Croacia FCI 153 . Related breeds


The Dalmatian of nowadays, are mainly found as companion dogs.



The origins of the Dalmatian they are not very clear. Ecclesiastical chronicles of the 18th century suggest that it originated in the eastern Mediterranean basin, and more precisely in the region of the Dalmatian coast (in croatia), where does it get its name from. In these chronicles, the dogs represented are called Canis dalmaticus. Although it is difficult to define who the ancestors of the Dalmatian, some believe that the Great Dane and English Pointer contributed to the creation of the breed.

Some experts believe that this dog – or at least their close relatives – already existed in ancient Egyptian times, 2000 years before Christ. This hypothesis is based on the drawings found in the tombs of the pharaohs.

However, between the second half of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Dalmatian traveled through Europe together with the Roma nomads, making its appearance in many countries. In the second half of the 18th century it would have reached the United Kingdom, where it really began to be bred and developed. Like this, although its origins seem to be Croatian, it was the UK that gave him his credentials, and that can be considered as his second homeland, so to speak.

During the period of Victorian England (1837-1901), attracted the attention of racehorse trainers, who used it to protect horses from predators and thieves and to add a touch of style to their breeding.

At the end of the 19th century, a real selection job was started by some English noblemen who bred him to use as a working dog. In fact, in addition to his role as horse groomer, was able to accompany the horses and carriages that pulled, running in front of them and opening the way for them thanks to the barks that alerted and made the animals and people who were on the road move away. Still today, is also recognized with the Dalmatian a particular affinity for the equine population.

During this period, began to be used for many other tasks. In particular, proved to be very competent as a guard dog, but also as a sheepdog, draft dog and even circus dog.

They were imported to the United States probably in the late 18th century, mainly from the UK. There he also distinguished himself as a working dog accompanying the firefighters, running into the fire upstream from the horses that were towing their vehicles, to clear the way. He then kept an eye on his equipment as they tried to control the fire. While this practice has obviously disappeared today, many American fire stations have long maintained a Dalmatian like your pet.

In the early 20th century, the United Kingdom became the reference country for the breed. Some British families were widely recognized for the quality of their upbringing, and many of her puppies were sold all over the world. The Wells family, in particular, would be at the origin of most of the American lines of Dalmatian shipped to the United States at that time.

Today, found primarily as a companion dog. His appearance makes him particularly recognizable and cartoons from Disney movies Los 101 dalmatians (1961) and the 102 dalmatians (2001) contributed greatly to making him famous.

In the United States, the Dalmatian was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888, and by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1914. The International Cynological Federation (FCI) it took much longer, since it was not until 1955 who did the same.

The UK is still probably the most prolific country, at around 1000 new puppies Dalmatian registered each year in the Kennel Club, the country's reference organization. However, there has been a significant decline, since this figure was just below the 1500 annual births in early 2010. This trend is also observed in other countries, like australia, where the number of annual registrations in the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club) has gone from almost 1500 mid-decade 1990 - 500 in the news.

In France, the breed is fairly well represented, since every year they are registered with the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) a few 700 individuals, namely, around the 0,35% of the total of all races combined. It reached its maximum popularity at the beginning of the 21st century, with more than 800 or even 900 new puppies per year. It was particularly during the decade of 1990 when the breed experienced a pronounced boom, since the number of annual births was only about 250 at the beginning of that period.

In the United States, the Dalmatian ranks around 60th place (out of a total of 190) on breed classification based on number of annual AKC registrations.

In general, the breed has seen ups and downs in popularity in recent decades. There are countless families who decided to adopt a Dalmatian after having seen a cartoon and / or a movie in which it appears, before realizing some time after that they weren't actually necessarily made for such a dog …

Physical characteristics

The Dalmatiana is a harmonious and well proportioned dog. They are muscular and lively, with a symmetrical silhouette and clean lines. His cross is well defined, followed by a powerful straight back. Their loins are lean and muscular, with slightly sloping rump. The chest should not be too wide, but it must reach up to the elbows.

The front legs are perfectly straight and with solid bones. Shoulders are slightly sloping. Hind legs are straight and parallel when viewed from behind. The legs are round, firm and have strong, elastic pads.

