The only spotted breed of dog, the Dalmatian has an outgoing disposition and thrives with a loving family. The original coach dog, the Dalmatian is well-known for riding proudly atop a fire engine or running with a carriage. Having great endurance, the Dalmatian competes in long-distance road trials. This highly intelligent breed needs daily exercise, and his fine coat needs regular brushing to minimise shedding.

DID YOU KNOW? Dalmatians are born pure white, with the spots appearing around seven to 10 days.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Carriage Dog, Spotted Coach Dog, Firehouse Dog, Plum Pudding Dog

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children, not hypoallergenic, suitable for apartment living
  • Size: Medium/Large
  • Height: 48 to 58 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: 22 to 25 kilograms
  • Coat: Short
  • Energy: High
  • Colour: White with black spots
  • Activities: Agility, Conformation, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10–13 years
Weight: Adult Dalmatians weigh 23–25kg
Height: Adult males stand at 58–61cm and adult females 56–58cm
Colours: Spotted coats. The spots can be black or liver on a white background
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Utility


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 5/5


The Dalmatian is friendly and outgoing, but if they are insufficiently exercised they can become hyperactive and difficult to live with. Dalmatians are dedicated and loyal and always want to please; they enjoy company and clowning about so can make great dogs for an active family, however, their strength and stamina - and need for almost endless exercise and stimulation - can sometimes be too much of a challenge for unprepared owners.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

Despite their name, it would seem that the Dalmatian is primarily an English breed with their first recorded use being by Thomas Berwick in 1791. Also known as the Spotted Coach Dog, not only are they the only truly spotted breed in the world, but they are also the only dedicated carriage dogs, bred to run alongside coaches either as a guard or a status symbol.

Dalmatians would accompany farmers’ wives and their pack ponies to market to ensure her safety. They were so good at this job that they began running alongside carriages to deter highwaymen - but as they were so showy they quickly became status symbols for the wealthy. They also found work running alongside horse-drawn fire engines. Their history may account for their reported affinity with horses.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Dalmatian Dogs

Training Dalmatian Dogs

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