Ever wonder what that white dog with black spots all over its body is called? You know, the one that hangs around firehouses? It's a Dalmatian, of course. These are great and very distinctive dogs that have been used in a wide variety of media to call attention to all sorts of things. Dalmatians are smart, love to be around people, very companionable, muscular, fast, active, and a host of other adjectives. The breed is very high energy, so before considering one as a pet, be sure you can handle the exercise requirements.
Continue reading to learn more about Dalmatians, otherwise known as "fire house dogs" and made famous by Anheuser-Busch and the Disney movie called "101 Dalmations."
Popularity: Somewhat popular.
Trainability: Overall, it's not terribly difficult to train a Dalmatian puppy, but it's critical that you expose this breed of dog to as many types of situations as you can from a very early age. This is a sensitive dog and he needs to understand that the world isn't something to be afraid of. When you do expose this breed to something though, make sure it's a positive experience for him. This will lead to a good life and it will make the dog much easier to handle in the long run. Also, because this breed is sensitive, early socialization is a must and any training should be followed up with praise and a treat or some sort of a reward. Definitely include positive types of training and puppy training classes.
Size/Weight: Medium sized dogs, weighing in at an average of 35-70 pounds.
Origin Location/Date: It's not definitely known where the Dalmatian originated, but it's said that this dog traveled with the nomadic Rom and then was primarily bred in England. In the late 1800s, the American Kennel Club formalized the breed and recognized it and in 1905, the Dalmatian Club of America was formed.
Energy Level: The Dalmatian is a high energy dog with very high exercise requirements. It's a strong breed with excellent endurance. After all, it was originally used to run alongside hunters and fire engines, so it's no wonder that this dog can pretty much handle any type of exercise that it comes across. The Dalmatian enjoys long walks and runs and playing in the park or back yard. You'll notice that when you run out of energy, this breed will continue on seemingly forever. It's important to give this dog the activity it needs, not only to satisfy its body, but its mind as well. You want your dog to be balanced and healthy.
Temperament: Because this breed is so excitable, it may not be the best dog to have around small children. It's not that the dog is mean or anything, it's just that the child may get knocked over or something while the dog is jumping around. As the child or children grow larger, it may be more appropriate to introduce a dog like this to them. The Dalmatian is a good watch dog and is generally well behaved around other pets in the house as well as other dogs it comes across. Although, as stated above, it really is critical to socialize this breed during puppyhood.
Necessary Space: Being the active dog it is, the Dalmatian needs room to live and play. It's not well suited for small apartment living and would enjoy a large home with a backyard or even living on a farm. This breed has a natural fondness of humans and horses, so it would enjoy a farm on multiple levels.
Talents: The natural talent of the Dalmatian has to do with running. If you jog or run and are looking for a partner, this may just the dog you seek. It will run with you every single day without complaint. Otherwise, it's great a playing and it's fun to have around.
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years.
Group: Non-Sporting Group.
A few terms and phrases to describe the typical Dalmatian puppy and dog: active, energetic, playful, good guard dog, good retriever, loyal, affectionate, sweet, spotted, black and white, great runner, coaching dog, good with horses, smart, sly, loves to play, eager to please, loves attention and highly trainable.