Breed Info

The Dalmatian – General Information

Although it is thought that the Dalmatian was originally used as a hunting dog, it is best known in this country as a carriage dog. Indeed at one point, a Dalmatian was an important part of the carriage outfit as much as the horses! Not only were they considered a fashion accessory but they were also used to guard the horses and would usually sleep in the stables at night.

However the Dalmatian has developed in to a much-loved pet and show dog. There are some Dalmatians who are successful at obedience, agility, flyball and much more. We will be adding information on many activities that you can share with your Dalmatian in the near future, keep checking back or watch for announcements.

The Dalmatian is an active dog, full of energy and a great companion. There is nothing a Dalmatian likes better than to accompany you EVERYWHERE!

They come in two colours: White with Black spots and White with Liver spots. One of the main attractions of this breed is it’s distinctive spotting but prospective owners are advised to find as much information about the characteristics of this breed and preferably have spent some time with an adult Dalmatian as this breed is not the perfect choice for everyone.

The Dalmatian is happiest with owners who have at least one member of the family at home for most of the day and also a family who are very active and are prepared to give this lovely dog all the exercise he/she needs.

New owners should also be aware that Dalmatian hairs do not like staying on the Dalmatian, they have a habit of shedding everywhere! So if you are very particular about your pristine white carpets or your lovely new black velvet suit, you will only make yourself ill trying to clean all the hairs off! (However, it is always easy to ‘spot’ a fellow Dalmatian owner and we accept each other’s attire with a smile!)

Dalmatians are quite large dogs, with ‘whippy’ tails and full of bounce. They benefit from obedience training and can reward your efforts with a nicely behaved pet, if you are prepared to put in the time and patience that particular dog needs.

Dalmatians can suffer from hereditary deafness and it is strongly recommended that puppies are only purchased from reputable breeders who have had both the sire and dam hearing tested and all the puppies that are offered for sale have been BAER tested –  Although a unilaterally hearing (can only hear in one ear) dog still makes a great pet, as it can still function normally, it should NEVER be bred from.
A Dalmatian that is deaf in both ears is going to need an experienced home that is willing to teach hand signals, and as such it is not recommended that an average owner wanting a pet should accept one.

If you decide that a Dalmatian is the dog for you it might not be long before a spotty bundle finds itself in your home and you will soon find that you could never imagine life without one.
Most Dalmatian owners/Breeders are friendly people and only too happy to talk about their spotty friends and only too happy to give advice if it is needed.

Buying a Dalmatian

Due to the popularity of the Disney film ‘One hundred and one Dalmatians’, there was a sudden increase in demand for Dalmatian puppies. This has unfortunately meant that ‘Puppy Farms’ have cashed in; producing large amounts of litters, from parents who are either far too young to be bred from, or that they do not represent good examples of the breed and therefore could be more susceptible to faults, which could give the new purchaser not only a big headache, but a rather large vet’s bill.

Prospective owners looking for a puppy should take a look at the Puppies page with the puppy list. Puppies from these members will have followed Club Rules  and our Code of Ethics (copies of both are available Rules & Ethics page).

A reputable breeder will only sell you a puppy after finding out about your lifestyle etc. and deciding whether a Dalmatian would be suitable for you. They will be able to show you the dam (mother) of the litter, and be able to put you in touch with the owner of the sire if you wish assuming they don’t own him themselves. You would be able to spend some time with an adult Dalmatian and also receive any advice about the breed and its care.

The breeders should be able to produce a pedigree of the puppies, the registration papers (if they have been received back from the Kennel Club) and also the results of the hearing tests. Reputable breeders are encouraged to produce a contract detailing expectations from both parties and many will have endorsed the puppy. This simply means it cannot be exported or its offspring registered. If you are interesting in showing your puppy it is best to discuss it with the breeder – they will be able to advise on a suitable puppy. It is not possible to say the puppy will be show standard when it is older but they will have a good idea of the ones with potential.

A good breeder will want to see the puppy again at a later stage. They will be interested in it’s welfare, condition and how the new owners are coping with their bundle of fun! This is also a good opportunity to answer any questions the new owners might have and point them in the right direction.


The Kennel Club Dalmatian Information

Dalmatian Welfare

There also are Dalmatian Welfare and rescue organisations that have many unfortunate Dalmatians in need of a good home. They too will want to know all about you, as it is very important that these Dalmatians at last find the right home and the right owners. They do a marvelous job and can also offer lots of advice to new owners.

Visit our Welfare Page for more information.