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What large dog is black and brown?

What large dog is black and brown?

When thinking about large dog breeds that are typically black and brown in color, the Rottweiler is the most common breed that comes to mind. Rottweilers are a popular large breed known for their black coats with brown markings on the face, legs, and chest. However, there are a few other large dog breeds that also commonly display black and brown coloring.


The Rottweiler is a large, robust dog breed originally bred to herd livestock and pull carts. Most Rottweilers are black in color with distinct brown markings on the cheeks, over the eyes, on the chest, legs, and paws. Some Rottweilers may have a small white patch on the chest as well.

Rottweilers typically stand 61-69 cm (24-27 inches) tall at the shoulder and weigh 36-59 kg (80-130 lbs) for males and 41-52 kg (90-115 lbs) for females. Their large size, protective nature, intelligence, trainability, and appearance have made them popular family guard dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and even show dogs.

Here are some key facts about the Rottweiler breed:

Origin Germany
Size Large to Giant
Height 24-27 inches (61-69 cm)
Weight 80-130 lbs (36-59 kg) for males
90-115 lbs (41-52 kg) for females
Coat Straight, coarse, dense double coat
Color Black with tan/brown markings
Temperament Confident, courageous, loyal, aloof with strangers, trainable

Overall, the black coat with distinct brown markings is the signature look of the Rottweiler breed. Their large size, natural protectiveness, and bold coloring has boosted their popularity over the years as family guardians, working dogs, and show competitors.

Doberman Pinscher

Another large black and brown dog breed is the Doberman Pinscher. Like the Rottweiler, the Doberman Pinscher was originally bred in Germany, in this case to be an intelligent, alert, and loyal companion and protector.

The Doberman Pinscher has a sleek, muscular build and typically stands 66-72 cm (26-28 inches) tall and weighs 34-45 kg (75-100 lbs). The coat is short, dense, and smooth. Most Dobermans are black, blue, red, and fawn in color. The classic black Doberman has tan or rust-colored markings on the face, chest, legs, and paws.

Here are some key facts on the Doberman Pinscher breed:

Origin Germany
Size Large
Height 26-28 inches (66-72 cm)
Weight 75-100 lbs (34-45 kg)
Coat Short, smooth, dense
Color Black, blue, red, fawn – often with tan/rust markings
Temperament Intelligent, loyal, alert, fearless, trainable

The black and tan/rust Doberman Pinscher has an elegant but imposing look. Their athleticism, trainability, intelligence, and protective instincts make them excellent police, military, and guard dogs. They can be excellent family companions if properly trained and socialized.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is another large German dog breed that commonly displays black and tan or black and red coloring. German Shepherds were originally developed as intelligent, agile herding and guard dogs.

The ideal height for male German Shepherds is 60-65 cm (24-26 inches) and 55-60 cm (22-24 inches) for females. Their weight ranges from 34-44 kg (75-95 lbs) for males and 27-32 kg (60-70 lbs) for females. German Shepherds have a dense, straight outer coat and soft undercoat. The most common color is black and tan or black and red, though solid black and sable coats are also seen.

Here are some quick facts about the German Shepherd Dog breed:

Origin Germany
Size Large
Height 22-26 inches (55-65 cm)
Weight 60-95 lbs (27-44 kg)
Coat Dense outer coat, soft undercoat
Color Black & tan/red, solid black, sable
Temperament Intelligent, confident, courageous, loyal

The black and rich tan/red coloring of the German Shepherd Dog is instantly recognizable. Their strength, trainability, intelligence, and loyalty have made German Shepherds the world’s leading police, military, service, and guard dogs. They can make wonderful family pets if properly trained and exercised.

Miniature Schnauzer

For those seeking a smaller black and brown dog breed, the Miniature Schnauzer is a popular choice. Miniature Schnauzers were bred down from Standard Schnauzers to be smaller, family-sized farm dogs.

Miniature Schnauzers typically stand 30-36 cm (12-14 inches) tall at the shoulder and weigh 5-10 kg (11-22 lbs). They have a wiry, dense coat that requires regular grooming. The most common coat colors are black or salt and pepper. Mini Schnauzers with black coats will often have tan or silver markings on the face, legs, and eyebrows.

