Exercising Your DalmatianGood Exercises For Your Dalmatian

The Dalmatian was thought to come from Eastern Europe near Dalmatia (a region of Croatia) but brought to Great Britain in 1700s where it was made popular. Originally it was developed as coach dog to guard people and property during trips. Over time, people learned of the Dalmatian’s ability to get along well with horses, making this dog well suited to follow horse-drawn fire carriages, brewer’s wagons and the like. Now, the Dalmatian is often used as a rescue dog, guardian, in addition to family pet.

Breed Type

Companion Dog

Physical Characteristics

  • large, muscular with strong, square build
  • drop ears
  • short coat


  • active, energetic, bred to run along horses for distances – lots of energy
  • wary with strangers but friendly and affectionate towards family, has a special affinity for horses
  • lively, playful, happy, easy going
  • strong work drive, needs something to do, excellent watch dog
  • intelligent
  • dedicated to the task at hand, also can be stubborn

Best Exercises

  • 1 or 2 moderate (30 – 50 minutes) to long (60+ minutes) brisk walks
  • running/jogging – Dalmatians are excellent running partners
  • hiking – pick challenging routes when possible
  • dog sports training such as:
  • obedience (competitive obedience) – Dalmatians are smart, energetic and can be willful – training will be extremely helpful
  • running and jumping games in the yard such as Fetch and Chase

Suggested Exercise Plan

First, Dalmatians love to run, they are bred to run for miles with tireless enthusiasm. If you are a long-distance runner this the dog for you. If you don’t run, this dog needs lots of regular exercise and attention, more than a short walk. Your daily routine could include:

  • long runs, 40+ minutes, at least one per day
  • long brisk walks, at least 60 minutes total, one long walk or several shorter
  • vigorous games/training sessions in the backyard or open space, an hour or more is ideal

Things To Note

  • slight prone to hip dysplasia, skin allergies
  • prone to hearing loss