Also known as: Dal, Carriage Dog, Leopard Carriage Dog, Firehouse Dog, Plum Pudding Dog, Spotted Coach Dog
  • Dalmatian
  • Dalmatian

General description

Dalmatians are responsive and filled with energy, aesthetically beautiful to admire and incredibly stimulating in their interactions. This type of dog requires relevant training from an expert master specifically to avoid pandering to unwanted behaviors with strangers. Dalmatians are generally very healthy however they do require special maintenance of their coat. Generally not an overly expensive breed and phenomenal around children.

Dalmatian in short

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: white, liver
  • Hair: thick, wiry, short
  • Coats: spotted

Dalmatians will adapt well in relatively small spaces. Obviously, this is not a breed that will fit in your purse and, the healthiest pups can grow to a decent size however, in a relatively spacious home a Dalmatian will find its own spaced despite being indeed a type of dog that loves being outdoors and which can become a menace around delicate objects or very young children during the more vigorous playful impulses.

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Costs and maintenance

A dog breed such as the Dalmatian needs fairly constant monitoring for various reasons. A breed with a delicate and brilliant white coat which is inclined to copious shedding. Not an insatiable breed however its tendency towards physical activity can affect a Dalmatian's dietary requirements. As far as all other aspects, Dalmatians remain within average as they have optimal health if you exclude the usual checkups, and your main expenditures will relate to "beauty" treatments which make this breed every owner's dream.

Quite regular with some extra attention for the coat

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

Everyone has a very clear image of the Dalmatian breed. Originating from the Disney animated movie "One hundred and One Dalmatians". However, it is best to push that amazing and adorable image aside and understand that the fictional description of this unique breed is quite incorrect. The Dalmatian is quite a demanding breed, especially due to its high levels of hyperactivity. This entails a great deal of consideration of a Dalmatian's daily activity but, most of all, the understanding that the need to exercise must be enabled together with the release of this breed's high energy levels. You must seriously consider before purchasing a Dalmatian if you lack sufficient space in the house.

Hyperactive and challenging breed, suitable for open spaces

Tolerance for solitude

A Dalmatian's tolerance for being alone is practically non-existent. This type of dog must have access to wide open, spaces and tends to display a high degree of hyperactivity even in environments where it can pose a danger to delicate objects. The lack of an adequate master or training to help soften this reactivity would be inadequate to raise such an intelligent but yet independent breed. Nevertheless, if properly trained at a young age a Dalmatian will recognize the boundaries it is required to follow.

Basically none, especially in the house

Suitable as first pet

Dalmatians are dogs characterized by fairly complex features. Many aspects of a Dalmatian's personality and general health condition may be overlooked by inexperienced owners. Despite the fact that gratification of owning such a unique and smart pooch can be a reward for choosing a Dalmatian pup especially in entertaining situations, there are also many aspects that may become a threat to your pet's safety and that an inexperienced owner may not pick up at the right time.

A breed suitable for experienced and capable owners


The temperament of a Dalmatian features the ability to adapt even in rather noisy environments without any behavioral consequence. This is possible thanks to two essential features in the Dalmatian breed: great intelligence and ability of clearly understanding all inputs given by the master during training. This capability facilitates a Dalmatian's adjustment to unique environments and the socialization process.

A Dalmatian's intelligence outline its temperament

Tolerance for cold temperatures

The Dalmatian's resistance in fairly low temperatures is quite standard. Dalmatians don't have a generous amount of fur, their body is agile and lean proving to be quite resistant in open spaces. This latter feature has molded the Dalmatian's spirit and adaptation skills. When outdoors, Dalmatians are perfectly capable of overcoming rigid temperatures through physical exercise. This inclination shouldn't however justify an abuse of a Dalmatian's skills, especially in particularly cold days.

Within the average, provided the conditions are not too rigid

Tolerance for high temperatures

Perfectly comfortable in summer days. Despite appearing affected by them if not properly cared for, the Dalmatian is able to stoically tolerate quite high temperatures. A feature that could however deceive the owner who should not lose focus on considering the pet's necessities. Having a full bowl of water at all times is essential for the health of your Dalmatian, especially following strenuous exercise or an entire day spent outdoors without a break.

