a black and white Dalmatian standing outside

Dalmatians are a dog breed that originated in Europe, and have been around for centuries. They are known for their distinctive black and white spotted coats, which can range from small spots to large patches. Dalmatians are active dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

Dalmatians are friendly, loyal, and intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners. They are also very social and enjoy being around people, making them great dogs for families with children. Dalmatians get along well with other animals, including cats.

They are known for being friendly and outgoing, and are very loyal to their family. They are also very intelligent, and can be trained to perform tricks. Dalmatians are generally considered medium sized dogs. They are very athletic, and enjoy playing with their family. 

Dalmatians are playful dogs and love to jump around and play. They are easy to train and quickly learn to obey commands. They are also very obedient and well behaved, and follow commands well.

Dalmatians have a few unique needs that potential owners should be aware of before bringing one home. They need regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and help control their shedding. They need to be brushed at least twice a week. Dalmatians also have sensitive stomachs, so it’s important to feed them a high-quality diet that is tailored to their specific needs.

Dalmatians are great pets for your family. These dogs are loyal, intelligent, fun, protective, and energetic. Dalmatians are great dogs because they are always ready to go on an adventure. Dalmatians are always ready to run and play.  

Dalmatians are great with kids because they are very patient and protective of their family. Dalmatians are protective of their family and will quickly sound the alarm if they hear a strange noise or see a stranger in the yard. They are very tolerant of other household pets and children, and will even tolerate small amounts of roughhousing.

Dalmatians are very friendly and sociable, and will enjoy meeting new friends. 

They are very loyal, and are also very easy to housebreak.

If you decide to buy a puppy from an animal shelter or breeder, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500-$1250 for a healthy, Dalmatian puppy.

Dalmatians are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues , such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. It’s important to take them for regular check-ups with the vet to ensure they are in good health.

Dalmatians make great family pets and are an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. They are loyal, intelligent, and loving dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

Dalmatian Information

  • Average Height: 19 to 24 inches
  • Average Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
  • Average Length: 31 to 33 inches
  • Coat Type: Short
  • Coat Appearance: They have a short, fine and flat coat
  • Coat Colors: Pure white base with spots of black or liver brown color, white & lemon, white & orange 
  • Grooming Needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low
  • Brushing Requirements: Once a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Excessive Barking: Medium
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: They tolerate heat but not cold.
  • Good Family Pet: With early socialization and training, yes!
  • Safe with Children: Yes but not for toddlers
  • Good with Other Dogs: Moderate
  • Good with Other Pets: Moderate
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: No
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Depends
  • Training: They are intelligent but can be stubborn as puppies, needs early socialization and puppy training
  • Exercise Needs: Regular exercise
  • Weight Gain: Normal
  • Health Concerns: Urolithiasis, Hereditary deafness, Hip dysplasia, Iris Sphincter Dysplasia and skin allergies
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 11 to 13 years

Physical Appearance of Dalmatians

a Dalmatian giving the side eye to the camera

Dalmatians have a unique spotted coat that develops in random patterns as the puppy gets older. They are born with pure white fur, but about 10 days to 2 weeks after birth, dense spots of bright black fur start developing.

Dalmatians have a strong and muscular body. They are medium-sized dogs with a long and arched neck. They have a strong and muscular chest and their shoulders are laid-back. Their eyes can be brown or blue, or sometimes even one of each. Their ears are wide at the base and gradually taper to rounded tips that lay on the side of their head. They have a thin tail that tapers towards the tip. The tail is curved upwards and is usually extended out behind them when they’re standing or walking..

They have a short coat with fine hair. The coat is not very silky but has a slightly glossy appearance with a sleek texture. The base color of the coat is pure white with several spots of either black or liver brown. Spots tend to have a rounded shape but can be any pattern. The size of the spots vary depending on where they appear on the body. Spots on their head, tail and legs are smaller than on the rest of the body.

