Are you interested in buying or adopting a Dalmatian? What is it about Dalmatians that seems to capture your imaginations? Is it the movie or simply the playful nature of the breed? What are the right circumstances for a Dalmatian? Worry no more because we have come up with a comprehensive guide that details everything you need to know before you get one of these amazing dogs. This guide explains the characteristics, vital stats, fun facts, history, average size, personality, and general health of a Dalmatian.
Before you start doing anything, it’s important that you get more familiar with the Dalmatian dog breed. So let’s dive right in.
The Dalmatian is an intelligent and alert dog with a short and shiny coat. The ground color of a Dalmatian is pure white with dense, black, or liver-brown distinctive spots. They are energetic and intelligent and must be kept busy both mentally and physically to stay happy and healthy. Dals are affectionate and gentle when given proper care. Dalmatians are an active breed that enjoys attention and love to get in a good workout.
If you have an active lifestyle, then this might be the dog for you. With regular exercise and physical activity, the Dalmatian can make a wonderful companion. This breed can also get along well with children as long as the dog is properly trained and socialized.
We have listed below Dalmatian dog breed characteristics. This list is meant to be a general guideline for Dal’s characteristics. Let’s have a look at them:
Dalmatians are not that good at adapting to some environments. They are better suited to people who have large, secure back gardens a dog can roam around whenever possible and would not be happy living in an apartment. They have an average of 3 out of 5 stars adaptability level. Nevertheless, this should not scare you since they can adapt to any situation if trained early.
This factors contributing to moderate adaptability score are:
Dalmatians are friendly and affectionate dogs. They are playful and have the ability to form solid-bonds and prove to be excellent companions. They have 4 out of 5 stars all around friendliness.
The reasons for their good all-around friendliness are:
Dalmatians are known to be generally healthy dogs and are easy to groom. They are rated at 4 stars out 5 for health and grooming needs.
The reasons that contribute to this score are:
Dalmatian require consistent training and praise when they have done something well. They should not be trained roughly as they are sensitive with long memories and will remember mistreatment. This is a strong-willed breed, so an experienced trainer is recommended to train them gently, but with determination. They have moderate training experience of 3 out of 5 stars.
Let's have a look at the factors for moderate trainability score:
Dalmation is a playful and high energy dog with enormous stamina. Dal has high physical needs of 5 out of 5 stars. They need regular exercise and physical activities. If these dogs are allowed to get bored and are not walked or jogged regularly, they can become destructive and start to display behavioral problems.
The reasons for high physical needs are discussed below:
After having a look at the breed characteristics, Dalmatians sound like a great choice to buy or adopt.
If you are considering getting a Dalmatian yourself, here are some fun facts that can help you better understand this unique breed of dog.
The origin of the Dalmatian dog breed is unknown. It is an ancient breed, dated back to 2000BC when spotted dogs appeared on Greek tablets and walls, showing them working with the chariots of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Some records show that Dalmatians originated in Dalmatia, Croatia from where they have obtained their name.
Dalmatians have been used for a variety of jobs during their long history. Throughout the years, these dogs have been used as war dogs, cart pullers, sheepherders, hunting dogs, circus performers, and coaching dogs.
Dalmatians were born to run and they have also worked with horses since the Middle Ages. Trained as coaching dogs, they ran alongside carriages or horseback riders. They kept the horses and carriages safe from stray dogs and guarded the carriage at roadhouse stops.
In the United States, Dals became a firehouse dog when horse-drawn fire engines came into use. Dalmatians watched over the equipment during a fire, cleared the path for the engines as they raced to a fire, and sometimes even rescued people from burning buildings. The development of modern Dalmatian took place mainly in England, mainly as a coaching dog. He has also been used as a hunting dog and is thought to be descendants of English Pointer. Today most Dalmatians are companions and family members but many firehouses across the country still have Dalmatians as mascots.
The Dalmatian is a very popular breed all around the world. The American Kennel Club recognized the Dalmatian in 1888, and the Dalmatian Club of America was formed in 1905. The breed currently ranks 69th among the breeds registered by the AKC.
The breed regularly hovers around the top twenty most popular breeds in Australia. Today, there are many amazing Australian Dalmations bloodlines and are very well known for their versatility. Dals find a special place in firehouses throughout Australia and has been featured in many public fire safety programs. Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) has classified them as non-sporting breeds.
Dalmatians have a muscular and athletic build with strong bones and a square-proportioned body that gives it great endurance. They are medium-sized dogs and symmetrical in outline. The coat is short and dense, with liver-brown or black spots on white. Let’s have a look at Dalmatian’s average height and weight.
If you are planning to buy or adopt a Dalmatian, keep it in mind that this breed is not suitable for apartment living. This dog is highly energetic and needs a fenced yard for running and playing.
The usual Dalmation are playful, highly energetic, and athletic dogs. These are dogs bred to run and can run for hours if given a chance. They are charming and intelligent but sometimes, they can also be mischievous with a sly sense of humor and will do his best to make you laugh. They thrive on human companionship but need firm and gentle training right from puppyhood. Dals like to be involved in everything that’s going on in their family. With strangers, the Dalmatian tends to be quiet and reserved. The Dalmatian is highly trainable and can be trained for defense and are good watchdogs.
A daily walk or run of forty minutes to an hour is a minimum requirement to meet his exercise needs. When bored or not given adequate exercise or left alone, they can be destructive and mischievous. Dalmatian puppies need socialization and early exposure to many different people, sights, and sounds. This will ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
The Dalmatian is an overall healthy dog and has an average rating of 4 stars out 5 for being a healthy dog. There are some conditions that may affect this breed. These health concerns include inherited deafness, epilepsy, thyroid disease, hip dysplasia, and urinary disease. Dalmations are also prone to allergies and skin conditions.
