101 Facts About Dalmatians

I haven't done a blog post on Dalmatians for a while, so I thought it would be fun to write a list of all of the facts I know about Dalmatians, from owning two for the last few years and from the immense amount of research I have done into the breed before owning them. I've picked up a lot of facts along the way! And it wouldn't be right to use any other number than 101!


  1. Dalmatian puppies are born white with no spots.
  2. They start to develop spots at around 4 weeks of age.
  3. Dalmatians continue to grow spots for their entire life.
  4. As they get older, the rate at which they grow new spots slows down.
  5. The spots are pigmentation on their skin, so if you shave the Dalmatian, the black (brown or yellow) fur grows back in the same place. 
  6. No two Dalmatians have the same number or pattern of spots. 
  7. Spots can often be found on the pads of their paws and inside their mouth. 
  8. As puppies, Dalmatians are usually quick to learn new tricks and pick up training. 
  9. However, just as quickly, they can become very cheeky and naughty.  
  10. Dalmatian puppies need consistent and firm training. 
  11. Dalmatians are considered to be "adult" and full grown by around 2 years of age. 
  12. However. it can take much longer than that for them to 'calm down' and stop behaving like a puppy. 
  13. The average life span of a dalmatian is 10-14 years of age. 
  14. Adult female Dalmatians are usually between 16-24kg in weight.
  15. Adult male Dalmatians are usually between 15-32kg in weight.  
  16. Because of their average weight, they are usually considered a large breed. 
  17. Their adult height is usually between 48-60cm from floor to shoulder. 
  18. Dalmatians originate from Croatia (specifically from Dalmatia - hence the name). 
  19. The first illustrations of Dalmatians are thought to be from the 1600s. 
  20. It is thought that Dalmatian's ancestors include Pointers and Great Danes. 
  21. Historically, Dalmatians were used as firehouse dogs, along other uses. 
  22. They would run alongside or in front of carriages and bark to alert people to get out of the way. 
  23. At this time, they also were used to guide the horses and firefighters to the fire. 
  24. They would also guard the firehouse equipment. 
  25. They are still used as firehouse mascots in some fire stations in America. 
  26. Because of their history, Dalmatians often get on well with horses. 
  27. They have also been used as vermin hunters, circus performers and trail hounds. 
  28. Due to their short, often thin coat, they are not suited to cold climates and therefore are indoor dogs. 
  29. Dalmatians tend to be very stubborn and strong willed. 
  30. Dalmatians are usually very affectionate and loving.  
  31. Dalmatians are often referred to as 'velcro dogs' because they like to be by your side. 
  32. Often, Dalmatians smile (bearing their teeth in a non-aggressive way).
  33. Dalmatians have sensitive stomachs.
  34. Because of this, they are best suited to a bland diet, such as chicken and rice based food. 
  35. Dalmatians tend to get upset stomachs (often resulting in unbearable gas!) if they are given rich foods or human food (aside from chicken, rice, eggs etc.) 
  36. Dalmatians usually eat very quickly and most are very food driven (which is great for training).
  37. Dalmatians also have sensitive, pale pink skin.
  38. This means that dalmatians can burn easily in the sun.
  39. Care should also be taken to ensure their shampoo is sensitive / fragrance free. 
  40. Dalmatians tend to be clean dogs, who should only need bathing around twice a year, other than to rinse them off with water when they've been in the mud! 
  41. Many Dalmatians enjoy swimming and have great stamina for this too. 
  42. Dalmatians are often strong swimmers who use their tail as a rudder. 
  43. They often need time off the lead to run around and burn off their energy. 
  44. Dalmatians are often great at agility and obstacle courses, although they cannot compare to Border Collies and their natural agility. 
  45. Dalmatians shed their fur 365 days of the year. 
  46. Their fur tends to weave it's way into fabric and furniture. 
  47. Due to a lack of oil in their coats, Dalmatians don't tend to have the 'dog smell'. 
  48. In fact, they are ranked in the "Top 10 Least Smelling Dogs". 
  49. There are many variations of the breed that are emerging. 
  50. The variations included liver spotted, lemon spotted, long-haired and miniature. 
  51. Liver spotted dalmatians tend to have brown noses while black and white dalmatians have black noses. 
  52. Many dalmatians 'sing' to certain songs, which is usually a howl type of noise with grumbling.
  53. Dalmatians are high energy dogs that need a large amount of exercise. 
