The Dalmatian has been utilized in a variety of roles through the years. The dog has been utilized for hunting, ratting, war dog, circus dog, carriage dog, fire house dog, agility course dog, backpacking dog, and family pet. The breed is most famous for being a carriage dog and fire dog. They get along very well with horses and being strong, athletic, and have great endurance, it became natural for them to accompany carriages. Additionally, they make good watch dogs, so they were useful for fire wagons to protect the horses and the firehouse, while the fireman were fighting the fire. These traits are still seen today. They are very loyal to family and enjoy a family that is active and will play with them. They are not prone to bark much, unless there is a good reason. Your Dalmatian needs to have daily exercise and activity to keep them happy and occupied. They are an intelligent dog that likes to play and be active. Dalmatians can be trained easily with lots of positive reinforcement. provided consistently, and they enjoy treats as rewards.
If you are considering a Dalmatian, there are two health problems typical of the breed. The most common problem is inherited deafness in the breed. Statistics in this are vary, but nearly 10% are totally deaf at birth and an additionally 25 to 30 % are deaf in one ear. This can make training a challenge! In an effort to eliminate this problem, breeders are encouraged to euthanize deaf puppies. The other health problem common to Dalmatians is urinary stones. The urinary tract is unique in the breed, and owners should limit the amount of protein in the diet to help decrease stone formation. Additionally, fresh water should be readily available at all times for the dog. It is also recommended that the dog not go for long periods of time without being able to urinate. Thus, they may not be the best choice for a single apartment dweller. The breed is considered a healthy breed, with a life span of 10 to 13 years.
The Dalmatian is an athletic and energetic dog, that requires regular exercise and loves to play games. They are considered a large breed, being about 19 to 24 inches tall and weighing 45 to 55 pounds. They enjoy being active and playing, make a great watchdog, and like children and other pets – including cats! One consideration is that they shed throughout the year! This means that brushing is a yearlong proposition and consideration. The coat naturally repels dirt and water, so they are easy to keep clean and only require baths a couple times a year. Dalmatians do not develop the typical “dog smell” of some other breeds. Grooming care is primarily trimming nails, brushing teeth, brushing the coat a couple times a week, and checking the ears.