The Dalmatian is probably best known as the star of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, but this black-spotted and athletic dog has a history that goes back several hundred years. Are you curious about what’s behind the black Dalmatian spots? Then scroll down and find out!

dalmatian tractive tracker

The Dalmatian aka the Carriage Dog aka the English Coach Dog

… The black-spotted dog goes by many names!

Originally, the Dalmatian was used to guard the carriages and horses of the British upper class in the 1800’s.  They are known for walking next to horse-drawn carriages and old fire-engines to be transport guards and to ensure the stock and carriage remained safe and untouched. Dalmatians have performed a wide range of tasks. They have been draft dogs and shepherds. They are excellent hunters of vermin and are well-known as firehouse mascots. The intelligence of the Dalmatian and the willingness to please has, for many years, made this breed suitable for almost any task that a person could ask of it and is one of the reasons why this breed is a loyal family companion.

Dalmatian personality

Dalmatians are natural watch dogs and are used to take care of their human companion. So are you looking for a loyal and caring family dog, the Dalmatian is the right breed for you. They may not automatically love everyone the first time they meet them, as they are territorial and used to protect their space. But all in all, they love to be with people and love to be included in all family activities, whether indoor our outdoor. Dalmatians are friendly with adults as well as children, though things can go flying and toddlers can be knocked down by a happy Dalmatian eager to play.

Physical and mental activity requirements

Behind the black spots of a Dalmatian you have a dog who needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Without it, the Dalmatian can easily become bored and destructive. As the owner of a Dalmatian, you have to take time to train and exercise your four-legged companion. Do you have a high activity level yourself? Then you will love working out with a Dalmatian. Dals are very energetic, intelligent and playful, and can clear a coffee table in five seconds with a single tail-whip! 🙂 Since the Dalmatian originally accompanied coaches and horses on their long journeys across the country, they are used to run for many miles each day. Therefore, a Dalmatian needs a great amount of exercise (and a quick trip around the block just wont do!) At least an hour of exercise, once or preferably twice a day should be a minimum for an adult Dalmatian.

The Dalmatian is a very intelligent dog and needs just as much mental stimulation as physical exercise. The black-spotted family member is very clever, and is quick to learn. With regular obedience training, he will become a well behaved and easy to live with member of your family. And, the more training and new tricks you teach a Dalmatian, the less likely it will be that he comes up with his own entertainment.

A few extras

  • Dalmatians should not be left alone in the house for long periods of time. Without adequate amounts of attention (and exercise) they can get a little destructive, digging up gardens, chewing objects and barking excessively.
  • A healthy Dalmatian can live as long as 12 years. Common health issues for this breed include skin allergies and deafness.
  • Dalmatians need constant shedding – 365 days a year! Not kidding!
  • Dalmatians like to wander. If allowed, they could be gone for days, exploring different areas of the neighborhood and feeding their curiosity. Make sure your backyard fence doesn’t have any escape hatches. And, if you still worry that your dear Dalmatian escapes, a Tractive GPS Tracker will show you exactly where he is – anytime, anywhere!

Is a Dalmatian the right breed for you?

If you’re thinking of buying a Dal, please take the time to consider all aspects of that decision and be sure that this breed has the right characteristics to fit your needs and your lifestyle. Especially for a Dalmatian, you will need the time and energy to go for regular walks to fulfill the activity needs of this breed. Dalmatians truly are great family companions, but they require much time and effort on your part, as well as lots of patience.

Do you have any experience with Dalmatians? Please comment and share!