The Dalmatian is a good dog for an active family! They require moderate daily exercise and make great running companions.  The Dalmatian excels at traditional obedience, agility, tracking and road trails and finds great enjoyment in demonstrating their great endurance and speed.  Our GVH client, Laura Levengood, loves Dalmatians!!  Here is what she wrote about her love for the breed:

Dalmatians have always and will always be one of my favorite breeds!  I grew up with Dalmatians and have had them my whole life.  My dad had a Dalmatian as a child too – so my love of Dalmatians runs in the family.  Many of my best childhood memories include my Dalmatians.  I even dressed up as my Dalmatian for Halloween one year!

Peyton is my 5 month old Dalmatian.  He is the fourth Dalmatian that I have had.  He is named after my favorite football player, Peyton Manning.  He is playful, loving, and very sweet! He loves car rides and running and playing on his daily walks in the woods with his “brothers”!  He especially loves my Bernese Mountain Dog, Chase.  He always wants to be with Chase and lays right next to him, sometimes even on top of him! Each one of my Dalmatians had his/her own unique personality, but they all have been loyal, loving, wonderful dogs!

The Dalmatian characteristics:

  • large breed
  • spotted dog
  • poised and alert
  • strong, muscular and active
  • great endurance with fair amount of speed
  • intelligent
  • Life span of 13 to 15 years.

Dalmatians can easily become bored, so it is important to find an exercise routine that fits your daily routine such as a game of fetch or daily walks. Grooming required for this breed is a good grooming comb and slicker brush to help remove dead hair.

Dalmatians are from Croatia and its historical region of Dalmatia. In the 18th century, the Dalmatian was first used in fire service with the introduction of the horse-drawn fire engine.  They were a natural fit because of their great stamina, so they had little trouble keeping up with the carriages. The Dalmatian would bark as it ran alongside the carriage to alert pedestrians so the fire brigade to could pass through.  They also protected the horses and would scare away anything that might spook them.

In those days insurance companies paid the fire company to extinguish the fire, so companies would compete to be the first on the scene and sometimes would try to sabotage each other.  The Dalmatian stayed with the carriage and horses protecting from theft and wrong doing. They also would help to keep the horses calm while being close to burning buildings.  Back at the fire station Dalmatians, were great hunters – killing rats and mice.

Today, because of a genetic disposition, 30 percent of Dalmatians are deaf, which has not held the Dalmatian back from serving their fire stations and being known as a noble breed of dog. The Dalmatian is a recognized breed for its service to firehouses as their mascot and companionship for fire fighters.