Brindle refers to a color pattern consisting of black stripes on a tan body. Dogs with this coloration come in all sizes and coat lengths, and brindle is often only one of several possible colors for the breed. You can’t always determine the final color of a young dog since some breeds, such as the Kai Ken, change slowly over a period of years and don’t get their final brindling until they are adults.
Common Brindle Breeds
One of the better-known large brindle dogs is the 70-pound boxer, whose basic coloring is often accompanied by white markings on the chest and feet. Even bigger than the boxer is the solid and square bullmastiff, weighing in at 130 pounds and standing over 2 feet tall at the shoulder. Bigger still is the Great Dane, typically standing about 30 inches tall and weighing as much as 200 pounds. This huge dog comes in several solid colors, including black and fawn, as well as the unusual black and white harlequin pattern and brindle, with or without white markings.
Not all large brindle dogs are purebred. Often a brindle dog will have mixed parentage and may get his color from his father, his mother or both. Even if the dog is big, his brindle parent may actually be one of the small- to medium-sized breeds that carries the brindle color, such as the bulldog or the pit bull terrier. This can produce a unique appearance and a dog whose ancestry can’t quite be determined.