15 brown dog breeds (with pictures!)

brown german shorthaired pointer looking at camera

Ask any kid to draw you a picture of a dog and they're probably going to color it in brown. One of the best things about brown dogs is that there's such a spectrum of possible coat colors. They can have a light, fawn color or a deep dark chocolate one – and everything in between!

We've chosen 15 of our favorite brown dog breeds (and that's not even considering all the beautiful mixed breeds) so you can decide which would be best for your family.

Big, small, fluffy, or not there really is a brown dog breed for everyone. How many can you think of off the top of your head?

Labrador Retriever

labrador with a frisbee

Of course, we had to start off with the country's favorite dog breed. Labs are adoring, loveable, goofy, and very playful – making them perfect family pets. In fact, their endearing personalities make them the most popular dog breed in America!

These large dogs need regular exercise and absolutely love water, so swimming is their favorite pastime. They're very loyal and happy to please their owners, meaning that training isn't too difficult.

The Labrador Retriever comes in 3 solid coat colors, one of them being a beautiful, deep chocolatey color. The chocolate Labrador Retriever is a beautiful dog that fits well into family life and will shower you with never-ending love!

Dachshund

brown dachshund

These very cute, little sausage dogs have a personality that doesn't match their short height. They're intelligent, playful, and form strong attachments with their owners. In fact, with Dachshunds, it's important to socialize and train them well from a young age so they don't become overly anxious or needy.

Dachshunds can have either a short or long coat and they can come in a number of different shades of brown. They can also be patterned or a mixture of colors. Some of the most popular brown-ish colors for Dachshunds are chocolate, tan, and fawn. They really are one of the cutest small brown dog breeds!

Newfoundland

brown newfoundland dog

These impressive, large dogs have beautiful, fluffy brown coats. Despite their size, these pups are very gentle, loving, and great around children. They're born swimmers (they even have webbed feet!) and often work as search and rescue dogs in North America.

Even though they're very gentle-natured, a Newfoundland's strength and size can make them a difficult dog for inexperienced owners. They're generally willing to please, but if they have other ideas it will be hard to control them!

These hardy dogs come in an array of different colors. One of the most common is a deep, chocolatey brown.

Great Dane

brown great dane

When it comes to big, brown dog breeds you can't get much bigger than the wonderful Great Dane. These gentle Giants come in a number of different colors and can often be seen in a light brown/fawn color.

Similar to Newfoundlands, these doggos are sweet-natured and generally fairly relaxed. They love to spend their days snoozing on the couch.

Their impressive stature, however, does make them good guard dogs – not many would enter a yard with a 175-pound canine guarding it! Their size, however, can be difficult to control (for both them and you) so it's best that potential owners have experience around large breeds.

German Shepherd

best collar for german shepherd

The German Shepherd is a wonderful family pet and another really popular dog breed in America. This incredibly intelligent breed is used all over the world in police and military forces because of its high trainability. As well as being intelligent, these beautiful service dogs are incredibly loyal, bold, playful, and loving.

They have high energy levels and so need lots of vigorous exercise a day. They also need to keep their brains engaged with plenty of training sessions and fun toys if they're not to become bored and destructive.

German Shepherds come in a number of colors including tan and black sable (which can make them appear brown).

German Shorthaired Pointer

brown german shorthaired pointer looking at camera

German Shorthaired Pointers are athletic dogs that are built for hunting. Their muscular and lean bodies mean they can run forever (or at least it feels that way). Their endurance and energy levels make it vital you take them for lots of fun and varied exercise. They love running, swimming, hunting, and hiking.

These pooches come in two different colors – one is a solid brown and the other is brown and white. Their intelligence means they're easy to train and their bubbly, playful, and affectionate personalities mean they're wonderful pets for many dog owners.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

chesapeake bay retriever eyes

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a great hunter and retriever of waterfowl. Their strong, athletic bodies are covered in a dense, waterproof, and oil-covered coat which helps them to glide through the water and stay warm. They normally have a rich, brown coat with very few markings.

Although a dedicated working dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is also loyal, protective, and a great family member. They adore playing with their owners, chasing after balls, and snuggling up at the end of the day. These chocolate brown dogs would do best in an active family.

Leonberger

leonberger laying down in forest

If you like big, brown fluffy dogs, the Leonberger might be the pup for you. These impressive, German dogs can grow to weigh 140 pounds, so they're not small dogs! It's not hard to recognize these lovely pups as they have a somewhat lion-like mane.

Although an adorable brown dog, the fluffy Leonberger does require a bit of grooming. Their mane needs to be regularly brushed to prevent mats from forming as does the rest of their body. These big lions can be prone to putting on weight so it's important they go out for regular walks and ideally have a yard to roam in. They respond well to positive reinforcement but try to minimize the treats as rewards!

