The Dalmatian‘s white coat with black or liver spots makes it pretty distinctive from other dog breeds. This spotted furball has been around for many centuries already, primarily as a working dog. Years ago, Dalmatians were used to hunt vermin, track scent, and retrieve game. But they were more known as carriage dogs and firehouse dogs.
This versatile breed is more popular as family pets these days, especially after the release of the 90s film 101 Dalmatians. Thinking of having a Dalmatian as a companion? Find out if this is the right breed for you in this post.
Dalmatian Dogs and Puppies
What is a Dalmatian?
Highly energetic and intelligent, Dalmatian dogs have every potential to be awesome pets. Its distinctively unique appearance is a huge plus after you take into account the breed’s wonderful behavior. Read more and find out more about the Dalmatian.
Where is the Dalmatian from?
The origin story of the Dalmatian is quite vague although the breed might have come from Croatia originally. The breed was actually named after a historical region in Croatia called Dalmatia.
The Dalmatian became more popular in England. It was bred and developed as a coach or carriage dog to wealthy owners. As a coach dog, the Dalmatian ran with the carriage, cleared the way for the horses, and protected passengers from bandits.
In the U.S. the Dalmatian became a household name in the fire department, back in the day when the ‘firetrucks’ were still horse-drawn. It mostly had similar functions of a carriage dog but instead of wealthy passengers, it gave aid to firefighters instead. Some Dalmatians even helped in rescuing people from the fire.
What does the Dalmatian look like?
Many people can immediately recognize a Dalmatian with its uniquely white spotted coat, which can either be black or liver.
A Dalmatian generally looks poised, with a strong and sinewy body. The American Kennel Club notes that how the Dalmatian’s feet appears is important. Its feet must be round and compact, with well-arched toes. Its hind legs must be are smooth and muscular.
The breed’s eyes can either be blue or brown (or in shades of brown), or a combination of both: one eye is blue and the other brown. Its thin ears are mid-sized and are set closely to the head. Its nose, meanwhile are either fully black or brown.
The Dalmatian is considered a large breed to others and medium to some. It stands at 19 to 23 inches at the withers and weighs between 15 to 32 kg.
Are Dalmatian puppies born without spots?
Yes, Dalmatians are born all white. They look like adorable cotton balls with a hint of pink on sparsely coated areas. Spots start to appear when they’re three weeks to one month old. New spots would still appear as they grow older but at a much slower rate than when they were young.
What are Dalmatian dogs like?
The Dalmatian is a smart and highly energetic dog breed. Dalmatians have been kept primarily as working dogs for ages and many of them, to this day, innately like doing challenging, high-energy activities. They need owners who can keep up with their energy, moreover, provide them sufficient exercise.
Dalmatians are generally polite to everyone, even strangers. Some are very lively while some are more reserved. Some Dals tend to be a bit stubborn and need an owner who is a strong pack leader.
A properly bred Dal is dignified, calm, and playful. Unfortunately, some Dals are aggressive. There are many factors affecting or leading to aggression. As the breed is prone to deafness, a Dal might be aggressive because it can’t hear properly. Aggression can also be a result of the lack of mental stimulation.
Overall, dogs need to be socialized and trained to curb the possibility of aggression.
Dalmatians can get along with other dogs and animals if introduced early. They worked alongside horses for many centuries and many of them have retained an affinity for horses.
Are Dalmatians deaf?
Around 30 percent of the Dalmatians are born deaf in one or both ears. The breed carries a genetic trait that makes it prone to having hearing defects at birth. This faulty gene is associated with the breed’s patchy piebald coat.
Albino or piebald dog breeds are more at risk of being affected by hereditary deafness. Why? Since these dogs are entirely white or mostly white, it means they lack mature melanocytes or melanin-producing cells, which are important for hearing development.
Dalmatians having blue eyes are also more prone to deafness than those with brown eyes. Bull Terriers, English Setters, Great Danes, and Boston Terriers are among the dog breeds likely to be affected by congenital deafness.
Why are Dalmatians firehouse dogs?
They’re called firehouse dogs because they were indeed firehouse dogs centuries ago when fire engines were still horse-drawn. Dalmatians would run with the horses, clearing out anything that can distract the horses along the way by barking. They also keep the horses company as the firemen put out the fire. At the same time, they make sure the firemen’s things aren’t stolen.
Many firehouses these days keep Dalmatians to maintain the tradition.
How much are Dalmatian puppies?
Dalmatian pups can cost around USD $1,000 to $1,200. Show quality puppies tend to be more expensive. Some puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills are sold at a much cheaper price.
Prices vary and may be based on the breeder’s reputation and the quality of the breed’s line, among other factors.
It’s best you check with the American Kennel Club first if you’re looking for known breeders in the U.S.
How many Dalmatian puppies are there in a litter?
A female Dalmatian can potentially give birth to 6 to 9 puppies in a litter. But there are instances when Dalmatian mothers give birth to even more puppies, as much as 12 to 18 pups in a litter.
What are Dalmatians like as pets?
Dalmatians can be wonderful pets, especially to families that do a lot of challenging and vigorous activities. They’re great playmates around older children and they love being given attention. They mostly prefer being around with their families. They’re great watchdogs as well.
Learn more about Dalmatian dogs in this Best Breed Ever video:
The Dalmatian does not only sport an awesome spotted look, it has a pleasing personality too. This breed is quite energetic and can definitely keep up with athletic activities. It is just the kind of dog you might want to have around if you have a pretty active lifestyle.
Did you enjoy reading about the Dalmatian? Convinced on having one for your home? Let me know what you think by writing a comment below. Read more articles about dogs here.
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Feature image via Pixabay