Dalmatians

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by JennSLK, May 20, 2013.

  1. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    So Katie is obsessed with them. She has been for months and wants one. Now IF (big if in capital letters) she got one it wouldn't be for at LEAST a year. They seem like something I could live with. Katie (who would be 5 at the youngest) would be in charge of feeding and grooming the dog. She would do Jr handling with the dog. Possibly agility or something else she wanted to do. If not it would just be a good family pet. I like the coat, and the fact that they don't seem to be overly in your face friendly to strangers. I love the reserved Doberman temperament and I do not like the Lab temperament. Nothing against them just not me. I do want something safe in public and good with kids when raised with them and treated properly.

    Just looking for peoples general experience with them and how they are with kids and other animals (not small like a ferret)

    There is a breeder about a hour from me. Once I've done more research I will contact her to see if we can spend some time with the breed to really be sure.

    When I say Katie will be responsible for the dog I mean it. Yes I am fully willing and capable to help or take over things she cant do, but she loves caring for animals and when I house sit she is always the one who does the feeding.
     
  2. yv0nne

    yv0nne Vizsla mom

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    The few I've known have been rescues ..one is great with people but the other 3 were really sour& not something I'd trust around kids. My guess is that is more likely due to their background than anything and they were vicious but definitely willing to give a nip to get their point across!
     
  3. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    Dalmatians can be great with kids. I would say a good dal temperament is somewhere in the middle between a lab and a dobe. They are super easy to care for as far as grooming. BUT I do have to warn you those white hairs are.like.No_Other hairs out there.
    If you are thinking of getting her a dal, I would defiantly go through a breeder and tell the breeder what your plans are and they should (if they are any good) match up a pup that is perfect for your little girl.
    My Katie was 4-5 when I brought Chloe home. And that dog was hers, where as Ivan is mine. The dal we had growing up was my dads primarily, but she was never far away from us kids when we where outside.
    They can be people selective, meaning they will pick a favorite and thats it. They also tend to hold grudges on strangers or causal acquaintances. Atleast the 3 I've had did.
    Jen you can ask away on them all you want.
     
  4. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I had one as a kid. They can be a health nightmare and yes... that fur is something else.
     
  5. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I know we spoke in chat, but I just wanted to kind of reiterate (especially where kids are involved). I don't like generalizing a breed at all, but this is one you really really want to research and meet the parents and any relatives you can. They can be resource guardy, a bit territorial, and I've met a handful with human/fear type fear aggression. More likely to be 'stranger danger' than to be aggressive towards someone in the home though. They have good qualities for sure though! They love their people and do well in obedience and showing and stuff.

    Prone to deafness (you want BAER tested puppies!), urinary issues, epilepsy, etc.
     
  6. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    Thanks so far. Gypsy I was hoping you would pop in. I will pick your brain if/when it comes to breeders.

    Health issues don't scare me. They aren't any worse than the dobermans. As for hair, well I am still trying to get a few of Emma's hair out of the fabric of my car in a few places.

    CrazzedACD thanks for the warning it's something I will keep in mind.

    I don't mind half way between a Lab and a dobe, I just need something sharper than I lab.

    We will see what happens though
     
  7. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    Its no problem, pick away. I would love to see the next generation with spotty fever. LOL
    All 3 that I have, have been that way to varying degrees. Ivan by far is the sharpest or hardest but he also comes from a line of sharper dogs. The two girls where sit back and watch things, then react.
     
  8. Whitewave

    Whitewave New Member

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    I only have experience with on Dal and he was awesome! Never really looked much into the breed, so I don't know if Jake was normal or abnormal, but I can tell you a bit about Jake!

    Can't remember exactly, but it had to have been around 1999-2000 when I was walking my Dobe Zeus, Amstaff Hooch, and JRT mix Pongo along with several of my neighbors around the block and this Dal and Chow mix pup come out of no where and the Dal attacked my Amstaff. One of my neighbors had a walking stick and she hit him with it. He straightened himself up and fell in line and followed us home.

    He had an ID tag and I called the number. They swore up and down they didn't own a dog and yes I dialed the right number after reading it off the tag to them and they had that number for 9 yrs. It was not a local number, about 100 miles a way from me.

    So ok, next step- Dal rescues. They were all busting at the seems thanks to 101 Dalmatians. Animal control would euthanize him. He was emaciated, skin sores, broken tail, heartworm positive. He was a bit aggressive with my other dogs, wanted to eat cats, so I had no clue what to do with this spotted devil.

