Dalmatian

40-55 lbs
19-23"
Mediterranean
Carriage Dog, Dal, Dally, English Coach Dog, Firehouse Dog

The Dalmatian breed is an ancient breed, its distinctive spotted coat and athletic bearing showing up in art from centuries ago. Depictions of spotted dogs consistent with the Dalmatian dog breed have been found in art from Egypt, Asia, and Europe, running alongside horses and carriages. This breed is known for their stamina,  intelligence, and their loyalty, and although they are best known as coach dogs, they also make very effective ratters, hunting dogs, and if given adequate levels of exercise, loyal family companions. Their short coat is soft but tends to repel dirt, and they have very little doggy odor so frequent bathing is not required or recommended. On the other hand, frequent brushing is a must for this breed as they tend to be heavy shedders.

Purpose
carriage dog
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
great dane, pointer

Dalmatian Health

Sketch of Dalmatian
Average Size
Male Dalmatian size stats
Height: 19-23 inches Weight: 55-70 lbs
Female Dalmatian size stats
Height: 19-23 inches Weight: 40-55 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Deafness
  • Urolithiasis
Minor Concerns
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Cataracts
  • Laryngeal Paralysis
  • Dalmatian Bronzing Syndrome
  • Microphthalmia
Occasional Tests
  • Hearing
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • Skin Scraping
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Throat

Dalmatian Breed History

The history of the Dalmatian dog breed is long and shrouded in mystery. The name Dalmatian was given to the breed in 1771 by Thomas Pennant, who believed that the breed originated in the country of Dalmatia, located in the eastern Mediterranean region. Depictions of the Dalmatian breed can be found in famous art pieces from this region as far back as the 16th century, and descriptions of the dog were found in Croatian church chronicles from 1719 and 1737 under the Latin name Canis Dalmaticus. Many people feel that the origins of the breed are actually far older than that, citing illustrations found in Egyptian tombs of black and white spotted dogs following chariots. Due to their natural affinity for horses, the distinctive shape and color of the Dalmatian has been seen running beside carriages for centuries, from gypsy caravans to the coaches of well-born ladies, to horse-drawn fire engines. In fact, they are depicted this way so often that many people forget that they also excel as guard dogs, hunting dogs for both fowl and boar, vermin extermination, shepherding, and even as performers in the circus. 

Dalmatian Breed Appearance

Dalmatians are athletic animals, with a slightly arched neck and deep chest which can sometimes stop just short of being barrel-chested. They typically have a symmetrical and elegant outline, with a long, nearly straight tail that usually has a little bit of an upward curve, medium length hanging ears, and compact, rounded paws. They naturally have an intelligent and inquisitive face that clearly expresses their generally dignified but friendly personality. They have either brown or blue eyes that are set moderately well apart on their well-balanced muzzle and are a breed known for occasionally having eyes of two different colors. Their glossy, white coat overshot with dark spots is recognizable throughout the world as a Dalmatian, and is occasionally accompanied by larger patches of the darker color. Although there are only two recognized colors for Dalmatians, black spotted and liver spotted, other variations may occasionally crop up, including pale yellow or orange spots known as lemon-spotted, dark gray spots referred to as blue, and tri-color Dalmatians. Dogs with these genetic abnormalities live the same full and happy lives that black and liver spotted Dalmatians, but are typically not shown or bred.

Appearance of Dalmatian
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Dalmatian eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Dalmatian nose
Black
brown Dalmatian nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
pied Dalmatian coat
Pied
black Dalmatian coat
Black
brown Dalmatian coat
Brown
white Dalmatian coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Dalmatian straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Dalmatian Breed Maintenance

The distinctive short, smooth coat that covers the Dalmatian dog is surprisingly dirt resistant, so these active dogs require only occasional bathing, and more frequent bathing can dry the skin or encourage allergic dermal reactions. Although frequent bathing is neither required nor recommended, these dogs do shed heavily and are not at all hypoallergenic. In order to maintain their glossy and elegant appearance, regular brushing is an absolute must. A bristle brush, rubber curry comb, or even a pumice stone can be utilized to strip out dead fur and should be employed several times a week to maintain your pet’s sleek appearance. The ears of a Dalmatian hang down, and it is important to keep them clean and dry to prevent bacterial or fungal infections to develop and any buildup of earwax or debris in the ear can encourage infections to flourish and should be removed as quickly as possible. It is also important to note that Dalmatians are athletic dogs who need a great deal of vigorous exercise each day to be at their healthiest and happiest.
Brushes for Dalmatian
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Dalmatian requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Dalmatian Temperament

