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Why Dalmatians Make Such Great Companions!

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

Have you ever watched 101 Dalmatians and absolutely fallen in love with the little pups?

These adorable polka-dot doggos make great companions!

The Dalmatian served many different roles throughout history, everything from a coaching dog, a Romanian gypsy companion, to the firefighter mascot!

So if you are in the market for a dignified, loyal, outgoing, and intelligent addition to your family, you came to the right place!

Dalmatians have so many outstanding characteristics, all of which will be discussed in this article.


There are many important things to know before you adopt one of these pups. Consider the following questions:

Does the Dalmatian’s beautiful coat have complicated grooming?

Do they have a friendly personality? Are they wary of strangers?

How do they handle children?

What about their exercise and training needs?

Even, where did this breed originate?

By the end of this article, you should be well-versed in your knowledge of Dalmatians.

Are you ready to dive in? Let’s get started!



Dalmatian Appearance

Dalmatians are known for their unique look.

Built muscular yet slender, Dalmatians have excellent endurance and stamina.

Height varies anywhere from 19 to 24 inches, and they weigh anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds.

Dalmatians have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

They are born with cute floppy ears, which tend to dwarf them when they are young.

Normal litter size is around 1 to 12 pups, however, in 2019 a Dalmatian named Melody broke the record when she birthed a whopping 19 pups!


Dalmatian coats are all white when they are first born and their first spots start to appear after 10 days.

Contrary to popular belief, Dalmatians’ spots are on their skin, not their fur. So spots can be in their ears, nose, mouth or in other hairless parts of their body.

Spots are either black or brown.

Black-spotted pups have black noses, and brown-spotted pups have brown noses.

Occasionally, other colors such as blue, brindle, mosaic, orange, lemon, or tricolored appear on the Dalmatian.


Their coats are short, fine, and dense.

Sometimes, short-coated females can give birth to long-haired pups. 

Their wagging, spotted tail is strong with a slight curve to it.

Despite their muscular build, Dalmatians are very sleek and graceful.



Dalmatian Personality

Dalmatians are the perfect dog for someone who needs some companionship.

They have a very loyal, caring, and loving demeanor.

Because of this, they tend to get very attached to their owner and they crave attention.

If they are deprived of their owner’s attention they tend to become sad and depressed.

This is why quality time with any dog is so important to their well-being.

Like many other dogs, Dalmatians tend to choose a favorite human and stick close to them!


Some Dalmatians tend to be wary of strangers and timid if not socialized early on.

However, some are very high-strung and friendly!

Their energy levels are not well suited for very young children.

Their skepticism of strangers and their love for their owners make Dalmatians excellent watchdogs!


Dalmatians are very sensitive, this trait is good when it comes to relating to their owner but not so much when it comes to harsh correction.

A special characteristic of the Dalmatians is their good memories. This can be difficult if they were mistreated in the past.

Remember to treat your pup with much love and affection, they can’t get enough of it!



Dalmatian Exercise

Infused with lots of energy and playfulness, Dalmatians require at least 40 minutes of exercise daily.

They can be apartment dogs as long as the owners are willing to go on daily walks and maybe a visit to the dog park to wear off their boundless energy.

Dalmatians make great running, jogging, and hiking buddies! Contented even to run alongside you as you bike!


Since these pup’s bones and joints don’t mature until 2 years of age, the owners must be careful not to overwork them before then.

However, they still require the same amount of attention and owner-pup bonding.

Including them in family activities and random errands throughout the day can help to satisfy their needs!


Bred to run for miles alongside carriages, Dalmatians have immense endurance.

They appreciate the daily jog or game of fetch.

Having a fenced-in yard, or secure area for them to romp around in is ideal.

If you have a busy lifestyle, having this area for them to wear off their energy is very beneficial for you and the pup!

Their exercise is necessary for their happiness and yours!



Dalmatian Grooming

Dalmatians’ beautiful coats require little grooming.

An occasional bath and a weekly brushing with a horsehair mitt or rubber curry comb will suffice to keep the dog looking its best.

The minimal amount of oil in their fur results in a fairly odorless, clean dog!


Shedding is inevitable with most dogs, and the Dalmatian is no exception.

Even with their short coat, this breed tends to shed a fair amount.

Their weekly brushing is important to keep this under control.


Since their ears naturally flop down, it is important to check in occasionally.

Your vet can give you a recommended cleaning routine for them.

Don’t forget to check in on their teeth with regular brushing, and as with all dogs, their nails should be trimmed regularly.

The Dalmatians grooming process is simple and so worth keeping their polka-dot coat looking beautiful!



Dalmatian Training

Dalmatians have played many roles throughout the years.

Their high intelligence helped them to excel at many different jobs.

Dalmatians tend to be rather independent, so without proper training, they tend to be willful and stubborn.


Starting basic, it is important to expose your pup to new and unusual situations. Taking them out in public and meeting new people is crucial.

Training them while they are young and impressionable is a must with this breed.

Housebreaking is always a challenge as with any breed, but Dalmatians are very bright dogs and they respond well to most training.

