Everything you need to know about Dalmatians
Dalmatians are very popular, and it is no small part thanks to their frequent appearance in the media, such as in Disney’s classic film ‘101 Dalmatians’. However, their popularity is not unwarranted as they are friendly and, usually, easily trainable dogs.
They were originally bred to be ‘coach dogs’ meaning that they would run alongside horse pulled carriages and they require some more speciality care than other dog breeds.
If you are thinking of bringing a Dalmatian into your home, then this article should provide you with the things you need to know about taking care of your new four-legged friend.
Almost everyone is familiar with the distinct coat pattern of the Dalmatian, the pure white coat covered in black spots. But not a lot of people realise how big these dogs get.
They grow to average height of 20 inches and they weigh an average of 50lbs. These large dogs also have short fur coats which will affect the shampoo and brushes you need to get for your dog.
These playful dogs are full of boundless energy and they are known for being good with children and working as a perfect family dog. You should try to socialise your Dalmatian as young as you can, they can easily get shy which can cause them to show minor aggression to unfamiliar dog. This is easily prevented with correct socialisation as they are said to have incredible memories so bad memories can stick with them for a long time.
As well as their impressive memories, these dogs are very intelligent, and this makes them really easy to train. Their history of breeding has also attributed a lot to their obedient and friendly personalities.
Despite their wonderful personalities, you should be cautious if you have a busy lifestyle. These dogs can get lonely quite easily and struggle if they go long and frequents times without human companionship. This can lead them to become bored and destructive so make sure that if you are absent for a lot of the time that they have a sufficient number of toys to keep them entertained.
What Should I Feed My Dalmatian?
Most Dalmatians benefit from a dry food diet with a high nutritional content. However, if you are unsure or want to feed them on a raw diet you can always book a nutrition consultation with a specialist or alternatively discuss the matter with your vet.
Dalmatians have a different way of metabolising their food than other dog breeds. This means that it is very important to give your dog healthy and natural dog treats.
You should also avoid feeding them too much liver as this is classed as a ‘purine-yielding’ food and too much purine can cause the formation of a kidney stone in your Dalmatian which is very painful for them.
Common Health Problems
Dalmatians are actually a very healthy breed of dog that have less health problems than most. But that does not mean that they are free from any issues. These conditions listed below are the most likely medical problems you are likely to encounter with your Dalmatian.
- Deafness – Deafness is hereditary in dalmatians and eight percent of dalmatian puppies are born completely deaf. You are able to test dalmatians for deafness at speciality vet practices where they will perform the Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response. Even if your dog is deaf, that doesn’t mean they will have an unhappy life. Most deaf puppies can learn vibrations and are usually well adapted to their surroundings if they are treated right.
- Hip Dysplasia – This is another hereditary condition that is common not only in dalmatians but in a lot of dog breeds. It is caused by the misplacement of the femur against the hip joint. Whilst some dogs go without ever showing symptoms of this condition, some can show lameness in their back legs and it can cause arthritis in their later life. Dogs with this condition should not be bred so make sure to question the medical history of the dog from either the shelter or breeder so you can be aware if this condition is a possibility.
How Much Do Dalmatians Cost?
If you adopt your dalmatian from a shelter, then there will be no extra cost for the breed itself. Most shelters request an adoption fee of around £200 to cover things like home visits and to help the shelter take care of the other animals.
However, if you are wanting to buy one as a puppy from a breeder, they can cost you around £1000 due to their rarity and popularity.
Where Can I Get A Dalmatian?
If you are looking to buy one for a breeder you will have to search on the internet as dalmatian breeders are not very common.
However, if you are looking to adopt one then the British Dalmatian Welfare charity can help guide you through the adoption process and also point you in the direction of any dalmatian rescue centres that may be near you.