Shiba Inu

brown and white shiba inu

This ancient Japanese breed was first bred as a hunting dog. Widely acknowledged as an adorably fluffy doggo, Shiba Inus tend to have a light brown/red coat with white markings. They are also easily recognizable for their cute tails that curve over their backs.

Shiba Inus are affectionate with their family members but are known for being a little aloof. They're head-strong and need good training from a young age. They're also not the most friendly dogs around other pups, so plenty of socialization is necessary to curb any unwanted behavior.

Poodle

brown poodle

Poodles are one of the most popular brown dog breeds, possibly because they come in 3 different sizes – so there's something for everyone! Whether you decide to get a standard, miniature, or toy Poodle, you'll be getting a highly intelligent dog that loves to be part of a family.

Poodles are very active dogs and require lots of fun exercise to keep their minds and bodies fit. Although they're covered in curly brown fur, these doggos are actually considered to be hypoallergenic, so they're great for those who suffer from minor dog allergies (or that just don't like cleaning)!

Although they don't need much brushing, Poodles do need to be trimmed to keep their beautiful brown coats sleek and knot-free.

Irish Water Spaniel

irish water spaniel standing

Irish Water Spaniels are the tallest of the Spaniel family and are known for being the biggest clowns. These adorable pups have a curled coat and a distinctive thin, almost rat tail. They have long ears and a good amount of curly hair on top of their head which really makes them look like they have an 80s perm!

Irish Water Spaniels have a liver-colored coat, which is a beautiful rich color. They are incredible swimmers and love to spend time jumping in and out of the water. Like most Spaniels, they have a lot of energy and need lots of exercise to burn it all off.

You might want to think of enrolling them in doggie classes and competitions such as agility.

American Pit Bull Terrier

pitbull collar

Pit Bulls are a really popular and really misunderstood dog breed. The ‘Nanny Dog', is great with children and is hugely affectionate. This dog loves to be at the heart of any family and is extremely loyal. Unfortunately, due to the fact that these dogs were originally bred to fight bulls and because of years of unethical breeding, many people think that Pit Bulls are naturally aggressive. They're actually incredibly affectionate dogs at heart.

Pit Bulls come in a range of different brown colors, including tan, brindle, fawn, brown, and red. They have strong, muscular bodies that are covered in a smooth coat that requires minimal grooming.

A Pit Bull is a very hardy dog that needs 1 to 2 hours of exercise per day – that means plenty of runs, walks, and playing in the park. If you're thinking of getting a Pit Bull, make sure you research your breeder well.

Scottish Terrier

scottish terrier in snow

Scottish Terriers are one of the cutest small brown dog breeds. These hairy pups are compact with short legs and a robust body. They're easily identified by their beards and long furnishings on their legs and underbody.

Although they're pretty small (they can grow to be 10 inches tall) they have all the temperament of a terrier. Their vibrant personalities make them fun, bold, and very entertaining. They can be a little aloof and even standoffish with other dogs if not well socialized from a young age.

Scotties still have a strong prey drive which can make living with smaller animals difficult (and not advised). They're loving towards their own family members but are wary around strangers – which makes them a great watchdog.

These pooches come in many different colors including brindle and red brindle which can make them look brown.

Boxer

boxer standing in field

Boxers are a great brown dog breed that is full of energy and excitement. Their sleek coat can be any shade from light tan to mahogany. They have a distinctive black mask and often a white chest and underbelly. Boxers can be very goofy and playful and need to be part of a family that's happy to entertain them and spend endless hours playing fetch.

Because these dogs have so much energy, they don't do well in apartments. They prefer large backyards where they can play and have access to the great outdoors. A Boxer's beautiful brown coat doesn't require too much grooming, in fact, a weekly brush should be enough to keep it sleek and healthy.

Chihuahua

chihuahua spotted dog breed

The Chihuahua is a small dog breed (in fact, they're the smallest in the world) and definitely the tiniest on this list of brown dogs. But their size shouldn't make you think they're an easy pup. Chihuahuas are known for being tenacious, a little sassy, and not knowing how small they really are. They're also loving, funny, and fiercely loyal dogs.

There are various different types of Chihuahua and both the long-haired and short-haired varieties can have a huge amount of coat colors accepted by the AKC. These include chocolate, fawn, red, chocolate and white, chocolate blue, and fawn brindled black (just to name a few of the brown tones).

Long-haired Chihuahuas need regular brushing to stop tangles from forming and short-haired pups should be bathed fairly regularly to keep their coats looking shiny. It's really important you keep an eye on young kids or bigger dogs playing with these tiny pups as even play can end up in injury.

When thinking about different dog breeds and which would be best for your home, you should really think about things other than coat color. Temperament, exercise needs, size, and your experience all play a much more important role than what the dog looks like. Having said that, all of these 15 brown dogs make wonderful pets for the right owner. How many more brown dog breeds can you think of (there are quite a few more)!

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