There are at least 101 reasons to love Dalmatians. From their energetic predisposition to their effectiveness as watch dogs, they are just as lovable as they are attractive with their distinctive spotted coats. The Dalmatian’s personality is characterized by wariness of strangers and loyalty to family. Dalmatians were bred specifically for these two characteristics in addition to endurance. According to their American Kennel Club profile, the Dalmatian traditionally worked as a “coach dog” by accompanying horse drawn carriages and sitting guard when the carriages were unattended by humans. Dalmatians are a well-traveled breed because they originally lived among the Romani people and then were assigned coach duty. Over the years, Dalmatians even brought their skills to fire departments across the United States!
Sometimes Dalmatians are characterized as less-than-ideal for households with other dogs or children. Dalmatians love to be around other animals such as horses, have a low prey drive, and do, in fact, get along well with other dogs, even if they take a little longer to warm to them. As for children, age is an important factor. If there are young children in your home you might consider another breed, but if your children are older there will likely be no issue.
Caring for a Dalmatian mostly involves providing them adequate exercise. If you or someone in your family regularly hikes, jogs, runs, or rides a bike and could bring the new furry family member along, a Dalmatian would be thrilled to join! Grooming needs are minimal for this breed because they have such short coats. As with any other canine companion, the Dalmatian should have their nails trimmed periodically and excess fur can be easily removed with a grooming mitt (some even have delightful textures)!
Bear in mind that Dalmatians are highly intelligent and, while they “speak” very little, their gears are always turning. Invest in training early on in your pets life to ensure that your Dalmatian minds their manners and know that only the combination of training and adequate exercise can give you good behavioral outcomes for this breed.
When you bring a new dog into your home, health is always a consideration. While generally healthy overall, Dalmatians are prone to deafness. To better prepare, you should learn about deafness in dogs and its implications to decide whether or not you could accommodate a deaf Dalmatian or if a strictly hearing one would be more suitable for your household. And finally, just as with any new dog, you ought to bring them in for an examination and consider a wellness plan for their long-term healthcare needs.
Whether you want a Dalmatian to guard your household or to go out on adventures with you, consider adopting a Dalmatian who already needs a home, perhaps from a breed-specific rescue! Otherwise, use the AKC website to find a reputable local breeder to find your “Spot.”