Other names/Nicknames:
  • Carriage Dog
  • Plum Pudding Dog
  • Fire House Dog
Country/Date of origin:
  • Former Yugoslavia
  • 1400′s
  • 19 to 23 inches
  • 50 to 55 pounds
  • Multi-talented.  It has been a dog of war, watchdog, shepherd, hunter and ratter.
  • Loving and spirited.
  • A quick learner.
  • Reserved with strangers.
  • A natural watchdog that doesn’t like other dogs in its territory.  It was selectively bred for this quality for many years.

The Dalmatian has filled many roles in its long history.  It is a fine sporting dog, working before the gun as a pointer.  It was a shepherd in its native Dalmatia (what was once Yugoslavia).  It was, however, as a coaching guard that it reached its flowering.  Trained to run underneath the carriage, the Dalmatian would dart out and protect the horses from stray dogs that menaced them, and conversely, the horses protected it.  The Dalmatian’s ability to exactly match the horse’s pace let it slip between the moving feet to get away from a pack of curs.  In the days when fire apparatus was pulled by horses, the Dalmatians were welcomed in the fire houses where they kept vermin at bay.  Dalmatians were one of the first breeds exhibited at organized shows in the United States.

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, well-balanced dog not exaggerated in any way.
  • Instantly identified by its distinctive, bold, spotted patterning.
  • The long, thin tail is carried and never altered.
  • The high-set ears are carried close to the head and are not altered.
  • The gait of the Dalmatian is very important.  It must be a steady rhythm of one, two, three, four, as if in military cadence.  This allowed the dogs to safely pace themselves underneath a moving carriage.
  • Short, harsh and dense.
  • Permissible colors are black or liver-brown markings set on a pure white background.
  • The size, shape and distribution of the spots is a very important consideration in choosing a Dalmatian.  They should be round and well delineated.  They may be as large as a silver dollar.
  • The color of the nose must match the color of the spots.  Black spotted dogs have black noses.  Brown spotted ones have brown noses.
  • Minimal grooming required.
Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Laryngeal paralysis.
  • Congenital deafness.
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy.
  • Chronic hepatitis.
  • Urolithiasis (urates).
  • Atopy.
  • Bacterial folliculitis.
  • Solar dermatitis.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, actinic).
  • Hemangioma (actinic).
  • Hemangiosarcomas.
What you should know:
  • Dalmatian is commonly mis-spelled with an o.
  • The name is a denotes the dog’s place of origin—Dalmatia.
  • Two children’s books, The Twilight Howling and 1001 Dalmatians propelled this breed, via Disney, onto the top ten list in American Kennel Club (AKC) registrations.
  • A jogger’s dog, the breed needs lots of exercise.
  • If confined it can be destructive or become a compulsive barker.
  • This breed has an unusual affinity for horses.
  • Puppies are born solid white.  The spots don’t appear till the whelps are about 10-days old.
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