Hi, first question, why does your friend want to get rid of it? Only ask in case there is a problem with the dog, so just make sure that it wouldn't be a problem for you also. I have experience of Dalmatians (first hand) and have friends with Labs. Dalmatians need an incredible amount of exersise. They are the marathon runners of the dog world, having a huge amount of energy and when young and fit can go for miles and then more. If they don't get this regular exersise then they will often find something else to do. This is where the clown in them comes out. Mine systematically ate the kitchen lino when he hadn't been out for a day when I had proper flu! They are born svagengers and food stealing can be a hobby. People say they are hard to train but I disagree. They are VERY intelligent, but a desire to please isn't necessarily a first priority. So training needs to be firm, constant and most of all fun.
Although short-haired they shed these little short hairs every day, every month, every year. They don't float upwards onto kitchen surfaces much, so rarely find them in food but they stick to clothes etc. Labrador hairs tend to float a bit more!
Health issues for a Dal - deafness. I think this would be unlikely to appear in a cross breed. If the dog has blue eyes though deafness could be more likely. I think it would be easy to tell if dog was deaf. Deafness in one ear would not be a particular problem.
Got to rush, DH waiting for lift, will come back though. Best of all, they are the most lovable, smiling (they actually smile) rogues you will ever meet, we lost our last Dal on Jan 1st this year. Life is so very quiet without her.
Thanks very much. I've started another thread here with a bit more info.
The friend is having to move back with his parents so has to re-home the dog - he hasn't had it long but the previous owner lost his job and couldn't afford to keep him.
DH has popped out to bring the dog round this afternoon. He's 7 years old so not a spritely puppy and I walk a fair bit with the kids and run, so should be able to get plenty of exercise. Would a couple of half hour walks a day be enough?
DH is going to try and speak to the original owner while he's there. He thinks they had him from a puppy.