Personality:A well-bred Dal is stable and outgoing; dignified but never shy
Coat & Grooming:The Dal’s famous short, sleek coat requires routine brushing and combing
Energy Level:Very Active; Athletic, durable dogs created for long jaunts, Dals need their exercise
Originally: Dalmatia (today, Croatia)
Nicknames: Dal, Coach Dog
Meet the Dalmatian
We shouldn’t expend too many words on the spots. The delightful, eye-catching black or liver markings that adorn one of the most distinctive coats in the animal kingdom speak for themselves. Beneath the spots is a graceful, elegantly proportioned trotting dog standing between 19 and 23 inches at the shoulder. Dals are muscular, built to go the distance; the powerful hindquarters provide the rear drive needed for the smooth, effortless gait careful Dal breeders strive for.
What's Their Story?
Dalmatians have a job description unique among AKC breeds: coach dog. They were bred to trot beside horse-drawn coaches, and to guard the horses and rig when otherwise unattended. Dals were alongside the caravans of the Romani people, commonly known as gypsies, during their ceaseless wanderings around Europe. British nobles, too, employed Dals as handsome accents to their livery. Back when horses pulled fire engines, Dals began their long association with firefighters. These days, Dals accompany the famous Budweiser Clydesdales on parade.
Considering a Dalmatian as a pet? Great, but first consider that Dals are more than beautiful, oversized plush toys. These are strong, active dogs with great stamina—a perfect companion for runners and hikers. The modern Dal is a friendlier fellow than his European ancestors, but some of the old guarding instinct remains—making him a sensible, dependable watchdog. Reserved and dignified, Dals can be aloof with strangers. Within their circle of preferred humans, however, Dals are smart, loyal, and loving housedogs.