The Dalmatian is a strong, symmetrical, athletic dog with a distinguished spotting pattern. The body is square, strong, and sturdy, and the skin and coat are tight on the body. The head carries an alert and intelligent look with moderately sized brown or blue eyes, and the ears are wide at the base and taper to a rounded tip. The nose is completely pigmented to correspond with the color of the spots: either black or liver. The tail is never docked, and carried high and curved but never curled over the body. The coat is short and dense and appears sleek and glossy. Coloring is pure white with spots of either black or silver. The spots can range in size anywhere from the size of a dime to the size of a half-dollar.
The playful and happy Dalmatian was bred to run, and therefore has a lot of energy. Dalmatians are not good yard dogs because they love their families and can become very sad and even depressed without human companionship. They are very well known for their ability to remember for years any bad treatment they have suffered. Dalmatians love children and enjoy playing with them but they are a little too rambunctious for toddlers. Without proper socialization, the Dalmatian can be timid or aggressive; often, males do not like other males. The Dalmatian is an intelligent breed but needs consistent, firm training.
Caring for a Dalmatian:
The Dalmatian is an active dog indoors and out, so apartment life is not suggested unless the dog can be taken out to release energy several times a day. A home with a yard is best so that the dog can go outside and play and come back inside with the family. The dog does not tolerate the cold well, so outdoor living in cool climates is not an option for this breed. However, even with a yard, the Dalmatian needs time daily to play with other dogs or go for a good run; without sufficient exercise and socialization, the Dalmatian can get into trouble at home. A breed known for actually avoiding puddles, Dalmatians are fairly clean dogs that are relatively odorless. However, they shed constantly so regular brushing is necessary to take off all the dead hair. They shed profusely twice a year, usually with the changing from winter to spring and then fall to winter, so during these times, daily brushing is a must. Health concerns particular to this breed include deafness, which affects about 10% of Dalmatian puppies, and urinary stones. Hypothyroidism, seizures and allergies are also sometimes seen.
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