A medium sized Dalmatian
Dalmatian Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)20-24in (51-61cm)
Weight45-60lbs (20-27kg)
Hair Colour(s)White with spots
Lifespan10-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size6-15
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftHigh

The Dalmatian is a pointer-like dog with a muscular build. The body has a level back with well defined withers and well sprung ribs, straight forelegs and cat-like feet. The tail is carried with a slight upward curve. The long and arched neck supports a head of fair length, with well set apart eyes, a dark nose and high-set ears that have an upward curve. The handsome face sports a keen and alert expression. The distinctive coat is short and desne with spots that come in black, liver, dark blue and lemon (although they are born white and develop the spots when they get older). This breed was popularised by the Walt Disney animated film 101 Dalmatians.


Dalmatians are brave, friendly, and outgoing dogs that tend to bond closely with owners. Loyal, sensitive and very playful, they make for great companions and family dogs, but they do require a lot of attention and care and may become depressed when this is lacking. These are high energy and quite restless dogs that despise having nothing to do, and so owners will need to provide plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation, otherwise these dogs can get bored and this can lead to destructive behaviour. They can be strong willed and difficult to handle without the necessary confidence and assertiveness, and so are more suited to experienced dog owners, but are generally easy to train because they have a willing nature and an eagerness to please. Excessive praise when they have performed well helps and it is worth mentioning that these are one of the few breeds with really good memories; they tend to remember any bad treatment for long periods of time. As some lines can be aggressive, Dalmatians should be socialised early to produce more stable temperaments. They tend to get on fine with children they have been raised with, and will usually get on well with other pets when socialised early, although they can be aggressive around other males. Their reaction to strangers will depend upon the individual dog and will range from friendly to reserved and polite. Dalmatians make reliable watch or guard dogs as they are protective by nature.

History & SKills

The origins of Dalmatians are somewhat debatable. They are an anient breed dating back 2000 years if the spotted dogs appearing on Greek friezes and tablets are taken into account, which show them running with the chariots of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Others maintain Dalmatians have a lot of similarities with Bengal Pointers, which have been known to exist since the 1700s, with the conclusion that Dalmatian could have Yugoslavian origins. And yet more early records for the breed have been found in Dalmatia, Croatia, which is where their name is derived. The latter is the currently held view of the FCI. Originally bred as hounds to run alongside carriages, over the years they have been used as dogs of war, border patrols, cart pullers, sheep herders, hunt dogs, circus performers and coaching dogs. After being introduced into Britain in the 1700s, they became popular with the aristocracy as additions to their ornate carriages, thanks to their ability to work horses under the rear or front carriage axles. Dalmatians were adopted by London fire departments in the 1800s to clear the way for the horse-drawn water wagons. These days they are popular as companions and family pets but remain friendly with horses, with their abilities being tested in modern day field trials.

Breed Specific Ailments

Dalmatians tend to live beteern 10-14 years and have a range of health issues and disorders linked to them, including glaucoma, deafness, diabetes, gall stones, allergies, and seizures. Many puppies are slightly deaf also.



Dalmatians are medium shedders and so not ideal for those with allergies, but the grooming requirements are not overly high. Regular brushing will help get rid of dead hair and keep the coat in good condition.

Exercise & Environment

Dalmatians tend to live indoors as they are sensitive to cold, but are not suitable for small homes because they can be pretty active both indoors and out. Access to a yard or garden area plus a daily walk should provide enough daily exercise and prevent any destructive behaviour.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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