two dalmatians running on a beach

The Dalmatian: thinking about getting a Dalmatian? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Dalmatians may not need the company of 100 other Dalmatians to be happy, but they do need plenty of exercise & stimulation and providing they get this, will make loving and rewarding pets for their owners.

Place of origin: The Dalmatia region of Croatia

How big do Dalmatians get? 56 – 61cm

How heavy are Dalmatians? 15 – 32kg

Life Expectancy: 10 – 13 years

Colour: Liver & White, Black & White


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Dalmatian need?

Typically, Dalmatians have bags of energy and can become restless, even destructive if not exercised and stimulated properly.

If you’re excited by the prospect of getting out and about every morning and evening, having a canine companion who’d gladly accompany you on hikes and other outdoor adventures and play games with you while you potter about in your sizeable garden, a Dalmatian could be the breed for you. If you spend a lot of time working or out of the house and can only fit in short walks through urban areas however, you may be better suited to another breed.

Dalmatians’ intelligence level matches their energy levels, so they may be inclined to wander off when out walking. To avoid this, try playing games with them to keep their brain engaged as well as their body.

Training: how to train a Dalmatian

What with their intelligence and fondness for human companionship, Dalmatians are usually easy to train. Some people describe Dalmatians as sensitive natured, so their need for encouragement and positive reinforcement may be greater than most.

As with other breeds, training a Dalmatian will be easier if you start when they’re young. A well-socialised Dalmatian, given proper stimulation, will make for a fun companion indeed.

dalmatian wagging tail with blue sky behind it

Grooming: do Dalmatians shed?

The Dalmatian’s coat is short, fine and easy to care for. They shed all year round, although less than many other breeds. Weekly brushing will reduce the amount of hair on the carpet and you’ll only need to bathe them when they’re really dirty and need a basic clean-up!

Complete your Dalmatian’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Dalmatian temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Dalmatians have big personalities and a bigger need for stimulation and exercise than most dogs. They’re best suited to spacious home environments, families with older children who understand and accommodate their needs. A well-socialised and stimulated Dalmatian should get along well with other pets and children – although their size and excitability may make them a bit too much for younger children.

If you live in a densely populated urban area or don’t feel you could spare time to walk, train and entertain your furry friend, a Dalmatian is likely not the breed for you.

Cost of owning a Dalmatian

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Dalmatian, remember to take into account:

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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