Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted March 15, 2015
My very first dog when I was a child was a dalmatian called Brier. I got her because of my obsession with '101 Dalmatians' which in retrospect was a terrible way to choose a dog, but she was still a beloved family pet.
Like many dalmatians, Brier was deaf which caused some problems with training and obedience. She couldn't do many tricks, could rarely be let off the leash, and took a while to learn good behavior, which could be very frustrating. She was particularly bad at stealing food and once knocked over the bread bin and ate all the bread we had!
After about three years she settled down considerably. We had to get her spayed very early as we couldn't let her have deaf puppies which also calmed her down.
Being deaf did prevent some behavior problems that are common in other dogs. She didn't howl whenever the phone or doorbell rang and she didn't whine whenever she was left alone in the house.
Perhaps because she was deaf, she was incredibly affectionate and liked being stroked and cuddled. It wasn't unusual for her to fall asleep leaning against someone. She became best friends with strangers instantly and was very popular in the neighborhood among both the children and adults.
As is also common with dalmatians, she also had a lot of health problems and died aged only 11, fairly early for a dog. She developed arthritis very early and had a lot of mobility issues. In the last six months of her life, she had to be taken to the veterinary college for a major operation on her back legs. While she did seem to be recovering and was energetic as she always was, a few months later the vet discovered she had developed cancer and she had to be put down.
While her life wasn't as long as many dogs, she was a very happy and gave our family many years of happy memories. While you may be faced with health issues, I'd recommend a dalmatian for any family with children.