You may be reading this and think, “Aren’t most dog breeds brown in one way or another?” While it’s true that most dogs have some brown in their coat, surprisingly few possess all-brown fur!
Whether out of sheer curiosity or because you’re looking for a four-legged friend of your own, narrowing down which dog breeds have the truest brown coats can be hard. Here are the 10 breeds most likely to boast an all-brown (or close to it) coat:
The Top 10 Brown Dog Breeds:
1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever, hailing from the United States, is a revered hunter. This breed’s waterproof coat and athletic build make it a skilled waterfowl hunter, and the oil-coated fur is typically solid brown. Unlike Labrador Retrievers, which are quite similar in appearance, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever boasts a noticeably wavy coat.
Even if you aren’t a hunter, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can serve as a loyal, affectionate, and protective companion. This dog makes an excellent running, hiking, or even swimming partner. The breed is intelligent but prefers doing things its own way, so consistent obedience training is always recommended.
2. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is one of the largest recognized Spaniel breeds, and it has the personality to match its size. As the name suggests, this dog excels at swimming and other watersports. While the head and body are covered in tightly coiled, dark brown fur, the breed has a thin, sleek tail that resembles a rat.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a hard-working breed that requires an active lifestyle to remain healthy and content. Neglecting the breed’s exercise needs can result in a defiant and destructive dog. This breed is the perfect companion for avid runners, hikers, and cyclists. Fortunately, the Irish Water Spaniel is highly receptive to obedience training.
Though the Newfoundland comes in a range of colors, chocolate brown is one of the most common. This large and powerful breed has a deceptively gentle temperament and affinity for swimming. In fact, Newfoundlands are commonly used as water rescue dogs in parts of North America.
While parents might hesitate to leave their children with such a large dog, the Newfoundland is famous for its sweet disposition around young children. Some even consider the breed a “nanny dog.” Owning a dog that, in adulthood, might outweigh you can be a challenge regardless of temperament. Consistent, gentle training and early socialization can help ensure the Newfoundland grows up to be an outstanding canine citizen.
4. Labrador Retriever
Of course, the Labrador Retriever comes in many standout colors. But the Chocolate Lab is easily one of the most well-known and popular dogs with brown coats in the nation. This loving family dog is social, affectionate, and always eager to experience the world around it.
While the Labrador Retriever makes a great household companion, it is still a high-energy and athletic breed. Labs are infamously prone to obesity, so regular exercise is a necessity. Along with daily walks and games of fetch, consider involving your Labrador Retriever in canine sports like agility or dock diving. After all, the breed also loves to swim!
5. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer comes in two coat patterns: solid brown or white with brown spots. This adaptive hunting dog is both incredibly athletic and affectionate. While this breed is the perfect hunting companion in the field, it’s also a great snuggle partner at home.
This breed’s energy reserves can seem never-ending, so regular exercise is a must. While the German Shorthaired Pointer is bred for all-day hunting, the breed also enjoys running, swimming, hiking, and participating in a range of canine sports. Despite its boundless energy, however, this dog is remarkably trainable.
Lovingly known as the “wiener dog,” the Dachshund is a stout, long-bodied breed with sweet eyes and a bold personality. As a member of the Hound group, however, the Dachshund also tends to display a strong prey drive and willful streak. This breed comes in a range of coat textures and colors, but shades of brown are the most common.
Despite its size, the Dachshund can be fearless to a fault. It makes an excellent watchdog, alerting its owners and intruders with a bark that sounds like it belongs to a much larger dog. While the breed’s personality is bold and constantly alert, it only requires moderate exercise. Daily walks and running around the house will keep the average Dachshund happy and healthy.
Most famous for its powerful nose, the Bloodhound is a talented search-and-rescue and forensics dog. While the breed is built low to the ground, it is quite large and imposing. Once this dog catches a scent trail, nothing will prevent it from seeing its job through to the end.
The Bloodhound comes in several colors, but the basic coat color is a dark or medium brown. The breed often has darker points, especially on the ears and snout. Of course, the heavy wrinkles around the face are another of this breed’s most standout traits. Though Bloodhounds are bred for a specific purpose, they still make excellent companions and love being around other dogs.
8. Plott Hound
Another member of the Hound group, the Plott Hound has a distinct history compared to other American coonhounds. While other coonhounds are descended from the English Foxhound, the Plott Hound comes from the German Hanover Hound. The breed’s name comes from the German man who brought it to North Carolina, Johannes Plott.
The Plott Hound’s most common coat color is brown, though this is one of the few breeds more likely to display a brindle pattern rather than a solid color. This breed is calm and gentle when at home but extremely hard-working and determined when following a scent trail. If you’re looking for a short- or long-distance running partner, the Plott Hound is a great option.
9. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback might not look like an intimidating powerhouse at first glance, but this breed is known for tracking lions in Africa. While this dog won’t take down a lion, this skill displays the breed’s incredible prey drive and fearless disposition.
The breed’s name comes from the ridge of fur growing down its back. Overall, its fur ranges from pale wheaten to burnt red — some individuals have dark points, especially on the face. The Rhodesian Ridgeback can serve as a faithful family companion, but you must be prepared for the breed’s independent and sometimes dominating personality. Inexperienced dog owners are better off looking elsewhere.
10. Irish Setter
The Irish Setter is a gorgeous, bright-eyed hunting dog that comes in a range of dark brown, solid coat colors. This breed might have been developed as a gundog, but the Irish Setter is the ideal family companion. It is great with children, loves playing, and enjoys lounging around the house when the moment calls for it.
Along with its rich coat, the Irish Setter has a pair of long, drooping ears and fur that drapes from the chest and stomach. This fur hides the dog’s long, muscular legs, which give the Irish Setter surprising agility. It needs lots of exercise, whether in the form of long walks, playing in the yard, or participating in canine sports.
Whether you’re searching for a household companion, hunting partner, or four-legged athlete, brown-coated dog breeds come in a range of sizes, builds, and temperaments.
Of course, we always recommend prioritizing your new pup’s personality and exercise needs over their appearance. You may have your heart set on a brown dog for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean any of these breeds are guaranteed to fit your lifestyle.
While the dog breeds we mentioned almost always possess a brown coat, keep in mind that many other breeds also have the genetics for brown fur. It might just take a little more time to find the perfect dog for your home!
Which of these breeds is your favorite? Are there any brown dog breeds we missed that you think deserved a spot on our list? Let us know in the comments!
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.