Black and Brown Dogs

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 02/08/22 •  14 min read
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Black and Brown Dogs

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Did you know that black and brown is the color combination most often found in dogs? It’s no wonder when you consider that wild canines lived in places where these colors would act as camouflage! Today, our domesticated canine friends no longer have to live in the wild, but the color combination of black and brown still reigns supreme!

Many people believe the color black somehow indicates a dog’s temperament and other aspects. However, is that true? Are black and brown dogs different in some way from other canines?

We’ll take a look at these questions and then share a list of black and brown dogs! Let’s get started!

What is a Black and Brown Dog?

A black and brown dog is a canine who has black and brown coloring. Some black and brown dogs have more black coloring, while others may have more brown-colored fur. It all comes down to genetics.

What Causes a Dog to Be Black and Brown?

Scientists have done many studies on this very question. The answer is that the black and brown colors are really determined by genes. The genes that determine a dog’s coat color are black and red. A dog inherits the DNA for these two colors from his parents.

What’s amazing is that even with proper breeding practices, dog breeds that are black and brown all come from the red and black genes! No matter how the colors fall out across a dog’s body. From head to tail, a dog’s coat coloring is determined by the genes that determine black and red. How interesting is that?

Does a Dog’s Color Determine His Temperament & Health?

For centuries, people have thought that a dog’s color indicated his health and temperament. And it’s not just in dogs; people also have long believed that black cats were bad luck or evil. Black dogs were thought to be a harbinger of death. Some have also had the mistaken belief that black animals are more aggressive. But is all of this true?

Well, we have to say from our own experience that black animals are no more aggressive than other animals. Being pet parents to a gerbil clan, we’ve actually found that silver or grey gerbils can be more aggressive than other colors! Our black gerbils have all been quite sweet-natured! But, what about dogs?

Studies have not been able to show that black or black and brown dogs are more aggressive than other dogs. But the myths are still passed down, which is very unfortunate. There’s no reason to believe that black dogs (or other animals) are aggressive, bad, or even unlucky. The problem is with us, the humans.

We perpetuate the myths about black animals, which is at the heart of the problem. Black animals are just a different color, that’s all. They can be some of the most loving companions, too! They also deserve fur ever homes and families that will love them all their lives.

Remember the black and tan coloring in a dog, even if the dog is mostly black, is all determined by genetics. The dog’s parents pass down the DNA that makes their puppies a certain color. Of course, if the parents are aggressive or have other unwanted traits, these could also be passed down through genetics. But the genetics that determine coat color do not determine a dog’s temperament or health.

Black and brown dogs are the most common; however, they come in a broad range of sizes, color patterns, fur type, and more! You’ll be amazed when you see our list of black and brown dogs and the many different canine varieties in this list!

Big Black and Brown Dogs

Here’s our list of big black and brown dogs!

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd are among the most popular dogs in the world. These strong, loyal, intelligent dogs are known for their extraordinary intelligence and incredible strength. German Shepherds have an elongated head and a thick, muscular neck. Their coat is black with brown patches on their head, legs, and tail. These dogs have a reputation for being highly protective of their owners and are known to be aggressive towards strangers. These dogs are often found in military units and are often used as police dogs.

Great Dane

Great Danes are one of the largest dogs around! They’re beautiful and elegant dogs, which stand about 32 inches at the shoulder. That’s a big dog!

These dogs are very protective and ensure the security of their home and family. However, they can also be quite friendly. And they definitely want to please their humans!

Great Danes can sport different colors in their coats, including black and brown. For instance, some Great Danes are a fawn (brown/gold) color, with a black muzzle. Others sport a brindled brownish coat with black stripes and a black mask (face).

Great Danes have an average life expectancy between 7-10 years and weigh between 110-175 lbs.

Black and Brown Coonhound

Black and brown coonhounds are another large dog breed with these amazing colors! These dogs are extremely athletic and agile. These qualities are needed as the dogs are used as hunters. While they may enjoy the hunt, Coonhounds love to be at home with their family. There, the dogs are relaxed and calm, soaking up all the love from their humans.

Black and brown Coonhounds have some of the best noses around; they’re on par with the nose of a Beagle (one of the best canine noses of all!). This is what makes the dogs such wonderful trackers.