The tail reaches approximately to the hock. It is quite strong at the base and then gradually tapers to the tip. The presence of many spots is sought in the latter – that however must be smaller than those of the body – but its absence is also accepted by the standard of the Dalmatian.

Its head is quite long and its skull is flat. The upper lines of the skull and muzzle are parallel. His nose is the same color as his spots, namely, black or brown. The muzzle is long and powerful. The jaws are also powerful and shaped like a scissor.

The eyes are separated without excess, medium-sized, round and shiny. They give the dog an intelligent and very lively expression. Like the nose, its color depends on the color of the spots, so they can be black or brown.

The ears are quite high and have a fine texture. They are broad at the base and rounded at the tip. They also have many well-defined and preferably numular points, namely, round.

The coat of the Dalmatian is short, hard and shiny. It´s, of course, the main distinctive feature of the breed, with its numerical spots, that are smaller and clearer today than a few centuries ago, according to available representations. However, remain enigmatic, since no one has yet established with certainty where they come from. In any case, the background is always white, and these spots can be black or brown (liver). They must be round and well defined, evenly distributed throughout the body, but the head and tail should be smaller than the others. There are tricolor specimens (white with black spots and liver), but they are not accepted by the breed standard.

Character and skills

Born to run and seemingly endowed with inexhaustible energy, the Dalmatian it is one of the most resistant dog breeds. Therefore, is a perfect choice for a sporty owner who dreams, for example, with taking your partner when you go for a run or ride a bike. In fact, this very active dog needs a lot of exercise, and therefore not suitable for apartment living, or even in the city. You need access to a garden or patio, but beware: either at home or on a walk, his instincts for freedom sometimes make him a little runaway. This is even more true if you are not able to get all the exercise you need., plus this can lead to various behavior problems: aggressiveness, stress, destruction of objects, etc.

Friendly, loyal and sensitive by nature, he likes to make his world laugh through many antics, but he also welcomes his masters and friends with a wide smile. Loves to please, rub shoulders with their teachers, follow them everywhere, receive attention, and thus greatly appreciates human contact. It is not an animal that likes to live in its kennel without worrying too much about it: your place is at home. Whether he is left alone or has no place in the room, this family dog ​​can only be unhappy.

Its original and unique coat makes it appreciated by the youngest members of the family. This is a good thing, since it is a breed of dog recommended for children. In addition to his affectionate character and closeness to his family, the fact that he is very active and playful makes him the perfect companion for them. On the other hand, his energy, its large size and rather long tail make it not ideal for younger children, who run the risk of being pushed unintentionally. Therefore, it is better for children to be a certain age. The Dalmatian may also be suitable for retirees, as long as they are active and healthy enough to take it out every day.

Alert and very interested in everything that is around him, makes a good alert dog and warns its owners without fail of the arrival of a person. On the other hand, it's more illusory to expect me to play the watchdog, as it does not show any real aggression or threat to strangers. However, during its history, the Dalmatian was used effectively to guard the houses, but it must be said that its protective instinct gradually faded over the years as its use evolved. In addition, when strangers are brought into your home, tends to stay away and not seek too much contact with them, at least initially. In general, although he can be protective when necessary, it is a very friendly dog ​​with humans.

Endowed with a well balanced nature (although sometimes a little stubborn), the Dalmatian still needs to socialize from a young age, namely, getting exposed to many other canine companions, animals, people, sounds and situations. As long as it is done well, can get along with most cats and dogs, whose company you generally enjoy. He also has a special affinity with horses, inherited from your work with them in the past. On the other hand, he has also retained a strong hunting instinct from his ancestors and loves to catch birds, rats, tops, mice or other rodents. Therefore, it is better to keep an eye on him in situations where he comes into contact with them, and of course prevent me from trying to live with them.

Education “Dalmatian”

Its origins as a fire dog make the Dalmatian a reactive being. Not particularly difficult to train, but it is wise to instill the basics early, in a gentle but strict way. In effect, may have a tendency to be stubborn and take over from a beginner or insecure owner who does not have the opportunity to be trained.

Endowed with an excellent memory, very responsive, eager to please and grateful for rewards, it is particularly suitable for canine training methods based on positive reinforcement, like clicker training. To an old circus dog, loves to learn tricks and show off his clown skills.

