Have you ever wondered why some adorable dogs have brown noses instead of the more common black ones? As a dog lover, understanding the uniqueness of your furry friends can further deepen your connection with them. I love finding out more about my dogs – it’s so interesting!

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind brown noses, their importance, and look at 12 popular dog breeds with brown noses. Get ready to discover a whole new side of your beloved canine companions!

Key Takeaways

  • Brown noses in dogs are determined by genetics and protect them from sunburn & heatstroke.
  • Noticing the color of your dog’s nose is helpful for determining breed, potential health issues & appreciation of their unique qualities.
  • Check out 12 breeds with brown noses – Labradors, Poodles, Springer Spaniels, Dachshunds + more!

The Science Behind Brown Noses

A brown nose on a dog

The secret behind brown noses in dogs lies in melanin, the pigment responsible for a dog’s nose color. Genetics play a crucial role in determining nose color including with brown-nosed breeds. Brown dogs with brown noses are produced when two black dogs with the brown gene have puppies, and each puppy receives a recessive gene for brown fur from each parent.

Did you know that brown-nosed dogs are less likely to get sunburn and heatstroke? That’s because melanin helps protect them from the sun and keeps them cool by reflecting and absorbing heat. This is especially important for brown dogs with a “winter nose,” meaning a temporary loss of pigmentation in the nose.

In the world of brown dogs, there are various shades of brown, such as chocolate and tan, which add to their unique appearance. Some brown dogs may also have a wavy coat, further enhancing their distinct look. So, the next time you see a brown-nosed dog, remember the fascinating science and genetics that contribute to its charming features.

The Importance of Nose Color

Different colors of dog noses

Nose color plays a significant role in a dog’s health, breed standards, and appearance. Factors such as breed, weather conditions, age, and sun exposure can all influence a dog’s nose color, which can range from black to brown, or even pink in some cases.

It’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s nose, especially if they have distinctive curly fur, as it may be harder to spot any issues. If you notice any bleeding or signs of infection on your pup’s nose, it’s essential to take them to the vet right away for treatment.

Although the color of a dog’s nose may not directly impact its overall health, it can still provide valuable information about its breed and potential health concerns. By understanding the importance of nose color, you can better care for and appreciate the unique characteristics of your furry friend.

12 Dog Breeds With Brown Noses

A dog with a brown nose.

In this section, we’ll introduce 12 popular dog breeds that have brown noses, each with their unique characteristics, temperament, and appearance. From the friendly Labrador Retriever to the energetic Puli, these brown-nosed beauties are sure to capture your heart.

Get ready to explore the enchanting world of these exceptional canine companions!

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever


The chocolate Labrador Retriever is a popular brown dog breed, known for its loving nature and great compatibility with kids and other pets. With a weight of 50-80 pounds, Labrador Retrievers are medium to large-sized dogs with a water-resistant double coat and a strong affinity for water. These excellent family pets need plenty of attention and daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Labrador Retrievers are renowned for their loyalty, playful nature, and ability to serve and work, making them perfect companions for an active family. Socialization from a young age is crucial to help them develop a well-rounded personality and get along with other dogs and pets.

Activities like hiking, swimming, camping, flyball, and obstacle courses are great ways to keep your chocolate lab engaged and physically fit. With their loving and loyal temperament, Labrador Retrievers are a perfect addition to families who can provide ample time for exercise, training, and playtime.

2. Poodle Varieties

Standard Poodle

Poodles are renowned for their intelligence, hypoallergenic fur, and brown-colored snouts, particularly in brown and red shades. Available in standard, miniature, and toy sizes, these adaptable and energetic dogs are excellent family pets and service dogs.

Poodles are protective and make great watchdogs. At home, their playful and affectionate nature ensures they bond well with their family members.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes over 25 colors of this dog breed, including the standard colors of black, apricot, blue, brown, cream, white, silver, and red. Poodles require regular grooming due to their distinctive curly fur, ensuring they remain clean and healthy.

With their friendly and intelligent nature, Poodles are a fantastic choice for families looking for a loyal and hypoallergenic companion.

3. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels are sweet-faced and lovable dogs. I’m incredibly biased because I have a beautiful Springer at home and she’s amazing!

