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The Dalmatian Dog Breed Profile

Jun 21, 2008
A Dalmatian is a breed of dog known for its black spots which cover its white coat. In the United States, Dalmatians are often portrayed as firehouse dogs.

A popular breed, Dalmatians are midsized, muscular and have great endurance. Dalmatians' coats are dense, short and very fine. The base color of this breed is white, with round spots in black or brown. A Dalmatians feet are small and round and their nails are either the same color of their spots or white. The color of their nose also depends on the color of the spots that they have. The eyes of a Dalmatian share an intelligent expression and are either brown or blue. The ears are high and thin and are close to the dog's head. Spots on Dalmatians come later, as Dalmatian puppies are born fully white.

The Dalmatian breed was named after Dalmatia, an area in the Venetia Republic, in the 18th century. The breed's origin is not known for sure, but it is believed to be either Yugoslavia, Egypt, Greece, or Rome.

At 22 to 24 inches tall and about 55 pounds, the dog breed is known for being a working dog. Although not specialized in one area, often Dalmatians herded and hunted. It was also used as a carriage dog - a type of dog who used to run next to a carriage and clear the way, help control horses and to guard the carriage. With training, Dalmatians can gain a high level of obedience.

As past history of being a carriage dog shows, the Dalmatian breed is active and needs exercise. Though they may be too rough and big for younger kids, they are good companions for teens with their playful attitude. They need companionship and affection too, as they can become depressed. Dalmatians are known as having good memories and being loyal and kind.

Unfortunately, some Dalmatians (about 10%) tend to have hereditary deafness, which is somewhat common in all-white breeds. There is a strong relationship between blue eyes and deafness, too. The average lifespan of a Dalmatian is 10 to 12 years. Dalmatians also suffer from a lack of uricase, an enzyme which breaks down uric acid. Without this enzyme, uric acid can cause bladder stones or gout, as it builds up in joints. To reduce the likelihood of stones, owners should not feed Dalmatians organ meats.

The Dalmatian breed got very popular after the 1956 novel "The Hundred and One Dalmatians" and the Disney animated film with the same name. Sadly, some owners bought Dalmatians because of the film but were unaware of the high amount of exercise that Dalmatians need. Dalmatians even like to swim, but owners must be careful as wet ears can cause an ear infection.

Although they are easy to keep breed, Dalmatians need to be frequently brushed to deal with the constant shedding. Their nails also need to be kept trimmed as they tend to grow quickly. However, they only needs baths when necessary as they have no doggy odor and like to stay clean.
About the Author
For more information on the dalmatian or a complete list of dog breeds visit this Dog Behaviour website.
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