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Breed Profile: Dalmatian

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Dalmatian Dog Breed Photo Photo by GK Hart / Vikki Hart / Getty Images

Group:

Non-sporting

History:

The Dalmatian's true origins are up for debate, but evidence of similar types of dogs goes back to ancient times. It is likely that the breed did not actually originate in Dalmatia (present-day Croatia), but it is certain that Dalmatians were once used as sentinels in the area.

The Dalmatian is known for its penchant for horses, which made it the original and only coaching dog. The breed has also served as a dog of war, guard dog, retriever, ratter and shepherd. The Dalmatian arrived in the US around the turn of the 20th century and one worked closely with teams of firefighters. The breed is often still seen as a firehouse mascot.

Size:

45-65 pounds

Colors:

White with black or liver spots

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Dalmatian is a medium-sized dog that is affectionate, very athletic, highly intelligent and has plenty of energy. This breed is extremely driven, loyal and hard-working and is well-suited for work or companionship.

Dalmatians have smooth white coats with distinct black or brown spots. The breed requires little more than basic grooming, but is a relatively high shedder. Regular brushing will help minimize shedding.

The Dalmatian is known for it's ready-and-willing attitude and seemingly endless energy. These dogs are quite smart, despite what some may think - their extreme energy levels makes them appear goofy at times. The breed may also have a tendency for excessive barking. Overall, proper obedience training is absolutely essential for this dog. The Dalmatian is typically very clever and eager to learn if you are diligent and can keep his attention.

Dalmatians are very agile, athletic, and versatile. In order to keep this dog in good shape (physical and mental), Dalmatians needs tons of exercise and plenty of activities. Otherwise, they are prone to weight gain.

Dalmatians were made extremely popular by Disney's 101 Dalmatians films and programs, especially for families with children. Ironically, the breed is not ideal for smaller kids - though proper training and socialization can make all the difference. Dalmatians can make excellent companions for the right household. This affectionate dog breed that bonds closely with its human companions and can make a lovely companion for the active individual or family.


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