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Dalmatian

Dalmation

An Enthusiastic Companion

Boisterous, energetic, playful

Dalmatians are intelligent, easy to train, and protective large dogs. This breed has an extroverted personality and craves human companionship, but may be reserved toward unfamiliar dogs. Dalmatians make great companions for families with older children, active individuals, and fire fighters, of course. These energetic dogs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation every day.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:19-23 in. Weight:40-60 lb Lifespan:12-14 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
2

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: They are highly intelligent and can be taught to perform a variety of tricks to keep them mentally stimulated. Dalmatians can be sound sensitive, so be prepared for thunderstorms, New Year's Eve, and The Fourth of July!

Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Dalmatians generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

The Dalmatian is an exuberant and fun-loving dog with high exercise needs. They are sensitive to their family and crave human companionship.

Positive Traits:

  • Energetic and playful 

  • Intelligent and easy to train

  • Gregarious, extroverted personality

  • Protective of family: good watch dog

  • People-oriented and eager to please

  • Loyal and loving companion

Negative Traits:

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

  • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

  • Can be aggressive, fearful, or snappy if not socialized properly

  • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

  • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

Whether you are considering adding a new Dalmatian to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Dalmatian will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Dalmatian you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Dalmatian could encounter:

  • Eye Problems

  • Eyelid Abnormality

  • Liver Disorder

The Dalmatian is the only spotted dog breed. Dalmations have a working and sporting heritage, they have been used as coaching dogs over the last 300 years due to their natural affinity for horses. Dalmatians have great endurance and speed and are quick to protect. The popularity of the Dalmatian soared after Disney portrayed the breed in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The Dalmatian is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Dalmatian shows signs of the following:

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Depression, poor appetite, yellowing of the eyes

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

  • Louder than normal panting, especially when hot or after exercise

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

  • Care

    Routine Care: They are highly intelligent and can be taught to perform a variety of tricks to keep them mentally stimulated. Dalmatians can be sound sensitive, so be prepared for thunderstorms, New Year's Eve, and The Fourth of July!

    Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Dalmatians generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    The Dalmatian is an exuberant and fun-loving dog with high exercise needs. They are sensitive to their family and crave human companionship.

    Positive Traits:

    • Energetic and playful 

    • Intelligent and easy to train

    • Gregarious, extroverted personality

    • Protective of family: good watch dog

    • People-oriented and eager to please

    • Loyal and loving companion

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

    • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

    • Can be aggressive, fearful, or snappy if not socialized properly

    • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

    • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Dalmatian to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Dalmatian will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Dalmatian you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Dalmatian could encounter:

    • Eye Problems

    • Eyelid Abnormality

    • Liver Disorder

  • History

    The Dalmatian is the only spotted dog breed. Dalmations have a working and sporting heritage, they have been used as coaching dogs over the last 300 years due to their natural affinity for horses. Dalmatians have great endurance and speed and are quick to protect. The popularity of the Dalmatian soared after Disney portrayed the breed in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The Dalmatian is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Dalmatian shows signs of the following:

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Depression, poor appetite, yellowing of the eyes

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

    • Louder than normal panting, especially when hot or after exercise

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

Dalmatian Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Dalmatian breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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  1. 90% Coverage

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