Since the movie "101 Dalmatians" at the latest, the whole world knows him: The Dalmatian with his black spots on white fur is certainly one of the most famous dog breeds. The pretty dog has some temperament and endurance, but is also a very sensitive dog.
Learn in this guide why closeness and kind words get these dog breeds better than strictness. In addition, we give helpful tips on a species-appropriate diet.
1. History of the Dalmatian: From Dalmatia to the Court of Princes
The Dalmatian also likes to play and romp with children.
White dogs with black spots are already found on Greek and Egyptian relics, so it can be amed that the history of the Dalmatian goes back a long way.
A well-known theory follows the dog's name:
According to this, it originates from the region of Dalmatia in the south of Croatia, after which it is also named. In ecclesiastical chronicles from the 14. The dog from the Dalmatian region is mentioned in the 18th century and from the year 1719.
Genetic tests say that the Dalmatian is related to the English Pointer. Its earlier history and also its breeding destination thus continue to remain hidden. At the beginning of modern times the spotted dog enjoyed great popularity among the European nobility. There the persevering dog was used to accompany carriages.
In US-American states it was used for the police force. The Dalmatian ran ahead of the fire engines as a "living siren", which were still pulled by horses at that time. The dogs drew everyone's attention to the approaching fire department and, by their barking, kept away other stray dogs that would otherwise have gone under the wheels.
The first breed standard was defined by the Englishman Vero Shaw, In 1890 the standard was officially recognized. Today the Dalmatian is a worldwide recognized dog breed by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
2. Breed characteristics of the Dalmatian
Black on white: His special coat color makes the Dalmatian. The coat of the dog is from the ground up white and is covered with numerous black or brown spots. The spots must be clearly outlined in the pedigree dogs and not blurred.
Profile Info Size male 56-61cm, female 54-59 cm Weight Male: 27-32 kg, bitch: 24-29 kg Coat short, hard, dense, glossy, Color black or brown color on white background Eye color brown for black color, amber for brown color Life expectancy 10 to 13 years
The Dalmatian is medium size and has a slender build. The shoulders are muscular, but the Neck long and elegant. His head is gently rounded, the medium sized ears are set high and fall slightly.
Less known is the Dalmatian as a longhaired dog. It belongs to the exotic looking types. Belongs to the rarity breed.
One of the most common questions related to the Dalmatian is where the dog gets its spots from. It is important to know that despite its white coat, the dog is not an albino is. One of the ways you can tell is that he does not have a pink muzzle.
Rather, his coat lacks pigmentation to a large extent. In rare cases there is a partial pigmentation. This is shown by the so-called plates, large areas in black or brown. They are often found on the ear or around the eye.
In contrast to these plates, the typical spots appear gradually after birth. Researchers have not yet been able to decipher why they occur. Probably it is a special gene, but its occurrence could not be confirmed yet.
3. Nature of the Dalmatian: docile and family-oriented
During joint activities the dog wants to be exercised.
The Dalmatian is a lively and affectionate companion. He likes to live in the middle of a family. Actively going through life. Children treat him with respect. Should not be considered as a toy.
Some Dalmatians have a slight hunting instinct. To keep it in check, a good education is indispensable. They are also said to have a certain stubbornness. However, not much can be achieved with strictness with this sensitive dog. He rather needs affectionate address as well as praising or reprimanding words to get orientation. The pedigree dog is lively. Adapts well to its environment. However, the Dalmatian cannot be trained to be a couch dog.
4. Tips for keeping Dalmatians
The Dalmatian has a great urge to move, which owners should definitely comply with. At least two hours, better three to four hours a day, the dogs should be actively moved, which does not include romping around in the garden. Dalmatians want to be challenged physically as well as mentally, which is why a dog sport that combines both is particularly suitable:
Movie "101 Dalmatians
By the film "101 Dalmatians" the race dog became the trend dog. This has resulted in an increase in the dubious, profit-oriented breeding of dogs with behavioral problems and even aggressive dogs.
Clicker training: This education technique strengthens the interaction between man and dog. Search games: A big challenge is to find objects and people.