Many Springers have a brown nose and beautiful brown markings on their face, back, and ears. Standing almost 20 inches tall and weighing close to 50 pounds, these energetic and intelligent hunting dogs are great family pets and get along well with kids and other animals.

English Springer Spaniels are available in colors such as black and white, black white and tan, liver and white, liver white and tan, white and black, and white and liver.

These friendly and loving dogs require lots of companionship to stay happy and prevent sadness. My girl loves attention and always prefers to be with me over anything else!

As popular gun dogs, English Springer Spaniels need ample exercise, mental stimulation, and early socialization to ensure a well-balanced temperament and a strong bond with their family.

4. Dachshund


The charming Dachshund, often nicknamed the “sausage dog,” is a small breed with a strong prey drive and a brown nose in chocolate-colored varieties. Weighing between 35 and 50 pounds and standing about 12 to 15 inches tall, these feisty, friendly, and loyal dogs have a unique body shape and short legs, making them easily recognizable.

Dachshunds come in an array of colors. These include black and cream, wheaten, red, chocolate and tan, wild boar, and blue and cream.

Though Dachshunds can be stubborn, they are intelligent dogs that can learn tricks and obey commands with patience and consistency. Originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers and other small animals, Dachshunds are one of the most popular dog breeds in America today.

With their strong personalities and endearing appearance, Dachshunds make a delightful addition to any household looking for a small, spirited companion.

5. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a loyal and energetic breed with a wavy chocolate brown coat and a brown nose. Known for their protective, stubborn, attentive, and highly intelligent nature, these dogs make excellent family pets and working dogs.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers typically come in shades of brown, such as dark brown, sedge, light brown, and tan.

This breed is very active and I’d definitely say they need a spacious living environment or garden to provide ample room for exercise and playtime. If you’re seeking an energetic and devoted canine companion, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever could be the perfect match for you!

6. Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo

The fascinating Lagotto Romagnolo is a curly-coated Italian breed with a brown nose and a talent for truffle hunting. Standing up to 19 inches tall and weighing up to 35 pounds, these medium-sized dogs have a double-thick coat with a wooly texture. Their coat can be solid brown, brown and white, or even include other colors.

Did you watch Crufts this year like me? If you did, you’ll know that this breed was the winner!

Lagotto Romagnolos are energetic and gentle with kids and other dogs, making them a suitable choice for families with children. As a breed with a unique appearance and lovely personality, the Lagotto Romagnolo is sure to impress and delight any dog lover.

7. Basset Hound

Basset Hound

The lovable Basset Hound is a short-legged breed with an amazing sense of smell and a signature brown nose. Weighing between 35 and 50 pounds and standing between 12 and 15 inches tall, Basset Hounds are known for their chest that hangs low, long back, and floppy ears and muzzle. I just love their beautiful big faces!

With their strong sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound’s, Basset Hounds were originally bred in France as hunting dogs.

Though Basset Hounds can be stubborn, they are also friendly, loving, and super smart, making them great family pets. With their distinctive body shape and keen sense of smell, Basset Hounds are a charming and unique addition to any dog-loving household.

8. Border Collie

Border Collie

The intelligent and energetic Border Collie is a herding breed with a brown nose in red or red merle varieties. Known for their good-natured and loyal temperament, Border Collies are wonderful working dogs.

Originally bred to be herding dogs, Border Collies come from the Border country between Scotland and England. They possess a unique style of gathering and fetching stock due to selective breeding.

Border Collies require ample exercise, mental stimulation, and early socialization to ensure a well-rounded temperament and a strong bond with their family. With their exceptional intelligence and herding instincts, Border Collies make an excellent choice for active owners seeking a versatile and hardworking canine companion.

9. Havanese


The affectionate and hypoallergenic Havanese is a small breed with a brown nose and a teddy bear-like appearance. Originating from Cuba, Havanese dogs have a cheerful and easygoing temperament, making them suitable for families with children.

Their small size and charming appearance make them an attractive choice for households looking for a low-maintenance and lovable pet. With their friendly nature and adaptability, I’m sure Havanese dogs would bring joy and companionship to any family.