Temperament of Dalmatians

Dalmatians are companion dogs that love spending time with people. They will try to be part of all family activities and be involved in everything that your family does. Dalmatians are loyal, affectionate and also tend to have a good sense of humor. They can sometimes be quite silly and they’ll be doing things that make you laugh, making them a great pet for families.

They are active, intelligent and alert. They are also territorial and protective of their family. All qualities that add up to them being an excellent watchdog. They are calm and generally do not bark, but Dalmatians will bark to alert their family when they see strangers.

Dalmatians are highly energetic and need a lot of exercise. They will be excellent pets for families who are active and like going cycling, hiking or other sports. For families that are not as active, the high-energy of these dogs can be exhausting for them. Their high-energy means they need to be given a lot of space to move around to burn off all their energy.

Training a Dalmatian

a close up of a black and white Dalmatian's face

Dalmatians should be trained right from the day you first get them home. Though they are intelligent, the Dalmatians can be headstrong at first and can develop a stubborn personality if not trained with the right approach early on. Their training has to be consistent and firm to help them grow into a well-mannered pet.

They do not respond well to anger or loud commands, so positive reinforcement techniques should be used for best results. Give them lots of treats and praise to keep the dog interested in the training sessions.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy.

Clicker Training

Puppies need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization is absolutely necessary for Dalmatians. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. By being exposed to so many things it will help interact more confidently with others and teach them appropriate ways for them to interact with people and other animals.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Dalmatians. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Their Compatibility with Children

a super cute Dalmatian puppy in a basket outside

Dalmatians love to be around children. They are companion dogs that naturally enjoy spending time with people, including children. Dalmatians are very active dogs and make a perfect match for the high-energy that children have. Dalmatians are happy going on walks, running around or playing with children.

Dalmatians are large and energetic dogs, younger children should not be allowed to play with the dog without adult supervision. Because Dalmatians are happy to play they tend to get excited and may accidentally bump children, or be a bit aggressive.

Teach your kids the best ways to interact with Dalmatians. Children should not disturb them when they are eating because they might get bit because your dog thinks their food is being taken away. Until you know how your children and new puppy will react its best to have an adult supervise their interactions. Supervision is the best way to prevent accidents from occurring.

Best Climate for Dalmatians

Dalmatians do best in moderate climatic conditions. Their short coat helps them tolerate warm weather but it doesn’t help them much in cold weather.

Temperatures around 40°F can be too cold for them. If you want to take them out in the cold, a sweater will help keep them warm.

The Attention a Dalmatian Needs

The Dalmatians are people-oriented dogs and need a lot of your attention. They will happily follow you around and sleep on the bed or sofa next to you. Because they are companion dogs, leaving them alone for a long time is not recommended. Being left alone too long or too often may lead to separation anxiety or they may become destructive.

Dalmatians are highly-energetic and will need to exercise for a few hours every day. Without a few hours of daily exercise, they will not get the mental and physical stimulation they need. If your family is not this active, we don’t recommend having them as a pet.

Health Issues

Dalmatians are fairly healthy dogs but like other breeds they can also have some health issues.


Hereditary deafness in dogs is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the development of their inner ear. This mutation can be passed down from parent to offspring, or it can occur spontaneously in a single pup. The most common form of hereditary deafness is known as congenital sensorineural deafness (CSD), which is caused by a mutation in the gene that codes for a protein called connexin 26. This protein is essential for normal hearing and when it’s mutated, it can lead to deafness.

Symptoms of Canine Hereditary Deafness

The most common symptom of hereditary deafness is a complete lack of response to sound. This can be difficult to detect in puppies, because they might not have developed the ability to hear yet. Other signs that can indicate deafness include:

  • Unresponsiveness to verbal commands or hand signals
  • Lack of startle reflex when loud noises occur
  • No reaction to clapping or other sounds
  • Unusual head tilting or ear movements
  • Excessive barking or whining
3 color blocks that spell UTI


Urolithiasis is a condition where stones form in a dog’s urinary tract. These stones can range in size from small grains to large, hard masses and can be composed of various minerals, including calcium oxalate, struvite, urate, cystine, and silicate.

