Dalmatian: characteristics, care, and history


The Dalmatian is an energetic and cheerful pet. Thanks to its striking appearance, you will definitely not go unnoticed while walking in the park and on dog grounds.

Brief information on the Dalmatian breed

Breed name:   Dalmatian

Country of origin:   Croatia

Weight:   Males: 27-32 kg. females: 24-29 kg.

Height (height at withers):    Males: 56-62 cm. Bitches: 54-60 cm

Life span:    10-13 years


-These are rather large and very active animals, therefore, it is preferable to be kept in a private house with the possibility of free range in a fenced area.

-Dalmatians need early socialization and proper upbringing.

-Without sufficient physical exertion, they turn into uncontrollable destructive dogs.

-Dalmatians are not suitable for homebodies and families with small children.

-Despite the short coat, they shed intensively and need constant care.


-About 12% of puppies are born deaf.

-The pattern of spots on the body is unique for each individual.

-Dogs with black/brown spots on a white background are the only ones allowed to participate in exhibitions, but there are other color options.

-The Dalmatian is one of the breeds for which “media” and momentary popularity have brought more harm than good. Dogs with a difficult temperament and high demands for daily exercise do not get along with every fan of the Disney cartoon. But experienced and responsible owners will find in energetic creation a devoted friend and a wonderful companion.

Characteristics of the breed

Aggressiveness:   Not aggressive

Activity:   Very high

Training:   Easy

Molting:   High

Need for care:   Low

Friendliness:   Very friendly  

Health:   Below average

Maintenance cost:   Above average

Attitude towards loneliness:   Cannot stand

Intelligence:   Smart

Noise:   Low

Security qualities:   Average

Dalmatian personality


Dalmatians are not suitable for inexperienced owners and people who need the company of a phlegmatic “couch” dog. Incredibly active by nature, without proper physical exertion, they channel unused energy into destructive pranks, harming the home. In such a situation, the animal becomes uncontrollable; it does not obey commands and completely ignores prohibitions.

Failure to understand the background of this behavior led to the formation of a mistaken opinion about low intelligence. If the Dalmatian does not respond to “No!” and “Come to me!” this does not necessarily mean that it is stupid. The point is simply that the owner made serious mistakes during upbringing, did not establish his authority and continues the chain of mistakes, not satisfying the natural needs of the pet in physical exercise.

Correct training, balanced and calm building relationships with the puppy, early socialization contribute to the formation of a healthy and strong psyche. Such dogs perfectly feel the mood of a person and adapt to it, they are happy to carry out commands, do not start fights on the walking grounds, are restrained with strangers, and are friendly towards animals.

Dalmatians are not attached to one “their” person, they equally love and protect all household members, while striving to take an active part in everything that people do. Thry Get along well with other pets, especially if they grow up with them. There is a long-standing attraction to the company of horses in the genes, but few people today own a stable, so a dog or cat society would be suitable.

For a family with small children, the emergence of energetic “plum pudding”, as the English affectionately call these dogs, can be a problem. But not because they are aggressive by nature and are capable of deliberately harming the little one. On the one hand, impetuous and harsh by nature Dalmatians do not measure their strength and often knock down the kids who are inappropriately in the way. On the other hand, animals with hearing problems instinctively defend themselves from the “threat” when they are imperceptibly approached from behind or disturbed in their sleep, and it is difficult for crumbs to immediately learn the subtleties of handling a special family member.

But in most cases, Dalmatians get along just fine with older children and teenagers.

Care and maintenance

An ideal option for keeping a Dalmatian would be a spacious private house with a securely fenced area where it can walk freely during the day. However, it must be remembered that representatives of this breed cannot live permanently in cold climate – short hair does not protect against low temperatures.

If you own a city apartment, long walks are a prerequisite for a peaceful existence. Moreover, not only the duration (at least an hour a day) is important, but also the saturation with loads. It is best if the dog on a leash accompanies you on a run or bike ride – moving at a fast pace, it will burn enough energy so that it does not seek adventure when it returns. Exercising on an equipped obstacle course can be an alternative, just correctly measure the physical condition of the dog and the height of the barriers.

Dalmatians do not require complicated and tedious grooming. Their “fur coat” does not fall off and does not need a haircut or frequent washing, however, molting occurs abundantly and almost continuously, and becomes especially strong at the border of warm and cold seasons. To keep the coat at home minimal, it is recommended that you brush your pet with a brush or a special mitten as often as possible (at least 2-3 times a week).

Standard procedures are enough: monitor the condition of the ears and eyes, the length of the claws, regularly brush its teeth with veterinary paste. Nutrition should be balanced and healthy. The easiest way to achieve this is with premium and super premium ready-made feeds. Remember that overeating combined with low physical activity is associated with obesity.

How to choose a puppy


-The key to a successful purchase is a well-considered and carefully considered breeder choice. Only nurseries with an impeccable reputation can guarantee that the new member of your family will be physically healthy and psychologically stable. Since Dalmatian puppies are given to permanent owners no earlier than at 10-12 weeks, they manage to undergo the necessary medical examinations and show their characteristics.

-A good breeder will ask you no less questions than you will ask them, because for them, every four-legged baby is not a living commodity, but a person, so it is important to understand in what family it will live, and under what conditions.

-And you, in turn, have the full right to get to know the parents and study their documents, the veterinarian’s conclusions on the puppy’s health and the results of the BAER test (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) – an electrodiagnostic hearing test.

-It is important to see the conditions in which the mother and the babies are kept, to learn about nutrition and personally communicate with the puppy in order to evaluate its ability to make contact with a person and adequately respond to the outside world.

Dalmatian breed history

The history of this breed can hardly surprise you; there is very little accurate data in it and a lot of empty spots. It is impossible to say for certain when, how and where the Dalmatians came from. 20 years ago, the European origin of the Dalmatians was taken as the official version. On the Balkan Peninsula was the province of Dalmatia, and supposedly there appeared these dogs, bred by crossing Great Danes, Istrian Pointers and other breeds.

Drawings were found on the walls of the pyramids that strongly resemble these dogs. There was also an assumption that the Dalmatians came to Europe from India. It can only be said for certain that this breed is very ancient and appeared before our era.

In the modern development of the breed, everything is more or less clear. From the mainland, Dalmatians came to England, where noble families fell in love with them for their appearance, strength and tough temper. Dalmatians began to be bred as coach dogs. Their duty was to run in front of the master’s carriage and disperse people. At first glance, this Dalmatian may seem like a darling, in fact, in the past they were rather aggressive and cruel dogs. These notes of temperament are also present in modern animals.

Dalmatians have shown themselves as hunting and herding dogs. The breed was recognized as promising and went into breeding. Over time and as a result of selection, the purpose of the Dalmatians changed; in 1955 they were considered companion dogs. The breed standard was adopted in 1890, but widespread popularity came to it in the twentieth century.

See also: Basset Hound : Traits, Maintenance, and History