Dalmation dog breed

Dalmation At-a-Glance

The Dalmatian gets its name from Dalmatia, Croatia, which is where it originated as a breed in the 16th century.

This is an energetic, strong, and noble breed that was used as a watchdog and trained to run beside carriages. They were used also by early fire brigades to help keep the horses from getting spooked by a fire.

Because of their high energy and ability to run long distances, they were used during World War II to carry messages to the troops.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 45-70
Female: 40-60
Height (inches)
Male: 22-24
Female: 19-22
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Low Drooling
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Hot Climate
  • Good General Health
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Tolerates Cold Climate

Lowest Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments

General Overview

These are high-strung and finicky dogs. They must be well-trained and well-socialized, along with plenty of exercise, play, and attention from their owners.

If these things happen, Dalmations will become good family dogs. They do best with older children and should never be left unattended with small children or elderly people.

They don’t get along particularly well with other dogs and aren’t good at dog parks. However, if they are raised with another dog, they will get along fine but should be supervised when around other small animals.

Dalmations are not aggressive but will be cautious around strangers until they get to know them. They will also be protective over their families if they sense a threat and have the strength to back that up.

From a grooming standpoint, Dalmations are low droolers but high shedders, so you’ll spend quite a bit of time vacuuming your house. On the plus side, their coats require very little maintenance

They are moderate barkers but will bark constantly if left alone. They need companionship and do their best when with their families. They have a good deal of separation anxiety.

Dalmations have an extremely high amount of energy and need a minimum of two hours a day of rigorous exercise and play. Otherwise, they will become destructive.

They have tremendous stamina and can run long distances with ease, so they are an ideal choice as a running companion. You will tire long before your Dalmation.

They are fairly intelligent and learn easily, making them quite trainable. That said, they can also be strong-willed, so if you’re a first-time dog owner you’ll need to find an experienced trainer.

Dalmations tolerate hot climates very well and are not good choices for the colder parts of the country.

From a health standpoint, they are on par with other large breeds with one exception. About one-third of all Dalmations will go deaf, so this is a consideration when deciding if this is the breed for you.

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