The Dalmatian only ranks 51st on the American Kennel Club’s annual list of the most popular dog breeds, but these spotted dogs hold the number one spot in the heart of anyone who has been fortunate enough to have welcomed a Dalmatian into their heart and home. In celebration of this distinctive breed, we’ve fetched a some fun facts about Dalmatians!
National Fire Pup Day
October 1 is a pet holiday known as National Fire Pup Day, a day to honor the Dalmatian breed that has worked side by side with firefighters for generations.
Other Names for Dalmatians
The Dalmatian has been known by a number of other names, including:
- Plum Pudding Dog
- Spotted Coach Dog
- English Coach Dog
- Spotted Dick
- Carriage Dog
- Firehouse Dog
- Leopard Dog
Dalmatian Colors and Patterns
The spots on a Dalmatian’s coat can come in many colors!
Although the primary spot color is black, Dalmatian colors can vary so your dog may be a:
- Liver and White Dalmatian
- Brown Spotted Dalmatian
- Grey Spotted Dalmatian
- Yellow Spotted Dalmatian or White and Lemon Dalmatian
- Orange Spotted Dalmatian
- Tricolored Dalmatian
Dalmatians are spotless at birth. The dog’s signature spots appear when pups are approximately 10 days old.
Each dog coat is one-of-a-kind! Just like a person’s fingerprints, the arrangement of every Dalmatian’s spots is unique.
Name of Dalmatian in Different Languages
- Danish– dalmatiner
- Dutch– Dalmatiër
- Estonian– dalmaatsia koer
- Finnish– dalmatiankoira
- French– dalmatien
- German– Dalmatiner
- Hungarian– dálmaciai
- Italian– dalmata
- Lithuanian– Dalmatijos
- Romanian– dalmatin
- Slovenian– Dalmatinec
- Spanish– dálmata
- Long live Dalmatians! Dogs of this breed have an average life span of 11 – 13 years.
- A dog devotee in the United Kingdom amassed 1,117 Dalmatian-themed objects to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records! Among the treasures are several items which were once owned by author Dodie Smith, who penned One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
- The Dalmatian’s history is a mystery. Dog devotees are divided in their thoughts regarding the dog’s origin, with some believing that the breed began in the British Isles, others in Asia or North Africa.
Famous Dalmatian Sculptures
- A four-story Dalmatian sculpture simultaneously balances a taxi on his snoot while bringing smiles to sightseers, commuters and young patients alike outside of the NYU-Langone Medical Center’s Hassenfield’s Children’s Hospital in New York City. Discussing his eye-catching sculpture, Donald Lipski stated:
“I like to think that the parents, the doctors and nurses and staff, the neighbors, will all be smitten by this playful, heroic young dog doing the impossible. Art has actual healing power.”
- A dog walk along the waterfront in the city of Tauranga is a stroll down Memory Lane for New Zealanders when they promenade past dog sculptures that have seemingly leapt from the pages of their favorite childhood picture books, the Hairy Maclary series. Among the best-selling author Dame Lynley Dodd’s beloved characters who have been immortalized in bronze is a Dalmatian called Bottomley Potts.
- As animal lovers we all know that dogs light up our world in a figurative sense, but a 19-foot-tall Dalmatian sculpture named “Art” that stands guard outside of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council in Shreveport, Louisiana takes the phrase literally! Sightseers who stroll past 801 Crockett Street in the evening can enjoy the glow of light emanating from 254 spots on the canine’s faux coat.
Dalmatians on the Silver Screen
- 101 Dalmatians — This classic tale of Pongo, Perdita and their pups has unleashed a franchise ranging from an animated movie and TV cartoon series to several live action flicks and even a musical.
- 102 Dalmatians — Fur babies Domino, Little Dipper and Oddball are rescued from becoming a fur coat for Cruella de Vil in this 2000 sequel to 101 Dalmatians.
- Cruella — The Dalmatians seen on screen in this 2021 tale of the Disney villain’s origins were a combination of real Rovers and CGI.
- What Dreams May Come — Katie the Dalmatian met Robin Williams’ character in the afterlife.
Dalmatians in Cartoons
- Clifford The Big Red Dog — A recurring character in the PBS Kids series, Tucker the Dalmatian puppy’s pet parent is a fire fighter.
- Finley The Fire Engine — The British CGI cartoon series featured Scout, a Dalmatian who is the best friend of Finley, the fire engine who helps to keep the town of Friendlyville safe.
- Hoze Houndz — In this Canadian cartoon series a pack of six Dalmatian fire fighters protect the town of Bonehead Hollow.
- Richie Rich — Dollar signs replace spots on the coat of the Poor Little Rich Boy’s “Dollarmatian,” aptly named Dollar.
Famous Pet Parents of Dalmatians
- Gloria Estefan — The Grammy Award winner’s Dalmatian starred in the music video for her 1991 hit “Live for Loving You.”
- Pablo Picasso — The prominent painter named his Dalmatian Perro, which is the Spanish word for “dog.”
- George Washington — Although a Dalmatian has never lives at 1600 Pennsylvania, America’s first president was a pet parent to a “coach dog” (as Dalmatians were known) named Madame Moose.
Adopting a Dalmatian
If you want to welcome a dalmatian or Dalmatian mix into your heart and home, look for a Dalmatian rescue in your area, as well as other area animal rescues and shelters.
You can search for adoptable Dalmatians online at: