Also known as the Dalmatinac, Carriage Dog, Coach Dog, English Coat Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Spotted Dick, Firehouse Dog, Plum Pudding Dog, and simply the Dally, the Dalmatian is an intelligent and loyal breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Dalmatian can be traced back to 16th century Croatia. Enthusiasts believe the Dalmatian to have descended from such breeds as the English Pointer, Greyhound, and various Retriever breeds, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Dalmatian has been most commonly used for hunting game such as bird and wild boar, as a carriage and coach dog – clearing the way of an oncoming fire carriage, as a watch dog, and of course as a mascot for fire departments across the world.
The first Dalmatian registered with the American Kennel Club was in 1888, followed shortly after by the establishing of the Dalmatian Club of America in 1905.
Today, the Dalmatian has attained a world wide popularity as a versatile working breed and companion alike.
Best known for its energetic and lively nature, the Dalmatian is full of character. This breed thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and becomes protective and of its owner quickly. The Dalmatian is very intelligent and generally easy to train. As a pet, the Dalmatian is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. These dogs are not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as they enjoy spending time outdoors, playing games such as fetch, and taking long and leisurely walks.
Due to its eagerness to please and impress its owner and willingness to learn, the Dalmatian generally responds well to basic training and commands. These dogs are very bright, and have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Dalmatian. This breed responds best to a confident, strong, and caring handler with a stern and serious approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Dalmatian, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. This versatile breed is highly intelligent, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Dalmatian gets along well with small children and other pets, often making friends quickly due to its social nature. These dogs are alert, protective, and aware of their surroundings, serving as effective watch dogs, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors. The Dalmatian is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Dalmatian. These active and athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play, especially when under two years of age. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Dalmatian not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Dalmatian has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Dalmatian must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
Proper socialization is absolutely required with the Dalmatian. While this breed typically gets along well with other animals, poorly socialized dogs may show excessive aggression and jealousy towards other pets and even small children.
Common Health Concerns
While the Dalmatian is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, likeliness to develop bone spurs, arthritis, hearing issues – often leading to complete deafness in one or both ears, kidney stones, chronic urinary tract infection, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Dalmatian? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.