Black and brown puppies staring at the camera while on some grass.

Can Two Black Dogs Have A Brown Puppy?

4 mins |

Maybe you’ve heard some tall tales from friends of yours about their puppy being a completely different color from their parent dogs. Or maybe you’ve seen two black dogs with a brown puppy and you’re wondering if it’s their puppy. So, can two black dogs have a brown puppy?

Yes, it is possible for two black dogs to have a brown puppy. This is only possible if both parent dogs have at least one recessive allele that they can donate to their puppy. If the puppy gets both recessive alleles, then it will have brown fur.

What Determines The Color Of Puppies?

A black and a brown puppy sitting on a couch.
Are these two related? Maybe!

Dog fur color is determined by DNA. You might even remember learning about this a little bit in school, doing an experiment with a Punnett square. Those were probably with human hair color though.

DNA is made up of genes, which are passed from parent dogs to puppies. Each gene has two alleles, which are either dominant or recessive. A dominant allele always comes out on top when paired with any other allele, including a recessive one.

So, what does this look like with dogs?

How To Predict The Color Of Puppies

Punnett square

A Punnett square is a really useful tool if you want to figure out genetics on your own. You take the two alleles from each parent dog and fill in the far left column and top row. So, let’s say you were trying to predict how likely it would be for two black dogs to have a black puppy.

In this example, the black allele is dominant, which we’ll label, “B.” The other allele is recessive, so we’ll call it, “b.” As a quick side note, these are just example labels and are not official in any way.

So, going by those labels, if both parents have BB alleles, then all of their puppies will be black. If one parent has BB alleles and the other has Bb alleles, then all puppies will still be black. This is because even when you end up with a Bb combination, since B is dominant, it overrides any input from the recessive b.

Now, another possibility is that both parents are Bb. This means you can get all sorts of combinations like BB, Bb, and even bb in one case. That means it is possible for two black parent dogs to have a non-black puppy dog.

Does that work for all dogs though or is there an exception of some kind?

So, Can Two Black Dogs Have A Brown Puppy?

Yes, two black dogs can have a brown puppy if everything works out right. If the two black parent dogs have Bb alleles, then it is possible for them to have a brown puppy, but only in this case.

If even one of the two parent dogs has BB alleles, then there’s no way for the puppies to come out anything other than black. So, if you have a brown puppy from two black parents, then that must mean that each parent has a dominant and a recessive allele!

DNA Testing For Dogs

If you’re interested in doing a little digging into your dog and what makes them how they are, there are some dog DNA test kits you can purchase that might help. While we don’t guarantee the results or quality of these test kits, they could provide some much-needed information about your beloved family member.

Who knows, doing a DNA test might help give you ideas about lifespan, aggression, and other things!

In Conclusion: Can Two Black Dogs Have A Brown Puppy?

Science can do some really interesting things, and this is no less true for whether or not two black dogs can have a brown puppy too. So, if you ever run into a skeptic who doesn’t believe you, now you can totally prove them wrong.

So, now that you know all about this issue, we want to hear your thoughts.

What are some other tall tales you’ve heard about dogs?

We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!