Dalmatian Dog Breed Information Guide

Seeing spots? They don’t come any more “spotted” than this! Many have stopped to stare in awe of this gorgeous breed and it’s famous spots!

Made famous by Walt Disney through the favorite children’s classic “101 Dalmatians”, the Dalmatian dog breed is a favorite among young and elderly alike, and will no doubt continue his reign as one of our most beloved dog breeds for eternity.

Dalmatian History

Well known for it’s fire hall duties, and made very famous by Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, this breed has been around for centuries. Of Croatian descent, the Dalmatian is thought to have originated in Northern India, where the breed was used as a sentry to warn against invasion by neighboring Turkey. The breed travelled to Dalmatia, a region of Croatia located along the Adriatic Sea during the 16th Century, and has since become popular throughout Europe for herding livestock, guarding home and hearth, controlling vermin populations and even performing in circus acts! The breed has since found it’s way into the hearts and homes of North Americans.

Dalmatian Appearance

Dalmatians puppies are born white, and develop their trademark black spots as they mature.

Dalmatians are among the most widely recognized of all dog breeds, with their signature white coats and black or brown spots. Their short, sleek hair sheds profusely and should be brushed on a regular basis. Many people don’t realize that Dalmatians are completely white when they are born, with their spots forming as they mature. In addition to the spots on their coats, these dogs also have spotted tongues. Some Dalmatians have blue eyes, some have brown, and some even have one eye of each color.

When full grown, Dalmatians can stand up to two feet tall and usually weigh between 45 and 65 pounds. They are very muscular, but do not tend to become bulky or overweight. Most Dalmatians eat a lot, but don’t tend gain excess weight because of their high energy and activity levels.

Dalmatian Temperament

Naturally intelligent, energetic, athleticism, agile and graceful, the Dalmatian excels in agility, flyball, obedience, conformation, search and rescue and pet therapy, as well as making a loyal, affectionate and lively family companion.

Dalmatian Exercise Info

Dalmations are happy and well-behaved, provided they are given plenty of exercise and attention. They tend to be strong-willed and require obedience training and a firm hand from an early age. Dalmatians make great companions for those who like to run!

If your Dalmatian doesn’t get enough exercise, he or she is likely to become very destructive. Dog owners who leave their Dalmatians locked in the house all day are very likely to come home and discover that the stuffing has been removed from every pillow in the house and that there are teeth marks embedded in each piece of wooden furniture. This destructive nature is tied to both the high energy levels and issues with separation anxiety that characterize this rather high strung breed of dog.

Dalmatians can actually adapt to being house dogs, as long as they have access to the outdoors and their owners devote time and energy to seeing to it that they get the exercise they need. If you bring home a Dalmatian, one of the first things you should do is install a doggie door so that your pet always has the ability to go outside. Your floors and your furniture will be much better off once you take this precaution.

Dalmatian Grooming Info

With it’s nice, smooth, shiny coat, the Dalmatian does not require a lot in the way of grooming. A good weekly brushing and rub-down will get rid of any stray hairs. Like any breed with dropped down ears, the Dalmation should have his ears cleaned regularly using cotton balls and an acidifying ear cleansing solution that can be obtained at your local pet store, Walmart or your vet’s office.

Dalmatian Training Info

The Dalmation is a very intelligent, very energetic breed that can be a challenge during puppyhood. It’s a good idea to start obedience training from a very early age and get your Dalmation’s respect from the get-go. This will go a long way towards enjoying your Dalmation’s puppyhood – rather than waiting with baited breath for him to become a more mature dog. Dalmatians excel in all dog activities and sports such as flyball, frisbee, agility, etc., and can be a great way for your puppy to burn off that excess energy, while your family gets some exercise too.

Dalmatian Health Info

Like any purebred breed of dog, the Dalmatian is not without genetic health conditions which can crop up from time to time. Always take careful measures to choose a responsible, reputable breeder from which to purchase a Dalmation puppy. A responsible breeder will be extremely knowledgeable about the breed and the health disorders that can occur, and will be diligent in screening her breeding dogs for these conditions prior to breeding to help ensure happy, healthy and long-lived puppies. This screening should include CERF (eye), OFA or PENN Hip (hips), and BAER (hearing) screening and certification. There is no 100% sure way to prevent health conditions from occurring, but carefully planning breedings from healthy, disease-free parents will dramatically increase the chances of a healthy litter of Dalmatian puppies.

Health conditions which can occur in Dalmatians include:

Urinary Tract/Bladder Stones
Iris Sphincter Dysplasia (ISD)
Hip Dysplasia
Elbow Dysplasia
Skin Conditions
Thyroid Conditions

Dalmatian Right Breed Info

If you’re looking for a quiet puppy that will blend smoothly into your household with a minimal amount of disruption, a Dalmatian is not a good choice for you. Before you bring home a Dalmatian, remind yourself about all of the images that you have seen depicting these dogs running alongside fire trucks. Dalmatians actually enjoy that type of activity. They like being active, and they need a lot of exercise to burn of what many people describe as excess energy.

The Dalmatian is NOT the dog for everyone! Be sure to research the breed using the links below before making a decision to add this very special dog to your family. Ownership requires a strong commitment to training and exercising this very active and energetic breed. With the right training and exercise, the Dalmatian makes a wonderful all-round family dog and a great conversation piece!

These high energy dogs are definitely not a good choice for people hoping to bring home a pet that will sit calmly and quietly by his or her feet for hours on end. However, if you enjoy running and would love to have a dog that can keep up with you on your daily runs, you may not be able to find a better companion than a Dalmatian.

While Dalmatians can be ideal pets for the right people, it’s important to realize that this type of dog will not be a low maintenance addition to your household. You’ll need to plan to spend a significant amount of time with your dog, a large portion of which must be dedicated to allowing him or her to get plenty of exercise. It’s also a good idea to participate in formal obedience training with your Dalmatian. Dog obedience classes can help Dalmatians learn to control their naturally high anxiety levels, and they can help you firmly establish yourself as the master in the relationship.

More Information about the Dalmatian Dog Breed

Dalmatian on Wikipedia