Breed of the Week: Dalmatian

Sep 30, 2016

The Dalmatian is possibly one of the most famous and recognizable breeds in the world. With their signature spots, most people instantly think of ‘101 Dalmatians’ or the dogs working alongside firefighters. Let’s take a closer look at this breeds history, lifestyle and personality quirks!

The Dalmatian was originally known as ‘The Carriage Dog’ in the 1790’s as they were often found in paintings standing next to horse drawn carriages. Even as far back as you can find records on the Dalmatian, you will consistently see that they were always a working breed. When not running alongside and guarding the carriages, people would use the Dalmatian to hunt vermin, as trail hounds, even as circus dogs thanks to their high intelligence and distinctive look! With their natural ease around horses, they would help firefighters get to the fire faster by running ahead and making sure there was a clear path for the horse drawn carriage (obviously this was no longer needed once we had fire trucks!). They would also be used to guard the fire station and alert the fire fighters of anyone breaking in.

With all that intelligence and energy, this breed is best suited for someone with a very active lifestyle. Dalmatians require a lot of exercise as well as mental stimulation every day to be at their happiest. They love to be with their family 24/7 but can be a bit aloof around strangers as they do really bond with ‘their people’. It is a great idea to train your Dalmatian early on basic commands as well as looking at options for agility competitions. These dogs are so naturally active and strong they easily earn high rankings in dog agility competitions or fly ball competitions.

If you are considering adding a Dalmatian to your family, whether a purebred or mixed, make sure to learn all about any health concerns they may be prone to so you can treat any signs or symptoms early on. Dalmatians in particular can be prone to deafness as many breeders will overlook some genetic defects and instead breed only for that perfect Dalmatian look. Dalmatians will also need to relieve themselves more often than other dogs as they actually have a very unique urinary system. For this reason, it is important that their diet is closely monitored and discussed with your vet as nutrition imbalance can easily cause urinary tract disease in this breed. If you ever see your Dalmatian straining to relieve themselves it is best to call your vet right away.

The Dalmatian is undeniably cute and loves to be around their family. They can get along well with young kids if socialized early and monitored during interactions. They make very strong bonds with their family and will protect them from any harm. A perfect day for a Dalmatian would simply be working alongside their owners outside all day. A Dalmatian can be a fantastic addition to the right family, and they will always be ready for whatever the day has for them!

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