Dalmatian is a strong, fast, medium-sized short-haired dog with a very characteristic coat: white with black or (less often) brown spots. Busy, energetic, not very docile, he needs a lot of movement. Let’s remember that the energy of these cute dogs – often treated as mascots for children – is inexhaustible, and bored they can give us a bad bone.
The Dalmatian is a dog full of the joy of life, with a great temperament. It requires close contact with the owner, with whom he lives much more strongly than many other dogs. Therefore, he should not be isolated from his family (although of course, for a quadruped taught to be alone for a few hours this will not be a problem). Also, due to the short coat, this animal is not suitable for keeping in the pen.
The Dalmatian gets along well with children, willingly participates in joint games, but does not like too much persistence. It should be remembered that he is a dog with an independent character, which is only subordinate to an adult, therefore he should not be bought as a mascot for a child.
The representative of this breed should be brave and balanced. He is friendly towards people, although during the first contact with strangers some individuals are restrained. Despite his inherent gentleness, he can stand up for the owner and his property if needed.
Accept other pets easily. Usually, he is also tolerant of foreign dogs, but attacked by an aggressive kinsman will defend himself.
The Dalmatian loves movement and space, he is very durable. He willingly accompanies a runner, cyclist or rider (however, puppies should not be forced to make too much effort). When choosing a dog with nature, you must remember about his hunting instinct and tendency to chase.
Originally, the Dalmatian was a hunting dog used for hunting big game. In the United States, it was used to hunt down escaped slaves and to protect against robbers. He often accompanied horse-drawn carriages, running just behind the front axle of the vehicle, and before he became just a spectacular addition to the carriage, he performed a more prosaic function – while guarding horses and belongings during stops. It was also noted that dogs of this breed have a calming effect on horses, which is still used today.
Representatives of this breed also prove themselves as hunting dogs in the police and rescue to search for people under debris.
Currently, Dalmatians are mainly companion dogs and seem to be created for this role. They can be successfully trained in general obedience (PT). They are also suitable for many dog sports.
Dalmatian. Training and education
The Dalmatian is an intelligent dog, with an excellent memory. He is smart and eager to learn. Training should be based on positive methods – reward and gentleness can be achieved. Violence – both physical and mental – means that the dog can not only refuse to follow orders, but also become a nuisance in everyday life.
A lot of time you have to spend on walking and playing with the puppy and ensure proper socialization – he should meet new places, people and other dogs.
Who is this race for?
A Dalmatian is a dog for an active, consistent, committed owner who will devote the right amount of time for walking and raising his pet.
Dalmatian. Advantages and disadvantages
- sensitive to low temperatures
- poorly brought up can cause problems
- sometimes stubborn and independent
- falling hair is difficult to clean
- attached to the guardian
- cheerful and friendly
- active, can play dog sports
- tolerates other animals
- not noisy watchman
- easy to care for
The representative of this breed is rather healthy. However, be aware of the more sensitive urinary tract than other dogs. Kidney or cystitis are also more common in this breed. Therefore, you need to make sure that the Dalmatians do not lie on the cold ground for a long time. They also have a tendency to urolithiasis.
Due to white color, congenital deafness occurs. Feeding should be carried out on individuals intended for breeding, because otherwise, it is impossible to distinguish between healthy and deaf dogs in one ear.
Sometimes food allergies and inflammation of the ears can be caused by a bacterial or fungal background. As with all large dogs, there is a risk of stomach enlargement and twist. In old age, problems with the spine and joint-skeletal system may appear. Some individuals have a predisposition to excessive tartar build-up, which should be systematically removed.
Dalmatians tolerate well even large heat. Due to the short coat, however, they are sensitive to low temperatures, and they do not like rain and moisture.
Dalmatians are not picky – most of them are greedy, so be careful that they do not gain too much weight. It is best to give them ready, medium energy food for large breeds, adapted to their age. The ones with the addition of lamb or sea fish work quite well.
It is also possible to feed dogs of this breed with self-prepared food, which must be supplemented with appropriate calcium and vitamin preparations.
During molting periods, it is worth adding meals that improve coat and skin condition, and in old age – protecting joints (with glucosamine and chondroitin). The daily dose can be divided into two meals.
A short Dalmatian coat does not require sophisticated care. The dog of this breed usually molts twice a year, however, a comb that is not combed can lose hair all the time, so you should brush it regularly. His coat is small but hard – it sticks easily to the ground and is difficult to clean.
Usually, it is enough to comb your pet once a week with a rubber brush or a special glove. You can also wipe it with a damp towel or a piece of chamois so that we can remove dust from the coat and give it shine. We bathe the Dalmatian in shampoo for short-haired dogs. When choosing a cosmetic, make sure that using it does not cause discoloration.
You also need to regularly check your ears and shorten the claws if the dog does not rub them naturally. You can give him special teethers and biscuits to clean the teeth or get used to the toothpaste and brush.
