An adult Dalmatian stands stoically on a rock
Get to know


With the most distinctive coat pattern of the dog world, the Dalmatian is among the most recognizable—but mysterious—of breeds.

For starters, it’s spelled DalmatiAn—not DalmatiOn! Because they’re thought to be from Dalmatia. The Dalmatian (Dal for short) was one of the first status symbol dogs, bred to make a statement trotting alongside carriages. But they also performed a vital function: guarding the horses from marauding strays. They still love to run, and still make a stylish statement wherever they go. The Dal tends to be more of a jack of all trades rather than a specialist, and most are just happy to be an all-around member of the family, equally content to snooze on the couch or play in the yard—but always up for a run!