This week I have decided to feature a lively, playful and loving family dog... the Dalmatian!
I hope you enjoy learning about the Dalmatian as much as I did.
Dalmatians are large dogs with even larger personalities. They are playful and easy-going, though they are high energy.
They were bred to be a working dogs, so they have abundant stamina and energy. They love to play and due to their high energy, they are not good with young kids, but are a great family dog for older kids.
These dogs are people-oriented and thrive in a family environment. They will want to follow you from room to room and cuddle with you at night. Dalmatians who are kept away from family activities frequently become barkers, chewers or diggers.
They were bred to run along-side horse and coach. They were also used to guard the coach and the horses.
To guard, they required an intelligent nature. Dalmatians were later used to clear paths for horse drawn fire engines to travel and to help calm the horses while at the fire. Thought firehouses no longer need Dalmatians for this purpose, the affection remains.
Early training is essential with this breed. Dalmatians can be dominant, and if they are not shown early on who the pack leader is, they will try to take on the role. Dalmatians will certainly take advantage of a master who lets them get away with bad behavior. They are, however, quick to housetrain.
They enjoy hiking, agility, rollerblading, running and they love to play!! They also usually love the water. They need to be kept on a leash and in a fenced yard because they love to run and they are fast and they are not very car smart.
They are instantly recognizable as the unofficial mascot of firehouses with their white coat with black spots. Dalmatians are born all white and their spots develop later. They are more commonly known for the white coat with black spots, but they come in many colors!
The spots on a Dalmatian can be black, brown lemon, dark blue, tri colored, brindled, or sable. Dalmatians can have brown, blue eyes and sometimes a blue-brown combination.
They require little bathing, The Dalmatian is an average shedder and sheds heavily during spring and fall. Its short and smooth coat is easy to groom. Daily brushing is needed during the shedding season to maintain a healthy looking coat. It should be bathed only when necessary using a mild shampoo.
This breed is sensitive to synthetic fibers usually found in upholstery items and thus, should be adequately protected. It is also sensitive to extremely cold temperatures so care should be taken when taking them out.
Here are some famous Dalmatians (Pongo is one of my favorites)
- Pongo, Mrs. Pongo/Missis, Patch, Lucky, Perdita, Prince (Perdita's mate), aponnd their puppies in The Hundred and One Dalmatians and its derivative works (The Starlight Barking, etc.).
- Sparky the Fire Dog—mascot of the American National Fire Protection Association.
- Major League Soccer (US) Chicago Fire team mascot of Tugger/Humo.
- Louie (Lou Dog), the mascot of the band Sublime, owned by singer Bradley Nowell
- Pongo, the pet of Nicholas I of Bolivia
- Spottie Dottie, a Sanrio character
- Friar Boy, a series of Dalmatian mascots for the Providence College Friars (the Dalmatian is also the mascot of the Dominican Order)
- Smokey and Blaze from Krypto the Superdog
- Pudgey from Betty Boop
- Radar from Fireman Sam
- Silverdene Emblem O'Neill (Blemie), owned by American playwright Eugene O'Neill, well known for his last will and testament
- Bottomley Potts from the Hairy Maclary series