  54. They usually require two walks a day, of at least 45 minutes each time. 
  55. They have immense stamina, due to their history as carriage dogs. 
  56. Dalmatians are often destructive with toys and/ or furniture.
  57. Dalmatians get bored easily and need to be properly stimulated mentally as well as physically.  
  58. Dalmatians are very prone to kidney stones and urinary problems. 
  59. They also often have hip problems, including hip dysplasia.
  60. Dalmatians usually have brown, amber or blue eyes. 
  61. If a Dalmatian has blue eyes, they carry the gene for deafness. 
  62. If a blue eyed Dalmatian has puppies, there is a high risk that the puppies will be partially deaf or fully deaf. 
  63. 29.9% of Dalmatians are born deaf in one ear or both their ears. 
  64. Most reputable breeders with have the puppies BAER checked to test their hearing before they are given homes. 
  65. Deaf puppies are able to be trained with hand signals and lead happy lives, although the Kennel Club recommend that deaf puppies are euthanized. 
  66. This is predominantly to stop the breeding of the hereditary condition, but also because deaf dogs can often develop dangerous or aggressive habits. 
  67. Dalmatians are also prone to allergies, particularly skin related allergies. 
  68. A Dalmatian usually has a litter of 6 - 9 puppies, if bred. 
  69. Dalmatians became immensely popular and well-known when the Disney film 101 Dalmatians was released. 
  70. There is an animated version of the film, along with a non-animated version and later, 102 Dalmatians was released. 
  71. The first public showing of 101 Dalmatians was in 1961. 
  72. The films had a negative impact on the breed, as there was such a high demand for dogs that behaved exactly like the ones in the film. 
  73. This resulted in a lot of Dalmatians ending up in rescue centres. 
  74. In the animated version of the film, there was a total of 6,469,952 spots on the 99 puppies and Pongo and Perdy. 
  75. There was a team of artists whose job was just to draw spots on the dogs. 
  76. The most popular Dalmatian names include Spot, Dotty, Domino, Pongo, Perdy and Patch. 
  77. Dalmatian's temperament is described as "playful, active, outgoing, sensitive, intelligent and energetic." 
  78. They have a low tendency to snore, bark or drool in comparison to other dog breeds. 
  79. Dalmatians are very loyal dogs and can be protective if necessary. 
  80. They often form very strong bonds with their owners which can result in separation anxiety. 
  81. As a general rule, Dalmatians don't like to be left alone for long periods of time, unless socialised to this at an early age. 
  82. They are generally friendly with people but they can be wary of strangers. 
  83. They have very strong jaws, which can cause serious damage if they do bite. 
  84. As a general rule, Dalmatian's are very good with children, however, they can sometimes be too bouncy and energetic for young children. 
  85. Many dalmatians have very strong tails, which can clear a coffee table in no time. 
  86. They are usually friendly with other dogs, as long as they have been properly socialised as a puppy. 
  87. They can be homed with cats, but they need to be appropriately introduced as often, Dalmatians will chase cats and other small creatures. 
  88. Dalmatians are known for being 'space invader' dogs who like to sit as close as physically possible to you. 
  89. Dalmatian puppies in the UK are usually sold for anywhere between £550-£1000 from breeders.
  90. Dalmatians tend to be very photogenic dogs and are used regularly in advertising. 
  91. In the KC (Kennel Club) world, Dalmatians are categorised as part of the Utility Group. 
  92. The name 'Utility' essentially means fitness for purpose and the group is very diverse. 
  93. Other dogs within the Utility Group include Bulldogs, Akitas and Poodles. 
  94. After their first few months of life, Dalmatians usually sell for between £100-£500. 
  95. Dalmatians are typically muscular and lean with a deep rib cage and long limbs. 
  96. They also tend to have long necks and powerful backs. 
  97. They are often described as proud, elegant looking dogs. 
  98. Monthly, a single Dalmatian can cost around £100 to feed and insure, excluding vet bills. 
  99. Dalmatians, like many breeds of dog, can have fantastic recall, up until there is a distraction.
  100. They will often choose the distraction over listening to their owner - selective hearing! 
  101. Dalmatians are truly beautiful, loving dogs who make fabulous family pets! 

I hope you've found this interesting and informative! My two girls are my whole world and the most loving, affectionate and beautiful dogs. 

Sarah (aka. Pale Princess) x