Given their sensitive nature, however, it is important that they are introduced to positive, reward-based training.


Having been brought up in many different environments, Dalmatians can perform a variety of tasks.

They compete competitively in activities such as agility, obedience, lure coursing, tracking, and nose work.


Training with most dogs is not just tricks and games you play with them.

They observe how you act, what you let them do, and what you do not.

Dogs are more likely to respond to this everyday observance than the teaching of commands.

Dalmatians are emotional pups, remember to show them patience and love!



Dalmatian Health

Bad health isn’t necessarily a problem when it comes to Dalmatians.

Any reliable breeder has their dogs tested and will note anything to look out for,

However, like any dog breed, there are some problems that relate to Dalmatians specifically.


It is estimated that up to 30% of Dalmatians are deaf to some extent, some say this is related to the dog’s blue eyes.

Most owners are able to detect if their pup is going deaf, but the BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) test is recommended.


All Dalmatians are born with a genetic mutation that can eventually lead to kidney stones.

To prevent this the dog’s food should be low in purines. In addition, they should be encouraged to drink lots of fresh water.

Owners should be vigilant to watch for signs of urinary blockage.


Since they are a very active and high-energy breed, always watch for injury to their bones and joints.

Dalmatians aren’t picky eaters. They also don’t require an excessive amount of vitamins and supplements to keep them looking fit.

Finally, don’t be a stranger to the vet, go to them with any questions and a regular checkup!



Dalmatian History

The exact birthplace of Dalmatians is unknown. However, in the early 1800s, the breed became closely connected with an area in Central Europe once known as Dalmatia(hence the name).

Known by their name ‘coach dogs’, Dalmatians’ original occupation was to trot alongside horse-drawn carriages.

Dalmatians were also companions of the caravan of the Romani people throughout their wandering across Europe.

Traveling with the Romani people is the reason that the origin of Dalmatians is relatively unknown since the Romani people were known for their nomadic lifestyle.


Their relationship with firefighting began in the United States, in the days of horse-drawn fire engines.

Dalmatians would guard the horses, who became easily uncomfortable at the scene of the fire.

The Dalmatian quickly became the face of firefighting, some of which still lasts today.

Many firefighters still choose this pup as the ideal pet for them and their families!


In 1956 the novel One Hundred and One Dalmatians was released. Walt Disney then made two films based on the book.

After this recognition, many enthusiasts bought Dalmatians for their children. However, without learning about this breed and its needs, many Dalmatians were quickly abandoned and left to rescue shelters.


Then in 1888, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Dalmatians.

Dalmatians have a fascinating and yet sad history, let’s give them a bright future!


Where Can I Find My Own Dalmatian?

Where Can I Find Dalmatians

There are many ways to go about adopting a Dalmatian, and many sources will tell you different things.

Perhaps the most important, finding a good breeder.

A reliable breeder should be up to date on their pup’s medical needs and documentation, also their special needs and wants, along with their unique traits and personality.


How much better would you feel to know where your pup is coming from and who is raising it?

Make sure to ask questions and make sure your breeder can be trusted.

Puppy mills are very common and are easy to get sucked into but it would be wise to go with a smaller organization, one that cares for their puppies and takes good care of them.


Don’t forget to take your time when looking for your dream doggo!

It’s a privilege to adopt a pup, but it is also a responsibility.

Be absolutely sure when looking for your furry companion, spend time getting to know them before you decide to take them home!

If you are looking to adopt one of these beautiful Dalmatians look no further! They can be found right here at VIP Puppies!



Q: Is a Dalmatian a Good Family Dog?

A: Dalmatians are sometimes temperamental and aren’t always compatible with young children. They are good dogs if you have older children at home.


Q:Are Dalmatian Spots Unique To Each Dog?

A: Yes they are! No two Dalmatians are the same when it comes to their spots. It’s incredibly unique since those spots are not on the fur but on the skin itself. These pooches have spots in their mouth and in other non-furry areas!


Q:Are Dalmatians Loyal?

A:They are loyal to their family, that’s for sure. The Dalmatian has a natural protective instinct. These dogs are great family dogs for that. If you have one of these lovely creatures at home, you can rest assured that you are their number one priority.


In Closing


Now that you know all about Dalmatians, what are your thoughts?

Could this be the companionship you are looking for?

Did its loving and intelligent character appeal to you?

It is a versatile pup, perfect for many environments and he loves to help out with any kind of job!


Start looking today! You could soon have one of these fun and loving doggos!

Be patient when searching and make sure this is the one you want. Be well-versed in your chosen breed.

You won’t regret bringing a Dalmatian into your life!



American Kennel Club. (2022). Dalmatian Dog Breed. Retrieved from the American Kennel Club:

Hills Pet. (2023). Dalmatian Dog Breed. Retrieved from Hills Pet:https://www.hillspet/dog-breeds/dalmation/

Wikipedia. (2023). Dalmatian (dog). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Britannica. (2022). Dalmatian. Retrieved from Britannica:

This is Dog. (2022). 101 Dalmatians. Retrieved from This is Dog:https://www.thisisdog/en/dog-types/dalmatian-dog-breed-faq/

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