AKC Group: Non-sporting

The exact origin of the Dalmatian is unknown. One school of thought believes Dalmatians came from Dalmatia, which was once part of Croatia. Evidence of Dalmatians was discovered in Egypt. In the 1800s, Dalmatians were used as guard dogs to protect the contents of carriages and as carriage dogs (they ran alongside them). For the same reasons they were used as carriage protection is the reason they’ve been whole-heartedly accepted at firehouses everywhere.

Size: 20 to 27 inches tall; 45 to 70 pounds

Color: Spotted — black or liver spots on a white background. Dalmatians are born pure white and develop their spots after a few weeks.

Life span: 12 to 16 years

Health problems: Glaucoma, deafness, diabetes, gall stones, allergies and seizures.

Dalmatians are a muscular dog with an alert expression. They’re a handsome dog indeed. A Dalmatian has a close fitting, dense, short coat. Dalmatians are active, possessing an abundance of energy. They are confident, possessing problem-solving skills and a natural obedience. Courageous, friendly and outgoing, how can you not love a Dalmatian? Dalmatians tend to bond closely and can be strong willed (not the best choice necessarily if a Dalmatian is your first dog). Dalmatians love a variety of activities and require plenty of physical and mental activity to curb destructiveness. Early socialization is imperative. When raised with children, they’re great. With other pets, they’ll do well if socialized early on (like they should be). With strangers, their natural personality is the determining factor. They may be fine or reserved, but polite. A natural protector, a Dalmatian can be hard to manage if you aren’t confident and assertive (read experienced).

Grooming is super easy. Brush occasionally to remove dead hair and to keep the coat gleaming. Dalmatians tend to shed all year long, but not excessively. To house-break, the easiest way is to establish a daily routine. (This will also aid in socialization to people and other situations.) Be aware that establishing your routine can take up to six months, but persevere, once he’s trained and as long as the routines are maintained, life will start to move along quite smoothly. In terms of teaching basic commands, always treat your Dalmatian when he performs successfully. Never use negative reinforcements, punishments and yelling will not bring out the best in him.

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