10. Chihuahua

A cute Chihuahua with a brown nose, one of the popular dog breeds with brown noses

The feisty and loyal Chihuahua is a small breed with a strong personality and a brown nose in chocolate-colored varieties. Weighing between 35 and 50 pounds and standing about 12 to 15 inches tall, Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dog breeds in America. And with good reason in my biased opinion (yes I have a Chihuahua at home too).

Available in many colors like black, blue, chocolate, cream, fawn, red, white, gold, and more, Chihuahuas are adaptable pets that can fit into a variety of households.

Chihuahuas are known for their stubbornness and that’s something I have definitely experienced with mine! However, they are also friendly and loyal dogs that can be trained with patience and consistency.

Chihuahuas may not be the best fit for homes with young children, as they can be protective and territorial. This does depend on the individual dog and their training though!

Let’s face it, Chihuahuas are adorable. I highly recommend them as a pet for any household that wants a small dog with a big personality!

11. Puli


The unique and energetic Puli is a Hungarian herding breed with corded fur and a brown nose. Weighing up to 30 pounds and standing about 17 inches tall, Pulis are known for their unique coat which can be black, brown, or white, and often have more than one color in their coat.

Pulis are energetic and playful dogs with a strong herding instinct, making them suitable for active families who can give them lots of exercise and keep their minds occupied.

With their unique corded fur and herding abilities, Pulis are a fascinating choice for dog lovers looking for a distinctive and energetic canine companion.

12. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd with a brown nose.

The versatile and hardworking Australian Shepherd is a herding breed with a brown nose in certain color varieties, such as red or red merle. Bred to be herding dogs that could work for long hours, Australian Shepherds are good-natured and loyal, with plenty of energy and a need for mental stimulation.

The breed comes in four standard colors – black, black merle, red, and red merle – to suit a variety of preferences. All colors of this breed are beautiful!

With their strong work ethic and exceptional intelligence, Australian Shepherds make an excellent choice for anyone that can keep up with an active lifestyle. Their unique brown noses and captivating amber eyes add to their charm and appeal, making them an attractive choice for dog lovers everywhere.

Snow Nose Phenomenon

Snow nose, also known as “winter nose,” is a seasonal change in nose color, where a dog’s dark or black nose starts to lighten to a light brown or even a pink nose. This phenomenon occurs due to the enzyme Tyrosinase breaking down in cold weather and in older dogs, resulting in pigment loss.

Although the change in nose color may be concerning to some pet owners, snow nose is simply a cosmetic change and is harmless to the dog.

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent snow nose from occurring or to reverse the change in nose color. However, being aware of this phenomenon and understanding that it poses no harm to your dog’s health can provide peace of mind and help you appreciate the unique quirks of your furry friend.


In this article, we explored the captivating world of brown-nosed dog breeds, delving into the science behind their unique nose color, the importance of nose color in terms of health and breed standards, and 12 popular dog breeds that proudly sport brown noses.

From the energetic Border Collie to the charming Dachshund, these lovable dogs showcase the beauty and diversity of our canine companions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What breeds of dogs have brown nose?

There are quite a few breeds of dogs with brown noses! These include German Shepherd, Bulldog, Dalmatian, Rottweiler, Labrador Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, English Mastiff, Siberian Husky, and Beagle.

With so many options, you’re sure to find a furry friend that has just the right nose color for you!

What does it mean if a dog has a brown nose?

Having a brown nose is totally normal for dogs and indicates that the pup has good protection from the sun due to having melanin pigment in their nose. Brown noses can help keep dogs cooler during warm weather and less likely to suffer from sunburn or heatstroke.

Is it rare for dogs to have brown noses?

It’s not rare for dogs to have brown noses. In fact, it’s quite common – the exposed skin on dogs can vary in color, and some dogs have brown or even liver-colored noses!

So if you see a pup with a brown nose, don’t worry – it’s totally normal!

How do dogs get brown noses?

Dogs get brown noses from the chocolate pigment, eumelanin, in their coat. If your pup has some black pigment in its fur, it will have a black nose to match.

If they have any chocolate pigment in their fur then they will have a brown nose too. It’s all connected!

Are there any health concerns associated with brown noses?

No, a brown nose doesn’t typically indicate any health concerns for your pup. However, it’s still important to keep an eye out for any irregularities or changes in appearance.