Dalmatian Breed Information
Considered one of the oldest of dog breeds, the Dalmatian is believed to have originated from a region on the Adriatic Sea called Dalmatia. Recent research ties the breed to the area of Croatia. The breed’s history includes use as guard dogs, circus and stage performance, and herding.
It has been known as a coach dog for many years as well and is shown on wagons, other horse-drawn vehicles, and of course, fire trucks, which were originally drawn by horses. Known to be especially fond of being around horses, Dalmatians are excellent guard dogs as well.
The Dalmatian has a unique coat, with black or deep brown spots on a white body. It is considered one of the quieter breeds, though its bark is strong and purposeful.
They have a protective instinct and make good watchdogs, but possess a friendly overall personality and love to run and play.
The Dalmatian you bring home from a good breeder will be friendly and loving and will most likely fit the normal quiet standard of this breed. They have a pleasant personality and love to run and jump, so it is best to give them time and room for this activity. Dalmatians make good housedogs, being close to family members. However, their playful demeanor can lead them to get into trouble if left alone for long periods.
This breed is known to be excellent for households with children, especially if the puppy’s breeder makes sure the dog is socialized to be comfortable with humans. Dalmatians are very intelligent and will be eager to please the owner and family members. Though they have high energy levels, they are not a hyperactive dog. It is just best to give them plenty of time to run and play and to interact with you.
Dalmatian Size and Color
Almost everyone will think of the white dog with many black spots when the name Dalmatian is mentioned. This unique look is similar from one dog to another but in reality each Dalmatian is spotted differently. The American Kennel Club and other organizations considered the best dogs to have spots distributed evenly, with spot sizes from dime to half-dollar in diameter.
Most spots are black or very, deep brown. Liver colored spots are rare and are caused by a recessive gene in the bloodlines. This type of Dalmatian attracts a lot of attention but is not necessarily more expensive or valuable. Puppies are born white and the spots develop later.
Dalmatians have the lean lines of a pointer and will be 20 to 24 inches tall and weigh up to 55 pounds, making them a mid-size dog with stamina and a sturdy build. The coat will short and somewhat hard and the ears will be carried slightly forward.
Dalmatian Feeding and Grooming Requirements
As with any purebred dog, the diet is a key ingredient to long life and good health. Many top breeders and experienced Dalmatian owners make sure their dogs get fresh foods similar to what the people bring home from the store for themselves. One of the keys to having a healthy Dalmatian is to be aware of the high uric acid content in the urine of the breed.
This condition can lead to kidney stones and other problems, but by paying particular attention to diet and nutrition, you should be able to avoid major problems.
One of the items that should not be in excess in the diet is protein, as high protein levels can contribute to high uric acid content in urine. High-quality commercial foods will be okay for the dog but extra protein in meats and table scraps should be avoided.
Dalmatian Exercise Needs
Be prepared for a playful dog that loves to run and jump! The Dalmatian does not do well in apartment living and should have room to move around, even if it is a moderate sized yard. You should plan to give your new Dalmatian time for running and romping in the park. If a good breeder raises them, they will be comfortable playing with you and with children.
The Dalmatian was bred to run alongside or even under horse-drawn wagons and has good stamina. Your new pet can be sensitive and will seem depressed if there is not time for running and playing.
Daily running time will probably be necessary to prevent their active nature from leading to destructiveness.
Read More About Dalmatian
- Dalmatian : 10 Most Common Questions
- Dalmatian Training Guide
- Dalmatian Health Guide
- Owning a Dalmatian : Breeder Recommendations