Animal stories: Dalmatians

Dalmatians are large, distinctive dogs that have black or liver-coloured spots on a white background. Their head is of fair length, moderately well defined between the ears with a moderate amount of stop and no loose skin. Their eyes are medium-sized, set well apart, dark in black spotted and amber in liver spotted.

The black spotted Dalmatians have black nose whereas liver spotted have brown nose. The coat is short, sleek, and glossy. The tail is long and tapering. Dalmatians are quiet, friendly, alert, and muscular dogs that require plenty of exercise.

They are very dedicated and loyal and always want to please but because of their determined natures will easily form bad habits.

The puppies should be disciplined as they can become hyper when they grow older. They have wonderful freedom of movement taking long strides, showing smooth, powerful and rhythmic action. Their strength and stamina can sometimes be too much of a challenge for some owners.

Average size

Dalmatians are about 22-24 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh about 23-25 kg.

Coat colour

These dogs always have white fur with either black or liver-coloured spots. Dalmatian puppies

are pure white; they develop spots as they grow.


Dalmatians are easy to train as they have a willing nature and an eagerness to please. When they do well, they should be praised excessively. It is, however, as easy for them to learn bad habits as well as good.

Food requirements

Dalmatians are not fussy eaters.


They have a lifespan of 9-15 years.

Pet grooming

Dalmatians do not need regular grooming as they have short and hard hairs. Brushing their coats once a week with a grooming mitt and finishing off with a soft cloth is enough. It will promote shine to their coats and will remove dead hairs.

Country of origin


The Dalmatian was originally bred in the 1400’s in Dalmatia, Croatia from which the dogs were named. Over the years Dalmatians have been used as dogs of war, border patrols, cart pullers, sheep herders, dogs of the hunt, circus performers and, of course, coaching dogs. Dalmatians have worked with horses since at least the Middle Ages.

In the 1800’s the Dalmatian was used as a carriage dog; it trotted alongside horse-drawn carriages, especially fire trucks. It was not an unusual sight to see these dogs running through the streets of London to clear the way for the horse-drawn water-wagons.