Dalmatian Breed Information and Buying advice


Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Dalmatian?

Quick Dalmatian Facts

Average Size of Adult
Medium (3/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
10-12 years (4/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Utility (6/8)
No (2/2)

Why Dalmatians are great

Made extremely famous by  the film ‘101 Dalmatians’, this breed is unique in appearance and their behaviour too. Dalmatian dogs are active, strong dogs and can run for very long periods of time. They love exercising, and nothing more than being around humans as the Dalmatian is a great and loving family dog. Some highlights:

  1. The Dalmatian is a natural watchdog

  2. Good for first time owners as Dalmatians are easy to train and low maintenance

  3. They love being around people

  4. One of the most loyal and family dogs you can get


Things to consider when looking at Dalmatians for Sale

As with all breeds, there are things you must think about when you are looking at Dalmatian Puppies for sale. They are not always for you! Some downsides to the Dalmatian:

  1. Due to their size, Dalmatians can be better suited to families with children at toddler age or older

  2. They can be an expensive breed to buy

  3. They will shed a fair amount through the year

  4. Dalmatians do not like being left alone for too long


History of Dalmatians

The Dalmatian breed has a really wide and speculative history, from being used as ‘Firehouse dogs’ through to travelling with Romany Gypsies, no one is sure of the exact origin of the breed. Records of the Dalmatian have been found as much as 2000BC with the dog being described In stories running along with chariots in Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Some records have been found of similar dogs in an area of Croatia called ‘Dalmatia’ which could be how the dogs first got their name, but there is lots of speculation around the real naming of the Dalmatian Breed. The Dalmatians have been given many jobs as a breed, from being used as sheep dogs, hunting dogs, and pulling carts, their most famous use case was working closely with horses. The dogs used to run alongside horse drawn coaches to protect the horses and clear a way in front of them. They eventually became known as ‘Firehouse Dogs’ when they began doing that job but next to horse drawn fire trucks, and were even known to sometimes run into the fire to rescue people. The current Dalmatian that you see today was bred in 19th Century England for this purpose, with their high stamina, being able to run along side horse carts.  


The Dalmatian is one of the most recognisable breeds due to their amazing and unique spotted coats. The stand tall and proud, and thanks to the movie 101 Dalmatians, everyone knows what one looks like.  

How big is the Dalmatian?

Expect differences between male and female Dalmatians but at adult size 56-61cm height at the withers is standard.  

How heavy is a Dalmatian?

A Dalmatian adult will weigh between 23-25kg  

What Colour is the Dalmatian?

The accepted breed standard for KC registration are: White with black spots or white with liver spots.  


Do Dalmatians make good guard dogs?

Dalmatians are natural watch dogs due to their personality, they are very alert all of the time. They are used to protecting their family and may act in defence, but they wouldn’t be the first choice for a guard dog, but as a watchdog, the Dalmatian will behave very well.  

Do Dalmatians bark a lot?

The Dalmatian breed is not known well for barking excessively, they will sometimes however bark to get your attention, and as mentioned, they will bark to alert you when they see someone or something untoward.  

Are Dalmatians easy to train?

The Dalmatian needs to be taught early to make sure they understand rules and instructions, or their nature will lead them to take on the alpha role. You need a positive training approach and make sure to reward good behaviour.  

Are Dalmatians playful?

The Dalmatian breed is very energetic and loves nothing more than spending time with their family playing. This means you need to ensure you keep your Dalmatian busy to avoid boredom.  

Are Dalmatians good with children?

Due to their energetic and playful nature, we would recommend that the Dalmatian is good for families with children older than toddlers. They can be large and quite boisterous so may be dangerous around small children.  

Are Dalmatians good with other pets?

Dalmatians have a low prey drive and are well known to get along with both small and big pets, if they are socialised from a young age.  

Can I leave a Dalmatian Alone?

Dalmatians really love and thrive on being around people. They don not enjoy being left alone for longer than 3 hours and have sometimes been known as damaging the home to show how unhappy they are.  


How long do Dalmatians live?

On average, a well fed, exercised and looked after Dalmatian will live for 10-12 years.  

How much exercise does a Dalmatian need?

The Dalmatian breed is very energetic and Dalmatian Puppies love to play up until about age 2 when they calm down a little. When the Dalmatian is a puppy, we recommend a light play outside for around 30 mins per day, because too much play will damage their growth. When a fully grown dog, take your Dalmatian for a minimum of 2h exercise per day.  

What are Dalmatians Common health issues?

The average Dalmatian will live for around 12 years, and the main condition that affects the breed is Deafness. Consult your vet, but we recommend a test when they are puppies.  


How much space do I need for a Dalmatian?

The Dalmatian breed loves large secure gardens so they can go outside whenever and roam. Because they are so energetic, you may find it a problem living in an apartment with you Dalmatian puppies and dogs.  

How much grooming do Dalmatians need?

Dalmatians should be groomed from time to time. They have short coats and are fairly low maintenance. We would recommend a weekly brush of the coat because they shed.  

Do Dalmatians shed?

Yes, a lot. More so in spring and autumn. Make sure to brush weekly.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Dalmatian?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £600  for a well-bred Dalmatian puppy Food + other bills: £100 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here, with the most important thing being going to view your Dalmatian Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Dalmatian  puppy buying advice:

  1. Being a popular breed, Dalmatian puppies for sale in the UK can fall under scams. Stay vigilant, always view your puppy before any money is transferred.

  2. Make sure that you ask for the parents deafness BAER test.


Other reading, Adopting Dalmatian Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article:   https://www.thedca.org/   https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=4087   https://www.britishdalmatianclub.org.uk/   https://www.dalmatianwelfare.co.uk/advice/adopting-a-dog/