The Dalmation Dog Breed

By BarkUptoday

Image credit: Pixaby

The Dalmatian, also called the English Coach Dog, Carriage Dog, and the Fire House Dog originated from the U.K. This dog breed is part of the UKC, Companion Dog Group, and the AKC, Non-Sporting Dog Group. The breed name origin stems from the Eastern European coastal area of Dalmatian. This dog breed was thought to have been imported to the U.K during the 18th century. 

Brief History

The Dalmatian was bred to be a coach dog in the U.K. This dog breed had to guard passengers and property. The Dalmatian’s love of horses made this dog breed perfect for following horse-drawn fire engines.

British noblemen also enjoyed having this breed around their horses. The Brits adored this dog breed and nicknamed it the English Coach Dog. This is how the Dalmatian became the firehouse dog. 

Today it is still looked upon as a fire station mascot and helps bring about fire awareness in education programs for children. The Dalmatian has been in the U.S since colonial times. It was known as the coach dog breed. By 1888, the Dalmatian was a registered dog breed in the AKC studbook. The Dalmatian is still very popular as a companion dog breed today.

Physical Description

The ever-friendly Dalmatian is a muscular and large dog breed with a square shape. With a pear-shaped head when looking from above, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another; the crown is almost flat with a slight groove in the center. The nose is black, large, and broad.

The eyes are brown or blue or a combination of both colors and medium-sized. This breed has medium-sized drop ears with a deep chest and well-arched, compact feet. The Dalmatian has a long tail that is tapered and carried with an elegant upward curve. The coat is short, shiny, and tight, with a ground color of white and beautiful spots of black or liver.

The Dalmatian has lots of endurance, combined with moderate speed. It is an elegant, sporty, and active dog breed that adores people and other dogs and animals. The movement is steady and graceful. With an even temperament, this outgoing dog breed is intelligent, outgoing, and dignified.


19-24 inches


45-65 pounds

Life Expectancy

11-13 years


The Dalmatian is an active and lively dog breed. This very outgoing and friendly dog breed is not shy and constantly encourages new friendships with other animals or people. This dog breed is excellent with horses and does well on equestrian farms.

The Dalmatian is a sensitive dog breed that does well with positive dog training and socialization starting at puppyhood. This dog breed is very affectionate with family and good with children. The Dalmatian has a strong work drive and needs to partake in organized canine activities.

Activity Level


Special Needs

The Dalmatian requires plenty of exercise, socialization, and positive dog training. The importance of early positive housetraining cannot be emphasized enough. Dalmatian pups need to be taught to go outside or develop bad habits that will be difficult to break.

Dalmatian pups also need to learn positive obedience training. This can start as early as nine weeks of age and should be done in super short increments of time, like 5-minute sessions a few times a day.

Allow for healthy food treats as rewards when cheerful dog training your Dalmatian. Organize dog training classes outside your home to allow your Dalmatian to socialize and meet other dogs and people.

Skype dog training sessions should only be used if in combination with regular dog training classes. The Dalmatian needs a fenced garden or backyard. This breed does best on farms or large properties with horses, other dog breeds, and many companionships.

Possible Health Concerns

The Dalmatian is a very healthy and active dog breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

  • Deafness: Dalmatians may be born with normal hearing yet may lose hearing a few weeks after birth. Deafness is hereditary in Dalmatians and comes from an auto-recessive gene. This gene also affects eye color and contributes to the blue iris in Dalmatians. As many as 30% of Dalmatians suffer from deafness in one or both ears. Some dog parents may confuse deafness with obedience problems. That said, consult with your veterinarian for the best advice.
  • Kidney Stones: This is common in the Dalmatian and can be dangerous if not treated immediately. Feeding a low protein diet with fish or chicken works well in helping to prevent kidney stones. Beef and organ meats should be eliminated from the Dalmatian’s diet. Clean and fresh water needs to be available 24/7.
  • Hip Dysplasia is an abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds like the Dalmatian. It is generally characterized by a loose joint and then common degenerative disease. The Dalmatian should be fed a high-quality diet that is geared towards their life stage. A puppy Dalmatian should only consume high-quality puppy dog food. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all play with hip dysplasia.
  • Epilepsy: This occurs more frequently in Dalmatians and can be hereditary or the result of an injury or exposure to toxins. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.


