Brindle German Shepherd: A Complete Breed Guide (Facts and Info)

Categorized as German Shepherd Types and Mixes
brindle gsd

German Shepherd dog breed is one of the most popular breeds of dog in America, but your options are limited if you want to adopt a German Shepherd with an unusual color pattern. Brindle German Shepherds are rare and expensive, so it’s important for potential owners to know everything they can about this particular breed before diving in headfirst.

In this article, we’ll look at what makes the brindle German shepherd dog unique and why these dogs have been called “the holy grail” by some enthusiasts. We’ll also discuss how difficult it is to find one of these dogs because of their rarity. Finally, we’ll explore which people should consider adopting a Brindle as well as some places where you might be able to find one near you!

What is a Brindle German Shepherd?

Brindle-colored German Shepherds have a unique brindle pattern, as can be seen in the photo above. The definition of “brindle” is “consisting of stripes,” and this color pattern typically covers the dog’s entire body with streaks that alternate between black and reddish-brown or tan (depending on the dog).

Although this brindle coat color pattern is similar to the “tiger pattern,” it’s actually quite different. Brindle German Shepherds have stripes that are more subtle with irregular shapes and streaks of color.

Brindle Coat Shades

Brindle coats come in 4 different shades; here is a brief description of each coat color:

  • Black brindle German Shepherds or known as reverse brindle GSD, are usually solid black, liver, blue, or Isabella. Solid black coats in dogs are recessive genes and can be identified by the absence of any other color.
  • Brindle tan German Shepherds have a color of black, blue, Isabella, or live with brindle markings.
  • Brindle sable GSDs have the most solid brindle color with a darker coat color on the head and back area.
  • Brindle gray German Shepherds have a gray base color. The brindle coat pattern may appear as brindle points only may be absent altogether.

History of Brindle German Shepherd Dogs?

According to some breeders, it’s believed that the brindle-colored German Shepherd originates from the first registered German Shepherd named Horand Von Grafrath. Horand had 33 sons, and after careful examination, it was found that the brindle color pattern passed on to two of his sons.

Why Are They So Rare and Unusual?

The Brindle gene is one of the three variants of the dominant black gene. The other two variants are dominant black and non-solid black. Brindle genetics has been a mystery due to its rare occurrence in dogs, but it’s believed that the color pattern results from a spontaneous mutation.

Due to the fact that this color pattern is a genetic mutation, it’s more difficult for breeders to produce Brindle German Shepherds. Furthermore, there were times when these German Shepherd variations were eradicated in Europe by the German Shepherd Dog Club because they were considered defects, which resulted in a rare occurrence of Brindle German shepherd as we may know today.

How Different is a Brindle Colored German Shepherd from Other GSDs?

Brindle German Shepherds are no different from the rest of other German shepherds. The only difference is its coat pattern.

Temperament & Personality

As with all German Shepherds, Brindle GSDs are smart and loyal. They make a great family pet as well as a good guard dog. A Brindle German Shepherd will have the same personality traits just like other German shepherd dogs. Brindle GSDs are naturally protective of their family and good with kids when properly socialized and trained.

Health Issues

Brindles GSDs can possibly inherit pancreatic acinar atrophy, megaesophagus, hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, hemophilia A, von Willebrand disease, and hereditary multifocal renal cystadenocarcinoma and nodular dermatofibrosis, like other variations of German Shepherds such as sable or gray. So please consider these health issues when deciding on getting one.

brindle gsd puppy


A brindle German Shepherds is highly intelligent and highly versatile. They have an uncanny ability to learn new tricks quickly, making them a favorite for dog training purposes. These dogs are very easy to train compared with other variations because they’re eager learners, especially if you make it interesting and fun for them.

Socialization and obedience training are two trainings that I recommend dog owners to focus on.

Socializing your dog from an early age is vital in many ways. Without proper socialization, your puppy will likely grow into an adult that is fearful of meeting new people, other dogs, and animals. They will develop a distrust of their own species, negative behavior toward strangers, and new situations. This behavior could lead to aggression in the future.

