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The Dalmatian is a medium sized, white dog with spots. Although black or liver spots are most common, they can also be blue, orange or lemon. There are also many different coat pattern variations. The Dalmatian usually weighs between 40 and 70 pounds, and the males are often bigger than the females. Built for long distance endurance, this breed is well muscled.

This breed is active and energetic, and it enjoys the outdoors. Dalmatians are people oriented dogs that like to spend lots of time with their families. They love to play, especially as puppies

The Dalmatian's past is quite extensive and argued. Many sources claim the Dalmatian was the first spotted dog in Europe, Asia and Africa. The first positive location is Dalmatia, on the western coast of the former Yugoslavia, which was previously an Austrian province. The Dalmatian is nicknamed by the English as The English Coach Dog, The Carriage Dog, The Plum Pudding Dog, and The Firehouse Dog. It is from its first home that the correct name originates: Dalmatian.

The Dalmatian has been a dog of war acting as a sentinel at the border of Dalmatia and Croatia. They have been shepherds, as well as fire house mascots. Dalmatians have also been used as sporting dogs in a variety of capacities: birds, trail hound, retriever or pack dog. They were famously used as stylish coach dogs, running under the rear axle of the coach. Their stamina allowed them to keep up with the horses; their guarding abilities kept the coach and its contents safe.

Dalmatians first came to firehouses as ratters to kill vermin in stables and firehouses. Because of their coach experience, they were soon running alongside, and eventually riding in the fire engines. To this day, many firehouses in Great Britain and the USA have Dalmatians.

Fun things to do:
Dalmatians love to run, especially beside bicycles. Be sure to have an attachment such as a Springer for your bicycle, if you bike with your Dalmatian or any dog. If your dog is only on a leash, he could get tangled in the bike, injuring both of you.

Dals also like to swim, and make good running partners as well, especially for distance runners. They're an all-purpose breed, capable of hunting, search and rescue and even obedience trials (with much patient training)! There are even road dog competitions in keeping with their early use as carriage dogs. During the competitions, the dogs accompany horses or carriages for distances of 12.5 or 25 miles.

They can be good flyball, Frisbee, agility or backpacking dogs, depending on the nature of the individual dog.

Health Risks:
Hereditary deafness is prevalent in Dalmatians. It cannot be cured out of the breed, and all bloodlines suffer from this affliction. About 8% are born completely deaf, while over 20% are born with some kind of hearing problem. Dogs with hearing impairments are more likely to have behavioral problems.

The Dalmatian also has a unique urinary system. They are susceptible to urolithiasis (bladder stones) because their urine contains uric acid rather than urea or allantoin. Bladder/kidney stones can form from the salts in uric acid. Provide adequate water at all times to lessen the chance of developing urinary stones. Also, avoid foods high in purines, (such as liver) which tend to aggravate formation of uric stones. Consult with your veterinarian about the best diet for a Dalmatian.

Dalmatians also suffer from skin allergies. These allergies appear like a red or pink rash and may look like hives to their skin. These are very itchy for the dog.

Dalmatians may also be more susceptible to hip dysplasia. Be sure to have dogs x-rayed after 2 years of age.

Things to watch out for with this breed:
Dalmatians do poorly as full-time outside dogs because their short hair and sensitive skin makes them susceptible to weather changes. They should not be left outside when the weather is cold. However, Dalmatians are very active and require lots of exercise and activity. In fact, this breed may inadvertently knock down small children because of its often uncontrollable energy. It is therefore necessary that this breed be given a lot of exercise and activity.

In spite of its high-energy level, Dalmatians tend to be emotionally sensitive, often taking 2 to 3 years to mentally mature in spite of their mature physical appearance. Just to prove it, they may sulk like an unreasonable toddler when disciplined. Although, they may be aloof with strangers, are usually not aggressive. And be warned: Dalmatians are stubborn and need consistent firm training. They may be independent.


Breeders with Websites

Lucienne Ferres Tel : (011) 314-1902
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Breeders without Websites

International Breeders

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Rose'N Dal Kennel
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