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Dalmatian Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Dalmatian so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank63
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Other Names
What other names does the Dalmatian have? The dog breed also known as...
Dal, Dally, Carriage Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Firehouse Dog, Plum Pudding Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group
Is Dalmatian recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a Non-Sporting breed.
FCI Group
Is Dalmatian recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Scent hounds and related breeds group, in the Related breeds section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Dalmatian breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel Club
How much does the Dalmatian puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Dalmatian price:
If you choose to purchase the Dalmatian, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Dalmatian for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Dalmatian gets to a happy place.

Dalmatian History


The Dalmatian is probably known by everyone, as the breed is best known as the star of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. However, the Dalmatian’s origin is unknown. What is known is that they are not the first of their sort, as spotted dogs have been found throughout history in a variety of places. Egyptian relics dating back to several thousand years B.C. depict spotted dogs, as well as more recent artifacts from Africa, India, the Middle East, and various regions of Europe. As back in the time, there were no breeding records kept, the true origin of the Dalmatian will likely never be known, however, there are speculations and theories about the origins of the breed. Part of the mystery surrounding the Dalmatian is that its spotted appearance and other attributes make it so unique among dog breeds. The earliest record of a dog generally agreed upon to be a Dalmatian comes from around 1360 A.D. Around this period, a fresco was painted in the Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy, which resembled a dog somewhat similar to the modern Dalmatian, however, others have suggested that the breed portrayed is actually an early Italian Greyhound.

Furthermore, it is unclear exactly when, but sometime between the 15th and 17th centuries, spotted dogs became connected with the region of Dalmatia, which consists of a strip of Adriatic shoreline and numerous neighboring islands. Until the 20th century, Dalmatia was occupied by a series of powers, including the Roman Empire, Hungary, Austria, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Yugoslavia. Due to its location, Dalmatia has been a borderland for many centuries and for almost 500 years was on the frontline of the endless conflicts between Christian Europe and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. It was about this time when the Dalmatian gained attention as a war dog. The breed was used by Croatian, Austrian, and Hungarian forces in battles against the Ottomans. However, it is still unclear how the breed found its way to Dalmatia, but the most common theory is that the breed was introduced by the nomadic bands of Romanies who traveled through the region.

The breed’s job

The Dalmatian is thought to have initially arrived in England in the late 160ss or early 1700s, though the exact date, as well as who was responsible and where the dogs came from, have all been lost to history. According to experts, the dog was most likely first seen by British traders while doing business in Austria, France, or the Netherlands, and they were drawn to its appearance. Prior to 1737, there are no written records of Dalmatians. Moreover, unlike British guard dog types like the English Mastiff from the 1700s, the Dalmatian was a relentless athlete, who could run long distances without tiring. This was quickly noticed by English carriage drivers, who put the breed to work as a carriage dog in teams of two or more. The breed was used to protect both the carriage and the horses that pulled it. Depending on the circumstances and the driver’s choices, Dalmatians ran in front of, underneath, and to the sides of the carriage as it traveled. When the carriage was moving, Dalmatians would nibble at the horses’ heels to make them go faster and drive pedestrians out of the way. To this day the Dalmatian has always had a natural affinity towards horses. Although very useful to a carriage in transit, the Dalmatian was mostly kept for its guarding qualities while the carriage was stopped. In the years before current law enforcement tools were created, horse theft was one of the most common and serious types of crime in England. Horses were both incredibly valuable and extremely easy to get rid of quickly. Dalmatians were more than capable of using violence to drive off a potential robber.

However, this affinity took the Dalmatians on a different career path in the United States. The breed became a firehouse dog, running with the horses to the fire, watching over the equipment during a fire, and sometimes even helping and rescuing people from burning buildings. When the excitement was over, they accompanied the fire wagons back to the station and resumed their duty as watchdogs. Dalmatians were also used by British firefighters, but not on the level that they were in America. Moreover, the breed began to be used by American breweries as well. Their carts were loaded with big quantities of beer, making them an attractive target for casual thieves. Dalmatians became associated with a number of American breweries, most notably Budweiser.

Modern form and development

Although the breed was naturally gifted with several benefits, English breeders worked tirelessly to improve the breed. The English are credited for shaping the Dalmatian into its contemporary shape nearly universally. They made the dog faster, increased its endurance, refined its appearance, and mollified its temperament. However, it is unclear how exactly the Dalmatian came to be in its contemporary form, it is almost certain that blood from native British breeds was introduced to Dalmatian lines. According to some, such hybrids were uncommon, and the Dalmatians remained nearly pure. On the other hand, others argue that only a few Dalmatians were transported to England and that British dogs accounted for the vast majority of the breed’s genetic composition. There is also a lot of disagreement on which breed is employed. The probability that the Dalmatian was crossed with the Pointer is very high as the Pointer was both common throughout England and is probably more similar to the Dalmatian in terms of build, appearance, and physical abilities than any other breed. Some fanciers also believe that the last surviving examples of the Talbot and Northern Hound were introduced to the Dalmatian.

Dalmatian Recognition

Furthermore, the Dalmatian was considered purebred even before the creation of pedigrees and kennel clubs. When dog shows became popular in the United Kingdom, the Dalmatian was a regular participant. The breed was especially liked by members of the upper class who were the most common participants at early dogs shows. The Dalmatian was one of the first breeds to be registered with the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom. The breed was also a regular entrant at early American dog shows and was first granted recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1888.

