Dalmatian Breed - Dog & Puppy - Information & Characteristics


Looking for a furry friend that can keep up with your adrenaline-fueled escapades? Dalmatians are ideal for active pet parents who love to explore the great outdoors and are willing to provide consistent training. You can spot these beauties from far away, thanks to their beautiful coat. Kids love these doggos and they love them right back. Dalmatian puppies are all about their family, they love playing with them, snuggling with them, and will do anything to protect them. If you’re looking for the ideal house pet, look no further than the Dalmatian dog breed. 

Key specifications of the Dalmatian dog breed

Before you bring a Dalmatian home, take note of their basic features: 


30 to 31 kg 


19 to 24 inches


11 to 13 years 


Single coat 

Note: The weight and height mentioned on the table is of a full-grown Dalmatian and not of a Dalmatian puppy.

Physical appearance of Dalmatians

Dalmatians sport a long and lean, muscular body that is built for speed and endurance. You can spot a Dalmatian dog easily because of its iconic coat pattern, found in different colours such as: 

  • White and black 
  • White and lemon 
  • White and orange 
  • White and liver brown 
  • White, black, and tan 
  • White, liver, and tan 

Found yourself a blue-grey Dalmatian dog? Consider yourself lucky since this is the rarest and the most unique coat colour found on a Dal. 

Sometimes, Dalmatians may be confused with English Setters because of their similar appearance. English Setters also sport a marked coat which can sometimes look like a Dalmatian’s coat. If you want to be sure of bringing a purebred Dalmatian dog home, look out for these physical features: 

  • Ears placed high on the head, rounded at the top 
  • Blue- or brown-coloured eyes and a solid-coloured snout 
  • A straight tail that extends from the spine with a slight upward curve 

Dalmatian personality traits

Dalmatians are outgoing, intelligent, and curious. This friendly dog breed is the perfect pick for kids and fortunately does not have a biting problem. However, Dalmatians need early training and socialising since they can be aggressive around strangers. Since they were bred to protect other animals (horses primarily), they might do the same for their family and lash out at strangers. That being said, they love to be around their family. Don’t leave them alone for too long and make sure you play with them. 

A happy dog is a tired dog. Dalmatians need to exercise for at least two hours a day to feel tired. Otherwise, they might use their energy reserve at home, in a way that you may not be able to handle. If your home has an outdoor space, there’s nothing more that your Dal will need. 

Do Dalmatians need training?

Yes, training and socialising Dalmatian puppies is extremely important. Fortunately, training them is not a task. This breed is intelligent, smart, and picks up on commands quickly. Since they were bred to protect and guard, their instincts can kick in from time to time and pet parents must take some time out to deal with this. 

Dalmatians are known to be a sensitive breed. Ensure that you don’t shout at them and use tons of positive reinforcements like praises, toys, and treats. With timely training and socialising, your Dalmatian puppy will react well to guests and other pets. 

How to care for Dalmatians?

Here’s how you can look after your Dalmatian dog:

  • Health issues

While the average Dalmatian lifespan is 11 to 13 years, common health conditions like deafness, allergies, and bladder stones can affect your Dalmatian. To combat these issues in the long run, keep getting your Dalmatian tested for any health issues regularly. 

  • Grooming

Fortunately, grooming a Dal is not that difficult, thanks to its short and dense coat. Remove dead hair from its coat by brushing it with a mitt or a rubber comb. Dalmatians should be bathed monthly, and their nails should be clipped from time to time. Brush your Dal at least a few times a week if not daily to remove any dirt. Ask your vet for pointers if you are a new parent. 

  • Physical activity

Dalmatians have high energy levels, making their exercise needs intense. They love running around and need to be walked at least three to four times a day, for 30 minutes each. These two hours are crucial for them to exhaust their energy reserve. They also love playing games such as fetch and hide and seek. 

  • Nutritional requirements

Dalmatians do well with high-quality commercial-grade food formulas. However, if you wish to nail down a proper diet for your Dal according to its age and medical history, get in touch with your vet. Dals need to maintain their weight, so remember to not go overboard with treats during obedience training

Brief history of Dalmatians

It is said that Dalmatians originated from all over the world– Asia, Africa, and Europe. However, a region near the Adriatic Sea known as Dalmatia is said to give this breed its name. Dalmatian dogs were originally bred to be coach dogs. They maintained the pace of horse-drawn carriages and protected their equine friends while they rested. At present, Dalmatian dogs serve as draft dogs, carriage dogs, coach dogs, and even as circus performers.


Are Dalmatians good family pets?

Yes, Dalmatians are great family pets. They love being around their family and get along really well with kids. 

Do Dalmatians have common health issues?

Are Dalmatians easy to train?

Is the Dalmatian dog breed suitable for first-time dog parents?

Free Voucher Sign Up

Click below and sign up to get a free discount voucher

Get Voucher
popup bg
Pedigree imagery
Where to buy

Find a PEDIGREE® stockist
near you!