A Dalmatian isn't the dog for everyone, but he's a suitable match for active folks. He likes people, and usually gets along with household pets. If you've got horses, that's a plus. His background as a coaching dog instilled a love of equines in the breed.
While Dals may have a reputation for being hyperactive, that's not really true. They are high energy, which is different. Give them an outlet for that energy and they're just fine. Remember, your Dal was bred to run all day, so he's no couch potato. He might be a handful for the novice dog owner, but for experienced or determined dog lovers he becomes an absolute gem with proper guidance.
Dalmatians often fall victim to urinary tract disorders, resulting in painful bladder or kidney stones. to water, to ensure adequate kidney flushing. No matter how much he begs, Preventing this frequent Dal problems lies in proper feeding. Feed your dog twice a day, not once as with many other breeds. Feed a high-quality but low-protein food. High-protein foods tend to stress the kidneys. Add liquid to the meal, either milk avoid treats and table scraps. Obviously, your dog should have water available at all times.
This is a biggie. It's almost impossible for a Dal to have too much exercise. He's the marathoner of canines, bred to follow coach horses for miles. A Dal is not the dog for apartment living, unless you can take him to the park and run with him daily.
The best thing you can do for an energetic dog like a Dal is take him to obedience school. He's a smart dog who yearns to please you, so this gives him an opportunity to use his mind and gain praise from his favorite person. Because he's so athletic, Dals can excel at canine sports such as agility or flyball. Maybe you can take up marathon running so your faithful spotted friend can train alongside you. Hint: He can run 26 miles a lot faster than you can.
Your Dal has short hair, but that doesn't mean he won't need much grooming. That spotted coat sheds like crazy, all year around. Brush him frequently to get those hairs on the brush and not on carpets, furniture and clothing. You may want to invest in a predominately white wardrobe. An alternative is to restrict him to certain rooms, so dog hair isn't your primary decorating theme.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.