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Dalmatians aren't really bad with kids, are they?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Member Since
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 9:30am PST 
OP, can I ask what draws you to dalmations?

And, coming from a breed that has a wide variety of temperments, I can assure you that as a person who wants a pet, you should really make sure not to underestimate what people are telling you on this thread.

It's not only the edginess that I worry about, but Dals have some really awful health issues, too. It's really hard to find what you're looking for with out comprimising something.

You should really be looking at this from the perspective of, "At this breed's worst, can I handle it?" Rather then, "Maybe if I look hard enough I'll find the perfect dalmation that fits me."

My best advice is to find a breed you are able to embrace whole heartedly, bad with good, and evaluate yourself and ask, "What can I do for this dog?"

I don't mean to come across as a naysayer, but VERY few people make what I would consider a good home environment for a dalmation.
Calamity- Jane

Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 9:38am PST 
Yes, I know. Seems kind of weird that I would switch from a Poodle to a Dal. I have actually wanted a Dal for a long time, but I wasn't sure if they would be a good fit for me, especially upon hearing that they were bad with kids. I researched Poodles and thought that they would be a better fit for my family, though not necessarily just for me. I seriously thought about getting one, even contacted some rescues and breeders, but things didn't work. I won't be getting another dog until I've finished school and moved out in around 4 years, so now I can think about what would I need instead of what everyone else needs. A Dal fits that for me better than a Poodle.

ETA: No problem guest. I know that these are not the perfect dogs for everyone by any means. I just started this thread because I want to make sure that any dog that I own is not likely to bite someone, and especially not one of my nieces or nephews.

As for why I want a Dal, I am drawn to their energy, as I want an agility dog, a freestyle companion, and a dog that will get me running and playing with them. I like their enthusiastic and loving personalities when it comes to their owners, and don't mind if they're aloof towards strangers. I understand that they do have a lot of health problems, and I'm looking for a good breeder that can minimize those issues. I know they take a lot of work, but I think that if I can handle it (which I believe wholeheartedly that I can), they would make a good companion for me.

Edited by author Mon Dec 10, '12 9:59am PST

Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 10:37am PST 
OP, I totally see where you're coming from. I fell in love with Border Collies for a lot of the same reasons you're drawn to Dalmatians.

I agree wholeheartedly with Guest's bit about considering "At this breed's worst, can I still handle it?" That is good advice when it comes to considering ANY breed, IMO. smile

"But, I have a question. I'm starting to search locally, but if I can't find a breeder that I like nearby, how do I get a feel for the temperament of a line of Dals that are further away?"

This is a breed that I would seriously travel long distances to visit a breeder out of state if I had to, in order to meet the dogs myself. There are plenty of breeds I'm interested in which feel I could trust what the breeder tells me about their dogs in an email, or over the phone (after all, I never met Nix's parents in person); but considering, personally, I know so little about Dalmatians, and knowing their reputation as having so many temperament varieties within the breed, after getting acquainted with a breeder over email or phone calls, I'd plan a time when I could travel out to visit them and meet their dogs. This isn't a breed that I'd want to take any chances with.

Since you don't sound like you're in any hurry to get a Dalmatian, if you can't find a good breeder locally, you might want to consider traveling to meet one. Any breeder that doesn't welcome a prospective puppy buyer to come meet their dogs, even from out of state, is a shady one as far as I'm concerned. smile

Edited by author Mon Dec 10, '12 10:42am PST


Calamity- Jane

Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 10:57am PST 
Thanks Ava & Nix. That sounds like a plan to me.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 12:49pm PST 
I guess I feel there's some kind of disconnect, because you seem very concerned about the welfare of your neices and nephews.

Other posters have stated that Dalmations have a low tolerance for being annoyed on the whole.

How are you reconciling that when most people are telling you that Dals typically aren't great with strangers, change, or kids in general?

Kind of back to my post, are you hoping to find that one in a million dalmation that will fit you, as opposed to you finding a better breed for yourself?
Calamity- Jane

Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 1:06pm PST 
I don't know guest... Maybe I am just trying to fit myself to the dog rather than fit the dog to myself. It really hurts a lot to admit that, because I really do love this breed, and think it would work with my own personality well, even at its worst, if I didn't have others to think about.

