These amazing looking dogs have probably have had as many different roles in past history as they have spots! This Holidays4Dogs breed article will take a more in-depth look at this striking and energetic dog.
It might be assumed the Dalmatian originated in Dalmatia – an historical area of Croatia. However, there has been fervent disagreement about this among breed historians. More reliable sources suggest this dog originated in the Mediterranean region, spreading to India and Europe, quite possibly amongst gypsy communities.
Dalmatians were often known as ‘carriage dogs’ in the 1800’s. Most famously, they accompanied horse drawn fire apparatus helping to clear a path for the carriage. Since fire equipment and horses were valuable, Dalmatians would reside on the firehouse premises as guard dogs.
Their quirky appearance and ability to travel alongside carriages, meant they were often seen in travelling circuses. Their working abilities, transposed easily to learning tricks and skills to entertain audiences.
Temperament and lifestyle.
It is really somewhat surprising that this dog is classified by the UK Kennel Club as a Utility breed – which refers to non-sporting dogs. In reality, the breed has a strong sporting past.
Indeed, Dalmatians definitely thrive on an active lifestyle. If they do not receive enough mental enrichment and physical exercise, they can become rather highly strung and difficult to handle. With this in mind, they may be too energetic for a family with small children.
However, with plenty of exercise involving at least, two walks a day – dalmatians make loyal and playful companions. They can sometimes be rather aloof with strangers and sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, so they need plenty of careful socialisation when young.
As they have boundless energy, they don’t usually fare well being left alone for long periods and would better suit a family where someone is around most of the day. They are usually quite trainable and love being in the great outdoors.
Because of their endurance for travelling at moderate speed over reasonably long distances, they make very good running, or cycling companions.
The Dalmatian tends to shed all year round but they do so more profusely twice yearly, which produces a great deal of hair and dander. However, unlike other breeds such as Labradors, they have less of a doggy odour and regular grooming will help to manage the constant shedding.
Generally a healthy and robust breed, they can unfortunately suffer from deafness. Therefore, all puppies should be hearing tested at around 6 weeks of age. The breed also suffers from a uric acid-stone problem which is a genetic defect in most dalmatians.
As a result, this predisposes them to serious health problems. More than 30 years ago in the U.S. some enthusiasts, as part of the Dalmatian Back Cross Project, wanted to out-cross the breed to pointers as a way of introducing a normal copy of the gene for normal uric acid excretion.
All in all, these dogs can make great family pets if provided with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are a versatile breed and have the ability to turn their paw to all-sorts of activities. Dalmatians are charming four-legged companion with striking looks and a personality to match.