Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted February 22, 2016
Let me preface this by saying that yes, I am aware that puppies are high energy and a bit chaotic.
If it weren't for other factors, this dog would have been amazing. He was very easy to train. When we got him, he piddled on the floor in excitement, and I was already anticipating the long, arduous task of potty training. After reprimanding him only twice, he was on the right track, and we never had that issue again.
As for how well he got along with other animals, that was a little less satisfying. It wasn't his lack of love for them that made it impossible for them to coexist; it was his inability to limit his energy at any point under any circumstances. While the cats did a good job of keeping away from him, the fox hid just fine whenever he entered the room, and the bigger dog we had just told him (in her own way) to leave her alone or suffer the consequences, the toddler in the house had fewer escape options.
We didn't have buddy long, because his unbelievably high energy never stopped. He was so attentive and loving, and I think that he understood that the toddler was the most fragile thing in the house. His way of handling it, however, was to stay by the baby at all times. Which would have been fine, had that task not included standing on top of him, licking his face, and then assuming he was trying to play with Buddy any time his hands would go up to defend himself from the claws on his chest or the tail whipping across his face.
I can't speak for other Dalmations, but I can say this: a dog with that much energy, puppy or no, cannot be kept around a toddler. That kid had the resilience of a bouncy ball, but I would catch him trying to beat up the dog because he thought that he was being attacked by the high-energy creature.
Just a bad pair, altogether. I believe that over time, Buddy would have calmed down. Things would have been okay. The cats would have gotten over it, the fox would have come out of hiding, and the older dog would have just had to deal with it like she did all the other animals. I cannot guarantee, though, that the toddler would have lived to see that day. Not to say the dog was violent, but there were definitely times when he did not know his own strength.
Other than that, he was very needy (which I am guilty of absolutely loving in a dog). He wanted attention all the time, was very friendly, and noticed everything. He barked a lot, but I can attribute that partly to his energy and his age. The bark would turn to a whine pretty quickly when he realized he was going to get in trouble if he didn't quiet down soon, so I'm confident that that training would have settled in once he settled down.