Breed of the Month: Dalmatian!

Dalmatians are quite possibly the most recognized dog breed in the world. From starring in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians to being the official Firehouse mascot – most people can “spot” a Dalmatian. The origin of the Dalmatian is unknown but we know that they date back to at least the Middle Ages and have been linked to Central Europe and the Mediterranean.

Dalmatians were primarily used as “carriage dogs” – bred and trained to trot alongside carriages of merchants and the wealthy. Because of the Dalmatian’s affinity for horses, high guarding instinct and marathon-like stamina; they excelled at protecting the carriages and horses from banditry or predators. Dalmatians later became a partner to the Firefighter because before the automobile, Firefighters used horse-drawn carriages and the Dalmatians would clear the path and guide the horses and firefighters to the fire. Many Firefighters still choose to get a Dalmatian, but they are used as companions and chosen to honour past tradition. Dalmatians were also used as guard dogs, exterminators of rats and vermin because of their strong hunting instinct and used as circus dogs because they are highly intelligent and easy to train.

Nowadays, Dalmatians are primarily bred and kept as pets. Dalmatians are very smart and full of energy so it is imperative that they are consistently well trained and socialized from an early age.  Dalmatians require a lot of physical and mental exercise – they love human companionship and do not do well being left outside or alone for long periods of time. Pent-up mental and physical energy can result in the destruction of property and anxiety. Dalmatians love to play with children and are highly trainable. They love to be part of the family and will do anything to please. These loveable goofballs will always try to make you laugh and are always up for play. If you are a very active person who is looking for a companion who can keep up with you and is down for anything – then the Dalmatian may be the right breed for you!


Male: 45-60 lbs.

Female: 40-60 lbs.


Male: 23 in.

Female: 22 in.


  • Muscular, medium sized dog
  • Sleek, short coat
  • Long powerful muzzle with black nose
  • Black or brown/amber coloured eyes
  • Long tail with slight upright curve
  • Coat colours include: what with black spots or white with liver spots.
  • Dalmatians are born pure white – within 2 + weeks the spots start to develop


  • Exercise requirements: High
  • Lifespan: 13-16 years
  • Energy Level: High
  • Drool Level: Low
  • Bark Level: Low
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Shedding Level: High
  • Intelligence: High
  • Child-Friendly: High – Early socialization is a must!
  • Cat/ Dog-Friendly: High – Early socialization is a must!

Common Health Problems:

  • Deafness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Urinary stones

Written by CCR Kylie