The Dalmatian (Croatian: Dalmatinac, Dalmatiner) is a breed of dog whose roots are often said to trace back to Dalmatia, a region of Croatia where the first illustrations of the dog have been found. The Dalmatian is noted for its unique black- or brown-spotted coat and was mainly used as a carriage dog in its early days. Today, this dog remains a well loved family pet and many dog enthusiasts enter their pets into the competitions of many kennel clubs.Dalmatians are a mid-sized, well defined, muscular dog with excellent endurance and stamina. When full grown, these dogs' weight normally ranges between 35 to 70 pounds (16 to 32 kg) and they stand anywhere from
19 to 24 inches (48 to 61 cm), with males usually slightly larger than females. The body is as long from fore chest to buttocks as it is tall at the withers, and shoulders are laid back. The Dalmatians' feet are round with well arched toes and nails are usually white or the same color as the dog's spots. Their thin ears taper towards the tip and set fairly high and close to the head. Eye color varies between brown, amber, or blue with some dogs having one blue eye and one brown eye, or other combinations.
Dalmatians are intelligent, playful, loyal and active dogs. They usually get along well with other animals, notably horses, and are great companions. Dalmatians are high energy dogs and love to play and romp outdoors, although they also enjoy lounging with their owners. Some dogs, if cooped up, can become aggressive and some have been known to attack smaller breeds of dog when attempting to 'play' with them. In most cases this only shows up in a tendency to bark, often just for play. If shown love and companionship from a young age Dalmatians will be loyal and affectionate.The Dalmatian is often used a rescue dog, guardian, athletic partner, and most often an active family member.Dalmatians are a very active, high maintenance breed. Pet owners should be willing to put extra time and effort into the care of this dog versus others. Dalmatians normally have a big appetite and will eat whatever is put in front of them so pet owners should carefully control food intake. This fun loving breed is very easily trained and rarely aggressive, and owners should find it relatively simple to train their dogs to participate in activities such as jogging, horse back riding, agility, fly ball, and common dog tricks.