Brindles are dogs of a different color. Because brindling mixes black hairs in areas of lighter color -- usually brown or fawn -- brindle-colored dogs look a bit like canine tigers. There's also reverse brindling, in which the black coloration overwhelms the brown, so the dog's coat appears black with brown striping.
Dogs must inherit the recessive brindle gene to display brindle coloration. The gene might cause the dog to have an overall brindled coat or just brindled points. Sometimes, brindling is not that noticeable, especially in breeds with wiry or long hair.
American Kennel Club registered breeds with brindle acceptable in their breed standard include the Akita, American Staffordshire terrier, basenji, Bouvier des Flandres, bulldog, boxer, Cardigan Welsh corgi, dachshund, Great Dane, Glen of Imaal terrier, Irish wolfhound, Neapolitan mastiff, Skye terrier and whippet. The Scottish deerhound and Afghan hound might appear as silver brindles, or silver stripes on a light base color.
For the treeing Tennessee brindle, the coat color is part of the breed standard. Not officially recognized by the AKC, the breed is recorded in the organization's foundation stock service for developing breeds. Treeing Tennessee brindles originated in the American South, with a breed association formed in 1967. Related to coonhounds, this breed trees various sorts of game.
- Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images