Also Known as:
Spotted Coach Dog, Firehouse Dog, Dal, Dally, Carriage Dog,  Plum, Pudding Dog

Origin: United Kingdom, Croatia

Type: Pure Breed

Height: 20 to 24 inches

Weight: up to 55 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years



Naturally, Dalmatians are affectionate dogs, they are always active and playful. This makes them good for young children but not so good for toddlers. Some of the qualities they are known for are loyalty, good memories, and kindly nature. On the flip side, the dalmatian is a dog that requires constant companionship, without this, there is a high risk of them becoming very depressed.


The Dalmatian is well-muscled and midsized in appearance, having a body type similar to that of a pointer but with more elegance and a superior look. Their coats are short, dense, and fine. As regards their color, they are majorly white with spots varying in colors like black, blue, orange, brown, tricolor, brindle, etc. Its nose can be black or brown, eyes are usually brown or blue and always giving off an intelligent expression, and ears are usually thin.

Dalmatian puppies when born are usually all white in color, spots start to develop as they progress in age.


dalmatian characteristics1
dalmatian characteristics2




Even though there are strong debates on the origin of the Dalmatian dog. There is strong evidence showing that they may have originated in Dalmatia, which is present-day Croatia. A lot of evidence shows that this dog breed was used as sentinels in this place as far back as the 1600s.

The Dalmatian is known to have an attraction to horses, in the olden days in England, dalmatians were used as coach dogs or prized carriage dogs. They run side by side with carriages and worked as protectors of the carriage and also as a symbol of status. At night, they served as guard dogs for the horse stables.

The Dalmatian dog has also served as a dog of war, guard dog, retriever, ratter, and shepherd.

In 1888, the dalmatian was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club. Funny enough, it wasn’t till 1890 that the first Dalmatian club was established in England.

The Dalmatian dog started arriving in the United States early 20th and was recorded as working with teams of firefighters. Keeping in mind that around this period, horses were still being used to pull fire engines. The dalmatian’s work was to run ahead of the fire engines and help to clear the path so that the horses carrying the fire engines could pass through easily, much like the function of the modern-day alarms in ambulances and fire trucks. Even today, the dalmatian is symbolic in firehouses and the image is used as a mascot.

Dalmatians exploded in popularity with the Disney film and program “101 Dalmatians”. This should have been a good thing for dalmatians but irresponsible people took advantage of the popularity and started breeding them under less than reliable conditions. This led to a high coming into existence of Dalmatians with hearing problems among other health conditions that were less desirable.

This led to lower registrations of the breed with the American Kennel Club, up to a 90% drop in registration from 2000 to 2010. As of today, the dalmatian is treated almost like an exotic breed.