Dalmatian Picture, also called Firehouse Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Carriage Dog, and Dalmatiner
Canis lupus familiaris

  The Dalmatian is a very old breed which became best known for its unique spotted coat, and as a mascot for firemen.

Dalmatians are known for being energetic and playful, and they revel in human companionship. They are highly intelligent, and they have the potential to be good guard dogs. When selecting a Dalmatian, it is important to check for hearing problems, which are quite common among the breed. Skin allergies and urinary problems are also fairly common.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s)

Dalmatian, Dalmatiner, Croatian, Dalmatinac, Firehouse Dog, Carriage Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Carriage Dog, Plum Pudding Dog. Nicknames include Dal and Dally.

Breed Type

The Dalmatian is a non-sporting breed known for its unique spotted coat. It can live indoors or out, but should remain sheltered during cold weather.


There is much debate over whether the Dalmatian actually originated in Dalmatia, a section of Croatia. It is known that this is a very old breed, with appearances in art dating back as far as ancient Egypt. The Dalmatian has worked as a hound, war dog, carriage dog, and more throughout the years, but it is best know as a mascot for firemen.
Popular Dalmatian hybrids include the Chimation (Chihuahua and Dalmatian mix) and the Sharmatian (Shar-Pei and Dalmatian mix).


Dalmatians are born solid white, but they later develop spots of black, or sometimes liver, lemon, dark blue, or brindle. Lean yet muscular, the Dalmatian can have a variety of eye and nose colors. Its ears are medium length. Males are 22-24 inches tall, females are 20-22 inches tall, and both usually weigh around 55 pounds.

Care and Feeding

Low protein diets are usually recommended for the Dalmatian to help prevent urinary problems. The best foods for the breed include lamb, poultry, and rice. Dalmatians shed heavily two times per year. They require frequent brushing, but should only be bathed when necessary.
Dalmatians need regular annual checkups to ensure that they remain healthy. Vaccinations are recommended as follows:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

If your Dalmatian stays indoors, regular vacuuming will be necessary due to seasonally heavy shedding. Synthetic fibers in carpet and furniture may aggravate skin allergies, and should be avoided if possible.

Housing Your Dog

Dalmatians are active dogs, and they are best suited to living outdoors or in a large home. They need a yard to play in if possible.

Social Behaviors

Dalmatians are friendly dogs, and they get along well with children. Their high energy level may make them unsuitable for small children, however. They generally get along well with other pets, but males may be aggressive with other male dogs.

Handling and Training

The Dalmatian is a smart breed, and does well with consistent obedience training. Their cleanliness makes the easy to housebreak.


Dalmatians need lots and lots of exercise, including a daily walk or jog and ample opportunity to play. They love to run off-leash.


When choosing a mate for your Dalmatian, bloodlines should be checked for deafness and urinary problems. Dalmatians often have large litters, up to 15 puppies.

Common Health Problems

Urinary problems can often be treated with proper diet, and may sometimes require medication. Skin allergies may also be a problem. Your veterinarian can determine the best course of action to alleviate these.


Dalmatians are not excessively common, so finding a good breeder may take some work. Prices vary greatly.


Dalmatian“, Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
Dalmatian“, Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
Cusick, William D., “What to Feed a Dalmatian“, Referenced online, 2008
Dalmatian Puppies for Sale“, Copyright PuppyFind.com, LLC, Referenced online, 2008

Featured Image Credit: Iren Key, Shutterstock