You know this guy well, he’s a movie star

Best known as the star of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, this sleek and athletic dog breed has a history that goes back several hundred years. He started out as a coach dog but has also served in many other capacities, including hunter, firehouse dog, and circus performer. As charming in life as in film, he goes from gallant to goofy to gallant again in the blink of an eye, and loves to be a part of everything his family does.
Other Names : Dal
Country of Origin : Yugoslavia/Croatia
Dog Group : Utility

The Dalmatian is an ancient breed, dating back to 2000BC, when spotted dogs appeared on Greek friezes and tablets, showing them working with the chariots of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Some very early records of the breed are found in Dalmatia, Yugoslavia from whence the name came. Over the years Dalmatians have been used as dogs of war, border patrols, cart pullers, sheep herders, dogs of the hunt, circus performers and, of course, coaching dogs. Whatever the origin, Dalmatians have worked with horses since at least the Middle Ages. With the breed’s introduction to Britain in the 18th century, the Dalmatian became very popular with the aristocracy as an additive to their ornate carriages, especially because of their ability to work horses under the rear or front carriage axles. The dogs were adopted in the 1800’s by fire departments and it was not an unusual sight to see Dals running through the streets of London to clear the way for the horse-drawn water-wagons. The breed remains friendly with horses and modern day field trials still test the abilities of the Dal to perform these duties.


The breed stands out for their unique spotted coats; black or liver spots on a white background. Their outline is square, showing them to be well-balanced, strong, muscular dogs. They have wonderful freedom of movement taking long strides, showing smooth, powerful and rhythmic action.

Size Large
Colour The breed is always a white background with either black or liver-coloured spots.
Coat Length Short Smooth
Weight/Height Range
Dogs and bitches are similar in weight which is between 23 to 25kgs. Dogs’ height at the withers is between 58.4 to 61cms and bitches between 55.9 to 58.4cms.
Ailments Deafness presents a major problem to the breed but improvement in screening breeding stock has seen a decline in the problem. Lack of pigmentation (hypopigmentation) around the eye rims and nose also occurs, worsening with age, and this is often related to deafness. Dals are prone to bladder and kidney problems and therefore must not be left caged for too long as the need to urinate can aggravate the problems.
Breed Classification Dalmatians belong to the Utility group and, due to the publication in 1956 of the book 101 Dalmations, have become very popular pets and show dogs.

Personality – Dalmatians are outgoing and friendly dogs, free from nervousness and aggression, although, if not carefully reared or disciplined as puppies can become hyper. Dals are dedicated and loyal and always want to please but because of their determined natures will easily form bad habits. They are mild-mannered, affectionate dogs who enjoy company and clowning about. However, their strength and stamina can sometimes be too much of a challenge for some owners. Dals take at least 2 years to settle down.

Intelligence – Dalmatians are easy to train as they have a willing nature and an eagerness to please. Excessive praise when they have done well is important. It is, however, as easy for them to learn bad habits as well as good so do remember their determination, and, especially the dominant nature of male dogs.
Energy High
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement
As puppies, do not over-exercise dalmatians. Dals are a breed of incredible endurance and are able to travel at a moderate pace almost indefinitely. Owners should remember this when it comes to exercise and ensure that they are given sufficient running time and roadwork to build up and maintain the muscled outline. Because of their hunting instincts they love to run, jump and climb so caution should be taken at all times to ensure their safety.


Because of their short and hard hairs the breed do not require onerous grooming and clipping. Once a week run a grooming mitt over their coats to remove dead hairs, finishing off with a soft cloth to promote shine.

Grooming Requirements Once a week

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