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What Do Dalmatians Look Like?

dalmatian puppy standing in a grass field

Things change when you are getting a nice Dalmatian puppy; you will see that its nice white coat will change into either a black or brown spotted over a white coat. That is the nature of this dog as things change.

But the change in coat design does not change the dog at all. They are still very loyal, loving pets that like to have a lot of fun. They are also good work dogs as they can retrieve if they receive the proper training.

This change seems to be hard-wired into their DNA as it will take place in every Dalmatian no matter where they are born or their litter size.

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The History Of The Breed

Portrait of the head of a Dalmatian on a white background

It is hard to know where to start in describing where this dog breed originated. Some records say that this dog breed was developed in modern-day Croatia in the historical region of Dalmatia.

Those ancient breeders were said to use a spotted great Dane and a retriever to create the Dalmatian. However, Scientific studies seem to add to the confusion as their DNA explorations have determined that the Dalmatian does not line up with any established modern retriever breed.

This is so even though the Dalmatian has been described as part of the retriever family. What these scientific studies have proven is that the Dalmatian is a unique and ancient breed.

This finding is supported by the historical claims that the ancient Pharaoh of Egypt, Cheops, owned a spotted dog. This date reaches to the 4th millennium BC. Then some Greek frescoes painted in about 2000 BC have shown black and brown spotted dogs chasing a boar.

That is black on white and brown on white with the spots very meticulously painted. While many Dalmatians and other dog enthusiasts make the claim that this dog breed originated in Dalmatia, that is highly unlikely.

The Dalmatian may have been the result of breeding the still-existent Cretan Hound and a Bahakaa dog or also known as the white antelope dog. This theory comes from records written in 400 BC.

Despite their origin, The Dalmatian still bears those ancient black or brown spots to this day. There is more to their story, and in the end, no one really knows how the Dalmatian got his spotted coat.

It may be like the pug and be an original ancient breed.

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What Did Dalmatians Originally Look Like?

Adult Dalmatian laying on concrete stairs

If the ancient records are correct, the Dalmatian has always had its spotted coat. With ancient records showing that Cheops, the Pharaoh of Egypt in 3700 BC, owned one with spots.

Then the Greek frescoes show a white dog with brown or black spots; then, it may be concluded that the Dalmatian always looked white with brown or black spots.

We have found no record of them looking any different than they look today. The Dalmatian Club of America does not offer any other color for the Dalmatian’s original look.

The second sentence gives you the reason for that inability to claim the Dalmatian had a different colored coat when it first came into existence. That second sentence says-

“His beginning is buried so deep in the past that researchers cannot agree as to his origin. As to the great age of the breed and the fact that it has come through many centuries unchanged, investigators are in complete agreement.” (bold ours)

What is important is not what this dog breed first looked like but that it makes a great pet for active people.

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The Dalmatian Work History

3 dalmatians standing on a street surrounded by connected housing

This is a dog breed that has been given many work duties over the centuries. So far, it seems that ancient or modern, this dog breed performs its duties with care and dedication.

Their duties include being able to herd, retrieve, guard, control vermin, calm horses and protect them, act as messengers during the War, be a circus performer, retriever, and much more.

The Dalmatian was a great firehouse dog during the days of horse-drawn fire engines. They were so good at their job that when the horses were replaced by motorized fire trucks, the fire stations kept the Dalmatian as their pet.

Some Final Words

Head portrait of a Dalmatian outdoors

This dog breed goes way back in time. It goes so far back that no one really knows where it came from or how it used to look. They seem to be tireless pets who are always enthusiastic to please their masters and perform their duties.

They will be a great pet for any family if they are bought for the right reasons.

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