Dalmatian is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Additionally, Dalmatian loves running and can be a great jogging companion. Moreover, they are great with active families due to their active and energetic nature. Importantly, they need to be well trained for easy transition.
As many owners and breeders will attest, Dalmatians are wonderfully unique dogs with personalities and appearances unlike those of any other breed.
Key Breed Facts
- Make excellent companions and guardians.
- Smart and friendly dogs.
- Prone to deafness and bladder stones.
- Loves attention and are pushy dogs.
- Protective of his territory and owners.
- Affectionate with family and familiar faces.
- Athletic, strong and sturdy dog.
- A multipurpose dog when well trained.
- Aloof with strangers.
- They are medium size dogs.
- Sturdy and healthy dogs.
- The life expectancy of 10-13 years.
- Distinguished breed with white and black spot coat and mouth.
- Height 24inches at the shoulders.
- Weigh 50-60 pounds.
- Well-muscled dog.
- George Washington was the first known breeder in the USA.
- Friendly and confident dogs.
- Loves running and swimming.
- Good trackers of sense even for fun.
- Eager to please you, they do what you do.
- Became famous in England as coach dogs.
- Make good watchdogs.
- Known as carriage/coach dogs and fireman dogs.
- The British carriage dog society rides their Dalmatians with carriages and holds several events around the UK each year.
- Today, the Dalmatian serves as a firehouse mascot and is sometimes used to educate the public in fire safety.
- The popularity of the breed rose due to the animated and live-action movies “101 Dalmatians,” both by Disney.
These dogs got their name from their native region Adriatic coasts of Dalmatia, in Croatia, it’s first known home. Although their origin is not well known.
In the 17th Century, they were seen in church paintings in Croatia including the place known as Dalmatia.
In the 18th century, they played different roles from assisting hunters in protecting the wealthy merchants and traders from robbers and quickly became the carriage-dog breed of choice.
The dogs were easily trained to run in front of the carriages to help clear a path and quickly guide the horses and firefighters to the fires.
In Ancient years they were also used to clear the way for horse-drawn firetrucks and had a close relationship with the horses they protected. Thought, to have been running behind the Egyptian chariots in ancient years as depicted in photos.
Additionally, they could guard passengers and others, and lead the way on the roads when necessary for many miles being great runners.
The first unofficial standard for the breed was introduced in 1882 by an Englishman named Vero Shaw.
In 1970 they became popular when they were featured in a Disney movie due to their elegant and distinguished body.
Alongside this, Dalmatians have had many duties over the centuries. They have guardian work, hunting and also as war dogs. Due to their energetic, smart and outgoing nature today Dalmatian makes awesome family pets.
The Dalmatian is a medium-sized, well-defined, muscular dog with excellent endurance and stamina.
Additionally, when full-grown, according to the American Kennel Club breed standard, it stands from 19 to 23 inches (48 to 58 cm) tall, with males usually slightly larger than females.
This is a breed that is born completely white and as it matures it gets the black spots on its coat and mouth, in like 2 weeks from birth.
They come in two colours
- Black and white or
- Brown and white.
Coat is short and dirt resistant requires minimal grooming but can be affected by the element of weather like cold or hot temperatures. When cold dress him in a coat or jacket. When hot a dog pool would help.
However, smooth-coated Dalmatians occasionally produce long-coated offspring.
Deep and narrow chested.
Long pointed tail, black nose, and eyes.
They are bred to run and are able to as they are long-bodied with a straight back. If not well exercised they can be destructive.
Dalmatians are shy and not sociable like other breeds hence early socialization is required. Dalmatians are friendly dogs and are good with children ensure to know from the breeder the temperament history of the breed before taking him home.
Intelligence / Trainability
Though smart you need to be given firm training. You need to be a pack leader as sometimes they can be controlling, you need to set the rules and them to follow.
They are calm and relaxed dogs if given the exercises they need. Need early socialization to be able to accept other people and strangers.
Make the training short for 15-20 minutes to make training effective. Use positive reinforcement for the training to be successful. You can start by training them the basic commands as young as 3 months, from potty training to not biting or exhibiting bad behaviours.
Importantly, get your Dalmatian to come when called is also very important. As the trainer, regular reminders about re-calling should form part of your daily ongoing training routine.
Keep them active with intelligent games, for instance, obedience, agility, also to stimulate their minds and mental wellbeing. They can be trained to do anything be it hiking, swimming, running or jogging.
When taking them to the park if not well trained have them on a lead to avoid running off to the road. Carry toys and play fun games, for instance, hide and seek to stimulate their mental abilities.
Children and Other Pets
Families with children would love to rehome a dog that is child-friendly and have it as a pet. The way a puppy is socialized and bred will play a huge role in how its temperament turns out to be.
Dalmatians get along well with other pets and dogs but require early socialization. They are also great with children but require to be treated with love and respect. Teach children to respect them, and avoid pulling their tail and ears for easy bonding times.
Train and socialize the breed as a puppy to be able to know how to relate to other people, children, and other pets in your household. The more exposure the puppies get with the children, the more comfortable they will become if not they can be defensive. The early socialization ensures they turn up to be sociable and confident dogs.
Prone to deafness and bladder and kidney stones, heart problems, allergies, joint disorders, and skin tumors. This is a breed that is not able to break down the uric acid.
The stones can cause mild irritation in minor cases, or can partially or even completely block the flow of urine in major cases, making urination painful or in some cases life-threateningly impossible.
Dalmatians avoid foods that have high concentrations of purines. Purines help raise uric acid levels in the body, triggering gout attacks.
Although, they are found in high concentrations in meat, especially in organs such as liver and kidneys, try to balance your dog diet with low purine content.
