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Luccombe Dalmatians ~ Frequently asked Dalmatian questions

If you are new to Dalmatians you will have many questions to ask. I have tried to answer a few of the more frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to a specific question please ring me for help

(1) What is the normal lifespan of a healthy Dalmatian.
(2) I think Dalmatians are available in two colours of spots, is that correct?
(3) Are Dalmatians good with children?
(4) What is their temperament like?
(5) I've heard that some of them smile, is that correct?
(6) What health issues can a Dalmatian have?
(7) What sort and duration of exercise do they need?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) A healthy Dalmatian usually lives to around an age of fourteen to fifteen years old.

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(2) Dalmatians are either Black spotted or Liver spotted (a darkish brown colour ) The should never carry both colours at the same time. Sometimes you may get a very light brown spotted Dalmatian which is called a "Lemon spotted" variety but this is very unusual and not a desired trait of the breed. The puppies in a Dalmatian litter can be either all black spotted puppies or all Liver spotted puppies or a mixture of both within the same litter i.e. some puppies have black spots and other litter mates have liver spots.. It all depends on the genetic makeup of the parents.
Sometimes a Dalmatian is born with a patch of solid colour usually around the head area. These are known as patched puppies and it is not a fault and many new puppy owners like the patches.
Dalmatian puppies are born pure white and their spots start to appear around the ten days mark. Very faint at first and then gradually getting more defined as time goes on.

Puppies are born pure white
These puppies are only a day or two old and have no spots
The spots appear after about ten days
These puppies are about eight to ten days old and their spots are starting to appear

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(3) Dalmatians make excellent family pets and love to play with their toys. They interact well with both adults and children and there is usually no problem introducing them into a household where there are children. It is vitally important that both children and adults understand that sometimes your dog just wants to go to sleep in its basket and you need to instill in children that your dog must be left alone when it is sleeping or feeding. As with all dogs you cannot and should not leave them alone with very young children or babies. A watchfully adult presence is the best course of action when you have children and a dog.


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(4) Dalmatians usually have excellent temperaments and integrate well into any household, but remember they need a fair amount of exercise. As you would expect, all dogs are different and some are more friendly than others. In my opinion one of the most important things for ensuring that a new puppy is going to have a sound temperament is how they are reared in the first few weeks of their lives. A dog and certainly a puppy needs to be socialized correctly right from the start. I always feel it is better to rear a litter in the home because the puppies will get used to all the sights and sounds of a household from a very early age. The more people the new puppy sees in its first few weeks of life the better socialized it will be.

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(5) Some Dalmatians do smile. They curl their top lips up to show their teeth. This is accompanied by some serious tail wagging and general excitement. Sometimes they will not smile until the get older and some are far better at it than others. Some will never smile but it does not mean that they are not happy.

Smiling dog
Smiling dog

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(6) As a breed the Dalmatian is a healthy breed. The main health problems that you need to be aware of are hearing problems and uric acid problems. A small percentage of Dalmatians have hearing problems and it is therefore imperative that before you purchase a new puppy you ensure that it has been hearing tested at an approved hearing testing centre by a qualified person and that you are given a certificate to prove that the hearing of your new puppy has been tested and is normal. Due to a protein deficiency within the hearing canal some puppies will go deaf either in one ear of both ears within the first few weeks of life. There is no cure for this (at the moment) so that is why all responsible breeders have their litters hearing tested.

Another problem that a small percentage of Dalmatians suffer from is an excess of uric acid causing the formulation of crystals within the urinary tract which, in extreme circumstances, can cause a blockage in the urethra. This then results in emergency surgery at the vets. The formation of uric acid can be controlled to a degree by the use of low protein food (below approx.20% protein) and many of the major dog food manufacturers make dry foods specifically for the Dalmatian.

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(7) A Dalmatian must have regular exercise to stay both healthy and not get bored. Usually two walks a day with some off lead running is what they need. If you cannot give your Dalmatian regular exercise then the breed is not for you. Without exercise they can get destructive and very bored. Dalmatians are "People" dogs. They need company and love to see what you are doing.


Dalmatians are not pets! They are companions, peers, friends.
They will watch while you do almost everything: Cook, garden, do housework etc. Sometimes it's as if they are taking mental notes and will try these activities on their own sometime. Their temperament is friendly, inquisitive, intelligent, very fast learner, independent, self-assured but stubborn. Dalmatians are very sociable and play very well with other dogs.

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