For most people, when they think of Dalmatians they probably think of the Disney favourite 101 Dalmatians. If you haven’t seen the film, its well worth watching (the animated version and the live action version are both good)
Dalmatians (also known as Carriage Dogs, Spotted Coach Dogs, Firehouse Dogs and Plum Pudding Dogs) have had their origins traced back to Dalmatia in Croatia. During the middle ages they were used as hounds, however they gained popularity in the 1800s and they were bred to run along side horse drawn carriages. Therefore these dogs have a lot of energy and stamina. Nowadays they are a popular pet with many of them appearing at dog shows.
If you are thinking about getting a Dalmatian you need to make sure you can keep up with them. As we have mentioned, these dogs were bred for energy and stamina. These are not the sort of dogs who lie around and do nothing all day. They need regular exercise and lots of mental stimulation to keep their mind busy. They get on well with other pets however, they will need a human to show then who is in charge. If not they could become aggressive with other dogs and be badly behaved.
Dalmatians are very intelligent and can be trained very easily. However, they are also strong willed so any owner will need to make sure they are in charge. As with all dogs, patience is needed. If you can spend the time playing and exercising with them and making sure they know who is boss then you will end up with a loyal, fun and loving dog.
Generally Dalmatians are a healthy breed and are easy to keep. However, they do have problems. Deafness is probably their biggest issue and it is thought to be genetic. According to research approximately 9-10% of Dalmatians are born deaf with 20% having hearing present in one ear. A test (BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response)) can be done around the 6 weeks old mark to check the dogs hearing. You vet will be able to offer advice on this.
Other problems include:
Hyperuricemia – This is a condition relating to the build up of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is excreted in high concentrations through the urine which leads to the formation of stones anywhere in the urinary tract, particularly the bladder and kidneys Compared to other breeds uric acid levels are a lot higher in Dalmatians. This sort of problem affects Dalmatians in middle age, however, by avoiding giving your dog food that is high in purines you can reduce the risk.
Skin problems and allergies
If you have a Dalmatian we would love to see a picture on our Facebook page. Click HERE and post us a picture of your dog. If you decide to get a Dalmatian pup or adopt an adult,bring them along to see us and you can speak to someone about their health and well being
As always if you have any questions about any of this either call us at the clinic or leave a comment on our Facebook page