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The Dalmatian is famous for its performance in the Disney film ‘101 Dalmatians’. In this film the villain wanted to make fur coats out of the cute puppies because of their beautiful white coat with black spots. The black spots are unique for the Dalmatian seeing as no other pure bred dog has a similar coat.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Dalmatian is a medium-sized athletic dog with a short coat. The coat is always white with either black or brown spots. The eyes are medium-sized and round.

The black spotted Dalmatians have dark eyes whereas the brown spotted Dalmatians have amber eyes. The ears are medium-sized, hanging down, and set high on the head. The tail is medium long and carried hanging. The coat is short, dense, smooth, and shiny. The Dalmatian is 22-24 inches.

History of the breed
The origin of the Dalmatian is widely discussed. The majority believe that the Dalmatian derives from a region in southern Croatia called Dalmatia. It is an old breed that has not changed particularly over the years. Paintings, in which dogs, that resemble the Dalmatian, are running next to chariots, have been found in Egyptian tombs.

In the Spanish Santa Maria Novella Chapel in Florence there is a fresco painting from 1360 depicting a spotted dog resembling the Dalmatian of today. The first reference to the breed’s current name is from the middle of the 19th century.

The Dalmatian has been used for many different purposes. It guarded the borders of Dalmatia. Even though it is friendly and loyal towards familiar people they are often watchful towards strangers. The Dalmatian is also an excellent hunting dog and has been used for hunting different types of game.

Its distinctive coat and high level of intelligence also made it a popular circus dog. Furthermore, it has been used as a fire-apparatus follower and as firemen’s mascot. And it was a guard dog for horse carriages where it either ran along or under the carriage.

Character and behaviour
The Dalmatian is a very active dog, which needs a lot of exercise. It can run really fast and has a great stamina. It is a playful and energetic dog by nature, which makes it the perfect family dog. Generally speaking it gets along fine with horses as well. However, it is important to socialize the dog as early as possible.

The Dalmatian does not like to be left alone. In fact, it is given the nickname ‘Velcro dog’ because it tends to follow its owners into every room of the house. It is an intelligent dog. Due to its background as a guarding dog it can easily become too territorial if not weaned off.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Medium-sized and athletic
  • Shorthaired and easy to groom coat
  • Loves exercising and out door activities
  • Socialises easily with other animals and people
  • Requires a lot of exercise
  • Does not like to be left home alone
  • Needs early socialisation in order not to become nervous and defensively aggressive towards strangers
  • A heavy shedder all year round

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