Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted November 21, 2014
Back in the mid-90's when the 101 Dalmations movie made a comeback, there was a flood of parents scrambling to the pet stores to get their kid a precious little dalmation of their very own. Little did these people know, they require a lot of care, and exercise, and training, and attention, and... you get the picture.
There was a dal that came into the clinic I worked at, sick with parvovirus and infected with hookworms. The owners basically didn't want to deal with her, so they dropped her off for treatment and never came back for her.
Guess who adopted her?
She was definitely a handful as a puppy, and she was tricky to potty train. Never did fully get there, as she would have accidents occasionally, but dang, was she loyal. She followed me everywhere and guarded me with her life.
She was kind of weird on the leash and in the car. She would bark at people she didn't know if she felt restricted in any way. If she was off-leash, she was everyone's friend. At the time, I didn't realize there was a name for that (Leash aggression). I just thought she had a wire loose.
These breeds are high energy, but smart as a whip. I trained her to sit and stay in about a day. They have a real desire to please. I noticed while training her, she would focus all her attention on me, just dying to know what I was going to do next. My blue heeler is the same way, incidentally.
When my daughter was born, she did fine. No signs of aggression whatsoever. I would have trusted Paige to take care of her more than my ex, to tell you the truth.
Anyway, if you're thinking of getting a dalmation, just be aware they do have a lot of energy and tend to be aggressive if not properly socialized. But they are wicked loyal and affectionate.