A short-haired, white dog with black spots and black floppy ears, wears a big, wide smile, on a pebbled beach by the shore.


You might have fallen in love with Dalmatians after viewing 101 Dalmatians or after spotting one racing around the park. Whatever way these pups might have caught your fancy, they’re a fantastic choice if you like large dogs and want an energetic dog to keep you active. Whether you’re thinking of borrowing one or getting your own, we’ve pulled together lots of fun and interesting facts you should know about the most iconic of spotted dog breeds.

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What is a Dalmatian?

Once known as carriage dogs, Dalmatians used to run alongside the carriages “from those of the gentry to the mail coach,” according to The Kennel Club. These high energy pups were favoured because of the long distances they could run. They’re now best known for their gorgeous, spotted coats, which are easy to groom, though they do shed quite a bit.

How much exercise does a Dalmatian need?

Though they no longer get their exercise running alongside carriages, The Kennel Club recommends 2 hours of exercise per day for Dalmatians. They are active, strong dogs who are well suited for life in the country where there’s loads of space to run and play. While you might not have your own dog agility equipment to hand, joining an agility class can be a great way to help Dalmatians let off steam (and can be combined with obedience training - more on that below).

A young puppy with a white coat with black spots lies on carpet indoors looking quizzically at the camera

“I have a dalmatian who needs loads of exercise - she is only happy when she has had a long walk and played with lots of big dogs." - Wendy, Owner of Lottie

What is the temperament of a Dalmatian?

Dalmatians are friendly dogs and are good with children. It’s important to note though, where possible, you should find out your Dalmatian’s breeding history as poorly bred Dalmatians might have more temperament issues than a well-bred or pedigree Dalmatian.

“He has a wonderful temperament, loves a good cuddle and kisses on his nose, but won't say no to a good run in the park or down the beach! He loves people and other animals and will always stop to try say hi when we're out and about. “ - Jordanne, Owner of Ollie

A white dog with black spots, a smooth coat and floppy ears lies on a blanket indoors looking sleepy

Are Dalmatians easy to train?

Because of their independent streak, Dalmatians need an owner who isn’t afraid to lead them or be strict with training. Dog training classes can be a great way to get support and socialise (for both you and your dog!). Our guide to dog breeds can act as a useful dog breed selector if you’re looking to shortlist breeds that might be more suited to you and your family.

“Pebbles is excitable around new people and needs a firm, but understanding hand. Dalmatians are most obedient when they have a bond with the person they're with. Pebbles will 'take advantage' if she thinks the rules don't apply.“ - Liz, Owner of Pebbles

That being said, here are a few funny quirks that some of our members’ pooches have:

Owner Oliver on his Dalmatian, Roscoe:

He can be a bit of a chewer (especially shoes!), and loves a cup of tea so make sure you keep those mugs out of mouth's reach.

Owner Hannah on her Dalmatian, Poppy:

Her favourite season is summer because there are plenty of picnics around and if she’s quick, she can steal the whole chicken out of people's barbecues.

Most common Dalmatian names on BorrowMyDoggy:

  • Poppy
  • Dexter
  • Daisy
  • Murphy
  • Domino
  • Oscar
  • Millie
  • Molly
  • Pongo
  • Cooper

Whether you own or borrow a Dalmatian, here’s a handy tip to remove their hair from your carpet or furniture:

High paws to our lovely community for letting us share these facts about their Dalmatians. Paws crossed you found them helpful :)

Looking for the pawfect Dalmatian to join you on a walk? Or would you like your Dalmatian to make a new friend? Why not sign up to BorrowMyDoggy today.

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