Cubs Dalmatian, otherwise, often tend to adopt destructive behaviors, for example, chew on objects they find or dig holes in the garden. Here, too, he should be shown from a young age which attitudes are desirable and which are not.. If they are allowed to, they will soon learn bad habits, how do they do with the good guys.

Last but not least, socialization that begins at an early age is a guarantee of satisfactory adaptation to any type of situation that you may encounter later in life. Is naturally sociable, but as with any dog, it is better to teach him as soon as possible to react calmly to as many scenarios as possible.

Grooming “Dalmatian”

The Dalmatian it is quite easy to care, but it is important to know that you constantly lose hair and have a strong seasonal fall twice a year, in spring and autumn. During these periods, it is recommended to brush the dog every day. Outside, one or two brushings per week is enough, although some homeowners choose to brush more frequently to minimize the amount of hair in the house.

In any case, not suitable for people who cannot bear to find hair everywhere in their house: not only loses hair all the time, but their hair is stiff and easily lodges in fabrics, so it can be difficult to remove it from clothes and sofas, for example.

Having said that, apart from this significant hair loss, the Dalmatian they are pretty clean dogs, with a not very dirty coat and do not develop a strong body odor. In addition, as its fur is short, it is not normally necessary to have your dog professionally groomed.

It is also not particularly necessary to bathe your dog regularly., unless, of course, be really dirty, for example, after a trip outdoors. Apart from this special case, a bath once or twice a year is more than enough.

However, as in all breeds of lop-eared dogs, special care must be taken to avoid the risk of infection. Weekly cleaning is ideal, in addition to cleaning after each outdoor activity in wet areas, for example.

It is not normally necessary to trim the claws of a Dalmatian if you regularly spend time outdoors, since natural wear and tear is usually sufficient. However, in the case of less active individuals, they need to be trimmed as soon as they protrude from the pads, namely, on average once a month.

Last but not least, as with any dog, it is advisable to take care of your eyes once a week to avoid any risk of irritation or infection.

Health “Dalmatian”

The Dalmatian generally in good health. However, like any race, is more prone to certain problems, often hereditary in this case. Therefore, when a Dalmatian, it is useful to ask the breeder for the results of the health tests carried out on both parents.

One of the main risks to which you are exposed is that of hereditary deafness, all the more so that no lineage seems to be safe. If around the 5% of puppies become completely deaf at 6 weeks old (after a short period of time they are able to hear), puppies are even more likely to become completely deaf in one ear. Its percentage is quite difficult to define, as often the adopter or owner is unaware of the problem unless they test their partner's hearing. In fact, a dog that is deaf in one ear shows more or less the same reflexes and reactions to sounds and situations as a normal individual. However, some doctors have already investigated the problem. According to various studies conducted over the years 90, the percentage of Dalmatian deaf in one ear is around the 20%. Dr. Bruce Cattanach, who posted a review of his work titled “The dilemma of Dalmatian: white coat color and deafness” en el Journal of Small Animal Practice en 1999.

In any case, cannot be tested at birth. A puppy, regardless of race, always born with the outer ear canals closed. They open around the 12th to the 16th day of life, so only then can audition be tested. In the dalmatian, deafness appears before 6 weeks of age. It is caused by a deterioration of the organ of Corti (organ of auditory perception) and appears to be caused by the genes that cause its white color. It can be detected with the help of a test from the 6 weeks of age, and this is what any serious breeder of Dalmatian. Deaf individuals are obviously excluded from reproduction.

Representatives of this breed can also suffer from urolithiasis (or bladder stones), a disease caused by a peculiarity of the urinary system of the Dalmatian-. Urine from Dalmatian contains a particularly high level of uric acid. This acid carries an increased risk of stone formation and makes the urinary system more fragile and sensitive than that of other breeds. This disease can even be fatal if the situation evolves towards a total obstruction of the urinary ducts. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the Dalmatian urinate regularly and without difficulty, and always have easy access to fresh water. To avoid vital diagnosis of the animal, the disease should be detected as soon as possible, and treatment by a veterinarian should follow immediately.

