The Dalmatian is a Stunningly Beautiful dog.
Having been used in the past as Carriage dogs, War dogs, Farm dogs, Firehouse dogs, Ratters, Guard dogs, Mascots, Family pets and companions among other things, they are extremely versatile. They are fairly easy to train, and very obedient when trained properly.
However, they can be stubborn. They are a Loyal, Loving family member, and excellent guardians.
They are usually extremely tolerant of young children.
Although essentially a medium sized dog, Dalmatians are solid muscle, and an average fully grown male can weigh between 70 - 90lbs! It is essential that Dalmatians have plenty of regular exercise, and ideally a large fenced in area at home to play and run around. They are by nature, very active and playful, and need exercise and stimulation to keep healthy in mind and body.
Contrary to popular misconception, Dalmatians do require a lot of grooming. The sleek short coat sheds 365 days a year, and a regular grooming routine is necessary, in order to keep the coat healthy and parasite free. The hairs can be difficult to remove from furnishings, carpets etc.-they have a little 'hooked barb" which helps them cling. Combining daily grooming with an occasional bath, will help keep shedding to a minimum and make life easier on the owner in the long run. It is also essential to keep up a routine for Flea, Tick and Mite treatment, Worming, and Vaccinations. Also, his teeth will need looking after, his claws will need clipping,
his ears gently checked and kept clean, and likewise his eyes and nose.
The coat is always white, with spots of Black or Liver (Brown).
Dalmatians are born pure white, the spots appear later. It is not true that an adult Dalmatian`s spots keep appearing until he is totally black or brown. it is true however, that a Dalmatian`s spots are like a Human`s Fingerprints, Each is Unique and no two Dalmatian "s spots are ever exactly the same. Dalmatians do get new spots from time to time, but never get totally coloured!
Dalmatian`s thrive on constant companionship. They hate to be alone. most are happier sleeping in the same room as the owner. Beware though, if care isn't taken, he will probably want to join the owner on (or in) the bed!
The rest of the time, he will probably keep so close that he trips you up, lays over your feet,
The Dalmatian is a lively, extroverted dog, naturally friendly and extremely gentle and affectionate with its family. However, whereas most breeds want nothing more than to please their owners, Dalmatians have a lot more intelligence and common sense. AFTER ALL, WHY ON EARTH SHOULD HE PLEASE YOU, WHEN WITH NO EFFORT AT ALL HE CAN PLEASE HIMSELF!! GIVEN HALF AN INCH HE WILL TAKE SEVERAL MILES!!
This intelligence is combined with an unusual degree of sensitivity and understanding, which enables Dalmatians to be trained to a high degree in Obedience, Agility, flyball etc., but this is not an easy task, and will often involve training classes, and lots and lots of patience, even for the more basic training.
Dalmatians are most certainly 'people' dogs, (and, in fact, often think they are people!), and do not take well to being left alone for long periods. If they become bored they are more than likely going to look for their own 'entertainment' within the house or garden, and they have no concept of the fact that your sofa may have cost £1000!! or the price of a landscape gardener!!
They also need a fair amount of exercise - rain or shine, both walking and free running.
If you are reading this because you are thinking of getting a Dalmatian, Congratulations. It shows that you are taking the first steps to being a responsible owner,
The decision to have a Dalmatian is not one to be taken lightly, a happy and well loved Dalmatian will give you endless loyalty, love and laughter, all he asks for is the same in return. An unhappy Dalmatian is quite a different matter....but I appeal to you, if you have even the slightest doubt in your mind now,
whether a Dalmatian is right for you, DON `T GET ONE.
PLEASE NOTE; When looking for a Dalmatian puppy, please ensure that you go to a reputable breeder, who will have registered the puppies with the Kennel Club, will also have BAER hearing tested the pups, and will let you meet the mother of the litter.