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While many dogs typically look like 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 Fla. "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.
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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."
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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
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The popular Cardigan Welsh corgi is perhaps as recognizable from behind as she is from her friendly face and perky ears up front. Are you even a dog lover if you haven't stared adoringly at a cute bread-loaf-like corgi butt?
Adorable bottoms aside, 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.
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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 in the top 20 most popular dog breeds in America, according to the American Kennel Club, with the French bulldog taking the number two spot behind only the Labrador retriever.
"French bulldogs make great companions given their small stature and agreeable nature," Woodman says.
Fit for loving families, the friendly French bulldog has an easy temperament well-suited for first-time dog owners and/or apartment dwellers.
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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.
Jim Craigmyle / Getty Great Dane puppies grow fast during the first couple years of life. So to protect his developing bones, don't start regularly exercising your puppy until he's at least 18 months old.
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 pets 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."
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"Bred for hunting, this dog is not suitable for the inexperienced dog owner," Woodman says. He recommends that 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.
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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!