Daily walks and running around the house will keep the average Dachshund happy and healthy.

17. Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier
Image Credit: Pavel Shlykov, Shutterstock

This breed has an active prey drive as they were originally bred as hunters! Scottish Terriers are a quirky independent breed who do not require a great deal of attention. Their wiry dense coat may not truly make them a brown dog breed but it does appear rich and earth-toned. 

Scottish Terriers are naturally wary breed, and strangers will have to be consistent if they want to gain the love and affection of them. Their owners, on the other hand, will have no issues feeling the love of this inquisitive breed.

18. Shih Tzu

shih tzu brown
Image Credit: Steshka Willems, Pexels

The Shih Tzu has one of the softest coats a pup can have! Although their fur can be many colors, brown Shih Tzus are some of the most common. As they grow, the color of their fur will often change so if you choose one of these pups, base your decision on their personality rather than their coat color. 

These happy-go-lucky cute brown dogs are known for their perky and friendly personalities. They tend to get along with almost everyone—dogs and humans of all ages!

19. Labradoodle

Image Credit: litthouse, Pixabay

This incredible breed is a cross between the reliable labrador and the elegant poodle. As you might have guessed, the Labradoodle has a thick, textured coat that often appears curly. Just like their parents, this breed loves the outdoors and has a knack for swimming. 

Another great quality about this breed is that they have inherited all of the wonderful things both the poodle and labrador have to offer. They are calm and graceful, energetic, and gentle. There may not be a better breed more perfect for an active and fun-loving family!

20. Affenpinscher

Cute small affenpinscher dog breed on a leash, GermanyImage Credit: Blick, Shutterstock

Nicknamed the Monkey Terrier after its distinct facial features, the Affenpinscher has a wiry brown coat and stout little body. As you might have hinted from their name, this breed originated in Germany and was bred for rodent hunting. 

Known for being quite amusing, the Affenpinscher makes for a great companion. They are curious and extremely loyal to their loving owners. This shaggy breed has also been compared to a few of the characters in Star Wars—can you guess who?

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Whether you are looking to adopt a loving companion for your family, a loyal hunting partner, an athletic mate, or a supportive confidant, there is sure to be a brown dog breed that meets your canine criteria. 

Of course, we always recommend prioritizing your new pup’s personality and exercise needs over their appearance. You may have your heart set on a brown dog for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean any of these breeds are guaranteed to fit your lifestyle.

While the dog breeds we mentioned almost always possess a brown coat, keep in mind that many other breeds also have the genetics for brown fur. It might just take a bit more time to find the perfect big, fluffy, or little brown dog for your home!

Featured Image Credit: Carlos Castilla, Pexels

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