Type: Working dog
Weight: Male – 15-32kg
Female – 16-24kg
Height: Male – 21-26in / 53-66cm
Female – 18-25in / 46-64cm
Appearance: The Dalmatian is a mid-sized athletic dog with a muscular body. Their spots (brown or black) are developed over time, as they are born plain white. Most of their spots are present at 1 month of age but continue to develop as the dog matures. Their dense coating is short and smooth, quite silky-like. They shed throughout the year, and their short and sharp hairs are considered difficult to remove from fabric, so regular grooming is recommended. Their eyes are brown or blue, with a possibility of having one of each.
Temperament: This breed is extremely intelligent and very protective. Temperament problems with Dalmatians can arise as they mature and may challenge their owners for dominance. They require a fair amount of attention and their temperament can suffer if they’re left unattended for prolonged periods. Dalmatians are playful, extremely funny and can find joy in chasing almost anything. They love rewards which makes them easy to train. Obedience training is of significant importance, as they seem to regard being naughty as a game.
Skills: The Dalmatian’s excellent stamina and endurance is the reason they were used as carriage dogs in the past. These are excellent guard dogs, powerful and strong, but also very friendly and loyal to those they know and trust. They are also good hunters, and in addition to exterminating rodents and vermin, they can be used as bird dogs, trail hounds and retrievers. They are especially famous for being fire-fighter support dogs.
Behaviour Towards Other Animals and Children: Dalmatians are not a really sensible choice for families with small children. Their excessive levels of energy and their size make them unsuitable. For children of an older age they make perfect companion, but both have to be well-behaved.
Common Health Problems: This is a relatively healthy dog breed. Unlike most breeds, hip displasia is not a major issue. Breedspecific problems include: deafness, allergies, and urinary stones. Bone spurs, arthritic conditions and autoimmune thyroiditis are also considered common amongst Dalmatians.
Lifespan: Average 11 to 13 years.