Think you’re ready for a spot of Dally love?
When I first announced that I was getting a Dalmatian puppy, my parents told me that the breed was hard to train, my fiancée told me that they were hyper, and the media told me that they were aggressive. But, I’ll tell you one thing that I knew for sure: getting a spotty friend would be the best decision I ever made.
My name is Gaby and I am the very proud momager of Cosmo — you can find us on Instagram over at @the.adventures.of.cosmo. When thinking about writing my first ever post for the Daily Barker, I wanted to enlighten others to the pros and cons of having a Dalmatian as a best friend and breakdown some of the bizarre stereotypes about the breed!
DREAMING OF SPOTS
When Disney released 101 Dalmatians, every child in the country fell in love with the breed, myself included. I was that little girl who drew spotty dogs on her schoolbooks and had every Dalmatian toy ever released.
As years went past, my dotty obsession only grew and, at the age of 24, I decided that if Roger and Anita could handle 101 Dalmatian puppies, then I could definitely handle one! Having just moved into my first home, and while planning a wedding, I somehow decided that it would be the perfect time to throw a puppy into the mix.
MEET MY LAND SHARK
When discussing getting a dog with my fiancée, his exact specifications were to get “something small and fluffy.” But rest assured, as soon as we set eyes on our bundle of spots and wrinkles, we knew that he was the one!
Dalmatian puppy ownership is not to be taken lightly. I’m pretty sure that Cosmo, although easy to train, was part land shark and part chimpanzee. My vision of cute spotty snuggles by the fire was quickly diminished as he ran circles around our small, unfurnished living room.
Skip forward a very challenging two years, and we have the most snuggly, beautiful dog in the world (I might be biased) — who not only acts as my constant companion, but also helps me overcome my struggles with anxiety.
WHAT THE BREED IS REALLY LIKE
Dalmatians are unquestionably full of character: cheeky, affectionate, inquisitive, and goofy. They’re annoyingly smart, too — they know that you’ll go and get that tennis ball eventually, so they might as well say hi to that cute spaniel instead of fetching it for you!
Breaking all stereotypes, Cosmo would rather have a cuddle with me on the sofa than go for a run (especially in the rain!), but when he’s out and about he has plenty of energy and a real love for life.
In my experience, they rarely bark — only to let you know that someone is at the door. However, they constantly speak to you; making sure you know exactly how they feel. You’ll soon find that nothing on this planet shows happiness like their excited bum wiggle and, if you’re lucky, you might even get a special Dally smile when you arrive home!
THE THINGS YOU AREN’T TOLD
Even with all their positive attributes, they are a high-maintenance breed. The first thing that you should know is that Dalmatians need a low purine diet to ensure they don’t form urinary stones, and they often suffer from allergies — I’ll be writing more about Cosmo’s raw meals in our future posts.
Although very intelligent, they’re undeniably stubborn; you’ll have to commit to training them from day one (and they don’t work for nothing, so have plenty of tasty treats on hand!)
While most are happy to relax at home while you pop to the shops or office, they will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them peaceful and happy while you’re gone. Fun treat games and trick training are the best way to keep your pet entertained and tired out.
MEET INSTAGRAM’S MOST LOVED DALMATIANS
In return for the hard work you put in, you really will get a best friend for life! Don’t believe me? Take a look at a few of our insta-furrends to see what they say about owning a spot (or four!)
Marley – @r5er_marley
“The personality of a Dalmatian is as special and unique as their look. Marley is an energetic and very funny dog that always makes us laugh. Sometimes I wonder if Marley has a human brain because he’s so smart — he learns new tricks and commands within minutes/hours. Dalmatians are perfect family dogs and most of them love kids.
A negative thing about their personalities is their stubbornness. Please don’t think that a Dalmatian is a “Disney” dog because they are not for beginners. My advice to people who would like to get a Dalmatian is to always be consistent in training, but do everything with love and treats.”
Prim and Paislee – @dal.gals.prim.and.paislee
“Ever since my childhood, I have been obsessed with owning a Dalmatian and had to wait until my early 30’s to make that dream a reality — now I have two! I was surprised at how many people warned me about getting a Dalmatian, because they had heard they were bad family dogs, or too wild to train. All of these things are the farthest from my own personal experience. We travel with them almost every month, and it is so fun to watch their experiences shape them into even better dogs than I imagined. There are simply no words to explain just how magical this breed is to me.”
Paris, Rome, Florence and Vienna – @theotherfab4
“I’m a crazy dog lady, they say! Well yes, I own four Dalmatians and I couldn’t be happier. A word to describe each… Paris: intelligent, Rome: loyal, Florence: mischievous, Vienna: goofy. Collectively, they never fail to brighten your day, cheer you up, and let you know how much they love you. My only advice: get a good hoover!
Bravo and Penny – @the_real_dalmatians_of_oc_
“Sightings of Bravo and Penny often evoke onlookers to stop and compliment their markings; however, this is quickly followed by “I hear Dalmatians are aggressive or hyper.” This could not be further from the truth. They are excitable, yes, but no more than any other breed. They are extremely loyal, intelligent, and eager to please. I had no idea that they would become my ‘velcro babies’. I would advise anyone considering this breed that you must have the time and willingness to train them properly — in the end you’ll be rewarded ten fold, as they bring so much joy, laughter, and unconditional love.”
Bella – @dalmatianbella
“If you’re looking for a dog that can offer you endless love and kindness but also has a mind of his/her own, a Dalmatian would suit you! Bella loves cuddles and never leaves my side when I am at home, but she can also be quite stubborn. She is a really smart girl and she definitely knows what she wants (read: doesn’t want). Lots of patience and persistence is required! In return, you will receive love, love and more love”.
What stereotypes did your dog’s breed have before you got them and do they ring true? Let us know in the comments!
Hi, I’m Gaby (better known on Instagram as Cosmo’s momager)! We are an inseparable pair from the UK, sharing a love for snuggles and adventure in equal amounts. What can you expect from us? Top tips, stories and of course a spot of silliness too!”