    My Great Aunt- never had a dog before, said bring him over and let me have a look at him. She asked to keep him to fatten him up. She fell in love. He ended up having to have his tail docked b/c it wouldn't heal, got neutered, heartworm treatment. Turned out to be one of the prettiest Dals I've ever laid eyes on. This guy was flashy, well built, gorgeous head and by far one of the most intelligent dogs I've ever seen. He was still a PITA, but a lovable one.

    My Aunt ended being known all over town as the Dalmatian Lady. Everyone knew Jake. She walked him 6 miles a day and people would stop in their cars to get out and ask to pet him. Kids flocked to him. Every kid in the the neighborhood came to her house to play with Jake.

    He loved being the center of attention.

    And those hair were monsters! Short, and stuck in everything would pierce your feet if you stepped on them and they were sticking up!

    Jake was exuberant, high energy, but had an off switch if properly exercised. He ended up being good with most dogs, but cats were a no no. He loved all people, but was protective. My Aunt was practically deaf and Jake ended up being a hearing dog for her with no training. He alerted her when the phone rang, when someone came to the door, even when there gun shots down the road, he woke her up and pulled her out of bed.

    Jake could make his own bed, pick up his toys by name (each one had a name), say his prayers (got up on the couch and put his paws together in the window and bowed his head) he did all kinds of tricks and loved learning.

    Only downside I ever saw to Jake was his health. He ended up with stones and after a few years on meds for them he got a complete blockage and was dying. So Jake ended being turned into a Jakette! He lived a few more years that way and his kidneys ended up failing on him. The Vet loved Jake so much that when his time came, she couldn't even put him down and had to call in another vet to do it. She was so upset, she left the building. Jake was a special dog that touched everyone who knew him.
     
  9. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    I haven't had much experience with Dals, but what I have had hasn't been positive. There was one that lived behind a relative's house when I was a young girl, and he was very very aggressive. I'm sure he came from a BYB though.

    The other time I was at a show and was walking back quickly to the grooming station from getting my arm band and a Dal jumped and grabbed a hold of my arm. The handler looked as surprised as I did! There was no warning; no growl, no bark- just grabbed me and let go as quickly as it happened.

    Really strange.

    I know they're a bit hard headed and sharp and need alot of exercise. I think if you show, the spots have to look "hand painted."
     
  10. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    Those where not good dals. With the combination of not good socialization. They can be a bit hard headed, they defiantly do not do things as a lab would. As far as the spots,the ideal is handpainted but many are not. My boy is far from hand painted. But if shes showing the dog in Jr., its not about how the dog looks but how the jr handler is handling the dog.
     
  11. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I've met very few dals....unfortunately, as a child I saw them everywhere, 101 Dalmatians craze...and I know they were considered an unhealthy, difficult, aggressive breed. Thankfully that died off fast, and I very rarely see them around now.

    The very few I've met that were well-bred seemed pretty awesome, though. I know they are a lot of dog for a typically family/children's pet, but I think if they are well-bred and well-socialized, there's no reason to think they aren't great with children - especially in the family. They can be a bit guardy, though, so you'd have to watch out if the dog upset with kids rough-housing or Katie squealing when playing with someone. I'd definitely very closely supervise if she had friends over.

    The health problems are bad, but there is a lot of testing available in the breed, and I think healthy dals do have a pretty good, comfortable lifespan. They do need a lot of exercise. I've heard mixed things about how they are with other animals, but I do believe they are more prone to prey drive and DA than a lab or something. Certainly not like dobermans or some terriers or mastiff breeds, but something to keep an eye on, ask about the line's tolerance of other pets, and socialize properly.

    I'm not sure they'd be my first choice for a child's dog, even if you want something a bit sharper, but they can make great family pets if you find the right one and handle it correctly.
     
  12. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    Yeah, I hear that. I know in Cardigans, we see reactivity more then we'd like and I always warn people who are interested that's a possibility.

    I did hear that some Dals were bred with pointers because of some kind of protein/kidney sensitivity; I'm not sure how that would affect a search for a dalmation, but I know the AKC allowed them to opn up their stud books.

    I like the way the liver colored ones look.
     
  13. Mina

    Mina BRT - "the black watch"

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    I wasn't going to chime in here as I'm certainly no expert on Dals. However, I've spent quite a bit of time with (very well-bred) Dals. Aside that, our very good friends have a pair and, when we get together, it's primarily doggy talk.

    The "backcross" Dals were already mentioned. Assuming you're not going into conformation showing (as these guys don't do that well in the ring), this would be an excellent option as far as eliminating the urate stone issue!

    As far as kids and other animals are concerned, they certainly can be good with them but, in our experience, they would not be anywhere near the top of the sociability list. If this is a concern, you should be extremely careful in choosing your lines, and very, very thorough in your socialization.

