The Dalmatian: Dalmatians are different, different from other dogs, different you might imagine at first. In the breed portrait about dalmatians you will learn funny anecdotes about Clemens and dalmatians in general, besides the most important information, which you will find everywhere else.

Dalmatian lies in the stand and enjoys the sun

First the most important facts

You already know a lot about Dalmatians? No problem! Just scroll down. Dalmatians have their origin in Croatia, more precisely in Dalmatia. And right, that’s where they get their name from. The Dalmatian is a dog breed recognized by the FCI and VDH. According to VDH, males should be between 56-62 cm high and weigh 27-32 kg. Females are a little smaller (54-60 cm) and accordingly also a little lighter (24-29 kg). Clemens is, although he comes from a VDH breeder, 64 cm tall and weighs 33 kg. He also has a distinctive, masculine head and a corresponding physique. With that he is still in the borderline area. Females are usually built much more daintily. Dalmatians have a life expectancy of about 13 years, whereby these values rarely reflect reality. The Dalmatian is a social dog and an adaptable family dog. However, the heart of a hunter also beats in him. The Dalmatian has a short, cuddly fur, which doesn’t need any extensive fur-care. Self-confident, alert without being a barker, friendly, lively, sensitive, all this and much more is the Dalmatian. Doesn’t that sound like a dream dog?

Where does the Dalmatian come from?

From Dalmatia, of course, but how did he get there or how did he originate? Actually, one does not know exactly. In Victorian times Dalmatians were considered fashionable dogs, they often accompanied carriages and lived in the stables with the horses. Illustrations and paintings from the 14th and 15th century suggest that there were already white dogs with dark spots in the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Renaissance. However, these were called bracken. Until today, however, it could not be proven with certainty that these dogs are ancestors of the Dalmatian. Nevertheless, Dalmatians are considered one of the oldest known dog breeds. Their appearance has hardly changed since then. Undisputed is the origin of the Dalmatians in the Mediterranean area. From there they reached India with sailors, where they were discovered by British officers and brought to England.

In the USA the Dalmatian is still often the mascot of the local fire department. How does it come to this? When the “fire trucks” were still pulled by horses, the Dalmatian was their constant companion. In his eye-catching fur, the hard-running dog ran barking ahead and drew attention to the fire-brigade. If there was once no employment, the Dalmatian was by no means unemployed. After all, the fire department had to be protected.

Dalmatian mother suckling her puppies

Day 2 – C-litter from Ruppiner Land 2014

Where’s Clemens?

The color

In contrast to the popular children’s film from the 60s, Dalmatians are not only available in black and white. They are born completely white. As a rule, the first spots only appear after about 10 to 14 days. They are available according to breed standard (VDH) in black color with black spots and brown color with liver spots. Puppies that are already born with isolated large black spots, e.g. plates or monocles, are considered a fault by the breed standard (VDH) and are excluded from breeding. The color Lemon is a characteristic that excludes breeding in the VDH. But what is Lemon? In Lemon-Dalmatians, the spots are not dark but very bright and have a color tone that can range from lemon to orange. Dalmatians in general, and especially lemon colored ones, are said to be rather deaf. This fact that lemon-colored dalmatians in particular are often deaf is scientifically proven, but not true. It is just not known if the lemon color Dalmatians inherit more diseases etc.

However, it is important that your Dalmatian puppy undergoes an audiometric examination, i.e. a hearing check. This determines whether the puppies are bilateral hearing, unilateral hearing or completely deaf. The audiometric examination is carried out by any responsible breeder, whether VDH or not. In Clemens’ litter there were 11 puppies, but only 10 of them were bilateral hearing, one puppy was unilateral hearing. Of course a deaf dog is just as lovable as a bilateral hearing puppy, but it should be in the interest of all to breed dogs that are as healthy as possible, if they are bred.

By the way, Clemens was very stubborn from a young age. With his siblings he could not do so much, and he played with himself. If visitors came then, he usually retired completely.

Dalmatian lies on back

What does the Dalmatian need?

2 things! Sounds feasible, but is it? A dalmatian needs a family connection and an outlet. Oh, and outlet and even more outlet. And employment! It is almost impossible to keep a Dalmatian physically busy. You go jogging, get faster and faster and last longer? Super! Your dalmatian too, by the way. No problem, you just take the bike, pedal hard and you’ll be fine. Well, physical exertion, so that he needs 3 days rest, will still be almost impossible. Dalmatians are real bundles of energy, running dogs and extremely intelligent. That means you can teach them super tricks and stunts. But only if they want to. Because they are real stubborn. Clemens, for example, has successfully refused to learn “give paw”. A trick that really doesn’t require the greatest intelligence. Instead, he can crawl across the floor lying down. Dalmatians are very sensitive and prefer to retreat in case of quarrel. If there is too much pressure – and the dalmatian himself decides this, by the way – they only do what they like. And the biped usually likes that less.

