The tricolor coat pattern is striking and one of the most common colors across the breeds. It is a classic color combination consisting of white, black and brown and can be found in breeds of all shapes and sizes. This post will look at the seven tri-colored large breeds – after all, this is Canine Weekly; large breeds are our jam!
There are seven large breeds in this post that share the tricolor in various combinations and patterns, but what else do they share? If you like the look of the tricolor but aren’t sure which breed would be most suitable for your family and home, then this post should help you decide on the best fit.
I will provide brief breed overviews, including their history, temperament, maintenance, and adaptability, and include some tips that should make homing the breed easier. Much like with our black breeds, you will love the article; you may be surprised at the differences in the breeds in this post – color is the only thing some breeds share, with the rest of the traits being polar opposite.
Firstly, let’s look at the things that will be across the board.
What to Expect When Owning a Large Breed?
At Canine Weekly, we have published many articles on what it is like to own a large breed dog. We have looked into grooming, behavior, training, and products that are the most suitable for large breeds many times to make ownership more straightforward. And, we know that owning larger dogs can mean larger problems, unfortunately.
Sadly, there are drawbacks to owning larger breeds, and these are predominantly health-related. Large breeds are more susceptible to costly, painful illnesses such as Hip Dysplasia, Diabetes, Arthritis, and Wobbler Syndrome.
Large breeds also tend to be much more expensive to own than their smaller counterparts. Things like pet insurance, vet bills, doggy daycare, and even their food will be more costly. They can be less welcome down the local dog park, and training these dogs is as essential as it is draining on time and financial resources.
So, why would you want to own a large breed after reading all this? Well, they’re simply the best dogs out there! Things that tend to run through all large breeds are their incredible loyalty, their need to protect their families, and their larger-than-life personalities. When you raise a large breed of the dog properly, you will possibly have the most incredible dog you will ever own.
Owners from all walks of life, in all accommodations, and in every family situation will find a large breed to suit them. Whether you want a large breed suitable for apartment living, a large outdoor dog, or a large breed perfect for a family, there will be that devoted dog out there for you.
Where Does the Tri-Color Come From?
A tri-colored dog is actually the result of a mutant gene. It doesn’t come with any additional health problems to a dog, nor should it be seen as a reason for adoption – it is simply a recessive gene. When it is the only color of a breed, for example, St. Bernard, this is due to every set of parents being tri-colored.
However, when it is one of a few color combinations, it is a recessive gene that can’t be counted on coming through. Tri-colored dogs are relatively common; for those wanting a much rarer color pattern, merle-colored dogs have the rarest coloring in the dog world.
This post will focus on the different tri-colored large dog breeds.
6 Tri-Colored Dogs (Large Breeds)
#1. Bernese Mountain Dog
Descending from Switzerland, this working breed was created to pull carts and herd cattle and is still a very useful dog, particularly within search and rescue teams today. The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the most beautiful large breeds, with incredible strength and stamina – and even more love and devotion.
This breed has a strong work ethic and is suited to an active family, with a big yard and lots of people to play with. The Bernese Mountain dog is a great breed to have around children due to its gentle, tolerant, and calm nature. They are not known for aggression and are a breed that gets on with pretty much everyone, man or beast. For the most houseproud owner, you should be aware that Bernese Mountain dogs shed excessively and drool pretty much constantly!
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a high prey drive, so correctional training from puppyhood is important to save those small and furries down the local dog park. This breed loves to learn new tricks and is highly trainable due to its renowned intelligence. An adult male can weigh up to 115 lb, so novice owners need to ensure they know what they’re taking on with this energetic, large breed.
#2. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog shares a lot of traits with the Bernese Mountain Dog. Considered one of Switzerland’s oldest breeds, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was bred as a watchdog and set to work herding cattle and pulling carts. This breed has remained highly energetic, with incredible stamina, and can be a useful addition to a farm as a working dog. He is robust, suited to outdoor living, and always on alert.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs love their family profoundly and have a great tolerance for children. They are a very protective dog, but a gentle one who rarely starts a fight. They have a good, patient nature but can be stubborn at times, so it is important to show the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, who is the boss from the beginning.
The coat of the Greater Swiss Mountain dog is short and easy to care for; a simple brush once a week is all that is needed. For a large breed, this dog is pretty healthy and has a lifespan of around 11-years. You will have a longer puppy time with this breed, as they’re slower to mature than most. Even when adulthood and senior years are reached, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog keeps his fun-loving personality.