Here are some characteristics of the Miniature Schnauzer breed:

Origin Germany
Size Small
Height 12-14 inches (30-36 cm)
Weight 11-22 lbs (5-10 kg)
Coat Wiry, dense double coat
Color Black, salt & pepper – often with tan/silver markings
Temperament Spirited, alert, loyal, smart, trainable

The Miniature Schnauzer’s compact size, extroverted personality, low-shedding coat, and their signature salt-and-pepper or black-and-silver look makes them a popular urban and family companion. They excel at dog sports and working roles like vermin hunting, tracking, agility, and obedience competitions.

Other Black and Brown Dog Breeds

There are several other dog breeds that come in black and brown color variations as well, including:

  • Black and Tan Coonhound – Large hunting/scent hound with black coat and tan markings
  • Dachshund – Long, low bred standard or miniature size with black and tan being a popular color
  • Cocker Spaniel – Medium-sized sporting/companion breed with black coat and tan markings
  • Giant Schnauzer – Large working breed with solid black or black and silver coat
  • English Mastiff – Massive breed often seen in black or brown brindle coat colors
  • Beauceron – Large French herding breed with signature black and tan harlequin pattern

However, the Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog, and Miniature Schnauzer remain the most popular and recognizable large and small black and brown dog breeds. Their shared ancestry and breeding for guarding, herding, hunting, and companion roles have produced breeds that naturally exhibit traditional black and tan or black and silver coloring.

Why Black and Brown Markings?

Many dog breeds have coats that are black and brown, black and tan, or black and silver. But why is this color combination so common in dogs?

There are a few key reasons:

  • Breeding selection – Many early breeders purposefully selected for black coats with brown/tan markings as it created an attractive and distinctive look for breeds like Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds.
  • Camouflage – For hunting and herding breeds like the Rottweiler and German Shepherd, the black and brown coat provided camouflage when working in wooded or grassy fields with mixed dark and earthy colors.
  • Visible signaling – The brown markings on key points like the eyebrows, cheeks, chest, and legs of black dogs serves to highlight the face for visual signaling and communication between dogs.
  • Genetics – In dog DNA, the genes responsible for black coat color are closely linked to genes that produce brown or tan markings. This genetic proximity results in common expression of black coats with lighter brown points.

So in most cases, the origins of the black and brown coat in many dog breeds arose either from intentional selection by breeders or due to fortuitous genetic linkage between black coat genes and tan marking genes.

Over generations, this color combination has become fixed through selective breeding in many popular dog breeds like Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and others. The result is a striking and signature look that enthusiasts find highly attractive and recognizable.

Care for Black and Brown Dogs

Caring for black and brown colored dogs requires some special considerations:

  • Use a de-shedding tool regularly to remove loose hairs if the breed sheds. The contrast of black hairs on furnishings or carpeting can be very noticeable.
  • Clean facial wrinkles, skin folds, and facial markings to prevent buildup of grime, debris, or moisture that can lead to skin infections.
  • Apply dog-safe sunscreen during extended outdoor time to prevent sunburn on thinly haired, pigmented areas like bellies and noses.
  • Bathe and brush coat regularly to minimize shedding and keep the coat colors looking rich.
  • Trim overgrown hair around paws and sanitary areas to reduce staining from outdoor debris.

With extra care and grooming, owners can keep their black and brown dogs looking sleek and maintain the eye-catching appeal of their signature coats.


The Rottweiler remains the most iconic and popular large black and brown dog breed, known for its impressive size, guarding instincts, versatility, and distinctive coloring. However, other dog breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Miniature Schnauzer, and more also exhibit classic black coats with brown/tan markings.

Selective breeding and genetic linkage between black and brown coat genes have made this two-tone coloration a common and much loved signature look in many purebred dog breeds. With proper care and grooming, black and brown dogs can maintain their regal, commanding coats for years of enjoyment and companionship. Their sleek good looks and loyal temperaments explain why these black and tan breeds continue to rank among the world’s most popular.