Why are Dalmatians Not Popular? You'll Be Surprised

Why are Dalmatians Not Popular? You'll Be Surprised
Photo by Balmer Rosario / Unsplash

Dalmatians are those cute, spotty dogs you might have seen in movies or as firehouse mascots. They have a special look that sets them apart, but surprisingly, they aren't as popular as some other dog breeds. In this article, I'll talk about why Dalmatians are not popular and whether they can be considered rare dog breeds.

Table of contents

Are Dalmatians rare?

No, 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.

Now, when it comes to Dalmatians with long hair, those with spots on their fur are a lot rarer. That's because their long hair is caused by genes that don't show up as often.

In the past, many Dalmatians were abandoned by their original owners and ended up in shelters. Thankfully, some cool rescue groups for Dalmatians came to the rescue, finding them new loving homes. During 2000โ€“2010, there was a significant 90% decrease in the number of Dalmatians registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Researching about this subject I found that many individuals find it challenging to meet the exercise needs of Dalmatians, making them unsuitable for roles as service animals, law enforcement animals, or hunting companions. Moreover, the breed has a history of genetic problems resulting from past breeding practices and is particularly susceptible to deafness.

So, one reason Dalmatians aren't among the most popular dog breeds is often because of their "difficult temperament".

Dalmatians need a lot of exercise, a large garden and a lot of play time otherwise all of their energy will become a force for the dark side. This level of energy will stay with them well into their senior years, really only calming down somewhat around the age of 7 or 8. One hour minimum off lead running, chasing, socialising. Preferably two hours, one at either end of the day. Toddlers or small children around, probably a no, as when they are puppies they are very boisterous indeed. My son was around 6 years old when we brought Spotty Dog home and still was knocked over quite a bit during the first 18 months or so.Dalmatians were bred specifically to be "coach dogs." As guard dogs, they ran beside horse-drawn carriages.
- Victoria Paterson, Quora.com

One interesting fact many know about is that 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.

The 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.

Dalmatians' popularity has had ups and downs over the years. After the 1985 "101 Dalmatians" movie, the number of new registrations in the U.S. soared from 8,170 to 42,816 puppies in just eight years. That was a huge spike! But then, their popularity took a nosedive, and within a decade, it dropped by 97%.

So, to answer your question about how popular Dalmatians are over time: they've had their moments, with big highs and lows, influenced by movies and trends.

Are Dalmatians difficult?

Like any dog, Dalmatians can be difficult somehow, based according on their stubborn personality. While some may require less maintenance and training than others, some may have more complex requirements or behavioral problems.

Dalmatians are often thought to be an active and lively breed, therefore they would need a lot of mental and physical exercise, as well as regular training and socialization.

If you do get a Dalmatian you will get a gentle and loving member of the family if it gets the attention that it needs.

But you must know that they cannot 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.


Just a Dal chewing its toy

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

Are liver Dalmatians rare?

liver dalmatian in the wood
A liver Dalmatian by Tim Zรคnkert / 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 โ€“ albeit other non-standard colors are pretty much equally rare.

What is the rarest color of a Dalmatian?

The rarest colors of a Dalmatian are:

โ†’ White and Lemon Dalmatian

โ†’ White and Orange Dalmatian

โ†’ Tricolor Dalmatian Colors

Another Dalmatian that I call a 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.

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.

How much is a Dalmatian? ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Depending on your region and local breeder, the Dalmatian price may vary. An average cost for a Dalmatian pup will be around $500 - $1,600 from a qualified breeder.

Other poor countries may have cheaper prices, but selecting a "certified" puppy is essential to avoid extra medical care and training costs.

Final Verdict: Why are Dalmatians not common anymore?

Most people find it difficult to give Dalmatians sufficient exercise, and they're not really cut out to work as service animals, police dogs, or for hunting.

But, 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! ๐Ÿพ


Herzog, H. (10/24/06). Forty-two Thousand and One Dalmatians: Fads, Social Contagion, and Dog Breed Popularity.