...It's going to be a while before I get my dog anyways. I'll just have to see how my situation is then I guess. shrug

I'm from Broken- Bow, we don't- play that!
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 3:17pm PST 
I used to want a dalmatian back when the 90s remake of 101 Dalmatians came out and like many people I grew up hearing they weren't good with kids. However, having met a few they're just the opposite.

I saw a 4 month old pup at a pet store, very friendly but he's like the energizer bunny.

The one thing that changed my mind about wanting a dalmatian is they're energetic, same with huskies, though I have met one who was like a king sized lapdog.

Another thing you might want to do if you get a pup is ask if he or she has had a hearing test since the biggest health problem with dalmatians is being deaf.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 5:36pm PST 
My Dalmatians danced instead of running, they loved my horses and would stay with us when out riding. Pongo (shrug my husband named him) would smile at me with his eyes and ears if I grabbed his tail when he ran past. Specs would swing his butt at me to be petted and now and then hit me in the knees just right and knock me down.

I have a different mind set, perhaps, because I would be worrying about protecting the dogs from the children, not protecting the children from the dog.
If your nieces and nephews are your focus, maybe you need a dog that is known to get on with children. If dogs are your focus, figure out how to keep your dog safe when the kids are visiting.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 5:57pm PST 
"You should really be looking at this from the perspective of, "At this breed's worst, can I handle it?" Rather then, "Maybe if I look hard enough I'll find the perfect dalmation that fits me."

Words cannot express how much I endorse this sort of logic, and wish people would get that more.

When considering a breed, ANY breed, you need to look to see what they CAN be, where they CAN go, and decide if you are up to handling that and/or if it fits within your life. It took me ten years to decide that I ready for a Giant Schnauzer. I still don't have my Irish Setter, for while I know there isn't much I can't handle at this stage with all my mentorship, decades of training exposure and experience and a willingness to totally dedicate myself, I cannot responsibly take that breed on until I either have or have access to land. I can't really humor myself that I could go on multiple long walks a day (which I can and do), have a quarter acre fenced yard, and will be sure once a week to letting him run free in a larger space. I am realistic as to what that breed was meant to do and until I get my lifestyle closer to that root, may fall short of my dog, and that isn't fair. He may suffer problems, none that I couldn't handle in a training and management expertise sense, but on sheer access and environment.

In terms of the OP, I think you need to wait until you are on your own. The dynamics of your family not entirely behind this choice can lead to conflict. Then you can get what you want at a time when you are in full control of your new Dal optimally. That may even be a practical situation....a lot of good breeders wouldn't want to place a puppy in a home where all were not in complete agreement and support.

I think you can get a great Dal. But there will be the perfect time and perfect place. Another option would be to volunteer to foster a good tempered Dal for rescue to give yourself a chance to know the breed and your family as well and see if they can get on board. That would also be a good first step in establishing a sincerity when it comes to a good mentor and a good breeder willing to work with you.

Sometimes, you need to take the longer road and be patient. Like me and my Giants. I didn't rush it. I waited for the right time and with all the planets in alignment, so to speak, and never have regretted that decision.
Calamity- Jane

Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 6:16pm PST 
I don't really worry about them hurting or antagonizing my dog. They've been very good with Jane, Pippi, and our fosters. What I do worry about is the Dal getting overly excited or overly protective.

ETA: Thanks Tiller, I will be patient and take the slow route. I still have to get through college before getting a puppy, and don't plan on living at home much longer after that, so I was planning on doing that anyways. It would be a good start to foster a Dal, and it's something that I would like to do, though it will probably also have to wait until I leave home. My parents were not fond of my other fosters, and aren't exactly keen on me taking on another while I'm living with them. I am trying to volunteer with the local Dal rescue in other ways though, to get more experience with the breed and to maybe bring them around.

Edited by author Mon Dec 10, '12 6:44pm PST

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