The Dalmatian is a large and energetic breed with plenty of stamina and intelligence. In this article, we’ll be taking you through some general information and traits of the breed, as well as plenty of Dalmatian training tips! The working background and typical jobs assigned to this ancient breed are versatile. They range from hunting tasks through war and guard duties to circus performance, but they are best known for their historical role as a carriage dog and a firehouse dog.
This task required the Dalmatian to be able to run alongside a horse-drawn carriage, often for a long distance. Their role was mostly to guard the carriage and the horses both on the road and in the stables and to deter intruders. They were also a status symbol for the wealthier travellers.
Apart from their physical stamina and love of running, when it comes to Dalmatian training, they tend to be highly trainable and intelligent. Their striking coat markings and generally friendly, affectionate, silly and playful nature make them a popular choice as pets. They are also known as good watchdogs, however, there is another side of this coin. They may, in some cases, present as being over-sensitive, reactive, distrustful or prone to resource guarding. So, Dalmatian puppy training is required from a young age to minimise the risk of these issues developing.
Dalmatians require a relatively high level of physical and mental stimulation and as with other energetic breeds, they can become frustrated or depressed if those needs are not fulfilled. Proactive and appropriate puppy socialisation in the sensitive period between 3 and 12 weeks is one of the two best investments you will make in your dog’s future. The other one is teaching your Dalmatian the specific life skills they need to navigate the weird human world, and building a trust-based relationship with your dog in the process.
Dalmatians have been misunderstood in the past and labelled as unintelligent. This was, until it was discovered that many are deaf. The predisposition for deafness is genetic and linked to the presence or absence of melanin (dark pigment). However, deafness doesn’t stop the Dalmatian from being a wonderful pet, so long as the Dalmatian training and management is tailored to the specific needs of each individual dog.
Are you interested in adding one to the family? They really can make amazing pets for so many different people. However, if you’re getting a puppy, Dalmatian puppy training needs to be your top priority! In the rest of this article, we’ll go through our top breed and training considerations to help you figure out if this dog is the right breed for you and your family!
Our Top 10 Dalmatian training and breed considerations
A breed bred to run
It’s important to bear in mind that this breed was bred to run. So, it is also important that your lifestyle can fit in with this energetic breed and their needs. Did you know that you can buy treadmills that are fitted for dogs in order to give your Dalmatian extra physical exercise indoors? This is a good idea to invest in to make sure that they are kept as happy and as active as they need to be to thrive.
Destructive when left alone
When it comes to Dalmatian puppy training, and into adulthood, it may be useful to invest in treat balls and interactive toys to keep your dog stimulated when alone. This is because when they are bored and left alone for a while, they can become destructive. They’ll take their boredom out on your furniture, shoes, and other possessions! Because of this, crate training may also prevent the dog from performing destructive behaviour when they are left, so it is definitely something to consider.
Socialising is key with Dalmatian puppy training
It is very important to socialise your Dalmation with a variety of dogs on and off of the lead, as they can be known to show aggressive behaviour. When socialising, pay attention to what signals your dog is showing, and whether they are finding the socialisation a positive or negative experience. This is because the more negative experiences with other dogs can then transfer to each meeting situation, leading to aggression down the line. As long as you keep an eye on them and how they are reacting, you should be able to deal with this aggression before it develops into a bigger problem.
A shedding breed
Dalmatians shed all year round so be prepared to have white hairs all over your clothes! This unfortunately is something that just comes with the territory. So, if you like a pristinely clean home, this may not be the breed for you, because it will be genuinely difficult to keep on top of all of their shedding!
An intelligent breed
The Dalmatian is an intelligent breed, so obedience and trick training can help them stay stimulated and is also great for bonding. It’s important to practice these Dalmation training and behaviours in different places in order to generalize the behaviour. You should mostly train them around distractions so they can learn to focus on you in any situation, which is always a really useful skill for any dog to have.
They can become easily attached
The Dalmatian can be seen to get attached easily. So, as part of their Dalmatian puppy training, it is useful to teach them from a young age to relax when alone in order to reduce any over dependency. Dog Daycare may also be an option for getting your dog out of the house and building their confidence by themselves. Having a dog that is independent is a real asset and means you don’t have to worry about leaving them alone as much, so it is definitely a worthwhile thing to consider.
Too much for small children…
Due to their energetic personalities, they may be too much for small children. For example, they can typically jump and will feed off of people with high energy such as children. So, if kids are in the household, it may be useful to keep meetings calm and short, to begin with. Dalmatians can be loving family pets, however, it may be recommended to wait until your children are a bit older if you want to minimise the risk of an upset.
Make lead walk training a priority
Lead walking Dalmatian training is crucial as they can typically pull. Consistency is the most important factor when teaching a dog to walk nicely on a lead, so if more than than one family member is walking the dog it’s beneficial for everyone to be following the same guidelines. Having a dog with good lead manners will make your life a lot easier when out and about, so it is definitely a top priority for training.
A stubborn breed
This breed can also be stubborn. So, when training them, it is important to always be consistent and confident. Make sure to have high-value rewards to give them to begin with. And, you can break the training criteria down into small steps to build up encouragement to get to the end result you need!
Buy a whistle
A whistle may be useful when training recall. This is because, due to their athletic nature, when they’re off the lead Dalmatians love to run! When using a whistle, make sure to pair the noise with a treat for lots of repetitions before using it out and about. Also, start with short distances building up the distractions.
What can Dalmation training look like?
Dalmations are a lovely breed that many people adore for their unique looks and quirky personalities. However, Dalmatian puppy training, and continued training into adulthood, is really vital. Here at Royvon, we have seen plenty of Dalmations come through our doors for training for all sorts of issues! Take a look at the YouTube video below to learn a bit more about what training for Dalmations can look like. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for plenty more videos packed full of tips and tricks!
Monty the Dalmatian Puppy joined us at Royvon Merthyr, to work on his basic obedience whilst on a residential stay at our facility, with his trainer Aleks. During his stay, he worked on his recall and lead walking around lots of distractions including other dogs and in a variety of “real life” environments, such as the park. He did such an awesome job, well done Monty and Aleks!
Here at Royvon, we are passionate about working with breeds of all kinds, it’s not just Dalmatians! And, we can help with all sorts of issues from basic obedience to severe aggression and anxiety. We offer a range of different options to suit all needs and budgets. These range from one-to-one, intensive residential stays, to relaxed and fun puppy classes! If you would like to find out more about everything we offer at Royvon, please visit our website. Or, don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can discuss what would be the right option for you and your dog.
Darren is the Managing Director of Royvon Dog Training & Hotels. The business has been in his family for over 60 years! Darren uses this blog to share knowledge and information about dog training and more.