Are Dalmatians Rare Dog Breeds? [Breed FACTS]

Photo by Balmer Rosario / Unsplash

The beautiful Dalmatians remind us of one of our childhood Disney cartoons 101 Dalmatians.

Or maybe you've just seen this spotted dog on the back of a fire truck or in a movie, but how much do you truly know about the distinctive breed?

Dalmatians are devoted, intelligent, and playful dog breeds that thrive on human companionship.

Dals are thought to be one of the easiest dogs to recognize due to their distinct appearance. Dalmatians are well-known for having black spots on a white foundation coat.

Short history

Although no one knows for certain where the breed originally came, Dalmatians are called after Dalmatia, a coastline region that was once part of Austria. These dogs are said to be descended from Pointers.

Dalmatians gained popularity in the 1800s as coaching dogs, trotting alongside carriages, and protecting the horses and carriages from other dogs and enemies. They've also served as army sentinels, hunters, firehouse mascots, and circus performers.

Are Dalmatians rare?

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Dalmatians aren't rare. They're simply less popular than other breeds, which has resulted in a decrease in the number of authorized breeders in time.

A reason for not being one of the most popular dog breeds is because of their "difficult temperament" as some people relate.

Dalmatians were bred specifically to be "coach dogs." As guard dogs, they ran beside horse-drawn carriages.

This is how they were referred to fire departments. In the earlier years, fire departments were owned by private, and they frequently argued over who would battle a fire and claim the money for it. As a result, Dalmatians were used to guard the fire trucks. You can imagine how much energy an adult Dalmatian would need to do that.

They can become destructive if they do not get at least 30 -60 minutes of exercise per day.

Dalmatian is unquestionably a breed that should be acquired from a trustworthy breeder with a pedigree. This assures that both the parents and the puppies have had all of the necessary physical and genetic examinations.

If you do get a Dalmatian you will get a gentle and loving member of the family.

But you must know that they could not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. This breed is not well adapted to apartment life, because of its high level of energy.

This lovely breed is also prone to aggressivity if not properly trained, as well as deafness as it ages.

Are liver Dalmatians rare?

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Photo by Tim Zänkert / Unsplash

Liver Dalmatians are less common than their black-spotted counterparts, although they are not considered rare. But they may attract a little more attention because they aren't a common sight.

Actuality, white, liver, and tan Dalmatians are likely the rarest of all Dalmatian colors – albeit other non-standard colors are pretty much equally rare.

What is the rarest color of a Dalmatian?

While the AKC recognizes a few other color combinations of this breed, only white and black and white and liver are permitted to compete in dog shows because they fit the current breed standard.

Other rare colors of a Dalmatian are:

  • White and Lemon Dalmatian
  • White and Orange Dalmatian
  • Tricolor Dalmatian Colors

Another Dalmatian that I call it rare is that one with different eye color, like Loki:

Depending on their spotting, most Dalmatians have brown or amber eyes. Blue eyes, on the other hand, are possible, especially in Dalmatians with light spots.

Dalmatians Facts & Breed Info

Dalmatian
Photo by Bethany Ferr from Pexels

1. Are Dalmatians aggressive?

Dalmatians are known to be aggressive. Some people believe that Dalmatians are more aggressive than pit bulls.  While this is sometimes true, it is not always the case. Dalmatians are typically aggressive because of poor breeding or a lack of attention.

When they are neglected or left alone for an extended period of time, they can become aggressive, destructive, and threatening.

Dalmatians are also prone to aggression if not properly trained and exercised on a daily basis.

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Dalmatians require a lot of socialization because they don't like strangers. As soon as they have their vaccines, take them to dog parks, so they can meet and play with other dogs.

2. Are there long-haired Dalmatian dogs?

Yes, long-haired Dalmatians does exist. While long-haired Dalmatians aren't as popular as short-haired Dalmatians, they do exist — and sure, these doggos are purebred.

This lengthy coat is produced by a recessive gene, meaning it can be passed down through generations. That's why two short-haired Dalmatians can have long-haired pups.

