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Can anyone tell me a bit about Dalmatians?

(37 Posts)
TitsalinaBumSquash Tue 25-Apr-17 14:36:48

Can anyone tell me about owning a Dalmatian please? Are they good family dogs? Are they easy to train? Do they shed lots and do they mind generally being left for an hour here and there?
I've grown up having dogs but not had one myself as an adult and DH has never owned a dog (he's a cat man) we have the possibility of taking on a Dalmatian Pup (rescue before anyone bites my head off!) but thought I'd get some info from people who know what they're talking about first. 😊

CornflakeHomunculus Tue 25-Apr-17 15:24:25

They are very active dogs who need a decent amount of mental stimulation and can also be extremely boisterous, especially when they're young.

Dalmatian Welfare have lots of good information about living with the breed, exercise requirements and keeping them with children.

I'd make sure the rescue have checked for any signs of deafness. Bilateral (in both ears) deafness is easier to spot than unilateral (in one ear) and a unilaterally deaf dog will generally live a perfectly normal life although it's good to know if they're affected as it can have an impact on things like recall training.

They can also be prone to urate stones and again DW have some good information on that here.

Thewolfsjustapuppy Tue 25-Apr-17 15:26:29

My brother has one, he is a lovely dog and great with my brothers three very young babies. There are a few health issues specific to the breed, they tend to have ear problems and they also have an intolerance to purine - so you have to consider this when planning the diet. I wouldn't say my brother Dalmatian is the sharpest chisel in the box and he is a big dog with a clumsy nature but he is loving and loyal and very gentle.

UnbornMortificado Tue 25-Apr-17 15:27:10

Are they getting more popular?

I spotted 4 today (all with separate owners) while on my walk today. Don't think I had seen one before that for months.

BlueKarou Tue 25-Apr-17 17:36:48

There is one local to me. I've only ever seen it in passing, so this is a very vague review. It's a gorgeous dog, in very good shape. The owner I've seen it with usually has it in a head collar, and I've seen him with a child, getting the dog to successfully sit at a curb before crossing.

Make of that what you will; my very unfounded assumptions are that they're trainable, but strong-willed. Could be an incredibly unfair judgement!!!

PP have much better advice.

Personally, and again I could be wrong, I think willingness to be left, trainability etc all vary wildly by dog rather than by breed, so even if the breed are usually quite biddable, you might get a right terror, or you might get one incredibly laid back, so take the breed temperament as a loose guideline. Health stuff less so.

Good luck, and we will be wanting pictures if you do rescue this young spotty dog.

originalbiglymavis Tue 25-Apr-17 17:40:18

^ I spotted 4 today ^ grin

They aren't carriage​ dogs for nothing. Very active and need a lot of experience, however not bonkers like collies.

IntheBenefitTrap Tue 25-Apr-17 17:43:11

They're insane grin

Seriously though, they do need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They moult a LOT, they're boisterous with little ones and they chew if left. They can be hard to train with quite a stubborn nature and they are very, very active.

IntheBenefitTrap Tue 25-Apr-17 17:43:38

I find them way more "bonkers" than collies.

originalbiglymavis Tue 25-Apr-17 17:48:16

Really? In my head a collie is going:

'Oh oh oh oh getting away, getting away, not in line, quick, curcle circle cirle circle! Fast fast ohhhhhhh, quick get them all together! Tight formation! Quick! Ohhhhhhmygod..."

Whereas a dalmation is saying: 'trot trot, ohhhhhh, niceity trot, back straight, tail straight, head up, poise!'

IntheBenefitTrap Tue 25-Apr-17 18:05:58

I suppose it depends on the situation. My collies have always been mostly alert and active but really obedient and chilled. Their minds go at a speed of knots but they always listened. Dalmatians on the other hand seem to do both at top speed! My friend's Dalmatian ate a passage from her kitchen to her hall when she left him for three hours once grin

megletthesecond Tue 25-Apr-17 18:10:54

original grin

user1486915549 Tue 25-Apr-17 20:58:35

There was a Dalmatian puppy in our puppy training class that was quite snappy and snarly. Trainer said he had worked with several dalmations with similar behaviour recently.

Wolfiefan Tue 25-Apr-17 21:00:54

Batshit bonkers.
Need crazy amounts of energy.
Do shed.
The ones I know have all been very impulsive and lack focus. They seem to take a long time to mature.
They are a massive commitment.
Google the breed. Read up.

CotswoldStrife Tue 25-Apr-17 21:03:27

They shed a lot. A lot. Fine hairs, some sort of double-coat thing going on. Very active too, require lots of exercise.

