Several of the most popular dog breeds, including German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dachshunds, and Doberman Pinschers, have something in common: black and brown fur.
There’s no denying that black and brown dog breeds are adorable. Their coats have that sweet, swirled look, and there are tons of great naming options for these bicolored canines (think: Sahara, Rolo and Guinness).
Black and Brown Dogs: Are They Rare?
There are big black and brown dog breeds, small black and brown dog breeds, black and brown dog breeds with long hair and black and brown dog breeds with short hair.
“Black and brown is a fairly common color mix for dogs,” says Marissa Sunny, supervisor of lifesaving and care for Best Friends Animal Society.
13 Black and Brown Dog Breeds
If you’re looking to add a dog breed with black and brown fur to your family, consider one of these 13 breeds.
- Airedale Terrier
- Australian Kelpie
- Belgian Malinois
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Manchester Toy Terrier
- Miniature Pinscher
The breed has been dubbed “The King of Terriers” due to their skills as an athlete, hunter and companion. Bred in England in the 1800s, Airedale Terriers started as duck hunters and later served alongside the British Armed Forces in World War I. These dogs have also been used for herding, guarding and search and rescue.
The short-to medium-length wiry black and tan coats are one of the hallmark features of the Airedale Terrier.
Prized for their tireless work ethic, stamina and skill, Australian Kelpies were bred to herd sheep over vast expanses of land, navigating rugged terrain and working in extreme heat. The breed retains their skills as shepherds and is an excellent companion for active families.
“The Australian Kelpie is an amazing herding dog with almost endless energy,” says Sunny.
Australian Kelpies are medium-sized dogs weighing between 35 and 50 pounds and have short, smooth coats in various colors, including black, chocolate, fawn and red and black and tan.
The French breed, also known as Berger de Beauce or Bas Rouge, dates back to the 19th Century when used as a herding dog, protector and fearless companion. It wasn’t recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club until 2007.
“Beaucerons are extremely loving and protective,” says Sunny. “They are high energy and bond closely to their people.”
The Beauceron could be mistaken for a German Shepherd mix based on their looks. These energetic dogs weigh between 70 to 110 pounds, and their short, smooth black and tan (or black and rust or gray, black and tan) coats often shed, requiring regular grooming.
Named for the region in Malines, Belgium, where the breed was developed, the Belgian Malinois looks a lot like the German Shepherd thanks, in part, to its long, coarse, black and tan coat. Belgian Malinois have longer legs and a more delicate build.
Like the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is also a working dog breed that requires lots of exercise and training and has strong protective instincts. The breed excels in police and military units.
“They benefit from lots of exercise and a tight-knit family that they can bond with,” Sunny says.
The Chihuahua got its moniker from the Mexican state of the same name. It is believed to be among the oldest breeds in the Americas. The Techichi, a larger, heavier ancestor of the breed, has origins dating back to the 12th century.
Chihuahuas have two coat types (long and smooth) and multiple coat colors, from cream and fawn to black and tan.
It’s a breed known for their sassy demeanor, and Sunny says, “Chihuahuas have big personalities and do best with families who will take the time to understand their body language.”
Coonhounds got their name for their skill in hunting raccoons. These are lean, agile hunting dogs with the speed and athleticism to chase down their prey.
“[Coonhounds] are sociable dogs with a sensitive nose and strong prey drive,” says American Kennel Club executive secretary Gina DiNardo. “They are moderately active and do well with long walks or play sessions in a sturdy fenced-in yard.”
Coonhounds have long ears and high-pitched barks; their medium-length coats come in several colors, including black and tan.
Doxies are small dogs with big personalities. The breed is known for being curious, affectionate and stubborn and thanks to their frequent barking, Dachshunds also make good watchdogs.
“Grooming requirements vary with the coat types,” DiNardo says. “Smooth coats are basically wash and wear, longhaired coats require more brushing and wirehaired coats need to be plucked or hand-stripped a few times a year.”
The short-statured breed, which originated in Germany, comes in two sizes (miniature and standard), three coat types (smooth, wire and longhaired) and multiple coat colors, including black and tan.
DiNardo describes the Doberman as a working breed known for its endurance, speed and intelligence.
“Dobermans are fabulous working partners and devoted companions,” she adds. “They are courageous, trustworthy, loyal and protective of their people.”
Dobermans are imposing dogs with sleek black and tan coats. The breed was developed in Germany as a protector and fast became a working dog that excelled in military and police K9 units. These high-energy dogs are playful, affectionate, active, and eager to please at home.
These working dogs are among the oldest German dog breeds. Bred as “ratters” that chased and killed rats, German Pinschers still have the lean, energetic builds of hunters but prefer to stalk squeak toys.
“The German Pinscher is a multipurpose working dog with a protective instinct; they are independent, determined and have a strong prey drive,” says DiNardo. “At home, they are loyal, affectionate and playful companions.”
German Pinschers are medium-sized dogs weighing between 25 and 45 pounds with smooth black and tan (or blue, red or fawn) coats.
Although German Shepherds are best known as working dogs that use their speed and smarts to work alongside police and the military, the breed started as herding dogs that helped German farmers keep their livestock corralled.
German Shepherds are energetic and trainable; the breed is affectionate with their families but standoffish with strangers and makes an excellent guard dog. These large dogs can weigh up to 90 pounds, and their long, coarse black and tan coats need regular grooming.
Manchester Toy Terrier
The breed was developed from a cross between Whippets and black and tan terriers to create a small dog capable of hunting rabbits and killing rats. Initially, the Manchester Terrier was a “standard” sized breed that weighed up to 22 pounds, but a miniature version was developed and has remained popular.
Manchester Toy Terriers stand fewer than 12 inches tall and weigh under 12 pounds. Their sleek black and tan coats are a hallmark of the breed.
Although “Min Pins” look like small Doberman Pinschers, complete with sleek black and tan coats, the breeds aren’t related. Instead, Miniature Pinschers, who weigh under 10 pounds, are believed to be descendants of Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds.
They are energetic, playful and affectionate but are still known for their protective instincts, making them excellent pint-sized watchdogs.
“Min Pins are often more confident than the average ‘toy’ breed,” says Sunny. “They love to play and can be good family dogs.”
Rotties are known as loyal, confident guardians. These black and tan beauties weigh between 80 and 135 pounds. While Rottweilers are imposing and wary of strangers, making them good guard dogs, they are also playful, affectionate with their families and good with children.
DiNardo describes Rottweilers as natural-born guardians that are “strong, calm, confident, loyal and protective of their families” and “silly, playful and affectionate at home.”