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Calm, intelligent and outgoing

About the Dalmatian

The Dalmatian is famous around the world for its polka-dotted coat, and is known as the star of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. These energetic, outgoing dogs have been loyal protectors and companions for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

This breed makes for a great running buddy and will thrive in a home with active owners. They’re also great with older kids who can play nicely with dogs.

They love to spend time with humans, often outlasting their masters when it comes to endurance. They’re also very intelligent, and battling wits with a Dalmatian who has their own ideas for entertainment can be challenging for novice owners.

Despite the high demands of the breed, they’re beloved by dog owners around the world, and owning a Dalmatian is a rewarding and exciting experience.

dalmatian lying on a bed

Dalmatian Breed Characteristics

48 to 60 cm at the shoulder

48 to 55 pounds

Life Expectancy
13 to 16 years

Coat Colours
White, black, liver

Here are some of the qualities you can expect from the Dalmatian, rated from one to five stars. However, all dogs are individuals, and your dog may not display exactly the same characteristics.

Family Life
Friendly with Kids
Friendly with Dogs
Ease of Grooming
Exercise Needs
Prey Drive
Tendency to Bark or Howl
Good for Novice Owners
Apartment Living

Dalmatian Breed History

It is difficult to determine exactly where the Dalmatian originated. There are many who believe the breed is the result of crossbreeding Pointers and spotted Great Danes. Regardless of their ancestry, one area can claim to be the source of the Dalmatian’s name – Dalmatia, near the Adriatic Sea.

The Dalmatian is one of only a few coach and carriage dog breeds in the world. Indeed, the reason why people believe that the breed is descended from the Great Dane is that Great Danes also served as carriage dogs. The bond between horses and Dalmatians is so strong that many Dalmatian puppies are kennelled with horses from birth.

They have a particular affinity with firemen, since fire pumps were originally pulled by horses. Even though the horses have now been replaced with fire engines, the breed continues to be the mascot for firefighters throughout the world.

Caring For a Dalmatian

How to Choose a Responsible Dalmatian Breeder

It’s always best to get your Dalmatian puppy from a responsible breeder. Research breeding organisations who enforce standards for the treatment of animals, and look up Dalmatian breeders who are part of those organisations. Your breeder should know the genetic profile and ancestry of their breeding animals.

If possible, pay a visit to your breeder so that you can see where your puppy will spend the first eight weeks of their life. Their environment has a large impact on their temperament, so a calm, clean and safe whelping area is preferable.

Dalmatian FAQ

No, they are not suited to be left alone without any company. Dalmatians left alone at home or in the yard may develop negative behaviours, as they thrive on the attention they get from their owners.

No, they are not naturally aggressive. Though part of their duties entail guarding the horses under their care, they are very friendly dogs. They may be wary of strangers, but will tend to simply warn off intruders.

Dog Breeds Similar to the Dalmatian

The information is for general use only. For any specific advice or queries, please consult with your veterinarian.

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