Instantly recognizable by their distinctive spotted coat, and immortalized in popular culture by their association with firefighters and appearance in a certain animated Disney movie, the Dalmatian is one of the most attractive dog breeds and also a somewhat quirky one with a lot of character.
The breed originated in, and is named for, a historic coastal region of Croatia called Dalmatia. Originally serving as military and guard dogs, Dalmatians have to a certain degree retained their aggressive nature toward strangers, but they can also be loving and gentle pets to those whom they know well. They also get along tremendously with horses, which along with their sturdy athleticism led to their being used as ‘carriage dogs.’ The animals would run in front of horse-drawn wagons (including those of fire brigades), leading the horses to the destination. Horses have disappeared from firehouses, but tradition has kept the Dalmatian on as a dutiful mascot. I guess they just couldn’t resist putting an iconic red fire helmet on a beautiful black and white specimen!
Dalmatians can possess some unique genetic traits (many are deaf or have partial hearing) and are also predisposed to some medical conditions such as kidney stones, requiring more involved care than other breeds The unforgettable extended litter of the dogs featured in the film, 101 Dalmatians, also secured this breed’s place in our hearts and consciousness. While the movie was a comical exaggeration, Dalmatians do give birth to large litters (the largest on record was 18 puppies!). Enjoy them in any number
Yet another awesome and adorable dog breed calendar from BrownTrout!