The brindle pattern is an unusual pattern found in the coat of many wild animals, including dogs, cats, and horses, among others. Unusual patterns are rare: in fact, they are the result of inheritance, mutations, and marks. Dogs with special coats are often seen as extremely rare beings. However, this does not seem to be the case with brindle dogs. Everything you ever wanted to know about brindle dogs, answered in this article. Let’s go.
Answered: Why Are Brindle Dogs Unpopular?
A color combination of dark shades that some people associate with strangeness, poor public awareness of the pattern itself, possible challenges to prolong the brindle lineage, as well as high costs to buy a brindle dog contribute to a subpar reputation. However, brindle dogs are sturdy, and their traits get recognized by the AKC.
Reasons Why Brindle Dogs Are Unpopular
Brindle dogs are healthy and resilient dogs. They do not require more financial upkeep than other breeds. All reasons why brindle dogs are considered unpopular come down to our perception and misinformation on the internet. Let’s debunk and look at the facts.
Natural Association With Danger
The first and obvious answer is that the coat pattern of brindle dogs may evoke anxious feelings in people. In nature, some patterns are meant to represent danger or possible threat. Think of predators such as tigers or bees. They have a clearly demarcated pattern of bright and dark shades. This color combination is one reason why people may not consider a brindle dog as their first choice.
Misconceptions About Health & Behavior
A brindle pattern can appear in numerous dog breeds ranging from large to small (refer to our extensive list below). Some sites we have found while researching attempt to derive the dislike of brindle dogs from features such as bad health or bad behavior with other blogs online seem to unanimously copying this issue. We must state that this is simply not true.
Breeding is a complex topic on its own and there will always be a chance that a dog will pass on a potentially inferior gene. There is simply not enough evidence that brindle dogs are inferior to purebred dogs. Even evidence on sturdiness between mixed and purebred dogs are inconclusive.
More Difficult To Maintain
While taking care of a brindle dog is not harder than taking care of any other dog, it might get challenging to maintain a lineage. Brindle lovers that want to continue the pattern need to find another brindle dog in order to pass on the tiger-shaped pattern. This is due to the circumstance of inheritance. The ‘brindle gene’ is recessive, which implies that both dog parents need to carry this gene in order to guarantee brindle puppies. However, some brindles may carry a dominant gene, which increases the chance of continuing the pattern.
What Does Brindle Mean?
Brindle refers to the tiger-shaped, bi-coded color pattern of a dog coat. While a brindle pattern may look similar to the one found in the coat of zebras and tigers, the stripes in a brindle pattern are not clearly differentiated. Horizontal stripes in a brindle pattern are generally interlocking and tone-on-tone.
Why Are Dogs Brindle?
Brindle color is the result of genetic inheritance. In genetics, there are recessive (non-dominant) and dominant alleles. You could think of alleles as sheets of paper with information written on them that say what coat color your pup will have.
Some alleles are dominant over others. While the actual process is very complex, you could think of this as text written in bold letters on the sheet. Recessive alleles will have a thinner font thickness. This means that when two alleles compete, the dominant information (trait) will prevail. You basically look at the two sheets, merge their information, and put it on the new sheet, but in one line only. The dominant information comes out on top. That will be the result.
For brindle dogs, the allele responsible for the brindle pattern is recessive to an allele that produces a dominant black or puce coat color. This means that the pattern of your pup’s coat is likely going to be dark. What follows is a dog coat featuring a pattern of black or brown stripes.
On the other hand, the same brindle allele is dominant over an allele that determines a golden to red color shade. This means your pup will have the characteristic golden or tan shades that often comes along with this pattern. As a result, your dog’s coat color will be anywhere between golden and brown.
What Colors Are Brindle?
Brindle colors can be defined in two sets of shades: darker colors from brown to black, and brighter colors from blond to red. Brindle dogs generally have a mix of a darker pattern on an overall brighter coat.
Two pigments determine over a dog’s coat color. The first pigment responsible for the dark shade is called eumelanin. The second pigment pheomelanin determines the color of the code, ranging from blond to red hair. Brindle does not simply mean brown.
The combination of both pigments and the alleles will result in a mixture of brighter coat color with an irregular dark pattern of stripes.
What Dog Breeds Are Brindle?
Typically, brindle coloring is observed in dogs related to mastiffs (e.g. Boxers, Bulldogs, and Great Danes). But also crossbreeds resulting from them often carry on the pattern. Over the past decades, and thanks to breeders (and chance) the list has gotten longer.
The updated list of brindle dog breeds consists of:
- American Bulldog
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Border Collie
- Bull Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Cane Corso
- Cur dogs (United States)
- Dutch Shepherd
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- Great Dane
- Lhasa Apso
- Scottish Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Welsh Corgi
What aggravates an inclusion of further dog breeds to this list is the fact that there is currently no unambiguous way to test for the appearance of a brindle pattern in dogs. That makes it hard to determine whether certain dog breeds can be brindle.
Brindle dogs have gotten an unpopular reputation simply because of their untamed looks. Human perception may associate perilous and weird traits with a brindle pattern. In reality, brindle dogs are family-loving and healthy companions that are not worth any less than their purebred counterparts. When adopting a brindle dog, you will be part of bringing forward this message in order to clear up misunderstandings.
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