The Dalmatian is full of stamina and energy. They prefer an active lifestyle, and they do not like to lie around all day without a task or job to perform. They are cheerful, playful, devoted, and sensitive. They thrive on human companionship and they generally do well with firm, consistent training. They are highly intelligent and trainable to a high level of obedience. Because of their need for affection, the Dalmatian does not make a good yard dog. They need to spend a good amount of time with their family on a daily basis. They love children, but they are often too rambunctious to play with babies or toddlers. While this breed is sometimes aggressive with strange dogs, they usually get along well with other pets. They are strong-willed and have an excellent memory. They will become depressed, bored, and destructive if they aren’t given sufficient exercise or affection.
A well bred dalmatian should be friendly and outgoing as the standard states it should not be aggressive to other dogs or humans.
Approximately 10% - 12% of Dalmatian puppies are born deaf. Each Dalmatian puppy should be tested for deafness at an early age, and totally deaf puppies should be fixed. Hearing impaired Dalmatians are difficult to bring up, as they often become aggressive and snappish from fear. Other health concerns for this breed include skin allergies and urinary stones. Uric acid levels are higher in Dalmatians than any other dog breed, and this increase can cause urinary blockage. A low-protein diet can prevent the onset of further urinary tract problems. Typically, the Dalmatian lives for 10 to 12 years.
There is a distinct discrepancy in regards to the origin of the Dalmatian. Traces of the Dalmatian are found in Hellenic friezes and Egyptian bas-reliefs, so it is without a doubt an ancient breed. In the year 1700, a dog known as the Bengal pointer existed in England. This dog was remarkably similar to the Dalmatian, and it called to question the commonly held belief that the Dalmatian originated in Yugoslavia. Many believe the Dalmatian is a Croatian breed. There have been efforts to have the Dalmatian officially recognized as an indigenous Croatian breed. After many years, the FCI recognized the Croatian roots of this breed, but they continue to deny standard patronage rights of the Dalmatian to Croatia. Throughout the Middle Ages, the breed was used as a hound, and the breed became exceptionally popular as a carriage dog in the 1800’s. Over the course of history, the Dalmatian has been utilized for a number of purposes. The breed has been a mascot for fireman, a circus performer, a war sentinel, a vermin hunter, a shepherd, a guard dog, and a hound. Today, the Dalmatian is predominately used as a companion dog.
The Dalmatian is a naturally clean breed, though frequent brushing is needed to assist with the shedding process. While their coat is free of odor, they shed profusely twice per year. The Dalmatian should be bathed only as necessary.
They shed year-round, and are prone to sunburn. Their short hair may get stuck in clothing and furniture. It is important to frequently clean their ears in order to avoid ear infections. If their ears are left dirty, they may develop hemitoma.
Unless owners of this breed can provide rigorous exercise outside of the home on a daily basis, the Dalmatian isn’t suited for life in a small household or apartment. They are a comparatively active breed indoors, and they are happiest with at least a medium-sized yard. This breed shouldn’t be kept outside in cold weather condition. It’s important they receive proper daily exercise to prevent the onset of boredom or destructive behavior.
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