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Old 01-22-2010, 03:22 PM
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Default Dalmatians

I won't be getting another dog for a very long time (not until one or two of my current dogs pass), but I want to know a bit about Dalmatians anyway. I've read a whole bunch of info online, but hands-on info from people who know or own the breed is always hard to find. I had a Dalmatian when I was younger, and I loved her. She was incredibly quick to learn, highly energetic, and a total velcro dog. I haven't had much experience with the breed aside from her and minimal interaction with a couple of others though.

I love the current two breeds I own, but the Dobes' health problems really scare me. They don't really have that many, but the ones they do have are awful. I'll probably always have a Doberman regardless, but it'd also be nice to find another breed that is similar but with less issues. Dals have their fair share of health issues as well I've read, but they don't seem to be as serious as the Doberman's. I contacted a couple of Dal breeders hoping they could give me some information, but I didn't hear back from either for some reason.

What I'm looking for is a dog that is pretty easy to train and biddable, but it needs to have a bit of an independent streak as well. I like a dog who thinks and can solve problems. I absolutely need a dog with an off-switch. I also want an active, energetic dog but one who is still willing to be a bit lazy on occassion. I like the energy level of my current dogs -- take them out for an hour or two everyday for a run/play, and they come home and aren't totally exhausted but are easy to live with. I also prefer dogs that are reserved (but not shy) around strangers, and dogs who tend to prefer a certain person over everyone else. A smooth coat is also important -- I'm not a fan of short double coats (like Labs and Rottweilers). I don't mind long coats, but I'm prefering smooth coats these days. From what I've read, Dalmatians appear to have all those qualities but I could be wrong.

I'd love to hear of your own experiences with the breed, and of anything you think is important to know about them. Also whether you think a Dal would suit me or not. I'm sure I've left out some important info about myself/what I want in a dog, but I can't think of what at the moment. Also, if any of you have any other breed suggestions for me to look into that's always good as well.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:15 PM
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I only know of the experiences of others, which is why I don't have any of my own. Since you like an active intelligent breed and have experience with such, yes.

However, they can be totally distracted. This makes them difficult to train and certainly not biddable. They are a handful. Part of the problem is the Disney thing, where everyone wants a spotted puppy for the family and the puppymills churn them out to meet the need. There are so many dals out there with bad temperaments, that are totally unfocused. If you are careful in doing research and real careful of who you buy a dal from you may find one like your first dalmatian. Research lines. Maybe contact dalmatian rescue and talk to someone about breeders and who has great lines for both physical and mental health. I would prefer a well bred dobie over a dal, myself.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:46 PM
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Its not that they are easily distracted that makes them hard to train. Its that they are very much a WHY dog. Why should I do this repeatedly type of dog. I know what to do and you know I know what to do so why do I have to keep doing it over and over type of dog. They are in fact very quick to learn new things (sometimes to fast) which is another reason they seem hard to train. As far as biddable, they can be and also not be. For me and with me Ivan is quite biddable, to others not so much for. They can think and solve problems much to the dismay of many a Dal owner.
They are what I would consider a Mid level active/energy lvl. They can go the distance but can IF exercised properly have an off switch. Less so as a puppy/adolescent than as an adult. I would say a dal activity level is quite similar to a dobie. Just as with dobies it does vary between each individual.
There dals are reserved and there are those that are not. I have had one that is quite reserved but not shy, she well was quite the snob. She really didn't see the need to gush all over other people that where not in her circle. Now Ivan is the total opposite, he is the "look at me/its ALL about me" attitude.
As far as coat, very very similar to a Dobie coat, NOT at all like a rottie or Lab coat. The biggest issue with a Dal coat, is you will have white hairs all over everything and they stick like you would believe. I swear there are little barbs on them similar to a porcupine quill.

As with a Dobie socializing and training are key. I will say a bored Dal is a Dal in trouble. They WILL find their own entertainment one way or another.
The other problem that many potential or new Dal owners run into is they are unprepared for the attitude of a dal. They forget that Dals where originally guard dogs to protect the carriages and people from the highwaymen. So they can and will if necessary protect their owners and homes.
Toller if you have anymore questions just let me know I would be happy to answer them for you.
Edited to add. They can very much be 1 person dogs.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:47 PM
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OPPS sorry that was so long.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:31 PM
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Thank you so much! They sound very similar to what I currently have in pretty much every aspect.

Are they demanding about exercise? As in, do they pester you and get overly demanding about getting out or will they stay relatively relaxed/calm in the house until you say it's time to go?
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:33 PM
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When they are younger they can be but as long as you don't jump when they say so as adults they will bug you a bit then go play else where. Once in a great while will Ivan get totally obnoxious about wanting to do something.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:34 PM
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I've always said that if I couldn't own a dal, I would pick a dobie for my other large breed dog. If it wasn't for their same sex aggression potential I would probably have one now.
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