There is wide spread disagreement about where the Dalmatian actually originates from. It is certainly an ancient breed as traces of it have been found in both Egyptian bas-reliefs and Hellenic friezes.
Certainly there has been question about the Dalmatian being of Yugoslavian origin as there was a breed in England in the 1700ís called the Bengal Pointer which was similar to the Dalmatian. Others have claimed that it was a Croatian breed.
But what is known is that during the Middle Ages it was used as a hound and became popular as a carriage dog during the 1800ís. They would trot beside (or even among) the horses and then would stay and guard the carriage and horses whilst their master was otherwise engaged.
Over the years because of its versatility the Dalmatian has been used for many different purposes as a mascot for fireman, a war sentinel, a circus performer, a vermin hunter, a hound, a shepherd as well as a guard dog. But primarily the breed is kept as a companion dog by many owners.
The Dalmatian is part of the AKC Non Sporting Group and was formerly recognized by the AKC in 1886.
Height: Dogs 22-24 inches
Bitches 20-22 inches
Weight: About 55 pounds
Longevity: Live for about 10 to 12 years.
The Dalmatian has a distinctive spotted coat and when stood poised they look alert. They are very strong and muscular and are very active also. They are free of shyness, have an intelligent expression and a symmetrical outline. Not only is this breed capable of great endurance they are fairly fast when they are running. The head of the dog should be in balance with the dog overall and should have no loose skin on it. The eyes should be set moderately well apart of medium size and somewhat rounded in appearance as well as being set will into the skull. They can either be brown or blue in color (or any combination thereof). The ears are of a moderate size and proportionately wide at the base and gradually tapering to a rounded tip. They will be set rather high on the dogs head but be carried close to it. The nose should be black on a black spotted dog and brown on those with liver spots. The neck should be nicely arched and the topline should be smooth. The chest on this breed should be deep, capacious and of a moderate width. Whilst the back should be level and strong and the tail is a natural extension of the topline and it must not be docked or curl over the back.
Color: They should have a ground color of white and the spots on a black spotted Dalmatian should be dense black and those on a liver spotted dog should be liver brown.
This is a stable but outgoing as well as being a dignified breed. But unfortunately they can be very shy also. Although extremely loyal they are a very sensitive breed and need human companionship as they are likely to become depressed. Although they are quiet intelligent they can also be willful and does well when trained with firm and consistent training. They are particularly good for training as defense or watchdogs.
Between 10-12% of Dalmatian puppies are effected by deafness and so they should all be BAER tested for deafness. This should be carried out when they are 6 weeks old. Such dogs will often be difficult to raise and can become aggressive and snappish as they are scared. There are some Dalmatians which are prone either to urinary stones or skin allergies (especially caused by synthetic fibers in carpets and upholstery) can be inherited. They will also suffer from high levels of Uric Acid than any other breed which may sometimes cause a urinary blockage.
This breed is really not suited to life in an apartment as they need to be taken either for a brisk walk or run several times each day. They are a very active animal indoors and so would be best suited to a home with an average sized yard, but they should not be kept outside when the weather is cold.
Because a Dalmatian sheds its coat twice a year profusely it will need to be constantly brushed in order for its owner to cope with the constant shedding. As they do not have a doggy odor and are said to be lean (some even avoid puddles) they should only be bathed when really necessary.
More Dog Breeds:
Choosing A Dog Breed
Housebreaking Your Puppy
Training Your Dog
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