Dog DanceThe dog's handler works out a choreography together with the dog, which can contain jumps and figures depending on the discipline. Trained as a rescue dogThe preparation for the VDH rescue dog test challenges the Dalmatian athletically and intellectually, which is exactly what he needs.
If the Dalmatian is permanently underchallenged, it can develop undesirable behaviors.
5. Most common diseases in Dalmatians
The coat of the Dalmatian is not lined, which makes it freeze quickly.
Its white coat with black spots makes the Dalmatian's funny character. But exactly this appearance also leads to peculiarities.
Like other types of dogs with high white content, the Dalmatian has a significantly higher risk of becoming deaf. Another peculiarity is the Dalmatian syndrome, which in individual cases requires a special diet for the pedigree dog.
5.1. Genetic deafness
Dalmatians are particularly often affected by congenital sensorineural deafness. Within the first few days after birth, puppies lose their ability to hear due to the destruction of sensory cells either on one or on both ears. During the first six to eight weeks of life, the condition becomes apparent as affected dogs hold their heads crooked and develop an unsteady gait.
In time, however, the lack of hearing is compensated by other sensory organs. This enables the animals to live a life free of complaints. Species-specific deafness is significantly more common in blue-eyed dogs, which is why they are excluded from breeding.
Info: Dalmatians with a plate pattern (continuous black or brown body parts) are less often affected by deafness.
5.2. Increased uric acid level
The plate pattern on the right ear decreases the risk of deafness.
Due to a metabolic defect, Dalmatians have a urinary system which is unique in the animal world. Instead of releasing urea and allantoins through urine like other dogs, he releases uric acid unfiltered. He lacks the enzyme uricase, which converts uric acid into allantoin. The cause is a disturbed uric acid transport system. A limitation of uric acid reabsorption. The result is primarily a tenfold increase in the amount of uric acid that the dog excretes in its urine every day. A consequence of increased uric acid is a unique form of dermatitis as well as a particular susceptibility to urinary stones.
5.3. Dalmatian Syndrome (Hyperuricosuria)
Due to the frequency of urinary stones in Dalmatians, this disease has received the nickname "Dalmatian syndrome. Due to their metabolic defect, the dogs very often get sick from bladder or kidney stones.
Males are affected more often than females. Probably bitches can carry away smallest kidney stones with their ureters more easily. With the right diet, the formation of urinary stones can be counteracted as much as possible.
6. Diet of the Dalmatian: prefer low-purine meat
The typical spots appear only after a few days of life.
The genetically elevated uric acid level should be kept as low as possible by following some rules or a special dietetic diet.
So it is important that the Dalmatian is fed a low purine diet. Canned food with a high meat content should be avoided.
It is better to buy dry food with less than 15 percent crude protein content, which is also available in common pet shops. It has been shown that Form urinary stones less frequently if the dog is fed only once a day, preferably in the afternoon. In addition Dalmatians should drink a lot and urinating as often as possible.
Attention: Dalmatians should not be given beef or offal. A low-purine diet with lamb, chicken, eggs and suitable vegetables is healthier.
7. Buying a Dalmatian: Have them tested for hearing
The Dalmatian also exists with brown spots.
A Dalmatian puppy costs on average between 1.000 and 1.400 euros. The relatively high costs include all the expenses that the breeders had until the animal was given away. This includes the typical vaccinations, deworming, examinations as well as chipping the animal. Hearing test is important for this dog breed. Before an animal is bought, it should be sure whether it can hear bilaterally.
If you want to buy a Dalmatian, you will find on the Information pages of the German Kennel Club (VDH) all association breeders. In addition, there is on special animal portals an animal market with many offered puppies. If you want to be sure that the animals are mentally and physically healthy, they should have a purebred pedigree.
Interested parties can get an impression of the living conditions of the litter and get answers to questions at reputable breeders on the spot. Breeders should always give the impression that they have the animals' welfare at heart.
If the price for a purebred Dalmatian is too high for you, you can also have a lot of fun with a mixed breed. Popular is for example the Labrador-Dalmatian mix. An alternative is also to look for a Dalmatian in the animal shelter. Here you can buy older Dalmatians with a little bit of luck for a lower price.