Description: I think all dog lovers in this world know what a dalmatian looks like.
(By the way, when optimizing this page I have seen that people spell the name as “dalmation”, but I’ve checked it in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and the correct form is with an “a”, that is "dalmatian".
We all laughed, cried and shivered for the 101 Dalmatians when Cruella wanted a fur out of their spotted short-haired coat.
The breed seems to originate in the Balkans, in Dalmatia, but drawings with a spotted dog were found in Egyptian tombs and in Greek and Roman friezies. Some stories say that they were the dogs of the nomad gypsies, who wandered all over Europe.
The English have called them Coach Dogs, because they were originally bred to accompany charriots and their masters all over the place. That’s why these dogs have great stamina and speed as well, and a majestic gait.
Group: Non-Sporting. Utility.
Height: Dogs 22-24 inches (50-60cm). Bitches 20-22 inches (50-55 cm)
Weight: about 55 pounds (25 kg)
Temperament: The Dalmatian is a playful, funny, friendly and loyal dog who craves for human attention. It was bred to run along horses, to hunt, as a hound, as a guard dog, as a circus performer or firefighter mascot.
You can easily immagine why this is not a dog to sit home alone. If left alone, it becomes depressed and destructive. It can be good with other pets and children, but, being that frisky, it can harm toddlers. It does not get along with other dogs, especially males.
Shyness is a major fault, and these dogs are shy only if they were innapropriately trained. Otherwise, the dog has a stable temperament and a dignified attitude. They are not noisy, don’t bark but when necessary and this makes them good guard dogs.
Health: The main problem that affects this dog is deafness, which can be seen in 10% of the puppies. That’s why all puppies should be BAER-tested around 6 weeks, and the deaf pups should be neutered. Deafness is accompanied by hypopigmentation. That means the rims of the eye and the nose are discoloured. A deaf dog can do well only with appropriate training, otherwise it will become aggressive out of fear.
Other ailments are skin conditions (like allergies or dermatitis) and kidney and bladder diseases due to hyperuricemia, that’s why the dog should not be let encaged, forced to wait for a moment when it can urinate.
Progressive retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia may affect them as well.
Maintenance/Grooming: The coat of a Dalmatian is short, dense and close fitting. Grooming demands are low.
To minimize loose hair, frequent brushing with a rubber brush is recommended. The dog sheds twice a year and a full grooming interval of 8-12 weeks would be enough. is recommended.
Bathing the dog is not compulsory and it should be done only when necessary.
Training: Being used to and willing to be around people, the Dalmatian is highly trainable, but the training should start very early and last the whole life.
This dog is affectionate and sensitive and the harsh methods or the “iron fist” are not appropriate for training. The Dalmatians excel in obedience training, agility or for defense. Their endurance and need of exercise make them good companions in training sessions and makes them good companions for jogging, hiking or walking.
Taking into account the dominant nature of the male dogs, they should be trained in order not to become aggressive with other male dogs.
Breeding, puppies: The litter consists in 3-15 puppies, with an average of 8, but breeding Dalmatians can be a tricky thing. That’s why you should let this in the care of the experts. After all, who would want a litter with deaf dogs or spotted as they shouldn’t be ? And if your puppies are completely white, do not despair ! All Dalmatian dogs are born completely white. The spots appear afterwards.
Varieties: As everybody knows, Dalmatians are white with black or liver round, well-defined spots. The spots are evenly distributed, patches with no spots at all can contribute to disqualification in dog shows.
Famous dogs: Perdita and Pongo, and of course all of the 101 Dalmatians.