A Dalmatian needs love, care, loving consistency and changing activities, because otherwise he gets bored. And bored Dalmatians do one thing, nonsense. The Dalmatian is also a loving companion for children, as long as they give the dog its freedom and don’t treat it as a toy.

What diseases do Dalmatians have?

Almost all dog breeds have special diseases, to which members of their breed are prone. Dalmatians are generally considered a very healthy breed of dog, but they are more often deaf and have a tendency to urinary calculus. The probability of the latter disease can be reduced significantly by proper nutrition and sufficient drinking.

Important: My experience has shown that the expensive thing about a dog is never the puppy itself. Also, not the toys, the leashes and the food. Whereby also here it must be considered that a large dog is more expensive, except for the purchase price itself. Also, the annual vaccinations, trimming (if necessary) and vacation care is feasible for almost every dog owner. After all, these are all costs that one already reckons with. Expensive however are the diseases a dog has. The emergency operation on Saturday evening because he wanted to play with a wild boar. That hole in the lip, because like from nothing another dog came storming and far and wide nobody is to be seen. Diseases which have to be treated for a lifetime. That does not mean that with an “expensive” dog all these costs are saved. It should mean that it causes dog costs. And this not only for 1 year, but hopefully for a long time.

Woman with her Dalmatian on a hike

What nobody tells you?

Now it will be exciting! Dalmatians have thick, short, easy-care fur. You already know that. But do you know what? Usually dogs change their coat before and after the cold season. Dalmatians are different. They hair the whole year! And that without end… Combing until there is no more hair is almost impossible. You don’t only have hair in your car and everywhere in your apartment, you also have it where the dalmatian has never been. Moreover, the fur is especially difficult to remove from car upholstery and co., because it sticks everywhere like barbs. A woman who had a Dalmatian 10 years ago once told me that she still finds Dalmatian hairs on her clothes and in her apartment, even though she has already moved.

This is not a bad thing! The dog does not do it on purpose. You are absolutely right. But it is a “characteristic” that cannot be denied. So think about whether it would bother you or whether you have no problem with it.

What else? Dalmatians are stubborn and obstinate! Away at the front: Any other person always knows better than you what your dog needs anyway. At least that’s what they think. In his puberty Clemens thought, like almost all dogs, not to have to come, if he can deal with something more exciting. And in puberty almost everything is more exciting. But with Clemens this theater sometimes lasted 30 minutes or more. More than 1 hour with pleasure. And no, I do not exaggerate. By the way, he always behaved perfectly in the dog school. Outside everybody knew better. He doesn’t want to come! Probably every dog owner has heard this sentence before. Well, the child has fallen into the well. What to do? The ultimate trick with Clemens was: Make a monkey out of yourself! Rolling over the ground, doing jumping jacks, … that was more exciting, and he came! Nice side effect: The surrounding people have something to laugh about. No matter! Clemens was happy and on a leash. But that is not all. He had a phase in which he only ate dogs***. On every walk. His values were top, by the way. Episodes in his life that really got me down. In between he always had phases where he was actually the perfect dog. Even today he still has his escapades sometimes. Fortunately, however, not as bad as before. He likes to dance over the Kudamm and turn wheels on the beach. He doesn’t like it when people look into his eyes, but thinks it’s even more fun when people are scared of him. He moans when he is hungry and loves to roam the woods. By day and night. He loves to watch people for his life, hides behind trees and sometimes I have the feeling that he is an alien who is on earth with the mission to scout people. This is Clemens!

Dalmatians have a very special character. They are certainly not easy and not necessarily suitable for beginners. The most important thing you need for a dalmatian is patience, patience and patience!

Does a Dalmatian fit into my life?

The examples all refer to Clemens. Perhaps not every Dalmatian is that stubborn, confident and a little in love with himself. But Clemens is like that! Live and in color. He makes you laugh, despair and yes, sometimes even cry. A dog that evokes numerous emotions. In the end the joy, the love and the pride outweighs.

Dalmatians are great dogs, they are just different. The one likes it, the other does not. That is not bad either! Before we buy a dog, we should only be honest with ourselves. What can I offer the dog? Which dog do I like? Do I do justice to the dog? Dogs give you so much, but they also take away a lot. For example freedom. Can you cope with that? Take off the rose-colored glasses, deal with the negative one and choose the dog you like. Not your friends, your family or the “advisor”. You have to make compromises everywhere!