High resistance even in extreme heat

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

An unbelievable level of intelligence and ability to properly socialize with people make the Dalmatian breed perfect for family life. Your Dalmatian will always display gratitude towards the master and loving attentions for children. This type of dog loves spending time interacting, particularly if stimulated during any kind of activity. This disposition is especially appreciated by kids who consider Dalmatians perfect companions to grow up and have fun with. In this respect, a Dalmatian is the ideal breed for any family environment.

Perfect pet within the family environment

Friendly towards children

Dalmatians require a sound training method in order to grow and adapt to living in a family, even when this is quite large. This is a breed of great physical potential which can often be intense in the everyday life however, a Dalmatian carries a natural inclination towards activity and communication with younger kids. Nevertheless, this type of disposition should always be supervised by an adult, especially if the children are under 6 years old in order to avoid any possible issue such as violent impacts during playtime and socialization.

A natural disposition towards kids

Relationship with strangers

The ability of a Dalmatian to tolerate unfamiliar people is directly linked to the application of an appropriate training method. Dalmatians are exceptional pets but can also be great guard dogs. Such inclination in a Dalmatian must be managed adequately by the master, especially in public spaces that are unfamiliar to this breed or even in very crowded and quite loud locations with sudden peaks of noise caused by young children, for example.

Tolerant thanks to adequate training in this regard

Friendliness towards other dogs

One of the requirements to enable this kind of skill in a dog is an adequate habit of living around others and sharing the daily routine with other dogs or pets. As many other dog breeds, Dalmatians are also capable of coexisting with other animal species such as cats. This inclination in a Dalmatian should however be considered and improved starting at a young age. Coexistence with other animals, dogs in particular can be facilitated through habit and exposure to other pooches starting when your Dalmatian's is still a young pup. Your pet's ability to socialize with other dogs outside of the family environment will benefit from this activity.

A Dalmatian should be accustomed at young age

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

Don't be fooled by a Dalmatian's coat. Despite being rather short with no excessive hair growth on any area and therefore no expectation of heavy shedding, the Dalmatian actually tends to moult quite a lot. This process can be quite an issue in the home environment, especially on pieces of furniture with a tendency to capture hair. It is therefore advisable to check your pet on a regular basis, concentrating on treating the fur and grooming it without letting too much time go by between treatments.

Noticeable even outside the common seasonal events

Salivation and drooling restraint level

Given this breed is quite hyperactive, it can have time frames during the year where the tendency to drool is more or less present. Generally, there won't be heavy episodes and although it is not in this beautiful breed's nature, excessive heat or even a simple delay in feeding or giving water to a Dalmatian may concur in a surplus of saliva. A rare phenomenon which is linked to occasional seasonal events. Dalmatians are perfectly within average of many other breeds as it regards dribbling.

Occasional and during more excitable situations

Easiness to clean

Delicate breed that requires regular fur inspections to keep it clean. The requirement for cleanliness is connected to the unique coloring of a Dalmatian's coat. Yes, a Dalmatian does have quite clear and perfectly natural black spots however, the candor of its white fur stands out too much against any kind of dirt, even the one that may seem less obvious. A breed that requires cleaning on a regular basis and quite often.

Care and attentions for such a delicate coat

Health and diseases

A Dalmatian's health may be affected by some genetic diseases. It is safe to say that this breed will generally remain in good health and if cared for with attention and respect, the Dalmatian won't be subject to any particular disease with age. One of the unique traits of a Dalmatian which stands out in a higher percentage compared to other breeds is the potential of being partially or completely deaf. This can happen to young puppies as well as adult Dalmatians. This type of dog seems to experience this type of issue more frequently. A condition that can become a problem in a Dalmatian subject inadequately trained.

Some cases of deafness but otherwise generally perfectly healthy

Tendency to gain weight

This is a dog breed accustomed to carrying itself as a real athlete. By following a training schedule and spending time with a master it loves, for example on bicycle rides or on-lead walks, a Dalmatian can easily keep fit throughout the years. A Dalmatian that follows an inappropriate diet can develop quite serious issues as well as gaining weight which will be very hard to lose without adequate exercise. Nonetheless, not a real issue for such a reactive breed.

