Are Rat Terriers Brindle? Answered And Explained

Are Rat Terriers Brindle? Answered And Explained

There are so many different coat types amongst all the dog breeds in the world. Some of these breeds only have a few coats, while others, such as Rat Terriers, have various coats. One of such is the brindle coat pattern.

But the question is, are Rat Terriers brindle? Rarely. Major breed standards like American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC) currently do not qualify brindle Rat Terriers. Therefore, finding a Rat Terrier with a brindle coat is exceptionally rare yet not impossible.

Let’s find out more!

What Is a Brindle dog?

A brindle coat is thought to be around since the origin of dogs themselves. When the streaks in a dog’s coat do not vary in colors(often two to three colors), it creates a striped appearance on the dog’s body. 

For example, some dogs have a sugar caramel base coat with a darker shade of caramel-colored stripes running throughout their bodies. that’s called brindle, or most commonly known as “tiger stripes.” 

These two colors – the stripe and the base color – can swap and create a “reverse brindle” as well. Then the streaks will be of a lighter color than the base of the dog’s fur. 

This characteristic comes through a recessive gene. Because all the ancestors of the Rat Terrier, except Whippets, are not acceptable to have the brindle fur coat (by AKC and UKC dog standards), we could safely assume that the Rat Terrier brindle gene comes through them.

Other dog breeds such as the Smooth Fox Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and even the Italian Greyhound and the Beagle are not identified by these standards if they are brindle.

Are Rat Terriers Brindle?

As aforementioned, it’s very rare to find a Rat Terrier brindle fur coat. We explained above that the brindle-ness gets passed down through a specific gene.

So if a Rat Terrier is to inherit this brindle-ness, he should have a dominating brindle gene which they got from their ancestors, the Whippet. 

Yet there are many other dog breeds’ genes inside our Ratties DNA. Now, after centuries from their origin, it’s unacceptable for these genetics to come down this far.

Therefore, both the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club reject Ratties with brindle coats. People are trying to get them to accept brindle-coated Ratties, but they still failed to do so until now.

Why Are Brindle Dogs Popular? 

Even though the standards don’t recognize many brindle dog breeds, including our cute rat hunters, this coat is still very popular among dog nerds.

Owning a dog with this type of fur coat is just like how people love to collect rare antiques. It is not to be seen everywhere, so people love to own them: simply because that is one of a kind. And honestly, isn’t this tiger-like coat so cute?

Let me explain to you why this gene is often called rare. Let’s take the hero in question as our example. 

Imagine you found a Rattie with the brindle gene and brought him home. Yet there’s no guarantee that this dog will eventually get a Rat Terrier brindle coat.

Simply, there’s a very little possibility that this gene will pass all the others and come out dominating.

Also, there’s a big chance of losing your puppy’s brindle-ness when he was little. When he’s growing, the coat could simply grow back to a normal one.

So, you can now imagine why dog owners, especially owners of rat terrier brindle coats, are so proud and protective of their pets? 

But, other breeds of dogs have a fair shot at this brindle coat than Rat Terriers. Let’s see what breeds have this one-of-a-kind fur type. 

What Breed Of Dogs Have A Brindle Coat?

Now, don’t be all upset thinking you’ll never have a chance to own a doggo with a brindle coat. I know that Rat Terrier brindle coats are rare.

Many breeders don’t breed Ratties with this coat because of the rejection from standards. But you can still find one in other dog breeds. 

Yet there’s a catch. A big one, might I add. 

This recessive gene has nothing to do with the personality of the particular canine. Just because the puppy has this gene in his genetics, it will never alter its traits and characteristics. 

Therefore, if you’re a person with a burning desire to own a doggo with this coat pattern, there are so many things you should consider before bringing the puppy home.

Some of them are; does this dog breed’s personality match yours, and does he fit your family and neighborhood? 

So keeping that in your mind, let’s check out a few dog breeds that possess this genetic coat. 

  • Boxer

This breed is North America’s most sought-after dog breed. And brindle fur is one of the common coat types among them. 

  • Bull Mastiff 

This majestic dog breed is intimidating-looking yet, has a relatively high frequency of brindle coat occurrences. 

  • Jack Russell Terrier

Brindle fur occurrences are very rare in jackies compared to other dog breeds, yet, when they do, it’s pretty damn beautiful. 

  • Whippet

It is one of the breeds that helped in the creation of the Rat Terrier. The Rat Terrier brindle comes from Whippet genes. So, naturally, tiger stripes are common amongst these dogs. 

  • Dachshund 

The sausage-like dog is one of the members of this striped pattern. Moreover, though they are very commonly seen with black coatings, another frequent coat pattern is the brindle. 

  • Corgi 

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is another look-alike breed to the dachshund. This long-haired doggo can also be seen often sporting these lovely bristle stripes.

Not just them. Several other dog breeds inherit this coating pattern in their fur, such as Hound breeds, Basenji, Shepherds, several Mastiff breeds, the Great Dane, etc. These breeds look pretty handsome in the stripes.

But don’t forget, you still have to consider all the traits, habits, and personalities before choosing a dog. Don’t let this beautiful fur alone fool you into buying a doggo that’s not a match for you.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more.


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

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