Dalmatians were bred to run along horse-drawn carriages to keep the road clear; later, they did the same for horse-drawn fire engines. Dalmations and fire fighters have been together ever since.
And, if you've ever watched “101 Dalmations” you know, newborn Dalmations do not have spots. While the spots mark Dalmatians' skin at birth, they don't show through their puppy fur at first. Brown or black hair grows over the spots as they age. Unfortunately, major popularity has been tough on the Dalmatian — overbreeding by unreputable breeders is suspected to have led to health and, potentially, behavior issues in the breed.
Named for a region in present-day Croatia, this medium-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 40-60 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Companion|
|Average lifespan||12-14 years|
|Date of origin||1800s|
|Original function||Ratting, companion|
|Average size of male||Height: 19-23 Weight: 40-60|
|Average size of female||Height: 19-23 Weight: 40-60|
|Energy level||High energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Moderately protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Low tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Medium tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A DALMATIAN'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Dalmatians are charming and charismatic dogs. An intelligent, boisterous, funny, energetic breed, they are outgoing, loyal, and affectionate, and—once they've had enough exercise—fairly easygoing.
Built for speed and endurance, Dalmatians are equally happy to work or play as long as they're on the move. They're very affectionate with their chosen people, but their size and enthusiasm mean they play best with supervised children and other dogs. They're moderately friendly toward other pets and strangers.
WHAT IS DALMATIAN BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Dalmatians are athletic dogs who need a lot of exercise. They make excellent running buddies. Boredom and not getting enough mental stimulation can cause issues in the home for this breed that's typically already alert, vigilant, and somewhat protective.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A DALMATIAN?
Dalmatians are somewhat easy to train, but you'll want to start early.
A bored Dalmatian can be hyper or destructive. Be sure to provide plenty of physical and mental activity for your furry friend. This breed excels in agility, obedience, and speed trials.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO DALMATIANS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Dalmatians' single coats are short and sleek. Dalmatians have short hair and require very little grooming. They shed frequently throughout the year. Brush your Dalmatian regularly to help mitigate the shedding.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO DALMATIANS HAVE?
Though Dalmatians are generally healthy, the breed does have several known issues. In particular, these dogs are prone to urinary stones and deafness. You can help minimize urinary issues by feeding your Dalmatian prescription foods or a low-purine diet and providing your furry friend lots of clean water to drink. Keep an eye out for blood in your dog's urine. If you see blood, or if your Dalmatian is having trouble urinating, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.
Some Dalmatians tend toward obesity, so be mindful about meals and snacks.