Dalmatians are best known as carriage dogs and firedogs, and they are well suited to these jobs. They are people oriented, intelligent, playful, and loyal, and although they are capable of being quite dignified when the occasion calls for it, they are just as likely to play the clown at home. Dals are people oriented and tend to be fairly adept at learning new tricks, and they do well with older children, although they may be a bit too boisterous for many infants and toddlers and interactions with these age groups should be carefully supervised. Dalmatians are well known for their endurance, their speed, and their protective natures; however, these same traits may also lead to some of the more challenging aspects to owning a Dalmatian. All the energy that is required for a dog to follow a horse-drawn carriage for miles comes out as restlessness, anxiety, and destructive tendencies if the animal is not provided with the opportunity for ample exercise on a regular basis. Although they have a natural affinity for horses, if they are not properly socialized as puppies, Dalmatians can develop aggressive and territorial behaviors towards other dogs, particularly dogs of the same sex. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Dalmatian Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00

Dalmatian Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Dalmatian at six months
Male Dalmatian size stats at six months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Female Dalmatian size stats at six months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 22 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Dalmatian at 12 months
Male Dalmatian size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 52 lbs
Female Dalmatian size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 37 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Dalmatian at 18 months
Male Dalmatian size stats at 18 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Female Dalmatian size stats at 18 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 47 lbs

Top Dalmatian Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Dalmatian breeders of 2018.
Top Dalmatian breeder Lakeshore Dalmatians
Lakeshore Dalmatians
Mount Olive, Alabama
Top Dalmatian breeder Alpha N Omega Dalmatians
Alpha N Omega Dalmatians
East Granby, Connecticut
Top Dalmatian breeder Folkore Dalmatians
Folkore Dalmatians
Crown Point, Indiana
Top Dalmatian breeder Gaelic Dalmatians
Gaelic Dalmatians
Indian Trail, North Carolina
Top Dalmatian breeder Dalmatian Plantation
Dalmatian Plantation
Adkins, Texas
Top Dalmatian breeder Dorothy’s Perfect Pets
Dorothy’s Perfect Pets
Marshall, Texas
Top Dalmatian breeder Snow Dalmatians
Snow Dalmatians
Hawkins, Texas
Top Dalmatian breeder Daystar Dalmatian
Daystar Dalmatian
York, Pennsylvania

Dalmatian Owner Experiences

Sam
7 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing in the snow
Hide & Seek
Chase
Tug-of-war
Learn a new trick
Run
This breed is suggested for active, patient, cool-headed people. You need to be consistent, ALWAYS follow your own rules and be honest to yourself. Actually all Dalmatian's trainability is rapid. They are extremely good in focusing and learning new things. Anything you show them they learn that immediately. BUT: they are independent thinkers and hear only what they want to hear. So in a situation where you have to control your dalmatian be sure that you have his favourite food in your pocket. My dalmatian cannot sit sown for a minute. Actually he never walks.. he runs.. runs to his bed, to you, to anyone, and anywhere. He's a hyperactive guy. But this is a changing factor like in case of people.
5 months, 3 weeks ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I have walked one Dalmatian and she was very sweet. She was fine with me when I first met her and was excited to go on a walk. We went on a short walk and also enjoyed some time at the dog park. She pulled a little bit, but was not too bad. At the dog park she enjoyed playing with me and also playing with the frisbee. She was also interested in doing her own thing at certain times. She was very interested in squirrels she would see, but I could get her away easily by distracting her. She was younger, but didn’t seem to be too high energy. Although, when I walked into her house there was stuffed animal toy stuffing everywhere! And this was on more than one occasion.
7 months, 3 weeks ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Peets is super friendly and energetic and smart. Obviously, Dalmatians are very nice to look at, also.
8 months ago
11 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
pets
Walking
The Dalmatian I walked was older but very friendly. I walked him alongside his owner. He was a pup set in his ways and knew his favorite route to walk. We walked for a half an hour and not much happened besides him going to the bathroom a couple of times. Due to his later age, he walked at a slower pace. We got to enjoy the neighborhood he e lived in getting to look at the homes and greenery. He was a sweet pup and I would enjoy walking a Dalmatian again.
8 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
His walk
The Dalmatian I walked was very sweet and very scared. He was afraid of loud noises on our walk, and was very tentative about going most places. He got spooked by most everything. He was, however, very sweet one on one. His best friend was the kitten who lived with him, and he loved her very much.
8 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Bird watching
Exploring
Sniffing
Walking
He was super relaxed, he was kept in s crate during the day but didn’t seem to mind at all. When he came out he was sweet but still a pretty calm temperament. On the walk he was focused on his smells and surroundings only stopping to look at small animals
8 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
Play
Walk
It was tough. The dalmatian might have had too much energy. Not very good on leash, super hyper. He wanted sniff my private parts way too much and licked me like crazy! :)
8 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd