IN 2011 Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue was urged to open our own rescue that catered specifically to deaf purebred Dalmatian dogs.

While most all of the Dalmatian rescue’s do take deaf dogs we specialize in training these dogs that come mostly from breeders that have deduced they will not follow the mandate on the code of ethics in the Dalmatian Red Book that states that all deaf puppies and dogs be euthanized.  Please see under the tips and training the Deaf Myths that is the reason the DCA has mandated that deaf puppies and dogs should be euthanized.

While a great many Dalmatian breeders still follow this mandate there are many now that do not and to those we are so grateful they are giving these wonderful little babies a chance at a great life whether it is simply as a pet for a great home or as a competitive dog in the UKC, NADAC, CPE and other venues that allow deaf dogs to compete.  Actually, the AKC is the only venue that does not allow deaf dogs, or handicapped dogs to  compete in the venues they have the ability to compete in.  We absolutely do not advocate that deaf dogs would be allowed to compete in conformation since that is where people are looking for dogs to breed with and we do not advocate breeding deaf dogs.

It is our mission to take any and all deaf purebred Dalmatians and train them in basic obedience and beyond, have them spayed or neutered and make sure they are UTD on all of their shots before they are considered adoptable to a forever home. 

We do home visits to each application and vet checks to make sure those that are being considered will give the best care to our puppies as possible.  We keep these puppies almost a year by the time they have been spayed/neutered and have the proper training.  All puppies have earned their AKC Start Puppy Certification and their Canine Good Citizen Certification.  They will be trained and ready to test as a therapy dog with their new family.

The first puppy we adopted was Izzy, and you will find her story under “Happy Endings”.  We continue to educate breeders and the general public about the wonders of deaf dogs and hope if you have any questions you will please contact us.  Never be afraid of adopting a deaf dog.  They will open a whole new world for you with wonders you just can’t begin to imagine until you have shared your life with them.


Ariel E. O’Brien, President/Founder
Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue

Member Dalmatians of North America

Member Dalmatian Club of America

Certified Evaluator for Canine Good Citizen

Certified Evaluator for Therapy Dogs Internatonal


Dalmatians are a very ancient breed of dog with many stories of where they came from.  They have been here for over 3,000 years and there are even hieroglyph’s of them in the pyramids in Egypt.

For the last 150 years Dalmatians have been associated with Firemen because when horses were used to pull the water tanks, Dalmatians would run beside the horses to clear the way for them.  Dalmatians have always been a coach dog and a guard dog for their families and livestock they lived with.  They have a natural love of horses.  Dalmatians are probably the most recognizable breed on the planet with their spots, although most people don’t realize they also come in a dark brown and white, known as “Liver” as well as the black and white Dalmatian that everyone is so familiar with.  Genetically Dalmatians carry the Piebald gene that causes deafness.  Thirty percent of all Dalmatians are born either deaf in one ear or deaf in both ears.   They are not the only breed of dog that also has a genetic predisposition toward deafness.  There are many breeds of dogs that are deaf either from the Piebald gene or the Merle Gene.  To date, with all of the research done, we have not been able to even decrease the amount of deafness in Dalmatians by even 1 percent.  However, we firmly believe that deafness does not make this breed more difficult to train  Actually a deaf dog, of any breed will focus on his/her owner to see what they are being asked to do at the time.  Remember, no dog on the plant speaks our languages.  Dogs watch our body language and our facial expressions to see what we want them to do.  Yes, they do learn their names and a few words, like “come, sit, down, stay, etc.” but deaf dogs also learn these same words through hand signals.   Many people use ASL to talk to their dogs, I use the traditional obedience hand signals to ask my dogs to sit, down, stay, come.

Dalmatians are a medium size dog.  Girls typically weigh between 35-40 lbs. and are about 19-21″ at the withers (the measurement taken at their front legs from the floor to the shoulders).  Males are larger up to 24″ at the withers and sometimes even much larger (although that would be  disqualification by the AKC for conorm).  They also weigh between 50-60 lbs.  Dalmatians are an extremely high energy dog and need a considerable amount of exercise every day.  If you do not have a large yard for them to run and play in then you need to either run with them or even bike with them.  I even used a treadmill with one of mine so he would get lots of running and drain his energy.  If they do not get the proper amount of exercise they can become very frustrated and will and do become destructive, just looking for something to entertain themselves.  We absolutely do not recommend that you give them toys that are stuffed or with squeakers in them. They are high prey driven dogs and will gut their toys and will eat them.  This can and does cause them to block and you won’t even know it has happened until it is to late to save them.  Bones stuffed with peanut butter and honey (the recipe is on our website under “TIPS”.  This is not only a good treat for them, it keeps their teeth clean and coats soft.  If you want to give them tug toys make sure you throw them away as they start to shred at the ends. 

We do not recommend young Dalmatians to people with young children.  Dalmatians are very strong and so full of energy when they jump on a child they don’t realize how easy they loose their balance and can fall and be hurt.  If you want a Dalmatian and have young children, we suggest that you look for one that is at least 5-6 years old.  By then, they have calmed down quite a lot.  Just make sure this older dog is good with children.  Not all are.

Also, not all Dalmatians are good with children period so please be careful when choosing your dog.  Make sure that your family, or if you are a single person, you can give them the exercise every day they need.  Just walking around the block is not enough.  They need to run off that energy.  That is why people that are runners or bikers are good candidates for younger dogs.  It is absolutely imperative that Dalmatians be taken to training classes.  This doesn’t mean you need to compete with them but puppy kindergarten and a couple rounds of basic obedience and even advance obedience is good for them.  It teaches them to be a good citizen.  It is always good to get their Canine Good Citizen Certification for them and it will always lower your homeowners insurance if your dog has this certification. 

Dalmatians are very protective of their families and their homes so if you are looking for a dog that just loves everyone a Dalmatian just may not be the dog for you.   Please do your research thoroughly before deciding on a dog.  We do not adopt one of our dogs to people that have never had a Dalmatian because you are also dealing with a deafness issue so you really need experience with the breed to adopt from us.

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