The Dalmatian is a natural born athlete that doesn't have a real tendency to gain weight

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

One of the more obvious and peculiar traits of a Dalmatian, other than the unique coat is the great and responsive intelligence. Dalmatians are not cold or peevish, on the contrary, they love interacting with their owner and respond well to positive reinforcements. This breed learns incredibly quickly and acts as per the training received. In this aspect, a Dalmatian will give great satisfaction to its master by being a perfect life companion that motivates a smart and proactive communication.

A greatly intelligent breed thus easy to train

Loyalty and inclination to escape

As far as the inclination to escape, it is important to highlight how during training Dalmatians will grow extremely loyal towards their master and family members. This tendency to always choose family life made Dalmatians quite uninterested in "extreme gestures" or in deliberate estrangements for extended periods of time. Obviously, this behavior must be ingrained starting at a young age in order to be efficient.

Sometimes due to curiosity but otherwise not inclined to escape

Inclination to bite

Despite being known as a "moody" breed, Dalmatians are capable of proving a high level of self-control and tameness although both aspects are strictly connected to the owner's ability in providing essential inputs apt at educating their dog. These conditions should be provided starting at a young age to avoid having a beautiful Dalmatian that is raised unable to follow the owner's commands. Within the family environment, a Dalmatian is adorable and has no complaints towards its members.

Withing average with some extra care in certain contexts

Hunt drive

Usually any dog, Dalmatians included, will be driven to chase another animal by curiosity towards a sound it may utter (for example in the case of a bird) or the color of its fur (such as in the case of a squirrel). In this regard, Dalmatians can display a singular agility in managing this type of activity however such response is either linked to the dog's tendency to react to the stimulus or the desire to acknowledge or not what is around it.

Moderately curios but perfectly within average

Inclination to bark or howl

A breed such as the Dalmatian can develop quite annoying habits in this regard. Negligent owners with a tendency to allow what can be considered as a bad habit will find themselves with a pet that gives into barking and howling sessions directed to every single stranger in the surrounding of their home, especially if in a high traffic area. Obviously, this type of disposition won't be nurtured if the master is capable of giving the Dalmatian correct information during training at a young age.

Within average if supported by appropriate training

Exercise requirements

Energy level

Active is an understatement. A Dalmatian is capable of retrieving energies even when it finds itself in quite singular situations. One of these could be a bike stroll. Those convinced that a Dalmatian is unable to keep up with a cyclist will find themselves chasing this type of dog. It's important to be aware that Dalmatians can sometime become quite an issue, specifically in the home environment and if left to their own when engaging in such activities.

Energetic as a real athlete would be


Being such good athletes, Dalmatians can be quite strong and can become a menace if out of control of an owner who has chosen to share the delicate spaces of a domestic environment with this type of dog. There is only one efficient way to manage this trait and get your Dalmatians to know when to let loose and when to maintain absolute control: training. A well trained Dalmatian knows when it's allowed to use its strength, for example during a on-lead walk or when the area is too small to unleash in extreme efforts and run at full speed, for example in the house.

Great strength with special attention to domestic environments

Exercise requirements

It is quite clear how a type of dog built as the Dalmatian needs to be kept under control and shaped through regular and well defined training. Long hours of inactivity are not in this breed's nature. This is why, it is advisable to allocate at least a couple of one-hour sessions to allow this gorgeous breed to release any stress accumulated during those moments in which it is not possible to let loose and improve a Dalmatian's already excellent physical features.

Athletic figure thanks to regular exercise

Tendency to play

Incredibly motivating feature in a Dalmatian. The inclination to interact with both adults and kids never disappears in what can be seen as the "Peter Pan of the animal kingdom". A Dalmatian will recognize the times when it can engage into certain activities and those when, on the other hand, it is required to control itself. Generally very fond of interacting, specifically with children and never capable of ignoring this type of activity if properly stimulated. Be mindful of a Dalmatian's movements, especially when indoors around delicate objects.

Extremely motivating, especially for kids

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