By Terri Estes

Say hello to the Dalmatian! Famed for their spotted coat, this breed was recognized by the AKC in 1888 and is a member of the non-sporting group. The Dalmatian should stand 19-24 inches at the shoulder and weigh 45-70 lbs. All Dalmatians are white with black or liver brown spots. It is believed that the breed is named after Dalmatia, the coastal region of Croatia, where the breed originated. All Dalmatians are born white, and their spots develop later.

Also known as the Coach dog, or Firehouse dog, the Dalmatian was bred to protect horse drawn carriages. These dogs have an affinity for horses and were used by firefighters to run in front of their horse drawn fire rigs to clear the path to fires, and then guard the horses and equipment while the firefighters battled the fire. However, the Dalmatian is best known for its starring role in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.

This breed is highly energetic and needs plenty of exercise. They are good with older children but may be too energetic for the little ones. They are very loyal to their own family but can be reserved with strangers. The Dalmatian’s  beautiful, unique spotted coat is low maintenance and needs little care. If you are looking for a loyal companion to take on your morning jogs or hikes through the park, then this may be the dog for you!

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