Dalmatians make amazing pets for owners who are familiar with the breed and are aware of the requirements of Dalmatian ownership. For first time dog owners, starting out with a Dalmatian will be a massive challenge. Below we discuss what category of first time dog owner you fall into, and the requirements and challenges of Dalmatian ownership if this is a path you are considering.
First time dog owner
A first time dog owner can be best defined into 3 separate categories
- Not raised with dogs in the family, limited life interaction with dogs in general
Dalmatian ownership will be extremely difficult and is not recommended due to inexperience with dogs in general
- Not raised with dogs in the family, has experience with dogs in general
Dalmatian ownership will be difficult, can be done if the owner has done their research and knows what they are getting into
- Raised with dogs as pets, well informed of the requirements of dog ownership
Dalmatian ownership will be a great experience as long as the owner is well informed of the breed and long list of requirements for a happy life
The more experience you have around different dog breeds, the more likely you are to succeed in owning and living with a happy healthy Dalmatian. You will know that research into the breed you want to own will be extremely important to ensure they fit into your lifestyle.
It will be an extremely challenging experience to own a Dalmatian without much experience around dogs, especially without doing research into the breed and their long list of requirements for a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately people do fall into this category, creating very difficult lives for themselves and their pets, often needing to put their dogs up for adoption.
Dalmatians require a large amount of your time
Dalmatians are very intelligent animals that require a large amount of their owners time. Below is a list of time consuming activities Dalmatians need each day:
- Dalmatians need daily exercise
- Dalmatians don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time
- Dalmatians need large amounts of love and attention
- Dalmatians need constant bathroom visits
Potential Difficulties related to the Dalmatian temperament
Intelligence – Smart dogs are awesome to own and train, but this comes with challenges like thinking for themselves, creating their own rules, hearing your commands and deciding if they want to follow or not.
Stubbornness – Because of their intelligence, Dalmatians are independent thinkers and can be quite stubborn. They require a strong leader to follow or they will consider themselves the leader.
Sensitive – Dalmatians can be very sensitive and emotional animals. They need loads of love and attention to keep them happy and health. They will react very poorly to negative behaviors and treatment, even family arguments will upset a Dal. They have long memories and will remember negative treatment.
Loyal – Loyalty is awesome, with Dalmatians having a strong desire to please and protect their owners. This can lead to aggression issues with people or other animals and requires the correct treatment, socialization and training as they grow from puppy to adult.
High energy – Daily exercise is required as Dalmatians have huge endurance and energy output. They were bred to run all day, and will if given the opportunity. Not burning off this energy can have some hefty consequences, such as destroying things (chewing or scratching), digging and other negative behaviors.
Dalmatian potential health challenges
Deafness – Dalmatians are prone to genetic deafness. This is well known and documented in the breed. Any reputable breeder will test their puppies hearing before sale (BAER test – Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response).
Urinary stones – Dalmatians have a unique uric acid metabolism that predisposes them to stones anywhere in the urinary tract which can cause blockages. Drinking plenty of water and having constant bathroom breaks combats this
Allergies and skin conditions – With their thin coat and fair skin, Dalmatians are prone to sunburn and skin conditions. Their sensitive skin can be irritated by rolling in dirt or grass, and they will often lick themselves clean making skin conditions worse, especially on the belly and under their armpits.
Dalmatians require owners who are well researched into the breed and know what is required for a healthy and happy dog. A new Dalmatian owner will need to make their new pet a priority in their lives, which can be quite the challenge for new dog owners, especially owners with little experience around dogs. If you have made it to the end of this article, and Dalmatian ownership still sounds like a wonderful idea, you will make an excellent first time dog owner.