If you own or are planning to buy a Dalmatian, you need to be aware of his health concerns. Let’s have a look into these health problems:
Dalmatians are genetically prone to deafness. The deafness in Dals is life-long and there is no treatment. All Dalmatian bloodlines can pass along deafness to their offspring and this condition is reported in up to 30% of the breed. About 10 percent are born totally deaf, and another 20 percent are deaf in one ear. Breeders say this figure is not representative of Australian lines. Deafness will usually show up in puppies by about four weeks of age. With care, patience, and proper effort, deaf dogs can make good pets and can lead an active dog’s life. He does not know he is missing anything; his nose and eyes interpret the world for him. The only reliable scientific test to measure hearing ability is the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) but this test is not available everywhere.
The Dalmatian breed tends to have high uric acid levels. Dalmatians carry a genetic mutation that alters the way in which they metabolize and excrete substances called purines. This can cause kidney stones and other urinary tract problems. Dalmatians account for 80 percent of dog uric acid bladder stones. Though your dog may never develop stones, be aware that males are more likely to have the problem than females, perhaps due to the male’s more complicated urinary system.
If your dog does show indications of urinary problems, your vet can give you the latest information on treatment and proper diet to manage this disease. If the urinary tract becomes completely blocked and the condition is not treated promptly it can be fatal. Dalmatians must have adequate fresh water at all times and dietary management with food that is not high in purines can be helpful.
Dalmatians are prone to a variety of skin problems and allergies. They may be allergic to pollens, molds, certain foods, and flea saliva. There are three main types of allergies:
The Dalmatians are at risk of hip dysplasia, an inherited cause of hindlimb lameness. Some Dalmatians show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can also be triggered by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet. It can range from mild to severe and a veterinarian can diagnose it using radiography. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred.
Dalmatians are strong and active dogs and they need to be kept under control. Obedience training is recommended for your Dal. They require a good walk or run every day to meet their exercise needs. Being a friendly and affectionate dog, Dalmatian can happily live with the family but needs access to a fenced yard that will let him to run and play around.
As Dalmatians are high endurance, energetic, and working dogs, you should expect to participate in daily exercise sessions with your Dals. They need physical activities to stay healthy and happy. By exercising your dog, you will prevent health risks and reduce behavioral problems through fun activities.
Exercising your Dalmatian should not be a burden for you or your dog. You can meet their exercise requirements by:
Dalmatians are sensitive and do not respond well to harsh training methods. This is an intelligent breed and can fairly understand your commands. You need a positive approach to training with lots of rewards and praises for proper behavior if you want a well-trained dog. Dalmatians are said to not forget mistreatment or harsh behavior.
Diet is a very important point that contributes to the overall health of your Dalmatians. If you want your dog to be in a good physical condition and full of energy, it is essential to feed him properly.
Dalmatian puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. A Dalmatian puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 times a day. Once fully mature, an adult Dalmatian must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. Once fully mature, an adult Dalmatian must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, gender, build, metabolism, and activity level.
Feeding guide for Dalmatians:
If your dog is on commercial dog food, it must be safe, affordable, and made with high-quality ingredients. The Dalmatian should perform well on high-quality dog food, either manufactured or prepared at home under supervision. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times for this active breed. Most commercial dog food products also provide detailed feeding guides on the food's packaging.
To keep your Dalmatians healthy and active, you should give them only dog foods tailored to meet their needs. Consider foods rich in proteins as it will help to maintain lean muscle mass. Never feed your Dal any dog food that does not meet international standards. You must know the best dry dog food for your Dalmatian should be elaborated on the recommendations of veterinary dieticians.
Consider feeding your dog with the following dog food:
Cleanliness and the need for minimal grooming are the much-appreciated characteristics of the breed. The Dalmatian coat is usually short, fine, and dense. The Dalmatian coat color is white with either black or liver (brown) spots. This breed sheds constantly throughout the year and holds 5 out of 5 stars for the amount of shedding.
Overall, Dalmatian grooming is a relatively easy task and grooming shouldn’t be a big problem for any owner. Let’s have a look at Dal’s grooming needs:
Your regular grooming and careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards.
When it comes to finding tools that can be used for grooming your Dals, here is a list that can help:
Dalmatians have a loving nature and can comfortably live with other dogs and pets. They will get along with other pets and children if socialized as a puppy with all types of pets and people.
Dalmatians can make a wonderful active playmate for children and are incredibly affectionate when they are around kids. Kids younger than 6 years of age may be easily knocked down by this muscular, active, and strong dog. Teach your kids how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and kids.
If you are considering buying or adopting a dog for your family, you may find that nothing can light up your kids’ eyes quite like mentioning a Dalmatian.
Choosing a breeder should be as important as the puppy. If you are in Australia and would want to adopt a Dalmatian dog breed, get in touch with any of the following breed organizations.
Below are some of the rescue groups around Australia that you can contact.
Dalmatians are perfect as a companion, a watchdog, and a marvelous pet for the family, but as they are strong and active they do need regular physical activity and mental stimulation. If you are looking for a dog that can offer you love and kindness but also has a mind of his own, a Dalmatian would definitely suit you!
Before you adopt a Dalmatian, it is important to take a look at your lifestyle and how accomodating it would be for a Dalmatian’s needs. It is important to understand that as a dog owner you are responsible for the care and wellbeing of your pet. We have given you a complete Dalmatian guide that covers everything a dog owner should know. Give a loving home to your Dalmation; they just need your love and affection!