Coonhounds stand between 23-27 inches tall and weigh between 75 to 100 lbs. They have an average life expectancy of 10-12 years.

Dutch Shepherd

Dutch Shepherds come in different colors, including black and brown brindle (one of the breed’s official colors). These dogs are extremely athletic, alert, and intelligent. The dogs also have a mind of their own—they’re very independent. These are the qualities that make this dog breed an excellent choice for shepherding cattle.

While these dogs were once only used as working dogs, today, they’re also loved and treasured as loyal companions.

Dutch Shepherds weigh between 42 to 72 lbs and stand about 21 to 25 inches tall. They have a life expectancy of 11 to 14 years.


The Beauceron is another large black and brown dog breed. These dogs originally came from France, where they were used to herd livestock. They are stunning dogs, which are very smart and affectionate. They’re also filled with a ton of energy! Beaucerons are also known for being extremely loyal dogs.

These dogs are known for their long tails and double dewclaws! They tend to have short, thick coats with a dense undercoat. Beaucerons are sometimes called “bas rouge” in France, which means “red stockings.” This is because the dogs have red fur on their lower legs!

Beaucerons tend to be extremely loyal and protective, which means they’re excellent watch dogs. They’re dominant due to being herding dogs. For this reason, they’re usually not the best dog for first-time pet parents. However, with the right training and socialization, these dogs can make wonderful companions.

Beaucerons weigh between 70 to 110 lbs and stand between 24 to 27.5 inches. They have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

Medium Black and Brown Dogs

Here’s our list of medium-sized black and brown dogs!

Airedale Terrier

Originally from Aire Valley in Yorkshire, Airedale Terriers are medium black and brown dogs who are sometimes referred to as “King of the Terriers.” They’ve been given this name because Airedales are one of the largest of the terrier dog breeds. Originally, they were working dogs who were bred to catch otters and rats. These dogs are also great in dog sports and were even used in the military in WWI. Airedale Terriers have also become very popular family companions.

These dogs are extremely intelligent and can be somewhat stubborn. What’s more, they usually have large personalities. All of these traits can make these dogs challenging for first-time pet parents.

Airedale Terriers can weigh between 40 to 65 lbs, stand an average 21 to 23 inches tall, and have a life expectancy between 10 to 13 years.

Australian Kelpie

The Australian Kelpie is another medium-sized black and brown dog! These dogs were originally from Australia, where they were bred to herd livestock. Australian Kelpies have the ability to keep going and going and going, even in the hot Australian summer. They’re even able to work without supervision. These fur babies are extremely intelligent!

These black and brown dogs love to work and need a job to do. They enjoy dog sports, search and rescue work, tracking, and making great service dogs!

Australian Kelpies weigh between 25 to 46 lbs and stand between 15 to 20 inches. They have an average life expectancy between 10 to 15 years.

Appenzeller Sennenhund

This is a dog breed that has a name a mile long! The Appenzeller Sennenhund originally comes from the Swiss Alps, where they were bred to do farm work. Their work included pulling carts, acting as guard dogs, and herding cattle.

It’s true these dogs are not just black and brown; they also have some white. However, black and brown are the dominant colors in these medium-sized working dogs.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund weighs between 50 to 75 lbs and stands between 20 to 22 inches. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.


The Jagdterrier (pronounced “Yack Terrier”) is a more modern dog breed, which was first bred during the inter-war period (between WWI & WWII) in Germany. These dogs were bred to hunt and flush out foxes and badgers! However, they were found to also be useful when hunting wild boar, too! This is a small dog that’s extremely courageous and determined!

These dogs are great for pet parents who are active. Jagdterriers love to be outdoors and get plenty of exercise. When they have enough exercise and mental stimulation, these small dogs can make excellent companions.

Because these dogs have a strong prey drive, they’re not suited for families that have small children or small pets. They are best for families with older kids.

This dog breed has a rough, wiry coat; some also have long hair on the muzzle, making them look like a dog has a beard.

Jagdterriers weigh between 20 to 22 lbs and stand between 13 to 16 inches. They have an average life expectancy between 12 to 15 years.

Small Black and Brown Dogs

Here’s our last list, which is small black and brown dogs!

