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Dalmatian Dogs Review

Breed Name: Dalmatian (aka Firehouse Dog, Spotted Coach Dog)

Country of Origin: Croatia,Egypt

Average Lifespan: 10 - 12 years

Size: Large (55–65 lbs, 50–60 cm)

Breed Classification: Sporting

  • Dalmatians’ distinct white coat with black spots is their claim to fame
  • Born white, their spots appear as they grow
  • Sleek, smooth coat that is short, dense and fine

  • Extremely social and loyal
  • Quiet and courteous
  • Very active and needs lots of exercise and room to play
  • Gets along well with people and children, if socialized from a puppy
  • Known for their intelligence and survival instinct

Breed Standards: Dalmatians may have black or liver coloured spots. Any other colour is unacceptable in the show ring. The breed is muscular yet elegant. The length from the neck to the tail should be the same as the length from the withers to the feet, creating a square shape body. The feet are round, with well arched toes. The tail is thick, tapering and slightly curved.

The history of Dalmatians is hotly disputed by researchers and there is a great deal of disagreement over the origins of the breed. It is not certain where the dog was originally bred or how long ago. Some claim the breed is thousands of years old, others believe the Dalmatian was bred in 12th or 13th century Croatia. It is certain that at this time, the breed was used as a guardian of the Dalmatia and Croatia borders.
In 19th century London, the dogs were used to guard horses-drawn coaches, hence the nickname Spotted Coach Dog. To this day, Dalmatians tend to have an affinity for horses. When firefighters used horse-drawn carriages, the Dalmatian would run ahead clearing a path and guiding the horses. When the switch was made to fire engines, Dalmatians remained with the service to locate victims and even guard the firehouse. The Dalmatian remains a popular breed among firefighters due to its’ heroic and loyal past, and is now a mascot of the industry. The breed has also been used as a ratter, for hunting vermin in firehouses, stables and homes.

Fun Facts: The novel, One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith created a huge buzz about the breed. Two subsequent Walt Disney films of the same name made Dalmatians one of the most desired breeds worldwide (remember, Dalmatians require plenty of exercise and tend to be heavy shedders). Another interesting fact, is that Dalmatians are the only breed of dog with natural spots.