Why call them Dalmatians?

No one can confuse a Dalmatian with any other breed because of its white fur with black spots. They look like polka dot calls! They are called Dalmatians because they come from the region of Dalmatia, in Croatia. Their history was as dogs of war, guarding the borders of the region. Due to this background, they remain good watchdogs and will protect their human family members.

The reason Dalmatians are associated with firefighters dates back to the days when fire trucks were not motorized; they were drawn by horses. Dalmatians were a breed of dog that got along particularly well with horses, so they were trained to run in front of the fire engine to clear a path and guide the firefighters to the fire. Additionally, Dalmatians were used as rescue dogs to run into burning buildings and find victims. Historians believe that these dogs were also used to protect the firehouse and its equipment when firefighters were asleep or away from the firehouse, especially to deter horse thieves.

Many firefighters choose Dalmatians as pets due to the tradition associated with serving them in the fire service. Many firehouses that have paid full-time officers “adopt” a Dalmatian and share the duties of caring for him as a pet and firehouse pet.

To further increase the popularity of this breed of dog, the Disney book and later movies 101 Dalmatians sparked interest in these dogs and breeders made a lot of money during that period. Unfortunately, many people did not first research the temperament and needs of this dog breed before taking them home with their children, and many found them to be too energetic and handed them over to animal shelters.

Dalmatians, while generally healthy breeds, do tend to have a couple of specific health issues common to this type of dog. One of them is a predisposition to deafness. You’ve heard the information about how white cats with blue eyes are usually deaf, haven’t you? Because Dalmatians are primarily albino (white) with black markings, the absence of certain pigments predisposes them to deafness. The other health issue for these dogs is bladder stones, just like kidney and gallstones in humans. The good news is that Dalmatians are less likely to suffer from hip dysplasia which is common in other dogs.

Dalmatians generally weigh between 50 and 75 pounds and stand at a height (from ground to shoulders) of about two feet. In this breed, the males are larger than the females and the average lifespan is 12 to 14 years. Puppies are born unblemished in litters averaging eight puppies. Their spots do not start to appear until a few weeks after they are born. It is good that these dogs have short hair, because they shed all year round. Even with brushing, Dalmatians make more of a mess than other shedding dogs because their hair has spikes on the ends, which makes it sticky, so it sticks to anything it touches (clothes, couch, etc.).

The Dalmatian is also associated with beer. Yes, beer. Anheuser-Busch is famous for its horse-drawn carriage and is always accompanied by a Dalmatian. The dog and the Clydesdales have become iconic and their Super Bowl commercials are sometimes hilarious, sometimes endearing to the point of making you cry.

A Dalmatian is not a good choice if you live in an apartment because they like to run several times a day. They do need a yard of some size to play in, but should be an indoor/outdoor breed of dog as they don’t do well outdoors during the winter.

The next time you see one of those “spotted dogs,” you’ll know a little more about its history and some of the reasons the breed is famous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *