Spotlight on...the Dalmatian

Dalmatian Painting-rz.jpg

Matchmaker, Matchmaker


Grooming needs:  Easy to Groom, Frequent Shedder

Exercise:  High Energy

Environment:  Indoors with Guardians, Outdoors

Temperament:  Active, Sociable

Life Expectancy:  10-13 years 

Interesting Fact: Fire wagons were originally horse drawn, and Dalmatians cleared the path for the horses to travel. The Dalmatians then calmed the horses during the firefighting commotion.  Even today, Dalmatians are often great companions to horses and sometimes seen in firehouses.

Appearance: The Dalmatian has a very distinctive look.  No two Dalmatians have the same spot patterns. Their short, dense coat is white, with liver or black spots. Their eyes have matching black or brown eyeliner, and their noses are black or brown. They have soft fur with a velvety head and ears. The body’s length from chest to hind end matches the height of this medium-sized dog. The Dal (the breed’s nickname) is athletic and sleek, but solid.

Dalmatian puppies are born white and develop their spots at around two weeks.

Personality: A well socialized Dal is dignified but outgoing. Their speed, endurance, and athleticism make them a favorite in the show, agility, and obedience rings. They may appear standoffish with new people, but love their family. Owners report they are clownish and keep the family laughing. Dals are reported to be sensitive and affectionate, with a good memory. This intelligent dog enjoys daily mental and physical play and exercise. 

Common Health Problems: Urinary tract issues such as stones are sometimes seen. About 33 percent of Dalmatians are either deaf or hear out of only one ear.

Best Match: A joke about the breed is that they shed at two different times: day and night. Daily brushing can help minimize shedding, and bathing is easy.

Dals make great jogging partners, and want at least 40 minutes of exercise daily. They want their people involved in their play. Like many breeds, if confined too much, especially without companionship of people, the Dal can display destructive behaviors and barking. A person who is inactive or away from home many hours a day is not a good match.


Featured Adoptable: Sadie is a 4-year-old Dalmatian/American Bulldog mix. She is a silly girl who loves to be with her people. Sweet and loving, Sadie just wants to cuddle. She doesn't need a lot of exercise, but could probably be motivated to go, just to be with you. 

Sadie does great in the car and is good on leash. She is equally good at hiking and laying around the house. While she hasn’t met an adult she doesn't like, she is uncertain about small children. She is crate trained, so she will not get into mischief when you’re not home. 

Sadie weighs 55 pounds. She is spayed, and current on vaccinations. She is currently in Gold Bar, Washington. Her adoption fee is $100. To learn more or to meet Sadie, please complete an adoption inquiry form at


Megan Mahan lives in New York City with her fiance Jacob, Frenchie Bulldog Nono, and the occasional foster dog or litter of foster kittens! She works for a major animal welfare organization and loves her former home in the Pacific Northwest.