Brindle Dog Names: The Ultimate List of Great Names for that New Pup

Brindle Dog Names  by Janice Jones   |Published 12-7-2022

Are you adopting a brindle colored dog and want a great name based on that unique coloration? It’s not unusual to name a dog based on the color of his hair but brindle names are a bit harder to imagine. We’ve got a few for you to investigate but first, what is brindle?

Brindle Dog Names:  One adult and one puppy Shih Tzu, both are brindle

What is the Brindle Color?

Brindle dogs have a unique pattern of striping that can range from very dark, to red, to tan colored and is common in many different dog breeds.

Small Dogs That Can Be Brindle

You probably think of the bulldog or greyhound when brindle comes to mind, but there are many small breed dogs that can also be brindle.

  • French Bulldogs
  • Shih Tzu
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Basenji
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Dachshund both long and short-haired
  • Chihuahua
  • Havanese
A brindle and white Basenji in front of a white backgroundBrindle and White Basenji

Of course, small dogs are not the only breeds that can have that unique genetic makeup that causes their hair to be brindle.

  • Boxer
  • Greyhound
  • Whippet
  • Dutch Shepherd
  • Great Dane
  • Akita
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Cane Corso
  • Bullmastiff
  • Bull Terrier
  • Plott Hound
A brindle and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi in front of a white backgroundBrindle and White Cardigan Welsh Corgi

How Does Brindle Affect Personality and Health?

There is no need to worry if brindle dogs are healthy. They are no more or no less healthy than any other colored dog. The same is true of personality.

There does not seem to be any correlation between personality traits and the genetics that creates brindling.

The Color Brindle In the Animal Kingdom

Since brindle is a coat color, the only creatures in the animal kingdom that can have the genes necessary for the brindle color are mammals.

Dogs are not the only mammals with brindle colors in their fur. This color is also seen in cats, rabbits, cattle and horses, even guinea pigs. There is also a brindle-colored Blue Wildebeest.

Brindle Dog Names Based on the Brindle Appearance

A brindle chihuahua in front of a white backgroundBrindle Chihuahua

Look up brindle, and you’re likely to see words such as dappled, streaked, or mottled. Let’s turn them into dog names.

Buckskin – a coat color of horses which resembles shades of tanned deerskin.

Camo – As in camouflage 

Dappler – Like Dapple,

Dot – Cute dog name but also good for a brindle puppy

Fleck - Does your brindle dog have flecks of color in her hair?

Flecker – Some brindles look like they have flecks of color

Freckles – Some brindle patterns look like long freckles. way.

Heather – type of fiber that that blends many colors to create a unique coloration

Marble – The pattern also has a marbled effect.

Mosaic – A technique that uses tiny spots or dots to create a whole image

Motley – Also means multicolored, dappled, or piebald;

Mutter - (from Mottled)

Patches – One way to look at the brindle color

Pebbles – The brindle pattern can also look a bit like pebbles. (How cute is this name?)

Pinto – as in a Pinto horse; They are not brindle colored but do have more than one colored patches on their hair. Pinto beans have a striped appearance.

Pixel – From technology, adding individual dots of color to create a whole image

Speckler as in Speckled

Streaker – Similar to Streaked appearance

Brindle Dog Names Based on the Colors Involved

A brindle and white French Bulldog in front of a white backgroundBrindle French Bulldog

Ash - For light brown brindles

Charcoal - When the Brindle color is very dark

Cordovan – very deep red

Flame – When the coat is a rich red brindle

Hickory – works great when there are noticeable brown tones in the coat

Inky – Many brindle coats are very dark with black the predominant color.

Lava – Some brindles are so dark that it’s difficult to see other colors within the coat

Peat – Great name for a dark brindle dog: 

Russet – a good name for a red or light brown brindle dog

Sienna – lighter brown

Slate – Another good name when the brindle is very dark

Smoke – Sometimes the black may appear lighter and greyer as in smoke

Smoke- When there are dark grey or black tones

Storm or Stormy – when there are grey tones in the coat

Tawny – Meaning an orange, brown color which is typical of some brindle dogs

Walnut – When brown shows through the dark streaks, Walnut might be the name you choose

More Great Black Dog Names

More Red Dog Names

More Brown Dog Names

More Blue or Grey Dog Names

Even More Ideas:  Brindle Dog Names

Jack –the bulldog featured in the Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Jack was brindle.

Maru - a tabby from Japan; and once held the Guinness World Record for the most-watched animal on YouTube

Morris – as in Morris the Cat; that orange tabby who was the mascot for 9 Lives Cat Food in 1969. - an orange tabby who began appearing as an advertising mascot for 9Lives cat food in 1969.

Ocelot – a wild cat with similar brindle colorations

Ocicat - a breed of cats that have similar colorations as brindle

Okapis – striped mammal belonging to the Giraffe family with stripes that resemble brindling

Orangey - an orange tabby who starred in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany's, He had a type of brindle coat.

Tabby – a term used to describe a cat color that was originally referred to as a striped silk taffeta. It also resembles the brindle color in dogs.

Tiger – the stripes on a tiger could be considered one type of brindling.

Tortoise - Think of the beautiful coloration on a turtle’s shell. Also a great name for a slow dog.

Rules for Choosing a Dog Name

Brindle colored young Shih Tzu puppyBrindle Shih Tzu Puppy

It is so much fun naming your new dog, but keep these tips in mind for the best name for your new puppy.

  • Keep it fairly short:  No more than three syllables
  • Don't choose a name that you might use as a command.
  • Don't name your dog after a family member - it could get confusing.
  • It's fun to have nicknames, but your dog will learn best and quick if you use the same name repeatedly. 

What Causes the Brindle Color?

This next part is for all you geeks out there who are curious about the genetics behind the brindle color. Warning, it’s a bit more complicated than your high school biology version of genetics.

In many breeds, brindling usually appears as black stripes on a lighter orange-red background. Think tiger stripes.
Another type is when the background is darker and the lighter color shows up on top. Other breeds show up as a more grey or blue looking color.

Sometimes a brindle dog coat color with black pigment can appear with silver-like stripes on a creamy background.

There are three K locus
• KB: dominant black
• kbr: brindle
• ky: non-solid black – allows A locus to be expressed

In order from most dominant is KB > kbr >ky
The KB allele is dominant over the other two alleles and produces solid black color. kbr produces the brindle color pattern and is dominant over the ky allele. This means that dogs with the genotype kbrkbr or kbrky will have the brindle color pattern. Dogs with the genotype kyky are yellow in color.

But, the extent of brindling also depends on the A locus which will affect the appearance of the brindle. Remember all brindle colors are not the same.

Brindle plus AyAy (sable) - dog will be solid brindle

Brindle plus atat (tan points) - dog will be black (or liver/blue/isabella) with brindle points

Brindle + awaw (agouti/wolf grey) - effect on dog is unclear as these genes rarely occur together, but the brindle would likely appear broken and patchy

Brindle + aa (recessive black) - dog will be solid black, liver, blue or isabella (recessive black does not allow the production of phaeomelanin in the coat)

If the A locus is aa (recessive black), the dog will appear solid black but will still be able to produce brindle-colored pups.

Brindle Dog Names:  Pin for Future Reference

Brindle Dog Names Pin Image Showing two brindle puppies

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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