For many years, the long coat was thought to be an unfavorable characteristic in Dalmatians. Dal pups with long coats have been euthanized, the reason why they are so rare.

Happily, these Dalmatians gained popularity from 2015, so there is some hope that attitudes regarding them will shift in the coming years.

3. Dalmatians are independent

Photo by Jodie Louise from Pexels

Dalmatians are incredibly intelligent creatures. Dalmatians, like many other clever dog breeds, are prone to stubbornness. But, of course, each Dalmatian is unique. Dals, in general, are difficult to train.

They want to please, yet they are also very independent. This breed has a well-deserved reputation for being manipulative. They will almost always strive to do things their way and will rarely listen. That is why early training is crucial.

4. Dals are prone to deafness

This breed is the most prone to deafness because the gene responsible for the spotted pattern can cause hearing issues.

So, if your Dal is ignoring you because it actually can't hear you. As a result of their spotted patterns, around 30% of all Dalmatians are deaf. It is possible that dogs with this coat will result in a lack developed melanocytes (melanin generating cells) in the inner ear. Without these, dogs might become completely deaf.  Dogs with more black patches are less likely to be deaf.

5. Puppies are born all white and spotless

Photo by Jozef Fehér from Pexels

Puppies are born pure white, despite being covered with spots as adults. Puppies typically do not develop their distinguishing spots until they are four weeks old.

6. 101 Dalmatians perpetuated a stigma that harmed the breed

Aside from providing audiences a false impression of the puppies' appearance, the film inspired many people to actually buy one of the pups they saw on the big screen.

Sad to say, the Dalmatian surge resulted in a large number of Dalmatians in shelters. People with families discovered that the breed shed significantly and would not always like being around youngsters.

The puppies require a great deal of attention and training, and many owners were unprepared for the responsibility. As a consequence, many spotted dogs were left homeless.

7. Dalmatians are versatile dogs

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Video by Bethany Ferr from Pexels

This breed is extremely adaptable and has been utilized for a variety of purposes over the centuries. They are skilled sporting dogs who work as birding dogs, trail hounds, boar hunters, and retrievers. Furthermore, these spotted pups became good performers on stage and in the circus due to their great memory and attractive coat.

8. The origins are unknown

Photo by Jozef Fehér from Pexels

The Dalmatian's origins, like those of many other ancient breeds, remain unknown. Some say these dogs originated in Dalmatia, an area of contemporary Croatia. The dogs were war canines who served as guards. Some also say the dogs are as old as the Egyptians. Paintings of these spotted dogs running beside chariots have been discovered in tombs.

9. Not all Dalmatians hate water

Knowing that Dalmatians have never been created to be water dogs, it's surprising that the great majority of them enjoy it.

Those who enjoy swimming are likely to do so since Dalmatians are physically capable and enjoy physical activity in general.

If you and your family love water, it’s possible for your Dalmatian to love the water, too.

As you know there are many Dals that don't enjoy the water at all:

10. Best known as fire dogs

Dalmatians have been a part of firehouses for more than a century.

In the past, firefighters used horse-drawn carriages to reach the blaze. They chose Dalmatians as companion dogs because of their compatibility with horses. Dogs ran alongside horses, protecting them and providing them with mental comfort to cope with the stress of the fire. Having a very well-developed sense of smell, they used it to get to the scene of the fire.

Soon after 9/11, a Dalmatian puppy, named Twenty, was donated to the New York City Fire Department in memory of the seven members of Ladder 20 who died in the twin towers.

Nowadays, the Dalmatians are frequently brought into schools to teach pupils and students about fire safety. Thus, Dalmatians mainly serve as mascots. We can also imagine how pleasant their company is in a firehouse, where firefighters are waiting for the next fire to save lives.

Regardless of the color of the spots, nose, or eyes, Dals are fiercely protective and devoted to their owners. They might be apprehensive of strangers but are easy to teach, making them excellent watchdogs.

Also, they can be wonderful, loving dogs in families.

Paws and love until the next article! 🐾

Bianca Muche

Bianca Muche