Know Your Breed: Dalmatian

Thanks to their trademark spots and a string of wildly popular Disney movies, Dalmatians are one of the world’s most recognisable dog breeds today. In fact, researchers estimate that these films influenced the popularity of the breed for 10 years after they hit the big screen.

But long before Hollywood came calling, Dalmatians got their big break as coach dogs in 18th Century England. Originally from Dalmatia, an old region of Croatia, the breed found fame under English nobles, who would run them alongside their carriages to ward off roadside robbers. In

Hi, I’m Dot, the Dalmatian. I’m floppy and spotty and slightly dotty! Most people recognise me from a popular Disney movie, but I’m so much more than an attractive bespeckled coat. Let me tell you why I’m such a cherished companion.

Size: Medium
Weight: Males: 15-32kg
Females: 16-24kg
Height: Males: 58-61cm
Females: 56-58cm
Appearance: Muscular, short-haired and spotted. Colours include white with black or liver-coloured spots.

I’m a happy-go-lucky, playful puppy!
We’ve got boundless energy, and we love to play. Dalmatian puppies can be boisterous, so we must be exercised often and trained diligently. This is especially true if you are a family with young children. My owner needs to be firm and socialise me from a young age so that I can grow up to be an easy-going and well-adjusted dog.

Mysterious, wandering dogs.
There’s an air of mystery around us. Where exactly we come from is uncertain, but it is speculated that we were initially bred in Dalmatia, Croatia. We’ve been used as hunting dogs by gypsies and have even been used as circus dogs. It’s no wonder we’re such entertaining breeds.

From coachdog to firehouse canine!
Us dalmatians have changed our spots quite frequently throughout history. We started as coachdogs who guarded horse-drawn carriages against roadside robbers. Dalmatians ran alongside the horses, keeping up with them and protecting them. As the world noticed the calming effect we had on horses, we were even employed to guard horse-drawn fire carriage, hence our reputation as firehouse mascots!

That’s the sweet spot…
Dalmatians are completely white when they are born. Our spots only appear from about three-four weeks. Why are we this spotty? No one knows, but it’s probably a gene mutation that resulted from breeding. To this day, we remain the only dog breed with spots and every coat is unique.

Please bark up, I can’t hear you?
About 18 – 30% of Dalmatian puppies are born deaf. Although this complicates training, with enough love, patience and dedication, deaf puppies can also be taught to obey with sign language. Other health complications include hip dysplasia and urinary stones, so remember to consult your veterinarian if you suspect that something is wrong.

Want to liven up your home? Adopt me! Just remember that I come with a lot of energy and stamina so if you’re not looking for a docile couch pup, I am not your pet.


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