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Dalmatian Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

We here at IndulgeYourPet would be willing to bet that if you asked 100 people on the street what a Dalmatian dog looked like at least 95% of them would tell you…

“They’re the ones with spots… Duh!”

And they would be correct, but how many of those folks would also know where the Dalmatian dog breed originated from? Or what kind of health issues can affect the Dalmatian dog breed?


Not all that many.  This is why, we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to actually own one of these awesome dogs to that if you are currently thinking about adoption a Dalmatian, you’ll be in a much better position to find a health one.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Dalmatian Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Yugoslavia

Original Purpose:  Carriage Dog

Height:  19 to 23 inches tall

Weight:  40 to 60 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Non-Sporting Group

Lifespan:  10 to 13 years

The Origins of the Dalmatian Dog Breed: A Quick History

Dalmatians is one of “those” dog breeds that have a bit of a “controversial” origin story.  This is because, most folks seem to believe that they came from a region located in and around Yugoslavia known as Dalmatia, thus the name Dalmatian.


According to many researchers, there does appear to be some evidence that the Dalmatian dog breed simultaneously appeared in Asia and North Africa right around the same time that they were present in Central Europe right along the Adriatic Sea.


Which is it?  Did they originate in Yugoslavia, or did they originate somewhere else?  Beats us, all we can tell you is that because they “seem” to be named after a region near Yugoslavia that was once called Dalmatia, we here at IndulgeYourPet are going to run with that “theory” (You’re free to believe whatever you want!”)

What’s not in question…

Is that traditionally, these dogs were used by folks throughout Central Europe as “carriage dogs”.  Now, we’re not suggesting that these dogs were used to “pull” carriages, because let’s face it, if they were, these carriages wouldn’t have been able to carry all that much!


By the term “carriage dog” we’re referring to their role in protecting horse drawn carriages.  You see traditionally, the Dalmatian dog breed was used to trot besides horse-driven coaches to guard the horses and the rig when they were left unattended.

During these times…

Most folks who owned horses tended to be wealthy and wanted to be sure that their carriages would be protected.  And if they could be protected by a “stylish” and “handsome” dog, well that was even better!

They’re looks…

Were also a driving force in why we still have Dalmatians today because, their role as a “carriage dog” quickly disappeared with the advent of the automobile.


These guys also make fantastic companion animals was well which is probably why they remain one of the most popular dogs in the United States and certainly an iconic breed as well (think Disney’s 101 Dalmatians movie).

The Physical Characteristics of the Dalmatian

Spoiler alert… Dalmatians have spots.

That part we already know…

So, now let’s dive a bit deeper so that we can have a better understanding of what lies beneath the spots so that you can get a better idea of what “kind” of dog your dealing with if you decide to adopt a Dalmatian puppy.

First off…

These dogs have a very well-defined and muscular body with the stamina that goes along with it. And according to the American Kennel Club, following are the dog’s standards:

  • A female Dalmation weighs between 40 to 65 pounds and is between 22 to 23 inches in height
  • A male Dalmation weighs between 45-70 pounds and is between 23-24 inches in height

The dog has round feet and well-arched toes and the nails are usually of the same color of that of the dog’s spots (which we think is pretty cool).

Their eyes…

Can also vary between brown, amber or blue.  Unfortunately, blue eyes which many folks prefer are a recessive trait, that also carriers some other hereditary medical issues which we will discuss later on in this article.

An interesting fact that…

You may not be aware of is that all Dalmatians are born with a plain white coat and the black spots only start to make an appearance when the pup is about 3 or 4 weeks in age.

The good news is that…

The coat of the Dalmatian is short, dense, and fine and only contains a small amount of “oil” on it so… Not only will the Dalmatian coat be easy to keep clean and groomed, it will also lack that “dog smell” as well.

Dalmatian Temperament and Personality

Having learned what the Dalmatian dog breed was originally used for, it really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to learn that these dogs are highly energetic and athletic dogs that have the stamina to run for hours on end when given the opportunity.


If you’re thinking that you might like to own of these awesome creatures, just be prepared to make sure that he or she gets plenty of opportunity to run free.

These dogs also…

Make excellent watchdogs as they know everything that’s going on around them. If your dog sees something suspicious or interesting, he’ll let you know how he feels about it.  And while this may see “odd” these guys can also be quite reserved and quite dogs when they’re out in public.

We guess you can say…

That they let their “spots” doing the talking.  Because, what you’re going to find is that just about everyone “loves” a Dalmatian so when you do go out in public, you’re likely to get a lot of complements and questions:

  • Wow, is that a Dalmatian?
  • How long have you had him?
  • Can I pet him?
  • etc… etc…!

This is why…

It’s very important to socialize Dalmations early on when they’re puppies.  This way they’ll learn early on how to “mix well” with people and other dogs.

The good news is that…

Dalmatians love to be around people and are always looking for their owner’s approval.  Two very important traits that will make “training” your Dalmatian much easier and much more rewarding!  Just be sure to provide plenty of positive reinforcement and always have a few treats ready for him or her and you’ll be well on your way to owning a very well-trained animal.


Are also a dog breed that we here at IndulgeYourPet feel confident recommending to folks with children provided that both the dog and the child are properly trained on how to behave with one another, and… provided that you as the owner be sure to always supervise any playtime between your dog and your child until our child is old enough and large enough to handle a dog the size of a full-grown Dalmatian.

Dalmatian Dog Breed Health and Life Expectancy

There are a few diseases and health issues that a dog breed is prone to getting as they grow old.

And unfortunately…

Dalmatians aren’t an exception to this rule, which is why if you are considering adopting a Dalmatian puppy, you’re going to want to be sure and discuss the following medical conditions with your Dalmatian breeder so that you can get a better idea about the health of your puppy’s parents.

Common health concerns for the Dalmatian dog breed may include:

  • Hereditary deafness: This is an inherited condition in which the dogs are either completely deaf or born with 22 to 24% hearing in one year.
  • Urolithiasis: The urinary tract system of Dalmatians makes them prone to getting urinary tract stones. Large stone lodge themselves into the urethra while smaller ones pass naturally.
  • Skin allergies: Dalmatians are prone to developing skin allergies which may be food-based, contact, or airborne. The medicine depends on the symptoms you dog exhibits.
  • Hip dysplasia: This heritable condition is caused when the femur doesn’t snugly fit the pelvic socket or the hip joint which causes lameness and pain in one or more legs.
  • Iris Sphincter Dysplasia: This is an inherited disorder in which the dog is sensitive to sunlight, has a poor night vision, can develop total or partial blindness, and usually develops cataracts.

And while…

We would love to tell you not to worry about any of these issues, the truth is, the Dalmatian dog breed really isn’t the “healthiest” of all dog breeds out there.


That doesn’t seem to keep people from wanting them and owning them, so if you are still committed to purchasing a Dalmatian puppy or better yet adopting a Dalmatian rescue dog, we would STRONGLY encourage you to also take a moment and consider purchasing a pet insurance policy as well.

This way…

If your Dalmatian does become sick or injured later on, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of his or her medical bills.

For more information about who we “feel” currently offers that “best” pet insurance policies in the industry right now, we would recommend that you check out our article:  Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • BIanca January 3, 2022, 9:51 am

    How i can help a dalmatian to keep fit and healthy

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