Why Are Brindle Dogs Unpopular? Changing The Perspective

Dogs are differentiated by their breeds and traits. The many different colors make it easy for owners to choose exactly the color of dog they want. However, one coat color is deemed unwanted by most dog owners. So why are brindle dogs unpopular?

Brindle dogs are unpopular due to misconceptions about their behavior and appearance. Their coat is unusual and many people dislike the way they look. But there are reasons why these dogs can be great members of the family.

What causes the brindle coat pattern?

The brindle coat is described as a blend of dark streaks or stripes on a lighter background, resembling tiger stripes. It’s a result of two pigments called eumelanin and pheomelanin. The first one is responsible for black or brown colors and causes the stripes. The second one is a red and yellow pigment causing the base.

The reason for this coat is genetic, with the gene responsible finding itself on the K-locus. This gene is dominant in some cases, meaning that only one is needed to cause the dog coat pattern in the offspring. The base color is determined by other genes, so you can find the base of the coat in different colors. When the gene is recessive, both parents need to transfer it to their pup so it inherits it. A site on Dog Coat Colour Genetics explains these complicated genetics like this:

There are three K locus alleles – KB (dominant black), kbr (brindle) and ky (non-solid black – allows A locus to be expressed). KB is the top dominant and ky is the bottom recessive. kbr sits between the two. It is entirely dominated by KB (so just one KB allele will stop brindle from being expressed), but is dominant over ky, so a brindle dog can have the genotype kbrkbr or kbrky.

Which dog breeds exhibit brindle coat patterns?

There are some unpopular brindle dogs that are often known to be discriminated against due to their color. The Boxer is one example of this. People often mistake this breed for being aggressive when it’s a really loving and hardworking dog.

“Although boxers are not typically an aggressive breed, their enthusiasm and forwardness can escalate into reactive behavior or can trigger undesired responses from other dogs who do not understand them. Boxers are strong, can be stubborn, and can pull hard on their leash if they want something!”, says the NorCal Boxer Rescue.

The same can be said for dogs like the Greyhound and all breeds of the Mastiff family. Other notable breeds include Bulldogs, Great Danes, and Dutch Shepherds.

Why do people dislike brindle dogs?

A few reasons are responsible for the fact that these dogs are not as liked as other dogs with different colors. This makes the dog adoption trends for brindle dogs low.

Association with aggression

One main misconception about breeds that inherit this coat color is that they are aggressive toward people and other animals. People might feel anxious if they encounter these dogs and avoid them.

However, aggressive dogs become such due to factors like their genetics and health. The way the dog grew up and early socialization are some of the main reasons for this behavior. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals explains that:

When a dog uses aggression it is almost invariably because it thinks that it is under some form of threat. For example, the threat could be to its personal safety, to take away something (or someone) it values highly, or by preventing it from doing something it really wants to do, which causes frustration.

Presence of health issues

Another reason for the unpopularity of brindle dogs is that many people think these dogs are unhealthy. They say that these dogs inherit bad genes and thus are more prone to developing skin issues and allergies. Some even go as far as saying that these dogs can develop cancer more often than other-colored dogs.

All of this is of course, untrue. Health problems can appear in all dogs and depend on many other factors.

Difficult to maintain the lineage

An interesting reason why breeders don’t breed these dogs a lot is because they are simply difficult to breed. Namely, this coat color is often the result of a recessive gene. This gene needs to be transferred by both parents to the new offspring in order to happen again. And this is not an easy feat. Instead, breeders will choose other dogs to breed.

These dogs are quite rare

Due to the lack of popularity in brindle breeds, these dogs are not as easy to find as other dogs are. The fact that breeders tend to avoid them only increases this issue.

Because they are hard to find, their prices tend to also get higher. It is often found that rare coat colors get dramatically higher than common ones. Such is the case of the Phantom Poodle for example.

Presence in social media and pop culture

Some people are not aware that this type of coat exists because it is not represented enough in the media. If they do appear, they are more likely to be presented as negative characters than positive. Their coat is seen as “dirty and not aesthetic” compared to other coat colors.

Compared to them, dogs like the Malshipoo are popular dog breeds simply because they often appear in pictures online as pets of famous people.

How can we promote the adoption of brindle dogs?

Knowing the reasons for brindle dogs’ unpopularity can make it somewhat easier to know where we need to act to help these dogs.

Educating the masses

In order for people to decide to get one of these dogs, they first need to learn that the misconceptions are not true. This can be done by sharing positive stories on brindle dogs on the internet and social media. Writing educational texts that explain what the color means is of high value. Our article also takes part in this mission.

Celebrating the visual appeal of these dogs

Posting nice photos of these dogs will catch the interest of some people who want unique dog breeds. Organizing best picture contests can be a step in motivating owners to showcase their brindle pups. Themed photoshoots and videos that show how beautiful and nice these dogs can be can shift the opinion of people.

Increasing the adoption of brindle dogs

In order to increase the adoption of the underrated brindle dogs, advertising certain rescue organizations can help. Animal rescue shelters that specialize in rescuing and housing brindle dogs are such. Also, encouraging adoption over buying from breeders can help reduce the genetic complexities and increase their popularity.

Brindle dog laying on a bed

So why are brindle dogs unpopular?

The beautiful brindle-coated dogs are often ignored by the masses. Their rare genetic traits make their coats look unique and differ from other dogs. Even though this makes them interesting, many people create negative perceptions about them.

Some believe that the color of their coat predisposes them to becoming aggressive. Some say that certain health issues are more likely to affect these dogs. People often avoid these dogs due to these misconceptions, making them rare to see in public.

Instead of making these stereotypes and avoiding the dogs, we should celebrate their beauty and uniqueness. Advertising the dogs on social media and creating fun events around them can help a lot in this cause.


What are some rescue organizations that specialize in brindle dogs?

One such organization we could find is the Brindle Posse Rescue, which has its own site. An organization called Bring Home the Brindle Dog Rescue does its work on Facebook. You can look for more of these online.

Are brindle dogs good with children?

Most people would be hesitant to leave their children around these dogs because they assume they are aggressive. However, dogs that have been socialized properly will act nice around kids. Supervision is still needed in these situations.

Can brindle dogs be hypoallergenic?

One of the reasons why are brindle dogs unpopular is the misconception that they shed a lot. However, this is not true. The dog’s shedding does not depend on the color of the coat, but rather its type.

What are the alternatives to adopting a brindle dog?

If you decide to choose a unique dog, there are other options. For example, the Agouti Husky is an example of a dog with a wolf-like coat color. Merle and Harlequin are other really rare dog colors. Solid-color dogs are also some of the rarest ones.

More dog breed resources

Here are a few other resources that introduce other dog breeds you may be interested in or haven’t heard of yet.

You can find a lot more information on other dog breeds on our site Dogisa!

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