The Dalmatian is a Croatian breed that was developed as a working and hunting dog. In the past they have been used as firehouse mascots, retrievers, vermin hunters, draft dogs, watchdogs, hunting dogs, and stage performers. They are most known for their mascot work in fire houses and at fire stations. Today they are used primarily as a family dog.
The Dalmatian is characterized by their white body with black spots. However, when Dalmatian pups are born they are completely white. The spots don’t develop until they are about two weeks old. This dog breed is friendly, all be it they are a bit high strung and excitable. This makes them a good family dog for families with older kids. Dalmatians don’t always get along with other dogs and they their behavior may flip between friendly and aggressive. Because of this you need to train your Dalmatian early and provide it with plenty of opportunities to socialize with other dogs when it is very young. This can help to counteract their bi-polar reactions to other dogs.
Because of poor breeding practices this breed is prone to deafness and other genetic health problems. Make sure to do lots of research before choosing the breeder of your puppy.
Dalmatians are active and athletic dogs. They are very playful especially when young. They are also very loyal and affectionate and with the proper training and socialization, they are wonderful lifetime companions
Origin of the Dalmatian
Dalmatians were once used as carriage dogs and they were used to trot along the sides of carriages guarding the horses and the people inside of the carriage.
Over time they have settled into various roles. They are versatile as working dogs but nowadays they are usually found as household companions.
Dalmatian Appearance and Abilities
Dalmatians are lean and athletic-looking. They have amazing agility and surprising strength. Their appearance is symmetrical and they have elegant stances.
There coats are short, hard, and dense. Their distinction is their white colored body with black or liver colored spots randomly splashed all over their bodies.
Their feet are round with well-arched toes and the nails are either white or the same color as the spots. They usually have dark brown eyes but you can sometimes find eyes of amber and blue.
The Dalmatian has a beautiful face that radiates an intelligent expression. When they are still puppies, they are completely colored white. Their spots appear later in life as they mature.
Temperament and Tendencies of the Dalmatian
Dalmatians are fast and have a lot of stamina. They are tireless with lots of energy. They always seem to play and run around a lot. Dalmatians are happy go lucky dogs.
Young Dalmatians are naturally rambunctious. They are great with kids but their hyperactivity may cause them to sometimes knock children down by accident. They are somewhat slow to mature but once they reach adulthood, they become more docile and easier to manage.
Dalmatians are very loyal to their masters. They are affectionate and very sensitive and they tend to become willful and dominant if they are not properly trained. They will easily take the role of the pack leader if their masters lack the ability to establish firm leadership.
Dalmatians are quite intelligent creatures. They excel in obedience training
Dalmatian Training and Care
Socialization is very important. Dalmatians must be socialized early and extensively. They will develop better as adults if they are exposed to lots of people and other animals when still young. Lack of socialization will make Dalmatians timid. They may also develop unwanted aggression towards people and other dogs.
Never be harsh to Dalmatians. They are very sensitive and the may develop behavioral problems if they are treated harshly. Positive reinforcement is the only way to train Dalmatians.
Owners must establish their dominance over the Dalmatian. Pack leadership is important. When walking Dalmatians, always make them “heel” beside or behind you. Never allow them to pull you around.
Dalmatians need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. If they are not exercised enough, they may become high-strung and may develop destructive behaviors.
Apartment living is not recommended. However, if Dalmatian owners can provide regular exercise regardless of living space, they may adapt to apartment living. That being said a large space for running and playing is always best for Dalmatians.
Dalmatians are clean dogs. They seem to avoid dirty surroundings and puddles. The thing about Dalmatians though is that they shed profusely. They do this at least twice a year. Brushing is essential to cope with their constant shedding.