#3. Panda Shepherd
The tricolor of the Panda Shepherd is down to a mutation in its ancestry. The breed is also known as the Tri-Colored Shepherd or the Piebald Shepherd. This breed is very much GSD in its personality, maintenance, work ethic, and trainability. Eager to learn and please, the Panda Shepherd is regularly used by the forces and the military; however, they can make excellent family pets for an active household.
The Panda Shepherd is a protective dog, who makes for an excellent guard dog or watchdog. Always on the alert and ready to lay his life down for others, this breed is highly devoted to his people. A firm hand may be needed to assert dominance during puppyhood, and this breed would benefit from an experienced owner with lots of lands to explore.
Panda Shepherds are good dogs for families with older children. Due to their high energy levels, they can make fantastic companions for older kids who want a dog to play fetch with or to accompany on long walks. They’re not known for having a great tolerance level with younger children; however, they could coincide nicely with most families in the right hands.
#4. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The tri-colored Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a fierce family protector with an extreme stamina level and sublime strength. Fluffy and cuddly looking, they can be very affectionate and well-rounded dogs if given sufficient mental stimulation and physical exercise. They were bred to defend flocks and people in the rough Caucasus Mountain region against wild predators, including bears.
Often nicknamed as Russian Bear Dogs, this breed is courageous and strong but extremely loyal with it. They aren’t a dog to back down from a fight and can be highly territorial. Due to their independent, stubborn nature, an experienced owner would be best to prevent aggression from becoming second nature in this breed.
An adult Caucasian Shepherd male can reach 220 lb – that’s a lot of shedding and drool. They’re relatively low-energy dogs, with a long life span of 12-years, but the Caucasian Shepherd isn’t a dog suited to all. A special home with lots of lands and an experienced owner are the foundations to a happy, well-rounded Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
#5. St. Bernard
St. Bernard is a regular feature at Canine Weekly and one of our favorite large breeds. Another tri-color breed to descend from Switzerland, the job of St. Bernard was to guard, protect and work. The breed would pull wagons and carts and assist during search and rescue missions – something they still do today.
St. Bernards are excellent family dogs with a great fondness for children. Despite their colossal size, they don’t need (or want!) much exercise and are very content with a good-size yard to relax in. This large breed is exceptionally gentle, fairly adaptable with moderate exercise needs.
They are heavy on the coat maintenance, however, and shedding can be pretty extreme. St. Bernard would benefit from daily brushing and regular baths to prevent matting, smelling and to keep the shedding at a minimum. A good-quality slicker brush is the best type to use with this breed.
#6. Pit Bull Terrier
The standard size of the American Pit Bull Terrier is between medium and large due to their weight scale being a large spectrum of 30-90lb. Stocky, muscular, and strong, this breed is powerful if not trained correctly from puppyhood. Pitbull Terriers can make for fantastic family pets and are known for their incredibly loving and loyal nature.
Pit Bulls are misunderstood dogs by many, and this can cause distress to an owner who just wants their dog to play with others. Banned in other countries, including the UK, a Pit Bull can have a killer bite and cause extreme wounding or even death; if raised to be aggressive. While any dog can bite, the results are generally much more severe with this breed.
Owning a Pit Bull can be an enriching experience. Due to many owners not knowing what they’re taking on with this breed, they are often surrendered to shelters once they lose their cuter puppy looks and adolescent hits.
If you’re considering owning a Pit Bull, I would suggest thoroughly researching the breed and being open to the possibility of taking on a rescue – this way, you know the background, the temperament and can be assured they will have been appropriately assessed.
Other Tricolor Dog Breeds
There are small and medium dog breeds that share the striking tricolor of their larger cousins.
Medium Tri Color Dogs
- Rough Collie
- Border Collie
- Basset Hound
- Australian Shepherd
Small Tri-Color Dogs
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Welsh Corgi
To Sum Up
Tri-colored dogs can be small, medium, or large. They can be long-haired or short-haired. Low in energy, or high-energy dogs. They can be prone to aggression or the sweetest-natured dog you could hope to own. The only thing they share is their coloring. If you’re looking to own a tri-colored dog, check out our puppy guides to learn what you should expect over those first few weeks!