The Dalmatian needs a consistent exercise schedule if living in an apartment or small home. Dalmatians living on farms and equestrian properties tend to get lots of exercise and travel. This dog breed has an excellent memory and is a quick learner. Positive dog training sessions are a pleasure with this dog breed. Dalmatians enjoy going out for runs or long hikes. They’re always game to take part in family activities.

Agility is an excellent sport for Dalmatians. They can start training at a young age for agility and tend to do well in this canine sport. Advanced obedience is also a great option.


High-quality dog food is recommended for the Dalmatian. All dogs are different, and some dog food brands will be better suited for your active Dalmatian. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your dog’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount.

There is no best diet since all dogs have different dietary needs, so it’s always wise to find the best dog food to match each dog. That said, consult with your veterinarian for advice when changing your Dalmatian’s diet. Consult with your veterinarian if your dog has a medical condition or is pregnant or lactating.

Here’s what to look out for when choosing dog food for your Dalmatian:

  • Healthy ingredients
  • Fresh meat
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • No controversial ingredients
  • No added hormones and steroids
  • No unnamed meat sources
  • The proper ratio of macronutrients
  • By-products in dog food are acceptable when they are organ meats
  • Dog food should not be overly processed


Essential ingredients should include whole meats, fruits, or vegetables in their top five elements are considered good foods. Those that also add healthy antioxidants like blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and pumpkin are ones to purchase! That said, organic, natural, and preservative-free with no artificial ingredients are also critical to a healthy- balanced, and high-quality dog food!

 Keep in mind that pups need to be on a puppy food formula and adult dogs on adult dog food formulas. Senior dogs also should be on an aging dog food formula. Beet pulp can also act as a stool hardener in pups, so opt for one without beet pulp if your Dalmatian has digestive issues.

 Advantages of Dehydrated Dog Foods for Competitive Dogs That Travel

What’s good about dehydrated dog food?

  • Minimally processed
  • High moisture content
  • Whole foods used
  • Human grade ingredients
  • Convenient to travel with
  • The dehydration process leaves behind natural ingredients that support immunity and good health
  • Stable shelf life
  • It does not need refrigeration, so easy to travel with
  • Color, flavor, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients not impacted by the dehydration process


Routine daily grooming will keep your Dalmatian’s coat in superb condition. The Dalmatian’s skin is excellent and always a pleasure to look at. The Dalmation is one of the easiest breeds to groom. A horse-hair mitt or rubber curry comb should be used to maintain a shiny and healthy coat. 

The Dalmation enjoys frequent baths and having his teeth done daily. Bathing can often be if dogs are playing around on farms and in horse manure. Ears should be regularly wiped out and checked regularly because they flop down and retain moisture. Nails need to be trimmed every month. 

Adopting a Dalmatian

Dalmatians make for an incredible adoption. Finding the perfect Dalmatian will be easy because this breed is so special. Not only is the Dalmatian a gentle and playful dog to have around children and family, but this dog breed also has a personality that is outgoing and happy, in turn making everyone else happy.

This dog breed does not do well alone and needs to be around people and other animals. They are a very social dog breed that needs to participate in family activities like hiking, camping, and playing ball at the dog park.

The Dalmatian enjoys running on the dog beach and heading out with you for a jog. If it’s summertime, all Dalmatians need to use a canine sunblock because they have a white coat and are more prone to sunburn. Exercise should only take place during the early morning hours or late afternoon.

Whether you’re adopting a small terrier-type dog or a Dalmatian, make sure that you have the time, patience, and proper home environment for your new furry best friend. 

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Woofs & Wags!

For the Tosa Ken Rare Dog Breed


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