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 Dalmatian Dog Breed at a Glance


The Dalmatian dog breed, also known as the Firehouse Dog, Carriage Dog, Dally, Dal, Spotted Coach Dog, and Plum Pudding Dog is best known for its spots. This athletic dog is intelligent and alert, and makes a great watchdog with the ability to protect its owners. It is a good dog for new owners and is a breed considered suitable for kids . The Dalmatian also makes a great companion for long-distance joggers.

Group: Non Sporting Group

Did you know? Dalmation puppies are actually born without spots. 

HISTORY of the Dalmatian Dog Breed

Originally illustrated in Croation alter art dating back to the 1600s, the Dalmation’s tasks varied. It served as a War Dog, guarding the boarders of Dalmatia. Other uses of Dalmations included: rat and vermin extermination, bird dogs, trail hounds, and circus dogs. The breed was first shown in England in 1862 where it quickly became the carriage dog of choice among merchants, traders, and the wealthy. Carriage dogs trotted next to carriages and were trained to attack so as to protect riders from interference stemming from bandits.

As Dalmations were carriage dogs in England, their use was transferred to horse-drawn fire engines. They rode next to the horses, providing a valuable service, helping find and rescue fire victims. Today, they have become firehouse mascots. Additionally, the Dal is the Anheuser-Busch dog–the carriage dog that accompanied the iconic Anheuser-Busch beer horse-drawn wagon, alongside the Clydesdale horses. The polka-dot dog gained in popularity after the publishing of “The Hundred and One Dalmations” book, and the release of the Disney films based on the book.

Origin: Croatia     (Developed and Cultivated in United Kingdom)


The Dally is friendly, cheerful, loyal, and playful, but it is also courageous and aggressive. Additionally, it is a very sensitive dog, meaning it does not take well to reprimanding. This cat–friendly dog may have a low hunting drive, but has a great impulse to wander, so keep it on a leash when out and about.

Since 1982, 3 human attacks have been attributed to the Dalmatian dog breed, causing 3 maimings with all the victims being children. It is very unlikely that the Dalmatian will cause death.

Physical Characteristics of  Dalmatians

The common colors of the Dalmatian are white, black, and brown. Its coat is dense, short, and fine, and tight-fitting. Its distinctive spots make it easy to recognize.

The Dalmatian weighs between 40 and 60 pounds and stands between 19 and 23 inches tall, regardless of gender.

Dalmation Dog Breed
Shedding is constant with the Dal. Prepare to vacuum frequently. This is not a hypoallergenic breed. Also, it has a low tendency to drool.

HEALTH and CARE of the Dalmation Dog Breed

Life Expectancy 

The life expectancy of the Firehouse Dog is between 12 and 14 years, which is average for medium-sized dog breeds.

Common Health Concerns

Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues and conditions. The Dalmatian is at a high risk of developing:

  • Entropion
  • Deafness
  • Panosteitis
  • Atopic Dermatitis


As the Dalmatian is at a great risk for weight gain, ensure it is given the proper amount of high-quality dog food, and that it gets the necessary exercise to remain fit. It thrives in a home with the backyard, where it can run safely.

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With the average weight of this dog breed being 50 pounds, feed it approximately 2 3/4 cups of dry dog food each day.


Grooming the Dalmatian requires minimal effort, so no stripping or trimming required. In fact, it only needs a vigorous rubdown a few times a week to keep it clean. However, regular brushing helps with shedding. Check ears regularly to avoid wax buildup That could develop into an infection.

The Dalmatian dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1888.