You may easily recognize the Dalmatian because of the characteristic spots on its coat. These spots are usually brown, black, or a lighter lemon color.
19 to 24 inches
Contrary to popular belief, Dalmatians can live in apartments, townhomes, and homes without large yards. Because they have a short coat, they cannot stand extreme hot or cold weather, which means you may need to keep them indoors on very hot or cold days.
Dalmatians should not be left outside to live in a doghouse, however. Because they require more human contact than other breeds, leaving the dog outside is cruel and may lead to bad behavior. It is best to allow the dog to go outside during the day, but only for short periods of time. The dog will tell you when it wants to go back inside.
Dalmatians enjoy being in the company of people, so buying a comfortable dog bed or blanket will help the dog stay comfortable. If buying a puppy, you should consider buying a crate for it to sleep in during the night. This is to protect the puppy from objects in the home, and also so you can get a good night's sleep.
Crate training your dog early will make it easier when the dog is older. While some people only use crates until adulthood, you can make it their permanent night spot if you have a crate that is large enough. Using crates for punishment is not recommended as the dog will associate the crate with bad behavior instead of a comfortable place to sleep.
Dalmatians, when treated and cared for properly, can make fantastic pets for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. An energetic dog by nature, Dalmatians require attention from their owners and should be walked at least once a day. Many people enjoy taking these dogs to parks, dog runs, and other areas where there are other dogs and people. Adult Dalmatians are usually 19 to 24 inches in height and weigh 45-65 lbs. Males are larger than females and can grow to be 27 inches and weigh 70lbs. Dalmatians are considered medium sized dogs and are fairly strong animals.
You may easily recognize the Dalmatian because of the characteristic spots on its coat. These spots are usually brown, black, or a lighter lemon color. Spots will begin to appear as the dog begins to reach adulthood. Puppies are born without spots. If you are considering showing your Dalmatian, keep in mind that dogs with lighter colored spots are restricted from competing.
Another characteristic of the Dalmatian is the look in their eyes. Viewed as intelligent, these dogs have bright brown, blue, or amber colored eyes. Their intelligence is supported by their devotion to people, their ability to stand guard and protect what they feel is important, and their overall friendliness.
While little is known about where the Dalmatian came from, some seem to think they came from Dalmatia, which is part of Croatia. Evidence of Dalmatians was discovered in Egypt as well.
In the 1800's, Dalmatians were used more often as guard dogs and carriage dogs. Protecting what was inside carriages by running alongside them, Dalmatians were the perfect choice because of their loyalty and endurance.
Dalmatians were also used to guard firehouses for the same reasons why they were used as carriage dogs.
On average, Dalmatians are an easy-going breed. You will have to spend time training your dog, but with a little patience and trial and error, Dalmatians become well-adjusted to their new surroundings and rules. It is best to establish feeding times, exercise times, and grooming times so the dog can develop a routine. Because this breed can become uneasy when new events take place, it is best to remain as consistent as possible.
Spending quality time with your dog is very important as Dalmatians tend to get bored or depressed easily when left alone for long periods of time. If left alone all day, Dalmatians will need to be walked in the evening and extra on the weekends in order to release some of their pent up energy. Some Dalmatians may damage carpets, furniture, and other items in the home when they have been cooped up for too long or they have been left alone for more than a day.
When going in vacation, it is best to board your dog or allow someone to dog sit. If left alone for days at a time, Dalmatians can become angry and destructive.
Two major Health issues that are associated with Dalmatians are Deafness and kidney stones. While most litters will not contain any deaf puppies, up to 12% of all adult Dalmatians will become deaf at some point in their lifetime. This is due to genetics, poor Breeding, and in most cases, age.
It is important that you purchase your Dalmatian from a certified breeder who will have all puppies hearing tested using the BAER test. Buying a puppy that is deaf is not fair to you or the dog. Dalmatians that cannot hear will not be able to take commands and will always be fearful when other people enter the room. If the dog escapes, it will not survive long without the ability to hear. Most breeders put puppies that are deaf down and do not sell them.
If your Dalmatian loses its hearing during adulthood, you would have laid the foundation of proper Training and the dog will know you well enough not to become startled when they don't hear you. Being patient with your dog is the way to handle the situation. As with any older dog, you should schedule yearly visits to your vet and seek advice if you think your dog is losing its hearing.
Some dogs may only be able to hear in one ear, but this should not stop the dog from having a full life.
Kidney stones can cause your dog pain, but fortunately, are not too common in most Dalmatians. Because some Dalmatians excrete undiluted uric acid from their kidneys, they can develop kidney stones, toxemia, and kidney blockage. While this is a condition that can be treated, you will have to take your dog to the vet to seek proper medication. Switching from a high protein dog food to something that contains wheat, corn or soy will help prevent kidney stones.
Allergies and skin rashes may also occur if your dog is bit by a flea or tick. hip dysplasia may also occur in older dogs.
Even though Dalmatians have a short coat, they still need to be brushed each week to prevent excessive shedding. Using a curry comb, bristle brush, or horsehair mitt, you simply brush the dog outside once or twice a week depending on how much the dog sheds. This will give the dog a shiny coat and also keep hair from piling up around the house.
In addition to brushing your Dalmatian's coat, you should also trim their nails once a week to prevent overgrowth. This is very easy to do and you will need a pair of animal nail clippers that can be found in most pet stores. Only trim the top portion of the nail.
Cleaning your dog's ears may also be necessary especially if they suffer from allergies, bacterial infection, or they have a wound or other type of injury. Clean ears with baby oil and a cotton ball. Do not go too far into the ear as you could damage the ear canal. Instead, gently wipe around the outer ear. If you notice your dog is scratching its ears often or shaking its head too often, you should take the dog to the vet as they may have an infection.
With proper grooming, you will always have a happy, well adjusted dog that looks beautiful at all times.
Dalmatians love to play. They enjoy going for walks, running, and fetching. If you lead an active lifestyle and want a dog to take with you when participating in outdoor activities, then a Dalmatian is one of the best breeds to own.
If possible, Dalmatians should be able to spend at least an hour outside each day. This means two walks per day, or spending more time outdoors in the evening. Dalmatians can also play in a fenced in yard if you have one. Because these dogs have a tendency to run away when unattended, you should monitor the dog while it is outside and make sure it cannot jump over the fence or knock it down.
Dalmatians that do not get enough exercise may become angry or depressed. They may become aggressive and forego their routine. If you don't have the time to spend with your dog outside each day, you should consider another breed.
Creating a daily routine will help prevent urination 'accidents' that will occur when you first bring the dog home. Taking your dog outside before you go to work, after you get home, and once more before bedtime will help your dog be able to have more control during the times you aren't at home. Daily routines will also make Dalmatians feel more comfortable around people and their surrounds. Developing a routine could take up to six months, but once your dog is trained, you will need to maintain the routine in order to keep your dog happy.
Other types of training your Dalmatian may require are basic commands for public situations. Walking your dog in public will help them become more comfortable around people. When teaching new commands, give the dog a treat when they are successful. Every time they follow your command, give a treat.
Do not use negative reinforcement with training your Dalmatian. Even though they are even tempered dogs, they could become angry when punished or verbally abused. Keep instructing your dog using positive reinforcement until they learn the commands.
While it is easier to train a puppy, you can still train an adult dog with a little patience and consistency on your part.
If you want to enroll your puppy in obedience training classes, wait until they are at least 5 or 6 months old. Most puppies can learn simple commands at this age. As your puppy grows, they will learn more advanced commands.