History & Overview
The Dalmatian is one of the most famous breeds in the world and needs little description. The puppies are born pure white – the dark spots do not appear until the third week of life. The spots may be either black or liver brown. For show purposes, the best dogs are those in which the individual spots are clearly separated from one another and do not run together in irregular blotches. In the old days, the ears were nearly always cropped, but today this practice is outlawed.
Easily recognized by its distinctive spotty coat, and the 1961 Walt Disney movie “101 Dalmatians,” the Dalmatian is probably the world’s most familiar breed. Dogs bearing a likeness to Dalmatians have been noticed on ancient Egyptian engravings. Historical evidence suggests that the breed originated in the Mediterranean region and especially in the neighborhood of the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. The Dalmatian breed is thought to be developed by crossing small Harlequin Great Danes with pointer dogs.
This dog is known as a working dog and craves exercise or long working days. They never run out of energy, and for this reason, they are not recommended for a family with young children or families with a sedentary lifestyle. In America, Dalmatians are commonly associated with fireman because they were often used as search and rescue dogs in fires.
The outline of a Dalmatian is very similar to a pointer. Dalmatians come in many different temperaments from withdrawn to aggressive.
Known Health Issues
Since one-third of all Dalmatians are deaf, prospective buyers should purchase puppies only from breeders who use the BAER test to check for deafness. The test can be done when the puppies are seven weeks old and is the only sure way to tell if a puppy is deaf. Dalmatian puppies are born all white and begin to develop their spots by ten to fourteen days.
At A Glance:
FCI Official Name: Dalmatinac Dal, Spotted Coach-dog, Spotted Dog, Plum Pudding Dog, Carriage Dog
Country of Origin:
Dalmatia, Croatian Republic
Companion dog, family dog, suitable to be trained for various purposes.
Registration FCI Classification: Group 6 – Scenthounds and related breeds; Section 3: Related breeds
AKC Classification: Non-Sporting Group
Medium (22 – 24 inches at shoulders)
Ground color pure white. Black spotted variety with dense black spots, liver spotted variety with liver brown spots; not running together but round, well defined and well distributed; size 2 – 3 cm in diameter. Spots on head, tail and extremities smaller.
10 – 12 years
Should be brushed weekly with a grooming glove or rough towel.
Outgoing and friendly, not shy nor hesitant, free from nervousness and aggression. Intelligent and outgoing with a desire to please. Dals enjoy human companionship a lot and get very distressed when left alone for long hours. They will bark only for a good reason.
Gets along with other animals, but early socialization is recommended.
Suitability for Children:
Dalmatians love children.
They never run out of energy and should be exercised at least 2 hours a day. Dalmatians love to romp and play. They can be too much for people with sedentary lifestyle.
Can be trained for a variety of purposes but keep in mind that they respond better to consistent, gentle discipline.
Health & Behavioral Issues:
Deafness, skin allergies.