Breed All About It – Dog Breeds starting With D – Dalmatians
Narrator: Lovable, kind of quirky looking, medium-sized white dogs with spots all over. And the spots are really, really all over.
Dr. Karen Halligan: Spots everywhere. In fact if you open their mouths you might be surprised to see that they actually have spots in their mouths.
Narrator: But guess what when they’re born they have no spots.
Andrea Arden: Dalmatians are actually born all white and then their spots develop as they mature.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman: They’re cute, their mascot ‘ish.
Joey Villani: Believe it or not George Washington was the first breeder for Dalmatian that we know of in the United States.
Narrator: The Dalmatian, it’s the dog famous for riding along on the fire truck.
Andrea Arden: I would have to guess that firemen like to hang out with Dalmatians because they are great attention grabbers. Most firemen grab my attention anyway, but …
Narrator: It’s the dog hanging with the client’s Dales protecting the beer. And it’s the dog who hit the big time with Disney’s 101 Dalmatians movies. But with the Dalmatians fame came a price. Owners getting the dogs thought they would be just like the sweet loving creatures they saw in the movies. But guys that’s Hollywood.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman: There was a lot of indiscriminate breeding, sort of puppy mill type stuff. There are issues with temperament and aggression.
Narrator: But not all Dalmatians are problem dogs. With the right breeding and training these eye-catching animals can be great pets.
Dr. Cherise Clement: The Dalmatians origins are actually a little bit hazy. It’s a really ancient breed. Some people think that it may go all the way back to Egypt.
Narrator: In the beginning those polka dot hounds were bred as war and guard dogs.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman: This is one of the … well, the only breed of dog that was bred for what they call coaching. They would run alongside the stage coaches and they would clear the crowds out of the way.
Narrator: These society dogs went from protecting rich people in horse-drawn carriages to protecting horse-drawn fire trucks.
Andrea Arden: Although they don’t run along the sides of fire trucks anymore they basically are wonderful mascots for the firehouse.
Narrator: For a few reasons these dogs really stand out – first very obvious the spots on their coats which range from the size of a dime to a half-dollar. Ever wondered how many spots the dogs can have? Well that can vary too, from just a few to almost total spot coverage, another cool quality, their stocky body and strong muscles which give them the power to run and run from miles on end.
Dr. Karen Halligan: They’re very, very active dogs. In fact if you’re a jogger or a runner a Dalmatian is going to hit spot. They do like to run away and have what’s called selective hearing. So you can say, “Come, come here, come here.” And they just don’t hear you.
Narrator: Yup, these dogs can be independent and stubborn. But don’t be fooled these rambunctious hounds are super smart.
Dr. Cherise Clement: They’re amazing dogs and really intelligent. And because they’re really intelligent they seem to sometimes think that they know that they’re bossing not you.
Dr. Karen Halligan: So you just have to make sure that you start early, consistent, patient training when they’re puppies.
Male Speaker: Good puppy.
Narrator: Full-grown, 40 pounds Dalmatians are sort of cat like in cleanliness with little grooming. And if you decide to get a Dalmatian ask for a raise, because these dogs can have health issues.
Dr. Karen Halligan: Bladder stones. It can cause a lot of problems. So they need to be fed a special diet.
Narrator: But most importantly if you do get a Dalmatian make sure these bundles of energy fit your lifestyle. In general Dalmatians need lots of running room. They can have health issues like deafness. Dalmatians are easy to groom and trainable, can make good family pets for active families.
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