It’s important to note that prevention is key when it comes to urolithiasis. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for early detection and treatment of any urinary tract issues. Feeding your dog a balanced diet with all the minerals and vitamins they need can help reduce the risk of stones forming.

Treating urolithiasis depends on the size and type of stones present. Smaller stones might be able to pass naturally, while larger stones could need surgical removal. In some cases, medications like antibiotics or anti-inflammatories will be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and pain associated with the condition.

Dietary changes could be recommended to help prevent new stones from being created.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Iris Sphincter Dysplasia

Iris Sphincter Dysplasia (CISD) is a rare eye disorder that affects the iris sphincter muscle of dogs. This disorder causes the iris sphincter muscle to become weak or paralyzed, resulting in an inability to control the size of their pupil. This can lead to a variety of symptoms including light sensitivity, vision loss, and even blindness .

CISD is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the iris sphincter muscle. This mutation can be inherited from either parent, or it can occur spontaneously in some cases. The exact cause of this disorder is still unknown, but research suggests that environmental factors might play a role.

CISD is a rare disorder that can have serious consequences for affected dogs. It’s important to get veterinary care if you think that your dog might have this condition. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, many dogs with CISD can lead happy and healthy lives.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are a common issue that can affect any dog breed. Allergies can be caused by environmental factors such as pollen, dust mites, and mold, or they can be caused by food sensitivities. Symptoms of skin allergies include itching, redness, hair loss, and scabbing.

The most common type of skin allergy is atopic dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to environmental allergens. It can cause intense itching and skin redness, as well as hair loss and scabbing. Treatment for atopic dermatitis includes antihistamines, steroids, and immunotherapy.

Food allergies are another type of skin allergy that can cause similar symptoms. Dogs could be allergic to certain proteins or carbohydrates in their diet.

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

2 cute Dalmatian puppies standing on the edge of a basket outside

Dalmatians don’t need a lot of grooming. They have a short and fine coat that is easier to care for than many other dog breeds. They also like to keep themselves clean which helps pet owners.

They do shed throughout the year and need infrequent brushing. Their coat should be brushed once every week with a soft rubber brush. Their coats are dirt-repellent so they don’t need to be bathed much. Bathe them only when their coat gets very dirty or starts to smell. With regular brushing, they may only need a bath once every 3-4 months. When bathing your Dalmatian, make sure the shampoo used is for sensitive skin. Because of their skin allergies you don’t want to use a shampoo that can trigger a reaction.

The Dalmatians should wear down their nails themselves but if they start to get long, they should be trimmed as needed. Dog nails have blood vessels in them, as long as they’re not cut too short there is little risk of cutting the blood vessel.

If you are not brushing their teeth every week, schedule an appointment with your vet to have their teeth cleaned every 3 to 4 months. Regular brushing will prevent them from having dental diseases.

Use a moist cotton cloth to clean their ears but do not insert the cloth inside their ear canal.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Dalmatian

a close up of colorful dog food

Adult Dalmatians should be fed 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry dog food split between two feedings. Puppies may eat less and their feeding size should be increased gradually as they grow. Steer clear of giving them foods that have purines because it can cause urinary tract infection in Dalmatians.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your Dalmatian. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. They are a medium-sized breed but they tend to put on weight easily. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

They should have access to fresh water at all times.

Related Questions:

Can Dalmatians Swim?

While most Dalmatians like to play with water and may know how to swim, there can be some dogs who cannot swim. If you take them to a beach or close to the water, keep your dog on a leash until you know how they will react. Dalmatians are intelligent and can be taught to swim. If your dog swimming is important and you are not sure you can teach them, enrolling them in dog swimming classes is the way to go.

My Dalmatian Doesn’t Always Respond to Me, What Should I do?

What you think is a behavioral issue might actually be hereditary deafness in your dog. They may sometimes respond to loud sounds but not to your commands. Having them respond sometimes, and not others can make it difficult to know if your dog is deaf. The best way to find out if they are deaf is to give them a BAER test.

Author Profile
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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.