8 Things You Didn't Know About Dalmatians

8 Things You Didn't Know About Dalmatians

Author WDF Staff


There aren’t many people who haven’t heard about these black-spotted dogs. Dalmatians' exact origin is still somewhat unclear and there are many theories about these dogs and how they came to life.

They have been named by the region called Dalmatia that is situated in the coastal area of Croatia. It is famous for its beaches, sun, people, and these dogs that are named after this historic region. Some canine historians say that this is the place where this breed first came to life while others claim that these dogs are as old as Egyptian pharaohs and that is their actual origin.

What we do know exactly is that this breed became extremely popular in Great Britain in the 18th century and it was mostly found trotting by carriages and accompanying noblemen on their voyages. These dogs were extremely valuable as they became a status symbol and everybody wanted to have these spotted dogs as their company. They were also used for guarding purposes, especially on the farms during the night.

One thing we can be sure about is that we adore these dogs. They are really fun to have around and are great pets, companions, and most of all friends. Here is a list of things you might not have known about these dogs.

1. Different names

Before these dogs were given their modern-day name, they were called by many different names. Some of these names include the Carriage Dog, the Fire House Dog, the Plum Pudding Dog, the English Coach Dog, and the Spotted Dick.

They were most famous for being cool in not-so-cool situations. When they were following carriages they were known for keeping the horses calm and were great defenders of people and cargo. They warned people about predators or potential thieves and any threat that might come close to them. Most of all, they were famous for being a part of the fire brigade. While horses became agitated being close to the fire, the Dalmatians kept their cool so they became firefighters themselves. They used to accompany the firetrucks and were entrusted to keep the fire station pest and rodent-free. Firefighters liked these dogs so much that they even made them their mascot.

adult dalmatian dog

2. Versatile dogs

Dalmatians had many jobs throughout history. Other than accompanying carriages and firetrucks, they were proficient hunting dogs. They excelled at hunting large and small games such as rabbits, deer, wild boar, and poultry. They also have a keen sense of smell so they were also great for filling the role that scenthounds traditionally filled. On top of that, they can be trained and take on a traditional retriever role and retrieve prey without damaging it.

These dogs are also very intelligent and have a great memory. These traits alongside their attractive and beautiful coat made them very sought after and great circus performers.

3. Modern-day traditional role

Some modern companies still preserve the tradition of having these dogs alongside their carriages. An American beer brewery by the name of Budweiser still uses 3 Dalmatian dogs to follow their carriage and as their mascots. These dogs have a 70-year tradition with this brewery dating back to 1950. At that time, this breed and their historic work were introduced to the owners of the company and they immediately fell in love with them. They have decided to keep these dogs as a part of their brand and image and it is a successful relationship that is still going on.

4. Deafness can be correlated to the spots

It is a widely known fact that white-colored dogs are prone to some health problems and usually it is either hearing impairment or blindness. This dog breed is known to suffer from deafness and if you get the feeling that your Dalmatian is ignoring you or not listening to your commands, that just might be the reason.

An interesting thing is that dogs with larger black spots are less likely to develop hearing problems. The bigger the white area on their body, the bigger the risk of developing these health issues. Dogs with his type of coat have also a lack of mature melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) in their inner ear. The lack of these cells directly affects the dogs’ ability to hear.

dalmatian dog looking

5. Pop culture damaged many Dalmatians

Nearly all of us that are in this dog world are familiar with the insanely popular Disney movie called “101 Dalmatians”. As its name insinuates, the film features this breed and revolves around it. That movie made these dogs so popular that nearly all Dalmatian puppies were sold as soon as they were born. However, such high popularity also comes with a high risk. Many of these dogs ended up in shelters or on the streets as a result of public misinformation about these dogs. They require a lot of work and are not the best breed for children, they shed a lot and need to be properly trained, socialized, and exercised every day to not develop behavioral problems. Their popularity allowed shady breeders to produce a large number of poor-quality dogs and they were sure they would sell them because of the insane demand. The quality of the gene pool was seriously damaged and breeders alongside national cynology associations and breeding clubs needed to take extreme actions to return the development of the breed on the right track.

6. Spotless Dalmatians

If you are interested in this breed you probably already heard that these dogs are born without their trademarked spots. It is true, they are born completely white and their spots develop later (4+ weeks).

However, an interesting thing not many people know is that these dogs have spots on the roof of their mouths. They have spots all over their bodies, on their bellies, legs, muzzles, feet, and tail.

7. Dog of choice by the father of the modern USA

Yes, it is true, this was the breed of choice by none other than George Washington himself. One of the founding fathers of the modern United States of America had a coach dog that was a Dalmatian and that dog was named “Madame Moose”.

8. Dalmatian Coins

In 2021, the Croatian National Bank made an initiative and issued three different coins. However, it is not some type of new crypto coin; it is a real gold coin with the picture of the Dalmatian on it. Since Dalmatians are real ambassadors of the country which claimed them, the national bank decided to honor these dogs by issuing these limited edition coins.

Even though there is an official monetary value, the initial selling is expected far beyond what the coin says. The largest coin is 1.000 Croatian Kuna (about 150 dollars), the middle is 50, and the smallest should be worth 10. However, the selling for the largest one is expected to pass 2.000 dollars (13.000 Kuna). Croatia will soon switch to Euro, and these coins are a great way to commemorate Kuna when it stops being the national currency.

We hope you will appreciate this breed a bit more now that you know these cool facts about our favorite spotted dogs.

World Dog Finder team

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