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A dotted doggie delight, Dalmatians sure can’t be mistaken for any other breed! With a devoted and loving demeanour and oodles of energy Dalmatians make fantastic pets for sprightly owners.

If you are seeking a dog that can keep up with your active lifestyle and provide the kids with a lively pet, you might want to consider a dashing Dalmatian.

Where I'm From

The Dalmatian’s true origins remain contested, though the dog is thought to be an ancient breed with roots in Asia and Africa. It is widely accepted that Dalmatians derive their name from the Dalmatia region of Croatia where travelling Romany people kept the dogs as companion and guard dogs. Dalmatians subsequently become well known as carriage dogs, running alongside and protecting horse drawn carriages from foxes and thieves.

The breed was further refined in England where it was officially recognised in 1890. Dalmatians subsequently became popular pets throughout the world, and even more so after the release of the book and Disney cartoon 101 Dalmatians in the 1950s-60s. The breed with its distinguishable spots remains well loved today including in Australia.

What I Look Like

Dalmatians are certainly distinctive-looking dogs. These tall, athletic canines have black or liver-brown coloured spots of various sizes on a short pure white coat. Dalmatians usually have dark brown or amber coloured eyes whilst blue eyes and a tricoloured coat are considered faults. With face-hugging ears and a long, straight tail, Dalmatians live up to their cartoon-like appeal.

How I Act

Dalmatians are very active and intelligent dogs that require frequent exercise to remain manageable. They are especially lively as puppies with boundless energy that needs to be exhausted. Dalmatians are devoted dogs that suit family living with children over 12 years of age as their exuberance could cause injury to young ones. Dalmatians also get along well with other pets.

Dalmatians are easy to train given firm and consistent guidance. Positive reinforcement and treats-based training works best. They also require socialisation from a young age to become well accustomed to other dogs and the outside world. They do not suit nervous and timid owners.

Dalmatians were bred for their great stamina as such they require a decent amount of daily exercise of at least 1 hour per day to remain well behaved and not destructive. This can be broken up into morning and evening walks.

Dalmatians can run away if allowed to roam free so it is best to keep your dog on a leash or exercise only in enclosed areas.

Looking After Me

Dalmatians need to be fed a meal of high-quality dry dog food twice a day as per packaging instructions. They also have a unique urinary tract system, which makes them susceptible to urinary tract stones and require an adequate fresh water supply to flush their systems.

The Dalmatian’s white coat means they get sunburnt easily and they need to have dog sunscreen applied if they are going to be outside during times of high UV in the middle of the day.

Dalmatians tend to shed a lot. They require a weekly brush as well as a bath every few months as required. Dalmatians are usually clean dogs with dirt-repellent coats and little dog odour.

Dalmatians are relatively health dogs but may still be affected by a number of health ailments including heredity deafness. Up to 30% of the breed are affected by deafness in one or both ears, which can be tested for from 5 weeks of age.

Other medical problems include urinary tract stones, skin allergies, hip dysplasia and eye sensitivity to bright lights.

It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy’s parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog though not every ailment can be predicted. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.

Dalmatians have a lifespan of 12-14 years.

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Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!