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Dalmatian Dog Breed Profile


Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
Dalmatians belong to the Utility group and, due to the publication in 1956 of the book 101 Dalmations, have become very popular pets and show dogs. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
Dalmatians are not fussy eaters. 
Other Expenses
The cost of an average puppy is somewhere between £300 to £500. Their grooming costs are negligible and vet fees should should be low as they are fairly hardy dogs. 
9 - 15 years
Dals have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. 
Average Litter Size
Breeding Dalmatians is difficult and genetically complicated so it is best left to the experts. Litters can vary from 3 to 13 puppies, but the averaged-sized litter will be around 8. 
General Physical Description
The breed stands out for their unique spotted coats black or liver spots on a white background Their outline is square showing them to be wellbalanced strong muscular dogs They have wonderful freedom of movement taking long strides showing smooth powerful and rhythmic action

Height Min Max
Bitch 56cm (22") 58cm (23")
Dog 58cm (23") 61cm (24")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 23kg (51lbs) 25kg (55lbs)
Dog 23kg (51lbs) 25kg (55lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs and bitches are similar in weight which is between 23 to 25kgs. Dogs' height at the withers is between 58.4 to 61cms and bitches between 55.9 to 58.4cms. 
Deafness presents a major problem to the breed but improvement in screening breeding stock has seen a decline in the problem. Lack of pigmentation (hypopigmentation) around the eye rims and nose also occurs, worsening with age, and this is often related to deafness. Dals are prone to bladder and kidney problems and therefore must not be left caged for too long as the need to urinate can aggravate the problems. 
Common Ailments

Susceptibility To Illness
The Dalmatian is an ancient breed, dating back to 2000BC, when spotted dogs appeared on Greek friezes and tablets, showing them working with the chariots of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Some very early records of the breed are found in Dalmatia, Croatia from whence the name came. Over the years Dalmatians have been used as dogs of war, border patrols, cart pullers, sheep herders, dogs of the hunt, circus performers and, of course, coaching dogs. Whatever the origin, Dalmatians have worked with horses since at least the Middle Ages. With the breed's introduction to Britain in the 18th century, the Dalmatian became very popular with the aristocracy as an additive to their ornate carriages, especially because of their ability to work horses under the rear or front carriage axles. The dogs were adopted in the 1800's by fire departments and it was not an unusual sight to see Dals running through the streets of London to clear the way for the horse-drawn water-wagons. The breed remains friendly with horses and modern day field trials still test the abilities of the Dal to perform these duties. 
Dalmatians are easy to train as they have a willing nature and an eagerness to please. Excessive praise when they have done well is important. It is, however, as easy for them to learn bad habits as well as good so do remember their determination, and, especially the dominant nature of male dogs.< 
Show Characteristics
The head is of fair length, moderately well-defined between the ears with a moderate amount of stop and no loose skin. Eyes should be medium-sized, set well apart, dark in black spotted and amber in liver spotted. The nose should be black in black spotted and brown in liver spotted. Ears should be moderate in size and set on rather high with the markings well broken up, preferably spotted. Jaws are to be strong with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite. The neck should be fairly long and arched. The back should be level with well defined withers and well sprung ribs. The forelegs should be straight with strong round bone to the feet and elbows close to the body. There should be a well developed second thigh, good turn of stifle and well defined hocks. The feet should be round and catlike and the tail reaching to the hock, being carried with a slight upward curve. The spots should not run together but be well defined and round, the size ranging from the size of a 1p piece to that of a 50p piece. Spots should be as well distributed as possible, being smaller on the extremities than on the body. Patches, tricolours and lemon spots are highly undesirable. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
As puppies, do not over-exercise dalmatians. Dals are a breed of incredible endurance and are able to travel at a moderate pace almost indefinitely. Owners should remember this when it comes to exercise and ensure that they are given sufficient running time and roadwork to build up and maintain the muscled outline. Because of their hunting instincts they love to run, jump and climb so caution should be taken at all times to ensure their safety. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
Dalmatians are outgoing and friendly dogs, free from nervousness and aggression, although, if not carefully reared or disciplined as puppies can become hyper. Dals are dedicated and loyal and always want to please but because of their determined natures will easily form bad habits. They are mild-mannered, affectionate dogs who enjoy company and clowning about. However, their strength and stamina can sometimes be too much of a challenge for some owners. Dals take at least 2 years to settle down. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
Because of their short and hard hairs the breed do not require onerous grooming and clipping. Once a week run a grooming mitt over their coats to remove dead hairs, finishing off with a soft cloth to promote shine. 
The breed is always a white background with either black or liver-coloured spots. 
Suffers From Allergies

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