The cheerfully spotted Dalmatian is really something very special! Here you can find out everything about keeping, caring for, character, and upbringing of the spotty animal.
The Dalmatian emphasizes like no other dog that uniqueness can make you famous. At least since the worldwide success of the cartoon “101 Dalmatians”, the dog breed with the striking coat has been one of the best-known dogs of all.
But the spotted dogs are not only pretty to look at from the outside, they are also characterized by a very friendly, cuddly, loyal, and lively nature with a lot of power and great self-confidence.
In our breed portrait, you will learn everything about the Dalmatian, starting with its beautiful appearance and history, right through to optimal keeping, care, and training.
What does a Dalmatian look like?
The Dalmatian is a very special dog. On the one hand, this is due to its fur and, on the other hand, to its elegant body.
How big is a dalmatian?
If you have such beautiful dots, you can also grow up. Males reach a height at the withers of between 56 cm and 62 cm and females between 54 cm and 60 cm.
How heavy is a dalmatian?
Despite its size, the breed is relatively light. Males weigh on average between 27 kg and 32 kg and females between 24 kg and 29 kg.
The Dalmatian’s most distinctive feature is its fur. White with black or brown spots, it clearly stands out in the dog world, because no other breed of dog can boast such a coat pattern.
Usually born pure white, the puppies begin to show the first dark spots after 10 to 14 days. The patches change and multiply until the dog is about a year old.
The fur is short and dense, without an undercoat, and shines with appropriate nutrition and care (see below).
But not only the fur but also the physique is very striking in the dogs. The body is lean and athletic with a straight topline and muscular shoulder blades. The trunk area and neck are long and narrow.
The head and muzzle are also characterized by narrow definitions.
The floppy ears are set high and rounded. The eyes are round and either dark brown or amber.
Changes in appearance
Dalmatians are probably one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Reports and descriptions of the dark spotted Dalmatian date back to the 14th century and the dog does not appear to have changed much in appearance since then.
How old does a Dalmatian get?
The breed is one of the healthy and robust dog breeds, so the dogs usually live between 12 and 14 years, with even a proud age of up to 16 years being not uncommon.
What character or nature does the Dalmatian have?
The creators of the cartoon starring 101 dogs had their reasons for choosing the Dalmatian of all things. The dog breed is basically characterized by a friendly, affectionate, and harmony-needy disposition. He doesn’t like arguments and severity at all, rather he responds very well to praise and confirmation.
He loves living with his family and would like to be there whenever his people are doing something.
At the same time, the dog is self-confident, intelligent, and definitely has a mind of its own. If he is not lovingly but clearly shown his boundaries right from the start, the Dalmatian can become a little bully who wants to experience his very own adventures.
The Dalmatian as a sports cannon
The dog breed is extremely active and sporty. Whether cycling, jogging, horseback riding, or hiking, you can take the hard-working runner with you everywhere, because the dog loves outdoor activities and games more than anything.
The Dalmatian naturally has a light to medium hunting instinct, which can be redirected very well through training and games such as retrieving.
Aggressiveness towards people and other dogs is alien to him. Instead, the Dalmatian mostly limits himself to restraint, distrust, and vigilance. But it also warms up pretty quickly. Especially if you lure him out of his reserve with a treat.
Where does the Dalmatian come from?
The beauties like to wrap themselves in secrets and it’s the same with the Dalmatians. The dog breed with the spots is probably one of the oldest in the world and the first reports and descriptions of the dog can be traced back to the 14th century and allegedly even to the time of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
At the same time, less is known about the origins and origins of the Dalmatian than about other dog breeds. Instead, there are many theories and guesses. For some lovers, the origin of the Dalmatian lies in the Croatian region of Dalmatia, other theories speak of England, Italy, or even northern India as the area of origin of the dogs.
Also, little is known about the actual tasks of the Dalmatians. It is believed that he was used, among other things, as a companion dog for carriages and riders, which is supported by his quality as an enthusiastic runner. Other theories see him as a hunting or farm dog, a circus dog, or simply a companion dog.
It has been proven that the Dalmatian was used in America as a “fire-fighting dog”, running in front of the fire-brigade carriages and barking loudly as a “living siren” to warn other road users. The dog is still one of the mascots of some American fire departments today.
Dalmatian: The right posture
The Dalmatian’s urge to move is enormous and accordingly, you should be generous with the dog when it comes to exercise and sporting activities.
Several walks of at least one hour a day plus additional exercises, intelligence games, or other meaningful activities are self-evident. Include the dog in your own sporting activities and it is best to register with various dog sports clubs.
When dogs are given a busy physical and mental activity, they are generally quiet within the apartment or house and will be content with less space than in a city apartment. Of course, like any other breed of dog, having your own garden is an enormous advantage for the Dalmatian.
Dalmatians: The right upbringing
When raising the Dalmatian, a clear attitude and loving consistency are particularly important. Rules must be established early and always enforced by everyone in the family. Otherwise, the happily spotted dogs with strong character can sometimes want to assert their own mind.
The training of the dogs should be based on praise and affirmation so that a close emotional bond develops between the sensitive dog and its caregivers.
The animals love their family more than anything, want to be around them all the time, and find it difficult to be alone, which is why this dog breed in particular is not suitable for full-time workers and frequent travelers.
What care does the Dalmatian need?
The breed is generally considered to be easy to care for. However, there are some aspects that should be considered during maintenance. Dogs’ fur sheds quite a lot and should ideally be brushed daily.
Regular checking of the floppy ears for inflammation is also important when caring for them. Due to the disturbance of the uric acid transport system that often occurs in the dog breed, the dog should be provided with a diet low in purine and sufficient water.
What typical diseases does the Dalmatian have?
Even if the dog breed is generally characterized by strong and robust health, there are a number of breed-specific diseases in the breed portrait that primarily affect dogs with the spots: deafness and the so-called Dalmatian syndrome.
Deafness in the Dalmatian
An above-average number of puppies are born in the best of health, but with congenital deafness. Science has now established a direct link between coat color and genetic defect, which means that the occurrence of deafness increases proportionally with the amount of white in the coat. Deafness is not a disease in itself, as it is in no way harmful to the dog’s health and it can still reach an impressive age of up to 16 years. Of course, such a handicapped dog needs a special home.
The Dalmatian syndrome refers to the disruption of the uric acid transport system, which can lead to the formation of urinary stones and other symptoms and is particularly common in this breed of dog. Eating an appropriate diet can reduce the likelihood of urinary stones.
How much does a Dalmatian coast?
As with all other dog breeds, the same applies here: Buy the puppies exclusively from reputable, registered breeders and never on dubious websites or from questionable dealers who sell so-called “Wühltisch puppies”. These puppies are very likely to suffer from many diseases and can also have typical genetic defects such as deafness and Dalmatian syndrome without you noticing it when you buy them.
Reputable breeders attach great importance to health and also to good nature and character traits. The prices for Dalmatian puppies from German breeders vary between 1,100 and 1,700 euros, and in some cases significantly more.