The only true spotted breed, the Dalmatian's origins are largely unknown but date back through many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, and seen on the walls of the tombs of the Egyptians, where pictures of the spotted dogs can be seen following behind the chariots. The breed has great stamina, speed, and intelligence, and was used widely as a carriage dog, following both horse drawn wagons as well as fire trucks. The breed shot up in popularity after the success of the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians but its popularity waned after owners realized their dog needed more than they could provide. Today, the breed has a loyal following of admirers that appreciate him for his beauty, brains, and endurance. The breed averages 18-26 inches high at the shoulder, and weighs between 35-70 pounds. Unique to only a few breeds, as puppies the Dalmatian is born solid white, with spots developing as they mature.
The Dalmatian is fun loving, full of energy, and intelligent. They do well with an active family that enjoys being outdoors and having fun. They excel as a jogging or biking partner, love to swim and hike, and generally love outdoor activities with their owners. The breed is loyal and sturdy, and does best with a firm owner that sets early boundaries and uses positive training methods, providing consistent physical and mental stimulation and exercise in order to prevent negative behaviors to develop. The breed does well in both suburban and rural homes where the owner wants a dog to spend time with enjoying activities and canine sports such as agility, flyball, and other dog sports.
The coat of a Dalmatian is short and easy to care for and maintain with simple brushing to remove any dead hairs in the undercoat and the occasional bath to keep his coat in good health and shedding is minimal to moderate. The breed has two color options, either white with black spots or white with liver spots. Patches of black or liver are considered a fault for the show ring but are common in pet quality dogs.