Five Fun Facts About Dalmatians

We’ve featured the Dalmatian in a previous Breed Spotlight, but in this post we are highlighting five fun facts you probably don’t know about these striking spotted canines!

One – Dalmatian puppies are born without spots. And you can disregard what the movie 101 Dalmatians tells you, because they don’t get their spots until they are about four weeks old.

Two – Speaking of the 101 Dalmatians movie, it didn’t do the breed any favors. Besides the rather harmless misinformation about puppies and their spots, a lot of families raced out to get a Dalmatian pup after seeing the movie and before doing any breed research. 

Many Dalmatians ended up in shelter situations because unaware people quickly found out the breed does not do particularly well with children, they shed and the also need a lot of attention and training.

Three – Thirty percent of all Dalmatians are deaf. This has to do with a type of pigment cell known as a melanocyte. The genes that produce the Dals’ spotted coat lead to a lack of mature melanocytes in the inner ear, which are necessary for hearing.

Four – Dalmatians have spots everywhere, even in their mouths. Each individual dog has its own unique spot pattern. The spots can appear on the roof of the dog’s mouth.

Five – George Washington, our first President, loved Dalmatians. His coach dog was a Dalmatian named Madame Moose.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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