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Dalmatian Overview

The first thing anyone notices about a Dalmatian is, of course, its spotted black and white coat. That, and how a famous Disney movie (101 Dalmatians) was made about a cruel woman coveting their beloved coats. Nonetheless, Dalmatians are graceful, dependable watch dogs with a touch of elegant glamour.

Dalmatians trotted around significant parts of the world and historians have a hard time agreeing on their exact origin. They were closely related to the Central European area of Dalmatia, by the Adriatic Sea, but they made trips to the British Isles, North American, Asia and Africa. 

Dalmatians are muscular dogs, which put them in a good working position when they first arrived. They were “coach dogs,” meaning they pulled carriages or guarded horses and rigs. Dals are sometimes known as “firehouse dogs,” with advertisements or illustrations featuring them with firefighters or in firehouses. With how dependable and loyal Dalmatians are when they are at work, a firehouse actually seemed like a good gig for them for awhile. 

They are aloof people but dependable when they are with someone they know well and trust. Dalmatians are smart, loyal, and great companions, especially to those who enjoy going on a hike every now and again. 

Did you know?

Dalmatian puppies are born without their spots!

Dalmatian Stats

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Intelligent Intelligent

  • Easy to train Easy to train

Popularity ranking**
19-24 in / 45-70 lbs (M)
Average lifespan
11-13 years
Activity level
When necessary
Barking level
When necessary
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

3-5 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

3 hours


Grooming frequency

Sheds frequently

Dog Food

Feeding your Dalmatian

Dalmatians require two meals a day of high-quality adult dog food that has the proper amount of nutrients they need. They are highly energetic so ensure they have fresh, clean water at all times, too, with their food. Because they like to be active, it’s important to monitor how much food they are getting—either as meals or treats during training (or when they deserve a little something-something!) Try not to overfeed so you don’t risk obesity in your spotted pup.


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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