The Dalmatian does not require special preparation for the exhibition, but – like any dog - he must be taught to behave properly in the ring.
We bring a small Dalmatian in a strong collar – preferably a leather one – with a solid fastening (it cannot be lined with colored felt, because under the influence of moisture it will color the coat). Chains that dirty her are also inadvisable. Instead of traditional leashes, longer links will be better for puppies – they will ensure freedom of movement while helping to learn obedience.
It is recommended to play on walks to discharge excess energy (e.g. retrieving), at home – calming down, taking the dog’s attention for longer. Treats filled with treats, cotton cords or natural teethers work well.
You can get your pet accustomed to the cage, especially if you intend to go to exhibitions with him – but you must not keep him in it constantly. A bored, neglected Dalmatian can take his toll, but when he is given enough movement and mental activities, he is a great household member.
Knowledge of the Dalmatian past is scant. It is believed that the breed comes from Dalmatia – a land stretching along the Adriatic coast. However, according to some researchers, spotted dogs appeared in the 4th century BC in India, and from there came to Greece, Rome and Egypt.
Their presence in the land of the pharaohs was to be proved by wall paintings depicting similar animals. Ceramics and reliefs with their images were also found during archaeological excavations. The Greek historian Xenophon also mentioned in their chronicles such quadrupeds.
There are also known theories derived Dalmatian directly from the Mediterranean. The images of mottled dogs were found on frescoes and ceramics from the Mycenaean culture period. In the chapel of Santa Maria Novela in Florence, there is a painting created around 1360, in which several such quadrupeds were immortalized in the wolf hunting scene.
In the Middle Ages, a Dalmatian appeared in the Balkans, where it was used almost exclusively as a hunting dog. The legend of the Turkish spotted war dogs that were to take part in the siege of Vienna is also known among fans of the breed. Church chronicles from both the fourteenth century and later (from the early eighteenth century) indicate the Mediterranean region – especially the Dalmatian coast – as the breed’s origin.
Regardless of which of the theories cited is closer to the truth, the ancestors of the modern Dalmatian undoubtedly come from a warm climate, which is indicated by the short fur and high resistance of these quadrupeds to high temperatures.
Before the current name of the breed became applicable, the Dalmatian was defined in various ways: Bengal pointer, Raguan pointer, Dalmatian setter or small Danish dog. There were those whose dots on the body resembled lava blisters or rare tufts of vegetation growing between coastal rocks.
It seems most likely, however, that the breed took its name from the geographical land or from the name of a Slovenian priest, writer and translator Jurij Dalmatin, who was to receive from the Czech Duchess several spotted quadrupeds around 1570.
Thomas Bewick in his work published in 1792 presents drawings and descriptions of a speckled dog, which he calls “the dalmatin dog” – dalmatian or “the coach dog” – a carriage dog.
In the eighteenth century, Dalmatian became very popular among the upper classes in England and the United States. He accompanied horse-drawn carriages, which is why he began to be called a coch or carriage dog. When the era of motorization came, it did not go into oblivion, because having this spectacular animal became almost the duty of every well-born English gentleman and wealthy people from the southern states of America.
The first exhibition at which representatives of this breed were shown took place in 1869 in Birmingham. The pattern was developed by Vero Shaw in 1882, and in 1890 it was recognized as the official standard. The first Dalmatian club was founded in 1920 in Germany.
Although the English and Americans had the greatest influence on the contemporary appearance of Dalmatians, the FCI (International Kennel Club) assigned them to former Yugoslavia (Croatia is now considered the country of origin of the breed). Initially, the breed was qualified to group IX FCI – decorative and companion dogs. Since 1994, he has been in group VI – hounds, rockers and related breeds.
Dalmatian – group VI FCI, section 3, reference number 153
- Country of origin: Croatia
- Size: height at the withers of dogs 56-61 cm, bitches 54-59 cm; dogs weight 27-32 kg, bitches 24-29 kg
- Coat: short, dense, hard, shiny
- Ointment: pure white with black or brown spots; spots should be round, clear, well-spaced, 2-3 cm in diameter; on the head, tail and limbs smaller than on the torso
- Maturity: 3 years
- Lifespan: 12-13 years
- Weather resistance: medium
Before the cars appeared, the Dalmatian was a helper of the New York fire station – he ran in front of the car and barked, dispersed the crowd, facilitating the passage; he also helped to pull fire hoses. Today it is a mascot of firefighters, almost every station has its spotted pet.
In many publications you can find the claim that Dalmatians are born quite white. This is only partly true. The spots on the fur do not really appear after a few days, but some of them are already clearly visible in the wet, newborn puppy in the form of pigmentation spots on the skin.
Undoubtedly, the famous movie “101 Dalmatians” contributed to the increase in popularity of the breed. In 1996, Walt Disney produced a movie with the unforgettable Glenn Close in the role of Cruella de Mon, who was a remake of the 1961 animated film of the same title.