In addition, many representatives of the breed suffer from skin allergies. They can be of food origin, in which case, the problem food can simply be eliminated from the dog's diet. They can also be contact allergies, namely, caused by a direct reaction to certain substances intended for dogs, as flea treatments, dog shampoos and other chemicals. Last but not least, the Dalmatian may suffer from inhalation allergies, caused for example by pollen, dust or mold. They are often accompanied by ear infections. Treatment can be prescribed by a veterinarian, depending on the severity of the reactions.

Like many large breeds, the Dalmatian they can also suffer from hip dysplasia, an inherited disease that causes an imperfect insertion of the femur into the pelvic cavity of the hip joint. Some affected people experience pain and lameness in one or two of the hind legs, but in others it is impossible to perceive any symptoms. As the dog ages, osteoarthritis problems can also develop. Fortunately, there is a test that can detect individuals with dysplasia, in order to exclude them from breeding (and even from the sale, in case of early detection). To minimize the risk, anyone wanting to adopt a puppy Dalmatian should, therefore, ask the breeder about the results of the test in question.

This breed is also more affected by laryngeal paralysis, that can occur at a young age. It is a paralysis of the muscles that allow the larynx to open and close during breathing. The main consequence of this disease is the limitation of the animal's ability to breathe, namely, breathing difficulties. While for many breeds this problem mainly affects older individuals, the Dalmatian you risk being affected much sooner. This problem can be easily solved with a surgical operation.

The Dalmatian you may also be the victim of an inherited eye disease called iris sphincter dysplasia. Quite rare, causes a pronounced sensitivity to bright light, poor night vision and partial or even total blindness of the dog.

At last, is a dog sensitive to extreme cold. Therefore, must absolutely live indoors in cold regions and / or when temperatures drop sharply in winter.

Use “Dalmatian”

Today, they are above all active and durable companion dogs that love to accompany their owners outdoors, for example, during jogging or cycling. They can also be used as an alert dog, but not much more than that: his guard dog skills are far from what they used to be.

He is also an excellent competitor in dog sports that require his great physical skills., like agility, the flyball or the Frisbee.

Buy a “Dalmatian”

The price of a puppy Dalmatian it obviously depends on the kennel it comes from, its origins and its morphological qualities. On average it is 700 EUR, but it can go up to 1000 EUR.

The price of a female is usually significantly higher than that of a male. Like this, within the same litter, it is not uncommon to see a difference of 200 euros between the two sexes.

Characteristics "Dalmatian"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Dalmatian" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, your care and if you have young children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Adaptation ⓘ

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Dog friendly ⓘ

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Hair loss ⓘ

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Affection Level ⓘ

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Need to exercise ⓘ

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Social Needs ⓘ

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Apartment ⓘ

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Grooming ⓘ

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Stranger Friendly ⓘ

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Barking Tendencies ⓘ

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Health Issues ⓘ

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Territorial ⓘ

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Cat Friendly ⓘ

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intelligence ⓘ

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versatility ⓘ

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Child Friendly ⓘ

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Watchdog Ability ⓘ

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Playfulness ⓘ

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Images "Dalmatian"


1 – Dalmatian in search by Biel1973, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
2 – Photo taken in Peru with a camera by Jesus Emerson H., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
3 – A Dalmatian puppy breed by Technological wizard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
4 – A dalmatian dog by Oliver10203040 at Italian Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
5 – Dalmatian jumping by Biel1973, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
6 – Dalmatiner by Heinz Höfling, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Videos "Dalmatian"

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 6: Scent hounds, and related breeds.
  • Section 3: Similar breeds.. Without working trial..


  • FCI – Group 6: Scent hounds, and related breeds. – Section 3: Related breeds.
  • AKC – Non-Sporting
  • ANKC – Group 7 (Non-Sporting) (Hounds)
  • CKC – Group 6 – Non-Sporting
  • ​KC – Non-Sporting
  • NZKC – Non-Sporting
  • UKC – Company breeds

FCI breed standard "Dalmatian"

FCIFCI - Dalmatian

Alternative names:

    1. Carriage Dog, Firehouse Dog, Plum Pudding Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Leopard Carriage Dog (English).
    2. Dalmatinac (French).
    3. (kroatisch Dalmatinac) (German).
    4. (em croata: Dalmatinac) (Portuguese).
    5. Perro Bombero (Spanish).
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