The only spotted breed, the Dalmatian is alert and active, possessing great endurance, speed, and intelligence. Their working and sporting heritage makes them suitable as both a family pet or performance animal, and they are often found in the show, obedience and agility rings, or galloping alongside a horse as a coach dog in “road trials.” Their short coat is white with black or liver (brown) spots.
Spotted dogs have appeared throughout history in Europe, Asia, and Africa, credited with a dozen nationalities and as many native names. The dog we know today as the Dalmatian has been a dog of war, a draft dog, shepherd, ratter, fire-apparatus follower, firehouse mascot, bird dog, trail hound, and retriever. Most importantly, he is the original and only coaching dog. His affinity for horses remains a basic instinct to this day and the breed is a natural follower and guardian of the horse-drawn vehicle.
The fun-loving, people-oriented Dalmatian thrives in a family environment. The breed’s short coat sheds almost year-round, but regular brushing helps minimize the shedding. The Dalmatian is great with kids but needs a little work with other dogs. It’s best to introduce the Dalmatian as a puppy to new environments.
- Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1888.
- Ranging in size from 19 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder.
- Coach dog; guardian.
- Apartment? Not so much.
- High activity indoors.
- Moderate to vigorous daily exercise.
- Frequent brushing.
- Infrequent bathing.
- Seasonal and year round shedding.