Although many people are under the misconception that all brindled dogs are large, bully breeds, in fact brindle comes in all shapes and sizes! From the gigantic Great Dane to the tiny Dachshund, brindled dogs are incredibly popular and are rated among the top breeds on the American Kennel Club’s list.
What Is Brindle?
Brindle is a “tiger stripe” pattern which is highly distinctive. Darker and irregular than the dog’s base coat color, it isn’t known which mutation causes this coat coloring, however some breeds are more predisposed to this coat pattern than others, and those with shorter coats are more prone. If you want a brindled dog to join your family, you’ll almost certainly be looking for a short coated four-legged friend.
If you’re keen to get a furry friend with this beautiful coloration, read on and find out which are the 12 most popular brindled breeds.
1. Boston Terrier
Originating from the USA, this is one of the nation’s most popular breeds. Although most commonly seen in black and white, the brindled type is possibly the most beautiful and is highly prized. Small, with pointy ears and a flat muzzle, this short coated breed is protective and loyal towards its owner, and is also affectionate and intelligent.
Happy indoors thanks to its small size, this cuddly companion is ranked 23rd on the American Kennel Club’s list of top purebreds. Once bred to be a fighting dog, today these little dogs still have a proud stance and a spunky attitude. They can be prone to breathing problems due to their flattened face and don’t cope well with the heat.
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2. Treeing Tennessee
The is a relatively recent breed, having only been recognized during the 1960s. Fairly short and light, this breed is brave and capable, having been bred to hunt down animals and trap them in trees until they are collected by their owner. They also have a highly distinctive bark, an impressive scenting ability and are fast thinkers.
3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffie originates from England and has often had a bad reputation in its native country because of its muscular physique and strong muzzle, however when properly trained and cared for, they are gentle and loyal family pets which show a lot of affection to everyone, even strangers. Unfortunately, they are restricted in some places, so it’s important to check to make sure you are permitted to have one of these dogs before getting one to be your companion.
A medium sized breed originating from Germany, the Boxer has a strong bite and powerful physique, as well as a distinctive squashy face. Brave, affectionate and loyal, they make excellent family pets and are known to be very patient with children. Boxers can be headstrong and stubborn, so need training at an early age to avoid problems.
One of the issues to be aware of with boxers is that they have an exceptionally long puppy stage and are not fully mature until the age of three, which means that they can be difficult to handle while they’re going through their bouncy and exuberant stage.
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5. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Corgi is known for being the Queen of England’s favorite breed, however this Cardigan variety is different from the Pembroke variety of the breed. Bred for herding sheep, they are loyal and playful, and small enough to live in smaller homes.
Similar in size and shape to a fox, they do need plenty of exercise, despite their small size and they excel in agility training. This is an ancient breed, and they’re believed to have been around for thousands of years. They also love their food, so making sure to limit their intake is essential to prevent them from becoming obese.
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Originally bred to hunt small animals, the Dachshund is characterized by its long body and tiny legs. Few dogs have such a distinctive look as the Dachshund, and their small size makes them an ideal choice for those who live in small homes or apartments. The brindled variety is less commonly seen, and only the short coated dogs have this gene.
Playful and surprisingly energetic, the Dachshund can be stubborn and therefore need a lot of training at an early age. They also have a shockingly loud and deep bark for a dog of such a diminutive size and sound like they are twice the size that they really are!
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7. Great Dane
If you have room in your life for an enormous four legged companion, the Great Dane is for you. Their huge size makes them quite intimidating, however they are very passive and easy-going. They are popular with families that have children and as long as they are trained from a young age they make excellent companions.
You will need a lot of space if you’re considering getting a Great Dane, and they certainly won’t suit apartment life, however for anyone that has a large home and a large back yard, they are a great choice and will certainly terrify any burglars!
Another dog that often has a negative reputation, the Akita is best known from a Japanese movie about Hachiko, an Akita that could never forget his owner. This breed was originally used as a guard dog for the Japanese nobility, and they certainly play this role well with their noble appearance and proud stature.
With their long muzzle and muscular legs, these dogs are powerful and intimidating and require a very confident and strong owner to keep them in line and to prevent them from becoming aggressive. Interestingly, Akitas have some feline traits, and will often stalk their prey in the same style as a cat – silently, with their body close to the ground before pouncing.
Originating from Corsica, the Cursinu is a mid to large sized dog which has a pedigree dating back to the 1500s. Having seen a resurgence of popularity during the 20th century, the Cursino is an excellent hunting and herding dog however when socialized and trained properly it is a good family companion. Although the Cursinu originated in the countryside, it can adapt well to city living so long as its owner is prepared to give it all the exercise that it needs to thrive and stave off boredom.
10. Bull Terrier
The bull terrier is characterized by its unique appearance with an egg shaped head and almost flat skull. Part of the terrier group, this dog comes originally from England and has a reputation for being independent and stubborn. Despite their relatively small size they can be hard to handle if their owner isn’t strong and dominant.
However, when loved and properly trained they are not naturally aggressive either towards other animals or humans and are actually very affectionate and fun-loving, being a good choice for families with children. Bull terriers need a lot of exercise to avoid boredom, as otherwise they can be very destructive. Again, some areas have restrictions on ownership of bull terriers, so make sure that you’re allowed to have one of these dogs before you bring one home.
11. American Pit Bull Terrier
Very similar to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the APBT originated in the USA and is part of the terrier and molosser group. With its short coat, it frequently comes in brindled varieties, and it has a powerful and muscular build with a very strong jaw.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has a bad reputation because of a history of acting as attack dogs, and they are even banned from many countries, however when properly trained and socialized from a young age, this a very gentle and loyal breed that is suitable as a family pet. In fact, if you were thinking of getting one as a guard dog, you may need to think again since a properly socialized APBT may even greet strangers with a wagging tail rather than a bark!
12. American Bulldog
The large American Bulldog commonly comes with beautiful brindle patterns. Originating from the USA, American Bulldogs can reach a maximum weight of around 120 pounds and a height of up to 26 inches. Their muscular, stock and powerful build means that their owner needs to be strong and dominant to ensure they are well under control.
Although this is yet another breed that has a bad reputation in the media, in fact this type of dog too can be affectionate and loving as long as it receives the right care, love, socialization and training from an early age. While they make look scary, their personality can be very gently and loving.
If you love a beautiful brindled companion, these 12 dog types should definitely be on your list of breeds to consider. All are short coated and require very little grooming and their striking tiger stripes make them really stand out from the crowd. Whether you are looking for a strong and powerful companion or whether you’d prefer a smaller pet to join your family, there is sure to be a dog on this list of the top twelve favorites to suit you.