Dalmatian Information

Overview

The Dalmatian is the only spotted canine breed. The dog we know as a Dalmatian today has been a draft dog, a dog of war, ratter, shepherd, bird dog, retriever, trail hound and fire-apparatus follower. However, the Dalmatian is best known for his role as fire station mascot. In addition to its working and sporting background, the Dalmatian also makes a good family pet or performance animal. The Dalmatian's love for horses is an instinct that has lasted until today. They can be found in obedience and agility competitions and riding alongside horses as a coach dog.

Dalmatian
Basic Info
NameDalmatian
Other NameDal, Dally, Carriage Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Firehouse Dog, Plum Pudding Dog
OriginCroatia, Greece
Size Type Medium Dog Breeds
Breed Group Non-Sporting Breeds
Life Span 10 - 13 years
TemperamentFriendly, Energetic, Sensitive, Active, Playful, Intelligent, Outgoing
Height19 to 23 inches
Weightvaries
ColorsLiver & White, Black & White
Puppy Price$600 - $800 USD

Dalmatian

Physical description

Body Type

Both male and female Dalmatians stand between 22 to 24 inches in height and weight between 40 and 60 pounds. The head is in good balance with the dog's overall body, moderately long with no loose skin. The eyes are set well apart, medium-sized, roundish and with an alert expression. The ears are set rather high, thin and carried close to the head.

The top of the skull is as wide as it is long and features a slight vertical furrow. The cheeks blend into a strong muzzle that is parallel to the top of the skull. The lips are close fitting and teeth meet in a scissors bite.

The Dalmatian has a fairly long and nicely arched neck free from throatiness. It blends into the shoulders smoothly. The chest is deep and of moderate width, not barrel-shaped and with well-sprung ribs. The back is strong and level, loin well-muscled and slightly arched.

The tail is an extension of the topline, strong at the base and tapers to a tip that reaches the hock. The shoulders are smooth and well-muscled. The upper arm is about as long as the shoulder blade with elbows close to the body. The legs are sturdy, straight and strong. A slight angle at the pasterns allows for flexibility.

Powerful hindquarters have well-defined yet smooth muscles. The hind legs are parallel to one another from the hock to the heel of the pad. Front and rear feet are round and compact with well-arched toes.

Color

The Dalmation's spotted coat has short, dense fine hair. It is neither silky nor woolly but rather sleek and glossy.

Dalmatians have a pure white ground color with dense black or liver(brown) spots. The spots are well-defined, round and evenly distributed, varying in size from dime-size to half dollar-size. The eyes can be blue, brown or a combination. The nose is black in dogs with black spots and brown in dogs with liver-colored spots.

Spots and coloring are important in competition. A tri-color may appear occasionally with tan markings found on the head, neck, legs, chest or tail. This coloring is a disqualification by AKC standards. The presence of patches, or solid masses of liver or black with no white hair is also a disqualification.

Coat

The Dalmation's spotted coat has short, dense fine hair. It is neither silky nor woolly but rather sleek and glossy.

Dalmatians have a pure white ground color with dense black or liver(brown) spots. The spots are well-defined, round and evenly distributed, varying in size from dime-size to half dollar-size. The eyes can be blue, brown or a combination. The nose is black in dogs with black spots and brown in dogs with liver-colored spots.

Spots and coloring are important in competition. A tri-color may appear occasionally with tan markings found on the head, neck, legs, chest or tail. This coloring is a disqualification by AKC standards. The presence of patches, or solid masses of liver or black with no white hair is also a disqualification.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

The Dalmatian constantly sheds and does so profusely two times a year. Frequent brushing helps manage the constant shedding. This breed is very clean and has no "doggie odor." They have even been observed avoiding puddles.

Only bathe the Dalmatian when it gets very dirty. Use a mild soap and rinse twice. Use a canine toothbrush and toothpaste on teeth two or three times a week.

History

Much confusion and disagreement has existed on the origin of the Dalmatian. They were named after the historical region of Dalmatia. There have been spotted dogs throughout history in Europe, Asia and Africa. Some believe the Dalmatian to be related to the Pointer.

A dog known as a Bengal Pointer existed in England in 1700 that is similar to the Dalmatian. Other theories say the Dalmatian has Yugoslavian or Croatian roots. In 1993, the FCI recognized the Croatian roots theory but still denies Croatian standard patronage rights for the Dalmatian.

The breed was used as a hound in the Middle Ages. It became a popular carriage dog during the 17th century, trotting beside carriages and horses. They guarded them while the master went about his business elsewhere.

Temperament

Because they were bred to trot along side horse-drawn carriages, Dalmatians have a vast amount of energy. They will not be happy with nothing to do. They are playful, easy-going and dedicated. They crave human companionship. They have been known to dig crater-sized holes under fences when left alone in the back yard.

A lack of physical and mental stimulation will lead to behavior problems.Dalmatians get along well with children but may be too excitable for smaller children. Dalmatians are intelligent and are easily trained for obedience competitions. They need strong leadership with an owner who lets the dog know that the human is the pack leader.


Interesting Dalmatian Facts

  • The iconic Anheuser-Busch wagon is depicted as being drawn by a team of Clydesdales trailed by a Dalmatian.
  • The Dalmatian grew enormously in popularity after the release of Disney's film 101 Dalmatians.
  • Large numbers were turned over to shelters by parents who had bought Dalmatians for their children without educating themselves on the breed.