What Is a Reverse Brindle Boxer?


There's no such thing as a purebred black boxer dog. If you think you have one, odds are that he's actually a reverse brindle. The brindle color in boxers consists of dark striping on a lighter base coat. When the brindle is reversed -- or light colors on a darker base coat -- the dog may appear black, but a close look shows that's not the case. This pattern is also referred to in other breeds as "black brindle."

Boxer Colors

The boxer breed standard permits just two color colors -- brindle and fawn. Any other colors can't compete in American Kennel Club conformation classes. The fawn shade encompasses quite a few varieties of brown, from tan to red. While the brindle coloration generally consists of the light base coat and dark striping, the AKC notes that the a dog may have such a heavy amount of black striping that "the essential fawn background color barely -- although clearly -- shows through."

The Canadian Kennel Club standard describes reverse brindling as an "effect is of a very dark background with lighter-coloured fawn stripes or streaks showing through."

White Markings

Your reverse brindle boxer may sport some white markings, but the breed standard doesn't permit white to make up one more than one-third of the dog's coat. Most often, white appears on the face, replacing part of the dog's black mask.

Brindle Genetics

Brindle or reverse brindle boxers must inherit the recessive brindle gene to achieve their coat pattern. They aren't the only breed in which brindling is common. These include:

  • the greyhound
  • the American Staffordshire terrier
  • the Staffordshire bull terrier
  • the Great Dane
  • the dachshund
  • the mastiff
  • the whippet
  • the Irish wolfhound
  • and the Scottish deerhound.


  • Brindling is usually easier for the viewer to make out on short-coated dogs like the boxer.

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