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Dalmatian Breed Fact Sheet

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Dalmatian Breed Information

Group 7: Non Sporting

Energy Level: High

Original Function: bird dog, hound, circus dog, court dog, draft dog, shepherd

Temperament: Outgoing, friendly dogs, free from nervousness and aggression

Characteristics: 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, an extrovert, and well known for its characteristic grin

Recommended for: Active people & families.

Be Aware: Newborn pups have no spots.

Lifespan: 10 - 14 yrs


Height: Overall balance of prime importance, but the ideal height to be aimed at is:
Dogs 58.4-61 cm (23-24 ins.)
Bitches 56-58.4 cm (22-23 ins.).

Colour: The ground colour should be pure white. Black spotted dogs have dense black spots and liver spotted dogs liver-brown spots. They should not run together but be round and well defined, the size of a 5 to a 20 cent COIN, as well distributed as possible. Spots on the extremities should be smaller than those on the body.

Coat: Short, hard and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance.

General Appearance: The breed stands out for their unique spotted coats; black or liver spots on a white background. They should be a balanced, strong, muscular, active dog of good demeanour. They have wonderful freedom of movement taking long strides, showing smooth, powerful and rhythmic action, capable of great endurance with a fair amount of speed.



The Dalmatian is an ancient breed, dating back to 2000BC, where it was shown them working with the chariots of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. 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.

They are a spirited and playful dog; they like children and can be trusted around them. They make excellent pets and are a great companion to take jogging or walking with you. They like to spend their time with you; they can be sensitive so training takes patience. 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.

Grooming- their short coat is easy to look after, once a week run a grooming mitt over their coats to remove dead hairs, finishing off with a soft cloth to promote shine.

Exercise- do not over-exercise as puppies. Dals are a breed of incredible endurance and are able to travel at a moderate pace almost indefinitely. When it comes to exercise they should be 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.

Health- This breed can be prone to skin allergies, urinary bladder stones and also deafness.
For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition



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