How to Care for a Dalmatian

by J. Lang Wood
Dalmatians require special care to avoid health and behavioral problems.

Dalmatians require special care to avoid health and behavioral problems.

chewing dalmatian image by Kevkel from Fotolia.com

The Dalmatian’s white coat with black spots is an easily recognized characteristic of the breed. Dalmatians have been symbols of canine companionship and service to humanity from their early history as coach dogs. They are high-energy dogs and are not suited for a sedate lifestyle or a household with small children. Your Dalmatian will require a great deal of exercise and interaction with you; lacking those, he could become a behavioral problem. This breed can be challenging to care for properly and is not generally a good choice as your first dog.

Step 1

Choose a Dalmatian puppy with bright eyes, a healthy appearance and an outgoing disposition. Shyness is a problem with some Dalmatians, and this trait will make training and socialization difficult. Check that the puppy is not deaf. Clap your hands to see if he startles, and try other experiments to check his response to sounds. Deafness is a common problem in Dalmatians.

Step 2

Feed your Dalmatian a high-quality, low-protein dog food. Dalmatians are prone to kidney and bladder stones. A low-protein dog food will help to reduce the likelihood of developing stones. Turkey or chicken protein is a good choice, according to writer Beth White of the Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado website. Make sure your Dalmatian has plenty of fresh water always available.

Step 3

Exercise your Dalmatian frequently. Dalmatians have a lot of energy that they need to work off with running and spirited play. Fence your yard securely so you can allow your Dalmatian to romp freely and safely. Left to his own devices, your restless Dalmatian may try to wander off to explore, so make certain the fence is high enough to prevent jumping, and that the bottom of the fencing is secured in a way that prevents your dog from digging an exit.

Step 4

Socialize your Dalmatian puppy every chance you get. Take him to the local dog park, where he can meet other dogs and run off excess energy. This habit can help to calm a nervous dog and make your Dalmatian able to adapt quickly to new places, people and situations.

Step 5

Brush your Dalmation’s coat daily to control shedding. Though the breed has a short coat, it sheds continuously and can leave white hairs all over your house. Use a stiff bristle brush or a grooming glove that picks up hairs from the coat.

Step 6

Train your Dalmatian early and consistently. Daily training sessions beginning as a puppy will help to instill good habits in your Dalmatian. Dalmatians can be headstrong and are easily distracted. A firm but persistent attitude on your part will keep your dog focused on performing tasks successfully. Avoid harsh punishments, as these cause Dalmatians to shut down. Treats and praise are good rewards for correct behavior.

Items You Will Need

  • High-quality, low-protein dog food
  • Leash
  • Grooming glove or stiff bristle brush
  • Secure fence
  • Treats

Tip

  • Dalmatians were bred to be on the move. This quality can make your Dalmatian destructive if he is confined or inactive for long periods of time. If you work long hours, hire a dog walker to exercise your dog while you are away. Doggie day care is another option.

Warning

  • Common health problems of the Dalmatian breed include bladder stones and hip dysplasia, according to the Dog Owner's Guide website. When you select a puppy, find a breeder who tries to make breeding choices that will eliminate these problems.

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