Dalmatians are iconic dogs that have worked in a large variety of professions over the decades. They started as carriage dogs riding alongside horses and protecting wagons. Then they became circus dogs and firehouse mascots. Finally, Disney immortalized them on the big screen with 101 Dalmatians. Dalmatians continue to be popular and recognizable dogs. But they do have some pros and cons that need to be unpacked.
Here are ten pros and cons that you should know about before getting a Dalmatian.
The 6 Dalmatian Pros
1. They Make Great Alert Dogs
Some people like dogs that make them feel safe. Dalmatians are not particularly aggressive or violent dogs, but they do make great alert dogs. Alert dogs will bark when strangers are nearby. They will also alert you to things that are amiss, like animals outside, an unfamiliar car in the driveway, or strange noises after dark. This makes people feel safe, knowing that if something is going on, their dog will let them know about it. Dalmatians do not make great attack dogs or guard dogs, but they are great alarm or alert dogs.
2. Dalmatians Are Highly Energetic
Dalmatians are very high energy. That is a pro for most people (but it can also be a con if you want a lazy dog). This makes Dalmatians perfect for active people or for busy families that spend a lot of time outside. Dalmatians love going for long walks, going on hikes, or playing outside with other dogs. That makes Dalmatians very fun, and they can seamlessly blend with families who like to take their dogs on adventures. Dalmatians can help keep people active with their exercise needs. However, if you do not want to spend hours a week walking or playing with your dog this could be a downside.
3. Dalmatians Require Little Grooming
Dalmatians have short and sleek coats. They require very little in the way of grooming. Dalmatians can benefit from some light brushing during the shedding seasons (spring and autumn) to reduce the amount of dead fur coming off the dog. Otherwise, Dalmatians will easily keep themselves looking their best. They don’t need trimming, clipping, bathing, or currying. Dalmatians are pretty fastidious when it comes to their personal hygiene and cleanliness which makes caring for them easier than other dogs.
4. They Are Not Stinky
Some active dogs can end up getting stinky. There are plenty of dogs that require numerous long walks per week or who like to run around outside that come inside and stink up the whole house. Dalmatians are not like that. They have naturally low amounts of odor, which is good for people who do not like canine smell. It also reduces the number of baths that you need to give to your dog, which can be a godsend.
5. They Make Great Family Dogs
Dalmatians are loyal and energetic, and they make fantastic family dogs. Dalmatians can become lifelong companions for individual owners and families. Dalmatians are great with kids. They are also perfect for active people or families. Kids that like to play with their dogs, spend time at the dog park, or go on long walks, hikes, or adventures will find a lot to love with a Dalmatian. A well trained and socialized Dalmatian will be a phenomenal family member for many years.
6. Dalmatians Are Often Good With Other Pets
Most of the time, Dalmatians are good with other pets. They get along with other dogs, especially other Dalmatians. They can even get along with small animals like cats. Dalmatians need to be properly introduced to other family pets, but once they are introduced and settled in, Dalmatians will make great companions. This adds to the Dalmatian’s value as a family dog. Dalmatians can blend seamlessly with families that include other pets with very few issues.
The 4 Dalmatian Cons
7. Dalmatians Shed… A Lot
While Dalmatians have short coats and require little regular grooming, they do shed quite a bit. Dalmatians shed continuously and will leave small hairs around the house constantly. Like most other dogs, Dalmatians shed the most during the spring and the autumn. Dalmatians prepare for their winter coat in autumn and shed their winter coat in spring. Brushing can help reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds, but it will not stop the shedding completely.
8. Dalmatians Require Socialization
Dalmatians do best when they are socialized. Dalmatian socialization can be a long and frustrating process. You should start bringing your Dalmatian out in public when they are a puppy. It is best to introduce them to a large number of situations, including car rides, the veterinarian’s office, the dog park, other dogs, strangers, and different walking paths. If you do not socialize your Dalmatian properly, they can become protective and shy, which can sometimes manifest itself as aggression or fear. Socialization is extremely important, and if you are not prepared or equipped to deal with it, you can end up with behavioral problems with your Dalmatian down the road.
9. They Can Be Super Stubborn
Dalmatians can be very stubborn dogs. That makes them difficult to train, especially for inexperienced dog owners. Dalmatians can be wily and smart, which can be a good thing in some situations. It can be a bad thing if they use these traits to be obstinate. Some Dalmatians require professional training or a strong-willed owner to manage.
10. Dalmatians Have Some Potential Genetic Health Issues
Dalmatians are highly prone to congenital deafness. Many Dalmatian puppies are at risk of being born deaf. Reputable breeders will screen their parents and their puppies for potential signs of genetic issues. It is important to know about Dalmatian health problems before you decide on getting one so you are prepared to care for them no matter what. Dalmatians can be deaf in one ear or both ears; dogs deaf in one ear can lead a regular life.
Dalmatians can also be prone to kidney stones and hip dysplasia. Both of these things can be treated as they crop up or progress.
How Much Do Dalmatians Cost?
If these pros and cons seem acceptable to you and you are curious about getting a Dalmatian, you will have to budget for the cost. A purebred Dalmatian can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,200. Reputable breeders will often charge more than standard breeders. The more breeders screen and test for potential problems, the more money they will have to pay for the tests, which will raise the cost of the dog. All things considered, Dalmatians are not that expensive. Some other purebred dog breeds can go for well over $1,200 on average.
Dalmatians have a very even pro and con split. They are energetic, loyal, family-oriented, and clean. But they can also be stubborn, shy, or deaf. They don’t require a lot of grooming, but they do shed a lot. Dalmatians have the potential to make great dogs, but they also come with some downsides that you need to be aware of before deciding to get one of your own.
- See also: Are Dalmatians Good Guard Dogs?
Featured Image Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay