Look, a Dalmatian! Our guest today needs no introduction, he’s been the star of several movies, television series, a book and even video games. Of course, we’re talking about the “firehouse dog” the distinctive Dalmatian. He’s one of the most easily recognizable breeds, with his unique black or liver spotted coat, made popular in the late 20th century thanks to Walt Disney. Hi, welcome to Animal Facts. Here are ten fascinating facts about the venerable Dalmatian. Let’s get started. But before we start, take a moment to like and subscribe for more fun, fauna facts.
Let us know about your doggy in the comments below.
10. Walt Disney wasn’t the first to recognize this pooch. They have been found painted on walls of tombs running behind ancient Egyptian chariots and mentioned in letters written in the mid-1500s by a poet named Jurij Dalmatin. A fresco in the Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy painted around 1360 also shows a spotted dog of the Dalmatian type. More recently, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, a 1956 novel written by Dodie Smith inspired the 1961 Walt Disney animated film “101 Dalmatians” which turned into a franchise, spawning several movies, television series, children’s books, toys and video games.
9. The breed is very versatile and has been used for many purposes over the years. Dalmatians became popular in the 1800s when they were used as coach dogs to trot alongside carriages and protect them and the horses from other dogs and threats, such as Highwaymen. They have also been war sentinels, circus performers, and hunters. The Dalmatians we know today are primarily companion animals.
Bonus fact: George Washington was an avid dog fan and was known to be a breeder of Dals. His coach dog was a Dalmatian named Madame Moose.
8. The job of coach dog eventually translated to the firehouse, where Dalmatians would run behind fire carriages. Horses were skittish around a fire, but the Dals kept them composed. Their distinct features also make them a great mascot, so you can still find the dogs riding in modern fire trucks today. As a bonus, they’re also excellent ratters and keep firehouses pest-free.
7. Keeping with the tradition of coach dogs, Budweiser keeps three Dalmatians to travel with the Clydesdale hitches. The breed has been associated with the brewery since 1950 when a Dal was introduced as the Budweiser Clydesdales’ mascot. The current Budweiser dogs are named Chip, Brewer, and Clyde.
6. Dalmatians thrive on human companionship, and if left alone too long they can become destructive or they will pout and act depressed. This dog is for someone who wants to spend time with a pet.
The Dalmatian today has an endless capacity for exercise and is the ideal companion for people who jog, skate, or bicycle. He’s also a keen competitor in canine sports such as agility and flyball. A Dalmatian must have adequate daily exercise to prevent behavior problems from developing.
5. Dalmatians are distinct for their piebald pattern. Usually, these spots are black or liver. Every Dal is different, but most have these marks all over their body. If you open up a Dal’s mouth, you can even find spots in there. However, despite being covered in spots in adulthood, puppies are born snow white. Pups generally don’t grow their spots until about four weeks.
4. Unfortunately, the breed has been the object of fad popularity because of the 101 Dalmatians franchise. Too often this has led to over-breeding of poor specimens, and homes that are not suited for the breed. The breed also has a high incidence of deafness, which can lead to communication problems. Too many Dalmatians end up in rescue because they do not act like the dogs in the movies.
3. Around 30 percent of all Dalmatians are inflicted with deafness as a result of their spotted markings. Breeding dogs with this coat can lead to a lack of mature melanocytes in the inner ear. Without these, dogs can become hard of hearing. Dogs with larger patches of black are less likely to be deaf. So, if your Dal seems to ignore you, it may be because he is deaf.
2. Dalmatians have a urinary system unique in the dog world, and they have a few special requirements because of this to prevent medical complications. Their diet should never be extremely high in protein, and they must be allowed access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Dalmatians also should have the opportunity to relieve themselves frequently to keep the urinary system flushed. With these simple protocols in place, your Dalmatian should live a long, healthy life.
1. While Dals are not particularly good with children or other pets, he is, after all, a guard dog by nature, Dalmatians will get along with other pets and children if socialized as a puppy with all types of pets and people. Dalmatians can make a wonderful active playmate for children with proper supervision to be sure that both the child and the dog are following acceptable rules for behavior.
Well, there ya have it, 101… I mean 10 fascinating facts about the spotted pooch, the Dalmatian. From Ancient Egypt to Firetrucks from children’s’ movies to beer ads, the Dalmatian has done it all. We love hearing about your pooches, so tell us about your Dal in the comments below. Before ya go, take a moment to like and subscribe for more fun, fauna facts. We publish at least twice a week, so don’t miss a single fact. And as always, catch ya next time.
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