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Canine University 71 Clinton St. Malden, MA

Breed Spotlight

The Dalmatian

The Dalmatian's origins are a bit uncertain. It is considered an ancient breed, originating circa 1700AD from a breed similar to the pointer. The dalmatian is a muscular dog; lean, athletic, and energetic. Females range from 20 to 22 incles and males 22-24 inches; both weigh between 50-60 pounds. The head is somewhat long with a wide muzzle and a moderate stop. The nose can be black or brown, depending on the coat color, which ranges from black/white to liver/white. The eyes are dark, the ears floppy and medium in size and length. Tail is short and narrows at the point, and is carried with a slight upward curve.

The personality of the Dalmatian is independent, energetic, and willful. This is a very active dog that needs a lot of training, time, and exercise. They are not notoriously good with children and do not fit well into a hectic family setting. Dalmatians are intelligent animals bred to be very active and creative. They were bred to run alongside stage coaches and fire engines, and also as protection dogs. Combining a high energy dog with a strong protective instinct can spell big behavior problems, including agression, if this dog is not given the right training and exercise.

This is a dog for the experienced dog owner, who will understand and appreciate the needs and requirements of the breed. Dalmatians are active, intelligent, and loyal, but clearly are not for everyone. Unfortunately, movies, television and advertising promote this breed as cute, cuddly and easy to please-quite a stretch from the reality observed by most dog professionals. They can be wonderful dogs, BUT they should be raised by someone who can give them strong leadership and the training skills needed to become the great companions they are capable of being.

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