Dalmatian's have a unique history. There is a lot of debate as to where they originated, but many people believe they were popular with different travelling bands of gypsies, which would account for the wide variety of places that claim Dalmatians as their own breed.
What is known for sure is that they were popular in England as early as the mid 1800's, and the English probably were the first to breed them.
Dalmatians were used to calm horses, provide companionship to travelers, and to accompany coaches and nobleman on long journeys. They loved to run long distances, guard horses, and be around carriages; even earning them the nickname English Coach Dog.
Dalmatians can be described as a muscular and mid-size dog. The weights vary but can range anywhere from 35-70 pounds. They also are around 19-25 inches tall, with males being larger than most females.
It is the classic color scheme that makes these dogs so recognizable. They are born with a plain white coat and after a week or so the recognizable black spots start to appear. Most of their spots are developed after a month, but they will continue to develop a few more spots overtime. There coat is also normally short haired and fine, making it a very pretty dog.
Dalmatians are really intelligent and very active. They love to play and need to have a lot of space to do this. They are going to want to run, walk, and spend plenty of time outdoors.
Rumors of them running 100 miles a day exist from their early days as coach dogs in England. They love playing all games that you would expect from an active dog.
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Dalmatians also get along with many different animals. They get along with horses and most other breeds of dogs.
There are cases when Dalmatians are known to attack or they are too rough when playing with smaller breeds of dogs. They have been used as a guard dog for a long time, so they are a perfect companion dog or even guard dog for homes.
Like most dogs, if they are shown love and proper care they will become very loyal to their owners. They will enjoy spending time lounging with their owners, or spending time playing with them.
They love to travel in cars and are normally very friendly with kids. If they are not shown love or giving the opportunity to run and exercise, they have been known to develop a stubborn or aggressive streak. This aggressive streak can include lots of barking and even nipping at other pets.
Dalmatians are very intelligent and are able to learn all of the important commands dogs need to learn. They have been used in all sorts of different acts throughout history, and they are a very common show dog. They are fast learners, but they are rowdy and love to play, making it hard at times to train successfully.