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Dalmatian Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Dalmatian? We asked the experts!
 

Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado says:

The Dalmatian breed needs exercise, training and attention; they are great companions, are clownish and also protective of their home and family. They do shed year round and need to be kept warm in the winter.   Since Dalmatians are high uric acid and thus can possibly develop urinary stones, it is most important that they be fed low purine foods with water added and allowed to urinate frequently. Otherwise they’re long-lived and generally healthy.

Chocolate Chip Dalmatian Assistance League (CCDAL) says:

Dalmatians were bred to run beside or under horse-drawn carriages, so they have an incredible amount of energy and stamina.  They can run 25-35 miles per hour, so if they get loose they can be miles away (in any direction!) by the time you find your shoes and car keys!  On the other hand, they have to get enough exercise to use up all that energy or they will drive you crazy.

The genetic weakness in the Dalmatian breed is deafness.  The Dalmatian Club of America calls for all deaf puppies to be euthanized, but we know that deaf Dals can be trained in American Sign Language and make wonderful pets in an appropriate household.  The only difference is that deaf dogs don't come back when you call them (and they can't hear traffic), so they need to be kept in a secure environment.

More about Dalmatians:

Those who share their home with Dalmatians and Dalmatian mixes often describe them as loyal and dedicated, intelligent but willful, energetic and even excitable. The Dalmatian is quite an energetic breed that requires socialization with both animals and people at a young age. This breed also requires human companionship and leadership to be happy and well adjusted. Dalmatians are not recommended for apartment dwelling unless they can be taken outside for exercise and activity at least twice per day and they do not do well being outside too long in cold climates.

Dalmatians have a very short, close coat that sheds year round. Shedding can be minimized with regular brushing but may become excessive twice yearly with seasonal changes. This breed is known to lack what is often referred to as a ‘doggie odor’ and prefers to keep themselves quite clean. They are an energetic breed and require daily walks and jogs as well as regular opportunities to run off leash in a safe area. They love to run! If adequate activity is not provided they can become quite destructive and develop a variety of behavioral problems.

All breeds of dogs are inclined to certain health problems. This does not mean that your Dalmatian of Dalmatian mix will have these problems. It is well known that this breed is inclined to deafness. Approximately 70% of Dalmatians have normal hearing. The remainder suffers from partial, unilateral, or total deafness. This is a condition that is common to breeds that are genetically predisposed to light pigmentation and/or piebald coloring. But it is important to mention that deaf dogs can lead perfectly normal, active and happy lives. Dalmatians may also be prone to urinary stones, urinary blockage and skin allergies.

More about the Dalmatian

Thinking about adopting a Dalmatian puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Dalmatian puppy (or, gasp! find a Dalmatian puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Dalmatian puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Dalmatian (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Dalmatian puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Dalmatian rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Dalmatian

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Dalmatian adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Dalmatians for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Dalmatians and Dalmatian puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Dalmatian puppy.  Dalmatian puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Dalmatian, even a Dalmatian puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Dalmatian puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Dalmatian if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Dalmatian would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Dalmatian rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Dalmatian you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Dalmatian to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Ashburn
Ashburn, VA

FOHA - Dogs
Aldie, VA

Pet Rescue Foundation, Inc.
Gloucester, VA

Virginia German Shepherd Rescue
Sterling, VA

With Our Regards, Inc.
Sterling, VA

Dogwood Sheltie Rescue
Sterling, VA

Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue
Herndon, VA

PAWS Rescue of Northern VA
Reston, VA

SCMR - VA
Herndon, VA

Furry Suits Rescue
Herndon, VA

NBRAN-Virginia
Reston, VA

Akita Rescue Mid-Atlantic Coast, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD

Boxer Rescue and Adoption Inc.
Reston, VA

New Rattitude - Maryland
Poolesville, MD

Friends Of Homeless Animals - Cats
Aldie, VA

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Great Falls
Great Falls, VA

Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA

Open Hearts Rescue
Leesburg, VA

A Forever Home Rescue Foundation
Chantilly, VA

Collie Rescue, Inc.
Chantilly, VA

Potomac Valley Pekingese Club - Chantilly
Chantilly, VA

Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Centreville, VA

Home At Last Sanctuary, Inc
Potomac, MD

Sweetheart Sanctuary
Vienna, VA

Healing Hearts Animal Rescue Group
Catharpin, VA

Annies Orphans
Gaithersburg, MD

Dewey Animals, Inc.
Centreville, VA

Mutt Love Rescue
Fairfax, VA

PetConnect Rescue
Potomac, MD

City of Fairfax Animal Shelter
Fairfax, VA

The Humane Society of Fairfax County
Fairfax, VA

Whitney Foundation
Fairfax, VA

Independent Animal Rescue
Germantown, MD

Rescue BC
Germantown, MD

United Maltese Rescue
Germantown, MD

Loudoun SPCA
Middleburg, VA

Middleburg Humane Foundation
Middleburg, VA

Loudoun County Animal Services
Waterford, VA

Nova Rottweiler Rescue
Germantown, MD

Westie Rescue MidAtlantic
Dunn Loring, VA

Dachshund Rescue of North America Inc.
Manassas, VA

Raleigh County Animal Rescue, Inc
Manassas, VA

Forever Homes Animal Rescue, Inc.
Rockville, MD

Gentle Creatures
Rockville, MD

Hedgesville Hounds
Rockville, MD

Montgomery County Humane Society
Rockville, MD

American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue - Northwest Region
Gaithersburg, MD

Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue
Mclean, VA

Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection, formerly Potomac Valley AMR
Virginia, Maryland, DC, MD

Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue
Clifton, VA

Pet Pros Maryland
Bethesda, MD

Lab Rescue LRCP - Purcellville VA
Purcellville, VA

Montgomery County SPCA
Gaithersburg, MD

Saint Seton's Orphaned Animals
Falls Church, VA

Friends Of Montgomery County Animals
Germantown, MD

Mid-Atlantic Chinese Shar-Pei Rescue Operation
Bethesda, MD

Tailed Treasures of MD Inc.
Rockville, MD

Empty Shelter Project
Manassas, VA

Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.
Adamstown, MD

Bull Terrier Rescue of Virginia (BTRVA)
Manassas, VA

Jasmine's House, Inc. - MD Chapter
Clarksburg, MD

Ambassador Pit Bull Rescue
Gainesville, VA

HART (Homeless Animals Rescue Team)
Fairfax Station, VA

Promises Animal Rescue, Inc
Gainesville, VA

DC Area Weimaraner Rescue
Manassas Park, VA

Doberman Assistance Rescue & Education
Arlington, VA

Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation
Arlington, VA

on the rebound bulldog rescue foundation
manassas, VA

Best DAWG Rescue Inc.
Bethesda, MD

BB&G Pomeranian Rescue
Lovettsville, VA

Maryland Bichon Frise Rescue
Rockville, MD

Lab Rescue LRCP - Frederick MD
Buckeystown, MD

Mutts Matter Rescue
Rockville, MD

Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue Inc. District of Columbia, Virginia
Washington, DC

Lab Rescue LRCP - Falls Church VA
Falls Church, VA

American Maltese Assoc. Rescue--Virginia
Bristow, VA

Blue Ridge Doberman Rescue
Bluemont, VA

Dog World Rescue, Inc.
Alexandria, VA

Mid-Atlantic GSP Rescue
Arlington, VA

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue
Arlington, VA

SPCA of Northern Virginia
Arlington, VA

Allbreed Rescue & Referral Inc
Gaithersburg, MD

Chow Chow Rescue of Maryland
Silver Spring, MD

Grand Dogs Rescue 2
Silver Springs, MD

Roxie's Fund, Inc*
Silver Spring, MD

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
Washington, DC

Capitol Canines Animal Rescue
Washington, DC

Capital Animal Care
Arlington, VA

Caring Hearts Rescue
Springfield, VA

Dogs Deserve Better - Virginia Chapter
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better, DC Metro Area
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better-DC Metro Area
Arlington, VA

Ozark Mutts and Stuff, Inc VA
Springfield, VA

Pups 2 Luv Rescue
Springfield, VA

Purrs, Paws, and Claws - Springfield Chapter
Springfield, VA

Rescue Angels, Inc. - Virginia Chapter
Arlington, VA

To The Rescue Inc.
Springfield, VA

American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance, Inc. - VA
Alexandria, VA

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Alexandria, VA

Tara's House Animal Rescue, Inc. - Silver Spring Chapter
Silver Spring, MD

Animal Welfare League of Arlington
Arlington, VA

Bring Home the Brindle Dog Rescue
Ijamsville, MD

Washington Humane Society - GA Ave
Washington, DC

City Dogs Rescue DC
Washington, DC

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Washington DC
Washington, DC

Dogs in Harmony - Washington D.C.
Washington, DC

Alliance for Stray Animals and People
Washington, DC

DC Shiba Inu Rescue (DCSIR)
Manassas, VA

Lonely Hearts Animal Rescue
Frederick, MD

MerryLea Rescue
Frederick, MD

Operation Paws for Homes - MD Chapter
Frederick, MD

Pet Pros Washington DC
DC, DC

Prince William County Animal Shelter
Manassas, VA

Hot Water Rescue
Alexandria, VA

Presidential Pits
Washington, DC

Lizzy's Lodge
Silver Spring, MD

Pet Pros Virginia
Arlington, VA

Vindicated Pit Bull Rescue
alexandria, VA

Pooches & Purrs Cooperative - Washington, DC
Washington, DC

Washington Animal Rescue League
Washington, DC

HFH - Washington D.C.
Washington, DC

Animal Protection Alliance
Takoma Park, MD

Cockers & Friends, Incorporated
Alexandria, VA

Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue, Inc.
Newington, VA

.....
....., FL

Dog House Rescue
Prince William County, VA

USNMC Rescue
Jefferson, MD

United Yorkie Rescue - VA - Woodbridge - Brenda
Woodbridge, VA

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