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Posts Tagged ‘Dalmatian’

The Dogs of War – Dalmatian

Thursday, June 13th, 2013


The Dalmatian, classified in the non-sporting group of dogs, is well known for its unique white and black, and sometimes brown, spotted coat. The Dalmatian is also known for its association with fire houses and fire rescue services

A brief history of the Dalmatian

DalmatianIt is believed that the Dalmatian was first bred and developed in the country of Croatia. Visual records of the Dalmatian date back at least to 1792. Although the breed was first developed in Croatia, most of its further breeding and development took place in England, where it was shown during the mid-19th century and widely used as a companion and show dog. Historically, Dalmatians have been used for a number of different purposes. It is believed that they were used as guard dogs, or “dogs of war,” in England and Croatia. They were also used as hunting dogs in the 19th century, as well as circus dogs due to their high intelligence and unique appearance. In the 19th and early 20th century, Dalmatians were often used as firehouse carriage dogs–they would be trained to clear a path for the firehouse carriage horses to reach the scene of fires. Today, they are still known as firehouse mascots, although they are not always used as firehouse rescue dogs.


The Dalmatian is considered to be a medium sized dog, with most members of this bread reaching from about 19 to 24 inches at the shoulder. A weight of a healthy adult Dalmatian is usually around 35 to 70 pounds, although males of the breed are usually larger and heavier than females. Dalmatians are muscular dogs with high energy, endurance and physical stamina. They are, of course, most well known for their unique appearance. Dalmatians have white or cream white colored coats with black or brown markings, referred to as “spots.”

Personality wise, Dalmatians do make good family pets but they are considered to be a high-energy breed and require daily exercise to keep their bodies healthy and to release some of their pent up energy. Dalmatians are not recommended in homes with very small children because of their high energy and physical strength–they may unintentionally injure children when at play, for example. The breed does require regular grooming despite their short and dense coat. Dalmatians are known for shedding and because their coat hairs are so short and stiff, they tend to “weave” into the carpet, making removal difficult.

Dalmatians are known to have a predisposition to certain health problems. Deafness is considered to be a common problem with Dalmatians–it is estimated that up to 30% of Dalmatians are born deaf.

Did you know? Trivia

  • Dalmatian puppies are born pure white without spots.
  • Early Dalmatian breeds did not recognize deafness in the animals and believed their behavior—such as being unresponsive to commands—was due to unintelligence in the breed.
  • The popularity of Dalmatians increased considerably in 1961 and 1996 with the release of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians; however, this caused an increase in abandoned Dalmatians as inexperienced owners and breeders could not handle the high-energy of the dog.