Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for an energetic and loving guard dog to bring into your family, learn everything you need to know about the Dalmatian.
One of the most recognizable breeds, the Dalmatian is the only spotted breed. Its exact origin is unknown. The modern Dalmatian was recognized in the 1800s as a carriage dog in the U.K. Now he is well-known as a firehouse mascot, circus performer, hunter, patriotic symbol and all-around great catch. Active and enjoying anything to do with running, this breed is a lovable pet for a family that can keep up with his energetic lifestyle.
AKC group: Non-sporting
- UKC group: Companion
- Average lifespan: 11 -14 years
- Average size: 50 – 55 pounds
- Coat appearance: Velvety and soft
- Coloration: White with black spots
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Other identifiers: Athletic, squarish body; deep chest; strong, upright and tapered tail; black or dark-colored nose; toenails are white or black
- Possible alterations: Born white, spots develop later; spots can vary in color from brown to brindle; 10 – 15 percent are born deaf and require special training
Is this breed right for you?
A hyperactive and devoted breed, the athletic Dalmatian requires a home equipped with a large yard. Due to his playful nature, he will need firm training and leadership to avoid acting out. Attached to his owner, the Dalmatian needs a lot of companionship and love to maintain his happiness. Enjoying running, it’s advised the breed be run for long periods of time, daily. If not given the proper amount of exercise, he will display erratic behavior with family members. Due to this, it’s advised that he is brought into a family with older children. A great watchdog, any owner that can handle his energetic personality will find a lot of love in having a Dalmatian as a family pet.
A dream day in the life of a Dalmatian
The Dalmatian loves to wake up in the bedroom of his owner. Up and ready for his day, he’ll run outside for an action-filled romp in the yard before coming inside to greet the family. After a nice long run, he’ll await his next command. Running back and forth indoors and out, the Dalmatian will alternate standing guard and chasing random yard vermin. Barking at any strangers, he’ll also enjoy human companionship from his family throughout the day. Once night falls, the Dalmatian will happily snuggle close to his family.