Other Names: Dal
Dog Group Kennel Club: Non Sporting (AKC) Utility KC (GB)
Tradition suggests that Dalmatians came from Dalmatia, a region along the Adriatic Sea. Dalmatians are athletic, muscluar and sturdy dogs.
They are famous for their unquie white coat with either black are liver coloured spots. Their coats are short and fine. Puppies are born all with with a unique pattern of spots developing in the first weeks of life.
Weight: 50 – 55 lbs
Average Life Span: 11 – 14 years
Dalmatians are playful, friendly, affectionate, and extremely energetic. They are good with children but would be too boisturous around small children, so would be best suited with a family with older children. They make great family pets that need to be part of family life. Dalmatians who are confined to a yard or kennel away from family activities frequently become barkers or diggers. Dalmatians get along well with other animals, and also make good watchdogs.
Dalmatians are easy to train as they are very eager to please. They respond very quickly to positive consistent training.
Grooming requires are minimal. Weekly brushing will keep the coat healthy and free from dead hairs.
Dalmatians have high energy levels and therefore need lots of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. If you don’t have time for daily long walks this is not the breed for you. Owners need to be energetic and prepared to make time to meet the breeds energy and stamina levels. Care should be taken not to over exercise dalmatian puppies as they need time to build up muscle tone.
Dalmatian Health Issues
Deafness 8 to 12% of Dalmatians are born deaf. While such a handicap disallows the dog from the show ring, deaf dalmatians are easily trained to hand signals.Another 22% are unilateral hearing, that is, normal hearing is present in only one ear. Unilateral hearing Dalmatians still make fine pets and most owners are unaware of any problem.
Bladder Stones Another major concern is the formation of bladder stones. This problem can be largely prevented and/or treated through proper diet. Dalmatians particularly need to be kept well hydrated and should be given ample opportunity to urinate. For this reason crate training is NOT recommended.
Skin problems and allergies do seem to be present in the breed. These skin problems can be caused by a number of factors including: stress, humidity and heat and most commonly allergens (allergic reactions). These allergens may be inhaled as in the case of airborne pollens, molds, etc.; ingested as with food allergens; injected as with flea saliva; or merely contacted as with local irritants coming in contact with the skin
Hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Hypothyroidism, an endocrine disease that results in the abnormally low production of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, mental depression, weight gain and a tendency to seek out warm places. Hypothyroidism can also affect the coat and skin, causing hair loss and excessive dandruff.
Iris Sphincter Dysplasia Affected individuals appear to be squinting when in bright sunlight. More research is needed on how this problem is transmitted but it appears to be hereditary thus affected individuals should be removed from breeding programs.
Historians believe that dalmatians originated in India as a lightly spotted hound type dog treasured by gypsies because of their flashy markings and eagerness to have fun. Dalmatians traveled throughout Europe and Asia with the gypsies eventually arriving in Europe around the late 1780’s when members of the British upper class brought them home from their frequent trips to continental Europe. The aristocracy hoped to use them as hunting dogs but soon discovered that they were better companions to horse drawn carriages because they liked running along side the horses, which explains why they were called carriage dogs.
The dals association with carriages and horses also opened up a new career opportunity for the breed in the USA. Dalmatians received the nickname “fire dog” as they were the dogs that lived in the stables with the horses thatpulled the water pumpers used to put out fires. When the alarm bell sounded the dogs ran behind the horses or led the way through the streets. After motor cars replaced the horses and carriages the dogs moved into the fire stations and enjoyed riding atop the engines. Over the last 40 years most fire stations have not been able to keep dalmatians as many urban fire stations lack the necessary space and personnel are often shifted between stations and given irregular shift assignments.