What Are Brindle & Grizzle Markings?

by Ann Compton
Grizzle coloring blends two different hair colors.

Grizzle coloring blends two different hair colors.

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Brindle and grizzle are two distinct color patterns that are found in some dog breeds. A dog's color can be very important for conformation showing. Depending on the breed, some colors are not allowed in the show ring. Check the standard for your breed to determine what colors are eligible if you plan to show your dog.

Brindle Markings

Brindle is a very distinct color pattern that appears as stripes on the dog's body. The pattern may be bold or muted, depending on the dog's basic color. It is seen on the black, tan or brown area of a dog's coat. Stripes are usually black, but can be brown or lighter shades in reverse brindle coloring. On some dogs, the stripes are narrow and even, as they would appear on a tiger. In others, the stripes may be muted and blend into the overall coat color. Brindle coloring may be seen on pit bulls, bulldogs, bull terriers, Cardigan Welsh corgis, Great Danes, mastiffs, Boston terriers, dachshunds and several other breeds.

Grizzle Color

Grizzle is a color pattern that appears as mixed hair on the dog with no discernible pattern. The color appears blended together, making it look like just one color until you examine it closely. Grizzle coloring may mix black hair with some tan or brown hairs, or white with black, making it appear grey.

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About the Author

With more than 25 years in journalism, Ann Compton has written for national newspapers, magazines and websites. She has covered the equestrian events in five Olympics as well as the Westminster Dog Show and specializes in animal topics. She breeds, trains and shows Shetland Sheepdogs.

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