|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
They have a whimsical character, but they are not aggressive: we are talking about Dalmatians, one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world.
Dalmatian is a canine breed with Croatian origins. They belong to the group of hound dogs, tracking dogs and other related breeds, but they are also great companion dogs.
They are very famous for their coat, which exhibits black and brown markings. A hypothesis that explains this breed’s name is that Dalmatians were associated with the leopard, the symbol of Dalmatia due to its coat with its gorgeous unique markings.
Some can confirm their ancestor is the Bengal Setter. Others can assure they are a member of the Harlequin Great Dane family. According to written records, this breed seems to have arrived during the invasion of Slavic peoples. Some time after, we found them in some Flemish paintings from the 17th century. They were artistically depicted as hunting dogs.
This is the important job this dog was entrusted with in the past and we can also find them in paintings which portray them as hunting dogs in England, around the beginning of the 19th century. By the start of the 20th century, Dalmatians were also trained as sentinels and scouts during the Balkan war.
Dalmatians are fast and clever. As we mentioned they have become mainly a companion dog, but they are also considered the firefighter’s official pet, since in the past they were used to lead the cart that was pulled by the firefighter’s horses.
Dalmatian: Interesting Facts
During the last decades, Dalmatians became widely famous and renowned thanks to Walt Disney, who made them the lead protagonist of the successful movie 101 Dalmatians and its sequel called 102 Dalmatians. This big hit has been both good and bad for this breed.
On one side, the movies were good because they locked their popularity and worldwide appreciation. On the other side, Dalmatians became victims of breeders who exploited their fame. They were mostly interested in them as a trend and business rather than preserving or protecting this beautiful breed.
When we speak of Dalmatians, we can be sure this breed is a synonym of joy and playing. This is a playful dog that, despite having elegant and majestic markings, can spend its time playing non-stop. It is not in vain that they are considered one of the most suitable dogs for playing with kids.
Behind their elegant appearance, we find a canine breed with an energetic character, always cheerful and very playful. All of these features are combined with a heightened sensitivity and intelligence. It also has a calm character, even though they might be unpredictable in some situations.
This is a dog that develops a strong and possessive connection with its owner and family. It may suffer from separation anxiety when it is distanced from its family. This is a dog who loves to be the center of attention at all times.
Certainly, they are not easy to train and they demand constant and efficient training, which always must be coherent, especially when they are still puppies. Nevertheless, this is a loving dog towards other people. Although at first they might show some distrust, they share all their happiness and friendship as one gets to know them.
They also get on really well with other dogs and they are the perfect playmate for kids.
Sometimes our friend can be a bit unpredictable, as if it is in a bad mood, no one would know why, but it would never become aggressive or harmful. While they are very active dogs, Dalmatians can become unsettled due to repressed energy. If they are left alone at home for a long time, Dalmatians get bored and uncomfortable with themselves and this might favour destructive behaviour. It is ideal to take long walks with them.
Dalmatians are widely famous and esteemed thanks to Walt Disney, but the feature which makes them undoubtedly unique are the markings on their beautiful fur. These are black or brown spots which give an attractive and pleasant appearance.
If these dark markings spread all over its body are not enough for you to fall in love with it and hug it, then its character will achieve the purpose. Yes, because it is not only playful but also a very loving dog with a great sensitivity.
They enjoy remaining close to their owners, this is a dog that loves to be a part of the family and they will constantly look for attention and care. These are gestures to which Dalmatians respond with absolut loyalty.
Dalmatians: Appearance and Physical characteristics
As we have already mentioned, the most important feature of this breed is the fur which shows many black and brown markings that are distributed all over its body. Their general appearance is that of a muscular dog, well trained and with classical elegance.
Their head is very long, with a flat and wide cranium. Their nose is black in dogs with black markings, and brown in dogs with brown markings. The eyes of Dalmatians are round and medium-sized. Their color is dark brown in those with black markings and sometimes amber in those with brown markings.
Their ears are of medium length and they are located up high. They have a wide base and they gradually shrink on the tip to a more round shape. Their neck is large and bent while their chest is not so big, but it is deep.
Their tail has a wide base and thinns on the tip, which may have many markings too. On a resting position you can see the tail’s slight curve upwards. When it moves, the tail is transported above the spine but never too high above.
The front paws are rigid and resistant, while the back legs are muscular and potent. They walk in long steps and a strong back thrust. Overall, Dalmatians are a very elegant canine breed.
Dalmatians: Coat Colors
Their fur is generally straight, short, dense and bright. The foundation is always white while the markings can be:
- Black, or
The markings have a round shape and they have a neat definition. They are about 0.8-1.18 inches (2-3 cm) wide. The markings on the head, tail and extremities are smaller. But all “stains” are evenly distributed all over the dog’s body.
When we talk about size, we can say the male can be around 22-25 inches (56-61 cm) tall and they can weigh around 60-70 lb (27-32 kg). While a female can be 21-23 inches (54-59 cm) tall and weigh between 53 and 64 lb (24-29 kg). They are therefore considered a large-sized breed. Dalmatians require plenty of exercise and need open spaces to move around freely.
Dalmatians: Life Expectancy and Health
A Dalmatian life expectancy is 11 years on average, but some specimens can live up to 15 years. They are a healthy and robust breed, but they have a history connected with some conditions, such as:
- Hereditary deafness: about 8% of Dalmatians are born totally deaf and 22% are deaf in one ear.
- Autoimmune thyroid disease (Lymphocytic thyroiditis): it affects 14% of Dalmatians.
- Kidney stones: they are genetically predisposed to them, due to a defect in the uric acid in their metabolism. This is an inherited issue which leads to a drop of the Dalmatian population in the United States.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is not a frequent pathology. In fact, it only affects 4,6% of Dalmatians.
Dalmatians don’t have an internal hair layer and it is recommended not to expose them to adverse weather, either really hot or really cold.
Dalmatians: Puppies For Sale, and Prices
A Dalmatian puppy can cost between 900 and 1100 dollars, which would be around 800-1000 English pounds. They are generally healthy dogs but they also carry some pathologies which are common for the breed, like congenital deafness. This is a great reason for you to always go to certified breeders who can offer all the required certifications and pedigree papers for the puppy you wish to buy. It is essential to have your puppy’s history on record.
This dog is not a good fit for lazy owners, since they carry a lot of energy. They are very playful and they love to move around. This is a dog which demands to exercise everyday and you can even take advantage of their ease of training. If you share a similar character, energetic and active, and you are also a bit whimsical, then yes, this is the perfect dog for you!
Now that we have cleared the most important aspects, you can go and find your new four-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Japanese Spitz
- Caucasian Shepherd
- Irish Wolfhound
- English Mastiff
- Kai Ken