Importantly, make a good comparison of the protein, fat, fiber, carbs, and other nutrients.
Subsequently, you can sometimes opt for a vegan diet once in a while.
Regardless you can keep him safe by getting him the vaccinations needed, go for a regular checkup and follow on the deworming schedule thoroughly.
Caring for a Dalmatian
If Dalmatians are not given the required exercises they can become destructive. Give them active exercise for an hour or 3 daily walks due to their energetic nature.
This is a breed that loves human company if left alone can have separation anxiety. They are companion dogs and love company too.
When you first bring your Dalmatian puppy home, take him outside once every 1.5 hours so he can relieve himself. Be consistent and toilet trains him, 15minutes after drinking water and 45 minutes after eating until he is used to.
Dalmatians are also unique from all other dog breeds in the way they metabolize “purine-yielding foods,” which can, unfortunately, lead to the formation of urinary and/or kidney stones.
Growing puppies and young adults use a lot of energy. They require a diet that features good quality protein
Afford foods with added salts, artificial addictive, unwanted fillers, substandard meat byproducts, and yeast and preservatives.
Growing puppies and young adults use a lot of energy. They require a diet that features good quality protein
If your dog is suffering from kidney and urinary stone problems your vet can recommended good supplements.
In all the feeds you give your dog, check that the purines are balanced to keep him healthy. It shouldn’t be too low or too high, just enough for his body to digest.
This is an easy breed to groom as it is a clean breed. Furthermore, if well taken care of the Dalmatian will have a clean, smooth and shiny coat that doesn’t smell or attract dirt.
They shed moderately like twice a year hence you can occasionally brush their coat once a week to remove dirt and loss fur. The brushing help in distributing their natural oils onto the coat keeping it shiny and clean.
The habit of them licking each other even in the ears keeps them clean.
They do not need to bathe unless when necessary, which can be 3 times in a year. Use dog-friendly shampoo and products to avoid skin irritation and dryness. It is easy to know when they need a bath, check for awful smell or when they are looking dirty otherwise they are overall a clean breed.
Clean their ears when they start to smell or when wax build-up. Use a cleaning solution recommended by the vet.
To avoid broken nail as Dalmatians are lovers of running around outdoor ensure to check their nails regularly like twice a month. The nail if broken badly can lead to pain and hurt. You can clip your dog’s nail with a strong nail clipper or take it to the groomers if you cannot do it.
Every part of the dog body is important, check on its teeth to avoid cavities and bad breath. Make sure you take care of your dog’s teeth by regular brushing it can be twice in a week with a toothbrush and toothpaste formulated for dogs.
Although you can also give chewable treats that will keep his teeth strong but also clean with the saliva produced.
This is an athletic breed full of energy that does best with daily outdoor games and activities. They need a lot of room for running. Moreover, they love swimming and running and may require exercising for 1 hour daily.
Dalmatian needs copious amounts of exercise, and a few minutes of exercises will not be helpful, that is why they need an active family or owner. They will do well in a big land as they have enough room to run in the field.
Dalmatians make great companions for Joggers and cyclists. Moreover, they have natural stamina to keep up a steady pace for many hours and will accompany you on your outdoor adventures.
These dogs have very sensitive stomachs and require unique diet. Due to lack of a digestive enzyme if given just any food they might have difficulties digesting them leading to kidney stones.
Give a healthy diet low in purine, enough water, and regular exercise to keep your Dalmatian healthy and safe.
More so, they are not able to breakdown proteins due to lack of the digestive enzyme like the other dog breeds.
You can opt for homemade meals in which you are sure of the ingredient you used, although most pet stores have a high-quality feed for Dalmatians. Give 1.5 -2 cups scheduled high-quality meals daily of dry food for a mature dog consider the size, age, activity, and metabolism rate. For a puppy give 3meals daily.
When training you can reward good behaviours with treats. Additionally, kiddle is good for cleaning their teeth while chewing.
Dalmatians are a very active breed. Not only will you need to take this into consideration when determining how many calories your dog will need in his meals but also the proportion to avoid a lot of purine.
Get a bowl for food and water to give the right proportions. Ensure to give enough water to avoid dehydration and constipation problems.
Average Cost to keep/care for a Dalmatian
Dalmatian is an active playful and energetic dog that requires commitment and patience when training them. Be prepared financially and physical when you bring a Dalmatian home. From the dog supplies to diet-friendly food which can be expensive, toys and training.
The first thing that you should know is that Dalmatians need a low purine diet to ensure they don’t form urinary stones, and they often suffer from allergies. Financially you need to be prepared to provide a suitable and unique diet as advised by your vet to keep them healthy.
The cost can be divided into one-time cost and recurring cost namely:
- Pet insurance.
- Initial puppy cost.
- Dog supplies (food, toys, collar, lead, bed, etc.)
- Medical fees/vet fees.
- Health procedures (neutering, deworming, flea control/treatment).
- Regular vet visit (1-2 annually) if healthy.
You might be required to enroll your puppy for early socialization classes, obedience classes. Being a playful dog can also make them stubborn and need a leader during training.
Other games that will help with his playful nature will include agility, fetch, and running.
Breed Specific Buying Advice
When shopping for the Dalmatian, you have to learn about the breed, what health issues it has? Get a dog from a good breeder that will give you all the information you need about the dog.
Most Dalmatians are bred for temperament, ensure you know your dog temperament history before taking him home.
Following the Dalmatian’s many qualities a lot of dog owners are attracted to them. Regardless, the committed required should not be underestimated. This is a dog breed that requires 1-2 hours of exercise in all-weather even during winter, unique diet, attention, and love to be a healthy dog his 13 years with your family.