If you ever come across a breeder claiming to have a “Miniature Dalmatian” in possession, this is definitely a dollar-oriented backyard breeder, because Miniature Dalmatians do not exist. They are not recognized by any major breed club, and there is no viable breeding stock for this sort of dog. The standard size for Dalmatians is 19-24 inches high at the withers.
Responsible breeders do not produce Miniature Dalmatians. They are truly devoted to their job and they care much more for the well-being of their dogs than for their own affluence. Therefore, they never make business on breeding. Although purebred Dalmatians are quite expensive, the sales do not usually cover the costs of genetic tests, veterinarian examination, feeding, and other procedures necessary to maintain the breed in a decent shape.
The Dalmatian’s origin is still questionable. Some breeders believe that the dog originated in Dalmatia (a region in Yugoslavia), while others claim that the dog was produced in Great Britain. Today, major breed clubs do not recognize the dog’s Yugoslavian origin. Fortunately, they do not recognize the Miniature Dalmatian either! Dalmatians were used for guarding horse-drawn coaches, and they could spend a long time traveling. This activity required stamina and endurance, which is well intact in the today’s Dalmatian. These dogs are notoriously active and energetic, and they require constant attention and must spend a lot of time running and playing. Dalmatians appreciate space and interaction. They are good with well-behaved children. Dalmatians have a knack for guarding; therefore, they are aloof with strangers. All potential Dalmatian owners must be ready to deal with the Dalmatian’s boisterous temperament.
Dalmatians have gained a world-wide renown due to the Walt Disney animated movie “the 101 Dalmatians”. Unfortunately, the dog’s exploding popularity has triggered unethical breeding in various parts of the world, which, in turn, has led to the appearance of dogs with serious health defects, such as deafness, hip and elbow dysplasia and urinary problems. Backyard breeders produce large numbers of puppies without doing veterinary tests. Very many young Dalmatians land up in shelters, which are finding it hard to cope with the ever-increasing inflow of abandoned Dalmatians. In this situation, it is actually up to prospective owners to at least reduce the puppy “turnover” by not buying puppies from unethical breeders. Unfortunately, there are too many credulous people who even believe that Miniature Dalmatians do exist and are ready to put out money for them.