Dalmatians – Pet tip 224
Of all the dog breeds out there, there are few that are more recognizable than the Dalmatian (aka a Dal). Perhaps this is because we associate them with firehouses and stories from our own youth. It seems like whenever we saw an actual firehouse or saw a firehouse on T.V. there was always a Dalmatian running around. Just as a point of interest the association between Dalmatians and firehouses has an interesting history. Before fire-engines were around, firemen used to put out fires with horse drawn carts. Due to the fact that horses were a valuable commodity they were often stolen when the firemen were sleeping or occupied. Having a Dalmatian around prevented this since Dalmatians bond well with horses. When would be robbers tried to approach the horses, the fierce barking Dalmatian would alert the firemen and prevent the theft of the horses. In addition to the firemen lore, the film and remakes of 101 Dalmatians also stay firm in our memories. Given that these dogs are so attractive and we think about them with nostalgia, many people mistakenly think that this is a good dog for them and their families.
As with any dog breed, research must be done to improve the chances of a good fit for the entire family. Buying a Dalmatian on impulse is a terrible decision as it really is a breed most suitable to specific types of people and families. Given that this dog was bred to run with the horses to put our fires, this breed needs tons of exercise. It is in no way a suitable breed for busy families that work and are not home most of the time and are especially unsuitable for people that don’t want to physically interact with the breed through exercise. Dalmatians left in these situations often get themselves into trouble through destructive behaviours because they are completely bored and have way too much energy.
Dalmatians come from Croatia and are medium sized muscular dogs in the Non-sporting group. They typically have a life expectancy of about 10-12 years. Dalmatians normally weigh around 50-55 pounds and range in height from 19-23 inches. The Dalmatian has a short coat but sheds profusely so daily brushing or the use of a grooming glove is recommended. This breed normally gets along well with other dogs and animals (especially horses) but needs to be trained and socialized preferably when it is still a puppy. Dalmatians make good watchdogs and are often wary of strangers. About 10% of Dalmatians are deaf so if you do get a puppy make sure to have its hearing checked. In terms of health issues, Dals can suffer from bladder stones and hip dysplasia.
If you’re looking for a high energy dog breed that everyone loves to look at the Dalmatian may well be the perfect dog for you. Just make sure it is suitable for the other members in your family as well.
© Pets.ca 2010