Between 19-24 inches at the shoulder and 40-60 lbs, Dalmatians have a short white coat with black or brown spots. Their coat requires very little maintenance, however they shed all year round. The Dalmatian is an intelligent dog who is eager to learn, yet he can also be a clown. They have a lot of stamina and boundless energy. Above all the Dalmatian is very people-oriented and craves human companionship. The Dal is happiest in the self-appointed role of companion guardian, confidant and helper. They learn quickly and need positive training methods to keep them motivated.


The early origin of Dalmatians is unknown. In the last 300 years, Dals were used as coach dogs. Today, Dalmatians are an "all-round' breed that has been used for tracking, search and rescue, police service, hunting companions, guide dogs, and as obedience and performance dogs who are intelligent, agile and quick. They are clean and devoted companions with lots of patience for children and are often used in pet therapy programs.


Health Issues in Dalmatians


There are certain health problems associated with every breed of dog, purebreed or mixed breed. Those of specific concern to Dalmatians are:


Deafness - The only accurate way to determine a dog's hearing status is through Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) Testing. The DCC does not endorse selling or giving away puppies who are deaf in both ears. Reputable breeders will supply you with hearing test results.


Bladder stones - The Dalmatian has a unique problem with processing purine-forming proteins, which may cause the formation of bladder stones. Dalmatians should be fed medium or low protein commercial dog food or a diet that is low in purine forming proteins. Contact the DCC for more information on this.


Other Issues - Regardless of the breed selected, you may wish to discuss general canine health concerns with a veterinarian, including dysplasia, hypothyroidism, seizures, allergies, and eye problems.The DCC and the Dalmatian Club of America Foundation (DCAF) sponsor research and education on many important health issues.


DCAF Donations may be directed to the DCAF Treasurer, 1348 Beaulah Park, Lexington, KY 40517.


To purchase the official book of the Dalmatian, send a check for $47.95 USD to DCAF Book, P.O. Box 632, Elgin, IL 60121-0632.


Dalmatian Success Tips


1. Do your research. Educate yourself by reading about Dalmatians and talking to Dalmatian breeders and owners.

2. Ask breeders for references and insure you get a written contract, which guarantees the health and temperament of your puppy.

3. Have your puppy checked immediately by a veterinarian to confirm its health.

4. Crate train your puppy. Bored pups can be destructive.

5. Socialize your Dal pup with other puppies, dogs, people and children.

6. Enroll in puppy kindergarten to learn the basics of training. Use consistent, positive and motivational training methods with your Dal.

7. Spay or neuter your Dal to prevent unwanted puppies and protect your pet from disease.

8. Keep your Dal safe in a fenced yard. Teach your Dal to come on command, it may save his or her life one day.

9. Make your Dal a part of your family and life. Try a canine activity with your Dal such as conformation, obedience, agility, flyball, scent hurdling, frisbee, tracking, road trials or pet therapy.

10. Contact your breeder and/or the Dalmatian Club of Canada if you have any questions or concerns about your Dal.


Is a Dalmatian right for me?


Here are some questions to ask yourselfbefore you buy a Dalmatian puppy:

1. Does all the family want a puppy?

2. Are you ready for a 10 -15 year commitment?

3. Do you have enough time space and energy to look after your new puppy?

4. Do you want the puppy primarily as a pet or also for showing, breeding, obedience, guarding, etc.?


Reputable breeders will pick a puppy for you based on your lifestyle, expectations and the puppy’s temperament. Matching the puppy to a new family’s lifestyle is the key to a long and happy relationship.


Buyer beware! There are many puppies sold as purebred puppies, but which are not registered. Contact your local Kennel Club or the Dalmatian Club of Canada to help you find a reputable breeder before you purchase your dog.


Rescued Dalmatians


Unfortunately, there are too many Dalmatians in shelters. Adopting a Dalmatian can be a rewarding experience. First you must be prepared to re-train and re-socialize your new pet. The majority of rescued dogs come from abusive and neglectful homes. You must spend time building confidence back into your dog. Adopting a rescued dog is in some ways like adopting a new puppy. In most cases you must start from the beginning in your training and socialization.



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