Treeing Tennessee Brindle: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Treeing Tennessee Brindle Dog Catching a Frisbee

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The treeing Tennessee brindle is a medium-sized cur-type dog known for its lanky, lean body, a tail that sticks straight up in the air, and its typically white chest and feet. This loyal, vocal, active, and intelligent working dog is mellow and easy-going at home. The breed is native to the United States and developed for its hunting skills.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound

HEIGHT: 16 to 24 inches

WEIGHT: 30 to 50 pounds

COAT: Soft and short coat

COAT COLOR: Brindle or black with brindle trim coloring

LIFE SPAN: 10 to 12 years

TEMPERAMENT: Intelligent, courageous, affectionate, sensitive


ORIGIN: United States

Characteristics of the Treeing Tennessee Brindle

Although the treeing Tennessee brindle is still predominantly used as a working dog for hunters, it's a playful and energetic pup that can make an excellent pet for active families. This dog is bred specifically for its tree hunting skills. The dog will track the scent of an animal and chase it up into a tree to make it easier for the hunter to access. The treeing Tennessee brindle has a loud, baying bark which it uses to alert the hunter that it has successfully found the quarry.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  Medium
Exercise Needs  Medium
Playfulness  Medium
Energy Level  High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence  High
Tendency to Bark  High
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Treeing Tennessee Brindle

While cur dogs have been around for hundreds of years, the treeing Tennessee brindle was only introduced in the 1960s. The Rev. Earl Phillips wrote a column for a magazine about hunting dogs, which led to meeting owners of brindle cur dogs across the country that, like the Plott hound, were being commended for their hunting abilities. But these smaller brindle dogs specifically showed a particular aptitude for treeing (trapping an animal by forcing it to climb a tree).

This led to the formation of the Treeing Tennessee Brindle Breeders Association in 1967. A group of passionate brindle cur owners began to selectively breed these dogs to continue honing their treeing skills, color, and size.

The United Kennel Club recognized the treeing Tennessee brindle in 2017. It has been accepted for recording in the Foundation Stock Service for the American Kennel Club but has not yet been formally registered.

Treeing Tennessee Brindle Care

A treeing Tennessee brindle does need a decent amount of exercise to satisfy its built-in working drive and energy level. This dog is known for being extremely laid back when in the home environment if it's been given enough exercise. This breed is loyal to a fault and it will enjoy curling up at the feet of its owner on the sofa.


The treeing Tennessee brindle will suit a family that enjoys hiking and spending time in the great outdoors because the breed loves to be active. It's also intelligent and eager to please and known for enjoying competitive dog sports, like agility. Of course, if you want to get involved in scent work trials, the treeing Tennessee brindle would make an excellent partner for this activity.


Other than basic grooming needs, the treeing Tennessee brindle has a short, easy-to-maintain coat that does not shed excessively. The dog will benefit from a good weekly brushing to lift out dead hair and keep the coat healthy. As with all dogs, take care of your dog's dental needs by frequently brushing its teeth to help it avoid dental disease.


The treeing Tennessee brindle is an expert vocalizer. The dog has been bred to alert a hunter that it's trapped its quarry. The dog's tendency to bay and howl can be common in the home environment too. You may need to work on rewarding quiet behavior to ensure this natural tendency doesn't get out of control.

Common Health Problems

The treeing Tennessee brindle, like many cur dogs, is known for being a hardy and healthy breed. Given that it's a relatively new breed, it is not known for having any particular inheritable health conditions. Good breeders will, however, perform checks and screening on potential parents to detect any potential issues such as:

Diet and Nutrition

Treeing Tennessee brindles do tend to be rather food motivated. This can be great for training using positive reinforcement methods, but you have to watch out for over-feeding.

Obesity is a major health problem in dogs in the United States. It can contribute to a host of serious conditions, but is something that can easily be prevented with a healthy and properly portion-controlled diet.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Treeing Tennessee Brindle

The treeing Tennessee brindle breed is still relatively rare. If you have your heart set on one, you could have to go onto a waiting list or travel further afield to secure a puppy. Don't let your enthusiasm make you overlook the importance of doing your research, though. It is important to find an ethical and reputable breeder that has raised the puppies in a nurturing home environment with mom by their side. If you choose to work with a breeder, expect to pay between $800 to $1,500 for a puppy.

If you are just attracted to a cur or coonhound breed, don't rule out the option of adoption. There are lots of dogs with similar traits to this breed, or a treeing Tennessee brindle mix, all looking for their forever homes in shelters and specialist rescue organizations.

Start your search for this breed with the following sources:

Treeing Tennessee Brindle Overview

  • Ideal for active families who enjoy long hikes

  • Calm indoors if given enough exercise

  • Low-maintenance grooming regime

  • Can be vocal

  • Can have a high prey drive

  • A relatively rare breed

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you are interested in dogs similar to the treeing Tennessee brindle, you could also consider the following breeds:

There are lots of wonderful dog breeds out there. By doing your research, you will find one that will be best suited to having a forever home with you.

  • Does the treeing Tennessee brindle get along with children?

    The dog's gentle disposition around the home means it is well suited to living with an active family that has children. It is generally affectionate and very loving towards respectful children and other dogs in the household.

  • Can the treeing Tennessee brindle live in a multi-pet household?

    This breed can have a high prey drive because it has been bred specifically for its hunting prowess. It may not be a breed best suited to living with small furry pets or cats. If you do plan on bringing this breed into your home with other small pets, then careful supervision and introductions will be required.

  • Why is the treeing Tennessee brindle dog rare?

    Most people who know about the treeing Tennessee brindle are more interested in the dog's ability for treeing and hunting. This breed does bay often, which may bother potential dog owners. In addition, this relatively new breed is not yet formally registered with the AKC, which can affect a breed's popularity. However, it can't become a full-fledged AKC breed until the dog becomes more popular.