Dalmatian Info & Dalmatian Breeders

Dalmatians are a distinctly spotted medium to large breed. Dalmatians are athletic, alert, intelligent and always friendly. They are a popular family pet and many dog enthusiasts enter Dalmatians into club activities such as obedience, sports, agility, nosework etc.

Dalmatian Temperament

Dalmatians should be of good demeanour. Free of fear and aggression. They are social dogs, courteous to other animals and people alike but loyal and loving to their owner.  They are playful and energetic. Enthusiastic companions for every activity.  

The ideal owner for a Dalmatian

Athletic people, Adult singles or couples, Families with older children. They are easily compatable with other pets.

 

Training and socialisation

Dalmatians require consistent and clearly defined boundaries. Some may be sensitive to corrections and negative markers and may easily become bored by repetitive drill like training.  They most work best with positive training methods. Dalmatians are fast learners when presented with dynamic and fun sessions and are very versatile, suitable to a wide range of dog sports and activities. Any Dalmatian should be enrolled in puppy classes and dog school and a wide range of stimuli and experiences offered. 

 

How much space and exercise to Dalmatians need?

Average and large backyard sizes are suitable for Dalmatians.  They prefer to be included in day to day life so access indoors is preferred vs an outside only dog. They are a breed of great athletic ability and physical endurance so regular walks or runs are suggested.  It is also really important that they are mentally stimulated in addition to physical activity.

 

Dalmatians and grooming

Dalmatians have a short easily maintained coat.  They are generally low odour and very clean - Most dirt and mud will easily brush off the coat when dry.  They are surprisingly prolific shed-ders. Be prepared to live with Dalmatian glitter if you choose to own this breed.  Keep ears clean and dry to prevent ear infections. And as with every dog breed regular nail trimming and maintenance is required if the dog does not naturally wear the nails down. 

 

Dalmatian colour variations

Standard Dalmatians come in 2 colours. Liver spotted (a deep brown) or Black spotted.  Other colours do exist. But Responsible breeders breed to standard. Breeding for fad colours or traits is destructive, negligent and greedy.

 

General facts about Dalmatians

Average life expectancy: 10-14 years

Average weight: Females: 18-25 kg, Males: 22-35 kg

Average height (at withers): Females: 54-59 cm, Males: 58-63 cm

 

Potential health Issues in Dalmatians

Hyperuricosuria/Uric acid stone formation

Dalmatian’s unique metabolism stops a step earlier than other dog breeds which unfortunately makes them prone to forming very acidic urine and uric acid stones.

 

This is managed in 4 ways: 

- a low purine diet for life

- hydration 

- free access to toiletting

- Desexing only once mature or using methods which allows the urinary tract to mature to full size.

 

***The only exception to this is Low uric acid (LUA) Dalmatians. These dogs are related to a single pointer outcross to reintroduce normal metabolism and remove the affinity for uric stone formation from the breed. These are accepted as purebred dalmatians but are not very common.***

 

Deafness

Dalmatians are affected by congenital deafness.   US statistics suggest 8% of Dalmatians are bilaterally deaf (can not hear in either ear) and 22% are unilaterally deaf (can only hear in one ear). All responsible breeders should have BAER testing completed by a vet on ALL their breeding dogs and puppies produced.

 

Ear infections and skin allergies

May affect some dogs especially in dog teenage years. 

 

Fun Facts about Dalmatians

1. Some Dalmatians smile.  The curl of the lip and baring of teeth can be confused for a snarl, but it is just their way of smiling and is usually a sign of affection or submission if they happen to be in trouble.

 

2. Dalmatians are born almost entirely white. Their spots develop later.

 

3. The Dalmatian is the only breed with the job of ‘coaching’ - running alongside carriages or horseback riders.

 

4. President George Washington was a Dalmatian enthusiast and breeder.

 

5. 101 Dalmatians was a disaster for the breed.  Increased demand led to a lot of amateur breeders and puppy farmers flooding the market with unhealthy and bad temperament dogs.  Not screening or educating owners meant a lot were not exercised, trained or socialised appropriately.

 

Biggest thanks to Wonderdal Dalmatians for contributing to this information, and Deb Raeburn for main photo. 

 

Dalmatian History

The roles of this ancient breed are as varied as their reputed ancestors. They were used as dogs of war, guarding the borders of Dalmatia.  Their dramatic markings and intelligence have made them successful circus dogs throughout the years. Dalmatians are perhaps best known for their role as fire-fighting apparatus escorts and firehouse mascots. Since Dalmatians and horses are very compatible, the dogs were easily trained to run in front of the carriages to help clear a path and quickly guide the horses and firefighters to the fires. Fire engines used to be drawn by fast and powerful horses, a tempting target for thieves, so Dalmatians were kept in the firehouse as deterrence to theft.  Source: Dalmatian Breed Information - History - Wikipedia

 

We welcome comments and contributions to information about this breed.

 

If you are a small scale ANKC registered breeder and would like to be listed here, just contact us or follow a few simple steps .

Registered Dalmatian Breeders

Adstaff Kennels - Dalmatians, Whippets, & Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds - Campbell Town, TAS
Dogs
When Adam turned sixteen he commenced showing and breeding Staffordshire Bull ... read more
Cristabo Kennels - Dalmatian Breeder - Wellington, New Zealand
Dogs
Our dogs (like all Dalmatians) are primarily companion dogs. This means that ... read more
Dalillu Kennels - Dalmatian Breeder - Brisbane QLD
Dogs
Dalillu Dalmatians are a small kennel based in Brisbane. We breed both for show ... read more
Wonderdal Dalmatians - Dalmatian Breeder - Wandong, Victoria
Dogs
Dalmatian breeder on the northern outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria.  ... read more