    "Reactivity" was already brought up. Semantics being as limited as they are, "reactivity", "skittishness", "borderline instability" - these seem to be more common than one might hope, even with very well-bred dogs. This is not necessarily a deal-killer for many people, but something about which to be aware. This also ties back to the kids and other animals thing.

    Things like energy level and their legendary shedding I won't comment on, as they seem to be common knowledge. But I will comment on the livers as, for many people, the appeal of this breed has much to do with aesthetics. The liver spots are often diluted in colour. Also, the white on the livers is quite a different shade than that of the black-spotted dogs. This may not show up in photos but, again, is something of which to be aware - if looks are an issue at all.

    Best of luck in your search!
     
  14. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Liver Dals aren't a dilute...Nor have I noticed any difference between shades of white on black versus liver. Where did you find that information?
     
  15. Mina

    Mina BRT - "the black watch"

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    What I said was, "The liver spots are often diluted in colour" ...

    meaning simply that there are those with (nice) dark, liver-coloured spots,
    and those with much paler ("diluted") spots.

    My guess is that, at conformation shows,
    diluted spots are quite often "touched up".


    I didn't "find" the information.
    Just a simple observation of the Livers I've seen,
    and subsequent asking the owners/breeders about it.
     
  16. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    The white between a liver dal and a black dal is the same. What makes it look slightly different is the colored pigment. The darker a pigment the more white the white is going to look (for either a black or liver). As far as liver pigmenting, they have come a long way. Livers come in a wide range of pigmenting. Some are a very very dark chocolate brown, are have a reddish tint to them.
    Mina as far as I know there isn't a whole lot of "touching" up at shows with the spotting. Yes some might fix a small spot of trim, but that occurs in both blacks and livers. Its a whole lot of work to fix or touch up the spotting on their coats. Especially if there is quite a few spotting.
     
  17. Mina

    Mina BRT - "the black watch"

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    As far as livers are concerned, with one prominent local breeder, the white on her livers have, as I recall, a very slightly but distinctive orange tint, as opposed to the somewhat brighter, whiter appearance of her blacks. I had thought I'd noticed it prior with other lines, but thought, perhaps, it was just an optical illusion. In any event, good friends of ours own one of her liver stud dogs (as well as a black); the difference between the two whites is quite obvious. But perhaps this is limited to certain lines? In any event, I won't argue the point, especially with a Dal person :hail:.

    And yes, there now seems to be a quite a spectrum of shades of "liver". Much of these colours appear quite dilute (to me, anyways).

    As far as touching up is concerned - aside from the usual powdering of white coats, we've watched with some bemusement, handlers with entire (extensive) make-up kits, painstakingly painting and highlighting markings on their dogs (of various breeds). And although I don't recall witnessing this, specifically, with Dals, one would assume it happens with them, too?

    As an aside to this, the "best" and most shocking was our first time at Westminster ...
    After finishing showing, we watched as hair extensions (or "weaves" ... I wouldn't know the difference) were removed from several Poodles :yikes:. But that has nothing to do with Dalmatians - just of the wonderful world of conformation shows.

    In any event, apologies for steering this thread off-course.
    :popcorn:

     
  18. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    As far as how white a dog appears. I swear Ivans white glows in the dark. But I know its an optical illusion due to how black his black is. And its such a stark contrast to the white. Where as a white and liver dog, there isn't such a stark contrast. But looking at just the white hairs from each (shedded hairs) you can't tell whos is whos. Provided both dogs are clean. And yes I've done that comparison.
    I know it happens in other breeds, but I just can't fathom why anyone would want to do that on a dal. And this is coming from someone who got bored one day. Decided to tidy up the spots on her dog. It is a WHOLE lot of work. And I didn't even get all done before I gave up.:rofl1:
    Although it wouldn't surprise me if a handler where to do something like that. After all the more winning dogs they have the higher paycheck they get. For most of us though (in dals) its just not worth the time. For me, I wash Ivan, trim up some of his cowlicks and thats about it. No chalking involved (except incase hes got an ouchie).
     
  19. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    There is a quite a variance in the shades of liver that are acceptable and show up. As far as the white variance, I have never noticed any difference beyond what Gyps has already pointed out. There was no difference in my dogs' white nor in my prospective breeder's. (Back when I still thought I was going to get another Dal in the future.)
     
  20. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    Mina, can you do us all a favor and stop using dilute that way. Dilute has a specific meaning regarding color genetics and is what makes black dogs blue & brown dogs gray/silver. Instead could you please use terms like shaded or washed out? Not a huge deal but I'd appreciate it myself.
     

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