One of the most popular breeds of hounds. It is an energetic dog with spots all around its body. These dogs need constant physical exercises and attention.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 24—29 kg
male: 27—32 kg
female: 54—59 cm
male: 56—61 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
10—14 puppies
in 1791
Life span
Life span:
10—13 years


Dalmatians are active dogs that cannot live without physical exercises. Initially, dogs of this breed were developed for accompanying carriages and driving horses. That is why calmly laying on the couch is not about them. Dalmatians will always run around and play, and you cannot limit them in that. Otherwise, the pet might become uncontrollable: it will start damaging furniture and other things, as well as bark a lot. That is why this breed is not for people looking for a calm dog.

Apart from high level of activity, Dalmatians are also very faithful dogs that do not get easily through loneliness. Without interaction with people, pets might develop depression. Dalmatians see a friend in every person. They will not get attached only to one owner. This fact makes them good family companions that will participate in all family activities and be attentive and affectionate to everyone. It is pointless to make a guard dog out of a Dalmatian. It will only damage their psyche.

Dalmatians get on well with other animals. They have been working together with horses for centuries. For that reason, they will not be dominant or show aggression. However, because of their high level of activity, it is not recommended to keep dogs of this breed in families that have children under the age of 8 years old. These pets are afraid of loud noises, and because of large size, they might hurt the kid. That is why it will be safer to control their games.


Dalmatians are smart pets that can easily remember new commands. However, they are also very independent. That is why they have to be trained. Otherwise, an uncontrollable dog will cause many problems. 

The first thing your dog needs to start with is adapting to the house. Right after its purchase, the pet has to understand what is allowed to be done, and what is not. It is crucial to demonstrate your authority to the dog. If a dog respects its owner, the training process will be more productive.

Then, start working on dog`s socialization. You can take it outside after it turns 3 months old. Dalmatians are curious dogs that are interested in what is happening around. That is why it is better for the dog to interact with its peers rather than adult animals. It will be safer for the dog.

Meanwhile, start training your dog, teaching it basic commands like «no», «come here», «sit down», «lay down» and «go to your place». If you make the training process interesting, the pet will quickly learn. However, it is important to realize that a dog cannot remember all commands at once. That is why you need to be patient. If you do not succeed in training a dog, you can consult a professional trainer. The most important thing is not to show any aggression. Dalmatians are emotionally vulnerable to rudeness.

Activity of Dalmatians can be used in dog sports. Apart from doing sports, these pets rescue people and help them recover from depression.


Dalmatians are large pets. Their body is sporty and muscular. It allows them to run on long distances.
Short and stiff, shiny, lays closely to the body.
Only white with black or brown spots. Only spots of the same color are acceptable.
Big and long, but proportional to size of the body. Dalmatians that have black spots on the coat also have a black nose. Ones with brown spots — brown nose. It is a distinguishing feature of the breed.
Oval-shaped, of medium size. Their color depends on the one of the coat: dogs with black spots have eyes of dark-brown color; with brown spots — eyes of amber color.
Long and floppy, wide-set, triangular-shaped.
Long and muscular.
Straight and muscular. Their elbows are pressed to the body.
Long and straight. It is wide at the base, gets thinner down to the tip.

Basic Care

Dalmatians do not require much time to be groomed. Their short hair needs to be brushed once a week. During the molting period — in spring and fall — twice a week, using a stiff bristle brush or a rubber glove. Then pet your dog with wet hands to take off left hairs.

You do not need to give Dalmatians a bath very often. Once a month will be enough. For that purpose, use shampoos for shorthair breeds. Wipe their paws after each walk if the pet lives inside. Clean dog`s eyes when needed, using a wet fabric. Ears of Dalmatians have to be cleaned once a week, because dogs of this breed often suffer from being deaf. Clean their teeth once in 10 days, using a zoo-paste and a special brush. Trim pet`s claws once a month. Your dog needs to get used to this procedure starting from a young age.

It is recommended to feed Dalmatians with natural food. However, you can also give them dry food of premium quality. It is crucial that your dog`s diet is well-balanced. These pets are prone to obesity. Dry food of premium quality contains vitamins and minerals, needed for your dog`s health. Such natural ingredients can be given to the dog: not greasy meat — beef, chicken and rabbit meat; offals — liver, bones and cartilages; grains — rice and buckwheat; vegetables — squash, carrot, beet, potatoes, cabbage and pumpkin; fat free dairy products — cottage cheese, kefir and sour milk. Once a week, boneless sea fish fillet can be given to the dog. A puppy under the age of 5 months needs to eat 5 times a day, under 8 months — 3 times a day, then — twice a day, preferably at the same time.

Dalmatians like physical exercises. It is important for them to have a way to spread their energy. Otherwise, they will not feel comfortable. It is better to keep dogs of this breed in a private house with a large yard. If a Dalmatian lives in a flat, you will have to walk it often: 2–3 times a day for at least 30 minutes. It is important not to simply walk with the pet. You have to play with the dog. Take it with you when you go jogging or cycling.

Health and Illnesses

Dalmatians can live up to 13 years if treated well. Life expectancy depends on dog`s size. Their health is strong. Dalmatians are not prone to many hereditary health problems.

Main problem of Dalmatians is deafness. 12% of pets are born with the disorder, 30% of dogs lose hearing as they get older. Deafness develops because of disrupted functioning of the Corti organ, which is a collection of hair cells that transmit nerve impulses to the auditory fibers in cerebral hemispheres. They analyze impulses and transform them into sounds. You can evaluate your dog`s level of hearing by a BAER testing in vet clinics. 

Apart from deafness, Dalmatians suffer from urolithiasis. It appears because of high concentration of the uric acid in urine. Because of it, stones get formed. The bigger is the stone, the harder it is for the body to get rid of it. Stones get accumulated in the urethra, blocking outflow of urine. It might lead to dog`s death. That is why it is important to watch your pet`s diet and to regularly have its urine tests done.

History of the Breed

Spotted dogs were mentioned even on Egyptian papyri. However, there is no evidence that those dogs were Dalmatians. First dogs of this breed were mentioned in the 16th—17th centuries. Spotted dogs were depicted on religious and secular works of art: the altar in the Church of St. Mary, in the Franciscan monastery in Zaostrog, on frescoes of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, on portraits of the Duke of Tuscany Cosimo II de Medici. Early remains of Dalmatians were found on the territory of Dalmatia, which is in modern Croatia. It is believed to be the homeland of the breed.

In 1771, the Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant wrote a book — Synopsis of Quadrupeds. He was the first to name this breed Dalmatians in his book. Despite having Croatian origination, pets gained much popularity in Great Britain. Dog owners were crossbreeding Dalmatians with English White Terriers and black Pointers. By the end of the 18th century, they formed modern appearance of Dalmatians.

Having noticed physical activity of Dalmatians, people started using them for protection of valuable goods that were transported over long distances. Apart from it, Dalmatians were making horses walk faster by slightly biting them. For that reason, Dalmatians started being called «Carriage dogs». They were also used for guarding and helping in hunting for small game. After Dalmatians appeared in America, they started being used for accompanying ambulances and fire brigades. 

In 1860, Dalmatians participated in the first dog show, which was held in the city of Birmingham. Thirty years later, the first Club of Dalmatians Lovers was established. One year later, the first standard of the breed was accepted. The breed was officially recognized in 1926.