Divaroses26 Tue 25-Apr-17 21:07:14

A friend of ours had one, albeit not for very long lol!

She found it needed SO much exercise she was unable to satisfy his demand alongside her own children's hobbies - I guess they are very very active dogs!

NoSquirrels Tue 25-Apr-17 21:08:27

Shed LOTS if one family member had is anything to go by.

Need LOADS of exercise - bred to run for miles. If you run, or ride a bike, that'd be perfect so they could go alongside. Will get fat if you don't exercise, like a lab.

Can go mad, unfortunately. One I knew ate its own poo, which was basically a precursor for it going actually mad and having to be put down at a young age.

But - beautiful, usually nice-natured generally I think. Pretty big, if you're not used to that it could be a shock to have that much dog around!

Make your final decision on the dog itself, bearing in mind shall the breed info.

fatbottomgirl67 Tue 25-Apr-17 21:12:03

Have to add that they are incredibly greedy dogs too. Ours will steal hot food from the pan if you turn your back. Have been told it's a breed characteristic. Ours is lovely with us but not keen on strangers. She's an amazing guard dog but makes it hard to leave her with people when were away . Not sure I would have another even though I live her dearly

Wolfiefan Tue 25-Apr-17 21:13:09

Yes to greedy. Knew one once who swiped an entire leg of lamb out the oven! shock

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Tue 25-Apr-17 21:15:52

They're high maintenance buggers but are lovely if you have experience. My cousin owns 3, my Aunt & Uncle (his parents) always had them when we were growing up too.

Nanasueathome Tue 25-Apr-17 21:17:44

I have a Dalmatian and she is the 3rd one I have owned
Very intelligent
She is great with my grandchildren and 'joins in' any games with them
She has a habit of stealing if she does not get your attention- think shoes taken into the garden, cushions taken from the sofa and left on the lawn
Very strong - I had her at 5 months old as previous owners could not cope- and I was as fast as Usain Bolt at one stage when we first went out for a walk
Would not swap her for the world

Veterinari Tue 25-Apr-17 21:24:55

Definitely not a breed for inexperienced owners.

Strong, very boisterous, huge exercise requirement. Shed lots of very fine hairs. Can be very stubborn. Enormously food motivated - mine used to tear open bin bags on the street on bin day blush

Need to come from a responsible breeder who will consider health, temperament etc, not just a pretty face

dnamummy Tue 25-Apr-17 21:26:30

Our family had one when I was younger.

On the positive front he was beautiful and friendly with everyone. .....but it was like living with a very clumsy teenager for ever. His tail cleared every surface, so got rid of all coffee and side tables. He knocked my DS over with the joy of seeing him (2 hospital trips for butterfly repairs to his split scalp, he stole food and ate ANYTHING ( I'm talking rolled up socks, that went in whole and came out the other end the same!) He needed to walk and run for miles: if off the lead he would run miles ahead before charging back. On the lead he always wanted to lead so would literally pull you along.

As for shedding, I've never come across any animal hair so difficult to remove. No brush, tape etc could remove. Each hair was like a needle and needed to bepicked off individually. We had a dark brown school uniform and DF wore suits - hours of fun (not!)

So I'll be admiring from a distance and would advise anyone to think really carefully before taking on a Dalmatian!

PS My mother was desperate to make him a dog we could live with (she had trained lots of dogs, various breeds before and after) but eventually went to a professional who sympathised and said only dog dafter was a red setter! When he was 5 y.o. A friend who lived on a big country estate took him and he had a happy time running wild without constraint

dnamummy Tue 25-Apr-17 21:34:22

Also meant to say they often settle on one family person as their hero (DM in our case as she was in charge of food) and used to get really jealous and whine if he wasn't her focus e.g. If one of the kids sat next to her!

When left alone he would get bored easily - pulled down the laundry airer, but if taken out for the day would wreck havoc so although as kids we thought he was soooo funny, I totally look back and think how on earth did DM not throttle him😁

dnamummy Tue 25-Apr-17 21:37:27

Nanasue totally recognise the shoe stealing! DMs stiletto heels stripped of leather many times!

tabulahrasa Tue 25-Apr-17 21:48:28

"Really? In my head a collie is going:

'Oh oh oh oh getting away, getting away, not in line, quick, curcle circle cirle circle! Fast fast ohhhhhhh, quick get them all together! Tight formation! Quick! Ohhhhhhmygod..."

Whereas a dalmation is saying: 'trot trot, ohhhhhh, niceity trot, back straight, tail straight, head up, poise!'"

Lol, sort of except, take a well exercised collie back to the house and it goes, nice, job done, time for a nap.

The Dalmatian is still going, trot, trot, TROT????

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