You should start by taking them out of their home environment where they are familiar with everything and introduce them to new places, people, and different animals. It’s also a good idea to train your dog while you’re out on walks or when they visit family members so that they know what commands to follow in public. Lastly, as long as it’s safe for both your pet and other dogs (or any type of animal), try introducing them to other animals for playdates!

All dogs need to be trained on basic commands such as sit, stay, lay down, and come when called. Without proper training, they may become aggressive towards people or other animals. Obedience training allows you to keep your dog safe at all times, especially in public places like parks, busy streets, and at home. It also makes training more effective for both you and your dog by having a common language that they will understand.

Exercise Requirements

As with all dog breeds, a brindle German Shepherd needs exercise to remain happy and healthy. With the right amount of both mental and physical activities, a Brindle GSD will be well-established on strong foundations that will benefit them in their adult years.

Mental activities are just as important as regular physical activity because they allow your dog to develop cognitive skills such as problem-solving. A German Shepherd that has a well-rounded level of mental and physical activity will grow into an obeying, healthy, and happy adult dog that can live comfortably in the home or outdoors.

As with the other GSDs, Brindle GSDs need at least 90 minutes of exercise per day. The exercise itself can include all sorts of high-energy activities, like jogging, running at the beach, hiking in the woods, fetching a ball, or playing with other dogs and animals.

Furthermore, if you’re into dog sport, they are also an excellent candidate for agility training, lure coursing, flyball, tracking competitions, Schutzhund training, and search-and-rescue work. Here are the 12 best and popular dog sports to try with you German Shepherds.


Brindle German shepherd is a double-coated dog that sheds heavily, particularly during the seasonal transitions of spring and fall. This means if you own a Brindle GSD, you need to give importance to grooming as much as training and exercising because otherwise, their coat will become a huge mess.

Brindle GSDs need plenty of brushing, mat-tangling removal, and grooming to keep them looking clean. I recommend that you brush their coat at least three times per week, either using a brush. This will remove loose dead hair and prevent any tangles from forming in the fur.

And during the shedding session, it may be a good idea to use a de-shedding tool. This will make shedding more manageable and less time-consuming.

Food and Dietary Requirement

Since Brindle GSDs are medium-sized dogs, they need a high-quality diet that will take their energy levels up as well. But more than their size, other factors like exercise level and living conditions also play a role in determining what your dog should eat each day.

Brindle German Shepherd puppies need a diet that is designed to help them grow healthy, strong, and fit through the whole period of their puppyhood. Many dog food brands in the market today are available in dry or wet forms. The important thing is to pick a puppy formula that has been tested and proven while taking into account your dog’s specific health needs, like allergies. This will ensure that your puppy is able to fight off disease, infections, and other health issues at a very early stage of life.

Adult dogs need a balanced formula that provides complete nutrient requirements to keep them going at all times. Look for a brand that will provide your dog with the necessary nutrients and vitamins they need, including a combination of protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

There are many mixed opinions about feeding your dog from commercial food brands, especially when you read that some of these products contain chemical additives and rendered meat sources which may be toxic to your dog. Some add-ons in certain formulas can cause allergies, digestive problems, or even lead to other health issues like obesity. There is a way for you to avoid this by making homemade meals for your Brindle GSD.

How Much Does a Brindle Colored German Shepherd Cost?

The average cost of a Brindle German Shepherd puppy is between $500 – $1,500. The price can be higher because it can be hard to find a healthy Brindle-colored GSD. Due to its demand, some irresponsible breeders take advantage of the situation and breed and raise pups carelessly to make quick money. This results in a poor-quality puppy that may have many health issues.

These puppies are often abandoned in rescue centers or shelters. If you are interested in adopting a brindle German shepherd, you may want to check out local shelters and rescue centers first and see if you’re lucky enough to find what you’re looking for. However, make sure that you are well-prepared for any health or physical issues that may arise later in your dog’s life.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful and useful as you raise and train your German Shepherd.

Here are some of my favorite reviews for German Shepherd supplies that I personally use and recommend. If you do decide to purchase them, please remember that I’ll earn a small commission which helps me maintain this website.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.