Commonly known as a firehouse dog, the dalmatian thrives on social interaction and relationships with humans. Their trademark spots are either black or liver-colored and set against white backgrounds. Dalmatian puppies are pure white; the spots develop as the dogs mature. Due to their high energy and rambunctious qualities, they are not recommended for homes with small children. Dalmatians serve as superior watchdogs and are very loyal to their owners. If you're interested in adopting a dalmatian, you can find one in a variety of places.
Search for dalmatian breeders near you. While you might not find a dalmatian breeder in your exact area, you'll likely find one within traveling distance. View the breeder's website to see photos of his latest litter. Sometimes, you can even reserve a puppy while the mother is still pregnant, provided you like how the mother and father look and behave.2
Visit pet stores in your area. If there aren't any dalmatian puppies available, ask about the frequency with which they get them in. Most pet stores will put you on a contact list and notify you when they have new dalmatians available.3
Think about adopting a dalmatian from a rescue foundation. There are a bevy of organizations that are dedicated to placing dalmatians in appropriate homes. Groups such as Dalmatian Rescue and Second Chance Dalmatian Rescue have both dalmatian puppies and adult dogs available for adoption. While some rescued dalmatians have been abused or neglected, others are given to foundations for a variety of different reasons.4
Prepare your home for your new dalmatian. Most dalmatians will grow to between 19 and 24 inches high. Secure any objects on low-level tables to ensure they aren't knocked off by a strong, wagging tail. If you are bringing home a puppy, he will interact fine with other pets. An adult dalmatian may initially be aggressive with your other pets and should be supervised until he grows accustomed to them.5
Visit your veterinarian with your new pup. Your vet will perform a hearing test on the dog. This is important for the breed, as approximately 12 percent of dalmatians are born deaf. Other common health issues include kidney stones, epilepsy and allergies. Your vet will also ensure that your pup has all the necessary vaccinations.6
Brush your dalmatian weekly. Though their short hair is not prone to tangles, dalmatians do shed quite a bit. Regular brushing helps to free loose hairs and cut down on shedding. Dalmatians experience two intense shedding periods a year. During these times, daily brushing is recommended.7
Exercise your dalmatian daily. If you have a large yard, your dog will be happy to romp freely through it. If you don't, walk your pup three times a day. Dalmatians do particularly well on runs.8
Train your dalmatian. If you don't train your dog, she may become high-strung. Employ training methods that are consistent and firm. Avoid harshness, as the breed is sensitive.