The dalmatian is a handsome medium sized dog standing 19" - 24" tall and weighing between 45lbs - 60lbs. Males are usually larger than females. Their smooth coat is either black- spotted or liver- spotted. The pups are born white and the distinctive spotting starts to appear within a few days
The Dalmatian was originally bred as a coach dog. He has the endurance to run for many miles without tiring. His love for the horse, and his ability to guard the coach and occupants made him a useful companion. Eventually he found his way into the firestations where he would accompany the horsedrawn firewagons. In the stables, not only was he was an excellent companion to the horses, but he was also protective and he kept the rat population down with his hunting abilities. Little wonder he acquired the name 'Firehouse Dog'. Owners must be prepared for the high energy level of the Dalmatian, the dog that has a history of running many miles each day.
Did you know...
That many Dalmatians are deaf? Unfortunately the same genes that produce the colorful spotted coat are also responsible for deafness. About 25% of a litter may be affected in some way. Some pups are totally deaf, some are partially deaf or deaf in one ear. While it is very possible to train a deaf dog, it needs lots of patience and consistent training. Unfortunately many deaf Dals end up abused and in shelters because their owners didnít realize their Dal had a problem and thought they were Ďstupidí
Do you think Dals with blue eyes and not very many spots (like the one in the new movie) are cute?
......... Unfortunately, they are the most likely to be deaf.
Donít make a snap decision.... ..... and buy a puppy before educating yourself. Go to the library, contact a local kennel club, talk with other Dal owners, check with responsible breeders and browse the Internet. If, after doing your homework, you have any doubts, then likely the dalmatian is not for you. Dalmatians are very different from those puppies you see in the movies. Please be VERY sure if you decide to take one into your family that you really want one, and that you arenít just falling in love with a Hollywood fantasy.
-due to high energy levels, dalmatians are not recommended for those without a fenced backyard, and daily exercise is a necessity. However, the Dal is not a dog that can be kept outside, for his smooth coat gives him no protection from the cold. They shed constantly and owners must learn to live with clothing/ furniture covered with those short white hairs.
- If you are looking for a quiet, always obedient canine, you may not enjoy a Dal. They need lots of challenges and activity. They can be mischievous or destructive if left to their own devices. They are 'people dogs' and need lots of attention and companionship. Time, commitment and especially patience are requirements for owners. Dals need to be raised with a gentle but firm hand.
- They may suffer from urinary stones and their diet should always be carefully considered and monitored.
Q & A...
How much grooming does a Dal need?
His smooth coat requires only a light brushing. However, Dals shed constantly and their fur will find its way over clothing, furniture and floors. Other grooming requirements are the same as any other dog, his toenails should be clipped regularly, his ears checked and cleaned if necessary and his teeth should also be checked and cleaned regularly. He keeps himself very clean and has little or no odor.
Are there any special health needs in a Dal?
Very definitely. The Dalmatian is the only dog who processes the protein in his diet in a very special way. Unless attention is paid to what you give him to eat, he may get bladder stones. This condition can be fatal.
What other health problems does he have?
There is a very high incidence of deafness in Dalmatians. About 25% of a litter may have some form of deafness, either completely, just slightly, or in one ear only. A deaf dal can be a wonderful pet, but it needs a great deal of perseverance and patience to train a deaf dog, and not everyone has that amount of dedication.
How long does a Dalmatian live?
Dalmatians tend to have a long life span, often 14 years or so. They also tend to remain bouncy and lively when many other dogs are slowing down.
How are they with children?
Dals love kids as a rule. However because of his high energy level and strength he may appear rough towards very small children. Better question might be 'How are your
children with dogs? ' Dalmatians are very definitely 'people oriented' and they like to be where you are..
whether it is walking, working or just being a couch potato!
Are Dals easy to train?
Most Dals are pretty smart. However they can be very stubborn too, so consistency and patience are very important. A Dal can become easily bored and this may cause him to become destructive. We recommend that all dals attend obedience classes - their owners need the training! Dals love to participate in activities like Flyball, Obedience and Agility, they love Parades and are often welcome as visitors in hospitals and nursing homes.
What is Dalmatian Rescue?
Due to the overbreeding after the last Dalmatian movie, many Dals have been abandoned or surrendered to shelters. Owners realized they didnít want to bother with their puppy once it had grown up. Across the U. S. and Canada, and in many other parts of the world too, the problem of unwanted Dals has reached epidemic proportions and THOUSANDS of Dalmatians have been euthanized. Do you need more information about the breed?
More Dalmatian Information