Lancashire Heeler

Lancashire Heelers originate in Britain, where they continue to be popular dogs. They were bred to herd livestock and hunt rabbits and rats. These days, however, Lancashire Heelers are very popular as companion dogs.

These fur babies are related to Corgis and are extremely intelligent, stubborn, and mischievous. Some people find these dogs somewhat challenging to train. So, this isn’t the best dog breed for first-time pet parents.

However, Lancashire Heelers make wonderful loving, loyal, fun-loving companions!

Lancashire Heelers weigh between 13-15 lbs and stand about 10 to 12 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 9 to 14 years.

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher (also called a Minpin) looks much like their large black and brown cousin, the Doberman Pinscher. Even though they’re small, the Miniature Pinscher has all the confidence and attitude of a larger dog! Minpins are sometimes called the King of Toys! This is because the dogs have a very proud, fearless bearing that matches their temperament.

Miniature Pinschers have a black and brown coat, which is shiny, short, and smooth. Originally bred in German to hunt rats, today, they make wonderful family companions. They also have a ton of energy, so be read to ensure your MinPin gets plenty of exercise each day!

Miniature Pinschers weigh between 8 to 11 lbs and stand 10 to 12 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.

English Toy Terrier

The English Toy Terrier is another small black and brown dog. They’re another working dog that was bred to hunt rats or other smaller animals. Because they were once working dogs, expect your English Toy Terrier to be intelligent and have plenty of energy! They need lots of exercise each day. They enjoy long walks and hikes and will not tire out very quickly!

These small dogs are known for being affectionate and loyal. They prefer spending their time with their favorite person in a family!

English Terriers weigh between 5 to 8 lbs and stand about 12 inches tall. They have an average life expectancy between 10 to 13 years.

Russian Toy

Russian Toys are another small black and brown dog breed! They’re darling! The Russian Toy is a small dog that has long legs, fine bones, and lean muscles. They’re very active little dogs and usually very happy! They’re also very intelligent and want to please their pet parents. They also love to snuggle and be lap dogs, making them excellent companions.

This black and brown dog breed’s history goes all the way back to the Russian aristocracy. They can have long or short fur, which is smooth and sleek. What’s more, they don’t shed very much!

The Russian Toy can weigh up to 6.5 lbs and stands between 8 to 11 inches. They have an average life expectancy of 12-14 or more years!

Other Important Mentions:

We know that these are some of the most popular black and brown dog breeds, but there are many more! For instance, Rottweiler, Dachshund, Border Collie, Chihuahua, Black and tan Coonhound, Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, and Australian Shepherd are known for having black and brown coloration. Bernese mountain dog, Irish Setter, Shetland Sheepdog, and Scottish Deerhound also have some black and brown coloring. Some tricolor dogs, like the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, also have hints of black and brown.

Black and Brown Dogs as Family Pets

Most black and brown dogs were bred to hunt and survive in the wild. This means that they are naturally independent and not very sociable. They tend to be territorial and bark a lot, which can make them undesirable as family pets. However, black and brown dogs are often sought after by people who like their unique appearance. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be family pets.

Some breeds like the Labrador Retriever, the Great Dane, and the English Setter are particularly popular among black and brown dog owners. Many people love these large dogs because they’re so gentle and friendly. They’re also loyal and protective of their owners.

Another popular black and brown dog is the Doberman Pinscher. These dogs are known for their intelligence and bravery. Dobermans are excellent guard dogs and also make great family pets. They’re loyal and protective of their families.

As with all dogs, black and brown dogs are prone to certain health problems. The health issues most commonly associated with black and brown dogs are usually related to their breeds. For example, the Labrador Retriever is prone to hip dysplasia and other joint problems. Dobermans are also prone to certain health problems, including eye diseases and cancer. So, if you’re thinking about adopting a black and brown dog, be sure to check out the breed’s health issues.

Summing It Up

As you can see, black and brown dogs come in various shapes and sizes! Many of the dogs in this list are working dogs, so you may have noticed they are intelligent, energetic, and sometimes stubborn. This has nothing to do with their coloring and everything to do with the reason they were bred!

Be sure to keep that in mind when searching for your own precious black and brown dog!

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!