Dalmatian General Appearance

What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Dalmatian size:
How much does the Dalmatian weigh? Dalmatian weight:
about 55 pounds (25 kg)
Avg. Weight
What is the average weight of the Dalmatian? Dalmatian average weight:
about 55 pounds (25 kg)
How tall is the Dalmatian? Dalmatian height:
Male: 22 - 24 inches (50 – 60 cm), Female: 20 - 22 inches (50 - 55 cm)
Avg. Height
What is the average height of this fido? Dalmatian average height:
Male: 22 - 24 inches (50 – 60 cm), Female: 20 - 22 inches (50 - 55 cm)

Dalmatian Hair & Care

What type of coat does the Dalmatian have? What does this canine coat look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Dalmatian's coat?
How to groom the Dalmatian and how often?
Effortless: The Dalmatian requires minimal grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary. Ears and eyes should be cleaned sometimes to avoid infections. Dalmatian is one of the best choices if you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of a high maintenance dog. Highly recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Dalmatian dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Dal? Dalmatian shedding level:
Dalmatians are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.

Dalmatian Characteristics

What kind of personality does the Dalmatian have? What characteristics does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Dalmatian? Are they intelligent?
Smart: Dalmatian's has great intelligence. They understand and memorize new commands in 15-25 repetitions.
Are Dalmatian dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Dalmatians are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
The Dalmatian is a highly playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Dalmatian sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Dalmatians don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level
How affectionate are they?
Dalmatians are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and considered as a great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Dal need? Dalmatian social needs:
Dalmatians need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Do Dalmatian dogs bark a lot? Why does my Dally bark?
Average: The Dalmatian barks occasionally. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and same barks could have a different meaning. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability
Is Dalmatian good as a watchdog?
Dalmatians are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered as their main job.
Do Dalmatian dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
Dalmatians are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend his territory in every situation.
Biting Potential
Do Dalmatian bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Dal? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Dalmatian? Why do dog bites happen?
The Dalmatian has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Dalmatian do?
Dalmatians have lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Dalmatians need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Dalmatian to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Dalmatian roam?
Wanderlust potential of the Dalmatian is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Dalmatian have high prey drive?
Dalmatians have low to an average impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals.
Apartment Friendly
Is Dalmatian good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Dalmatians are not apartment-friendly dogs. If you don't have a garden, you may have to reconsider your choice for having a puppy from this breed.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Dalmatians adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Dalmatians tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog
Where Dalmatian dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Dalmatian Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they friendly with strangers?
Dalmatians are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Are Dalmatian dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Dalmatian and children:
Dalmatians are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Dalmatian dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
Dalmatians are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Dalmatian good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Dalmatian dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Dalmatians are very dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Dalmatian can be a great choice.
Office Friendly
Are Dalmatians good office dogs? Do Dalmatians make good office friendly dogs? Can Dalmatians be office dogs?
Dalmatian is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Dalmatian dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Dal temperament with senior people? Are Dalmatian dogs good for elderly owners?
Dalmatians are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Dalmatian dogs get along with other pets? Are Dalmatian dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Dalmatians are generally with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Dalmatian breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Dalmatians are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Dalmatian be a service dog?
This breed makes good as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Dalmatian breed is a good choice for service purposes.
Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Dalmatian be a therapy dog?
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Dalmatian breed is a good choice for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Dalmatian be a sniffer dog?
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Dalmatian is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Dalmatian be a search and rescue dog?
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Dalmatian is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Dalmatian be a boat dog?
Not really
Dalmatian breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Dalmatian be a drafting dog?
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Dalmatian is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Dalmatian Health Factors

Health Issues
Is it a healthy breed? Do Dalmatian dogs have health problems?
Dalmatians are commonly healthy dogs. Vet costs aren't expensive with this breed.
Health Problems
What health problems does the Dalmatian breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Dalmatian breed? Health risks of Dalmatian:
AllergiesDeafnessHip DysplasiaIris Sphincter DysplasiaSkin AllergiesUrolithiasis
Life Expectancy
How long do Dalmatian dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Dalmatian be?
12-14 years
Is the Dalmatian breed hypoallergenic?
Dalmatians don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Dalmatian have?
Dalmatians are high energy dogs. Active lifestyle makes them happy.
Exercise Need
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do Dalmatian dogs require per day?
Dalmatians need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does this fido need?
Dalmatians don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption
How much food does the Dalmatian need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
Recommended daily amount: 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Dalmatian risk for obesity:
Average to High. If you don't pay attention to the Dalmatian's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Dalmatian's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
Tolerates warm and cold weather.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Dalmatian has a low chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency
Does the Dalmatian drool?
The Dalmatian is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Dalmatian could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimal compared to others, just like the Dalmatian. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Dalmatian Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
60-64 days
Reproductive cycle of the female Dalmatian: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
How often can the Dalmatian have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Dalmatian have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
6-9 puppies

Dalmatian Pros & Cons

  • Intelligent Rank: Smart: Dalmatian's has great intelligence.
  • Health Issues: Dalmatians are commonly healthy dogs.
  • Grooming: Effortless: The Dalmatian requires minimal grooming.
  • Drooling tendency: The Dalmatian is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
  • Stinkiness: The Dalmatian has a low chance of bad smell.
  • Mouthiness: Dalmatians have lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Adaptability: Dalmatians adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Dalmatians are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Dalmatians are very dog-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Dalmatians are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
  • Service Dog: This breed makes good as a service dog.
  • Therapy Dog: This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
  • Hypoallergenic: Dalmatians don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Apartment Friendly: Dalmatians are not apartment-friendly dogs.
  • Shedding Level: Dalmatians are heavy shedders.
  • Weight Gain Potential: Average to High.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Wanderlust potential of the Dalmatian is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Dalmatians tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
  • Office Friendly: Dalmatian is not the best dog breed for office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Dalmatians are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.

Rate The Dalmatian Breed

Dalmatian Comments, Reviews & Questions

  • Ba

    Dec 22, 2019, 10:55:42 PM:

    I had one, love them ❤️