The Dalmatian is a very popular dog breed, especially since the fictional days of Cruella de Vil.
This breed’s encounter with that antagonist on television got people interested in knowing about them.
The Dalmatian dog breed is easily recognizable because of its short coat with black dots. However, there isn’t only one coat version of this breed.
The long haired Dalmatian seems so different from what we know this breed to look like, and many assume that it is a Dalmatian mix. It isn’t a mix, though, and as you read on, we’ll soon see there’s a reason this happens.
This guide will provide all you need to know about the long coat Dalmatian.
Is There A Long Haired Dalmatian?
The long haired Dalmatian is a purebred dog. It is a variant of the short coated Dalmatian, and the reason for its existence can be traced down to genes.
The long haired Dalmatian is also called long coat or “LC Dalmatian.”
In many ways, these dogs look similar to the short coated variant, complete with the signature spots. However, they have fluffier fur—Cruella would have loved this subtype.
There was a time when long coat Dalmatians had an equal chance of existing as the shorter ones.
However, because the American Kennel Club and other major kennel clubs don’t recognize the long coat type as standard, Dalmatian breeders began prioritizing the short coated variant.
History of the Long Haired Dalmatian
No one is quite sure when the LC Dalmatian came into existence, or the breed, in general, is thought to have originated.
Its ancestry is unknown, but it thrived in an area now known as Croatia, specifically in the province of Dalmatia. It used to travel with the nomadic tribe of Romanies.
Here, the Dalmatian was seen as a versatile dog breed and employed as such. It played the role of a guard, ratter, retriever, shepherd, circus dog, and coaching dog.
When it got to England in the 16th century, it became a full-time coaching dog. It would help clear the path for horses and served as a guard to both the horses and the riders.
In the United States, Dals worked with firemen. It assisted them in their duties, going as far as dragging someone out of a burning building. It also played the role of watchdog to these firemen.
This breed rose to fame in the United States after the release of 101 Dalmatians in different years and in many parts.
After Americans watched the main characters Pongo and Perdita go against the antagonist designer Cruella, they got enamored by the breed. As a result, interest in the Dalmatian dog breed spiked.
The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1888.
Long Haired Dalmatian Appearance
As we pointed out above, there are a lot of similarities between the Long Haired Dalmatian and its shorter counterpart.
However, it has its uniqueness. Here is what this subtype looks like:
Head and face
Dals look intelligent, and the Long coat Dalmatian is no different. It has eyes that could either be brown or blue, and the expression is often alert, not dull.
The ears droop, and the skull is flat and wide, with the muzzle sitting at the center of the face.
Body shape and size
The Dal is a medium-sized dog that weighs between 48 and 55 pounds with a height of 19 to 24 inches. The Male Dalmatian is usually bigger than the female, but not by much.
This breed is both sleek and muscular, with a graceful gait. Its legs are long and lean, further adding to its dignity. Its tail is long, but not as much as some other breeds.
Long haired Dalmatians look puffier because of the coat, and you’re more likely to see only the fur and not the muscles underneath.
Coat type and colors
This is the sole difference between the long coat variant and the more common short hair.
Long haired Dalmatians have a lot more fur and look feathery rather than smooth and shiny. Both types shed heavily, though.
All Dalmatian puppies are solid white at birth, regardless of coat type.
The spots only start appearing at 2—4 weeks, and while the common spot color is black and brown, there are other lesser-known shades like brindle and lemon Dalmatians.
Genetics of a Long Coat Dalmatian
While the gene responsible for the short, standard coat is dominant, the long-haired gene is recessive.
This partly explains why they’re less common, besides the fact that they aren’t standard.
Your best chance of getting a litter with long hair is to breed two long haired parents.
The short coated variants can only have a long haired Dalmatian puppy if it’s a carrier of the recessive gene and was bred to another parent with the recessive gene as well.
Long Haired Dalmatian Temperament
There isn’t any difference in the temperament of any coat type besides individual and environmental factors. The first trait you must take note of is its high energy.
In the 2021 movie Cruella—a prequel to 101 Dalmatians—a humorous scene showed some characters struggling to calm a set of hyperactive Dalmatians.
The movie wasn’t far from the truth. An ideal Dal pet parent should be both willing and able to give it the level of exercise it needs.
Energy aside, this breed is willing to please and enjoys the attention of its owners. It makes a good watchdog because of its alert nature, and it is highly smart.
You should train your Dal from an early age. It is easy to train but not suitable for new pet parents because of its energy level.
The Dal can also be sensitive and should be trained with that in mind.
Overall, the long haired Dalmatian is a good family dog. It loves kids and is tolerant of them, though it may not be the best for a home with toddlers.
The breed is loyal, gentle, and protective but can get aggressive if not well trained or socialized.
Long Coat Dalmatian Grooming Needs
Like any other fluffy dog, the Dalmatian long hair makes grooming take more time than the shorter coat.
Both types are shedders, but as you can imagine, an LC Dal will fill your environment with fur. Keep your vacuum cleaner handy.
All Dalmatians aren’t considered hypoallergenic because of their shedding level, so they are poor choices for an allergy sufferer.
Brush your long coat Dal regularly to avoid its hair tangling or matting. During shedding periods, it will need daily brushing.
The long haired Dal isn’t suitable for those who don’t fancy having a strict grooming routine and wouldn’t want to hire a professional groomer. You can also trim the hair on their feet.
It’s best to start grooming this furry dog from puppyhood, mainly because of its sensitivity level. Do not neglect other parts of its body like the ears, nails, and teeth.
Health and Lifespan
The lifespan of a long coat Dalmatian is the same as the short hair variants.
This breed is expected to live up to 14 years, and while it is a healthy breed, during its lifetime, it is also predisposed to many diseases.
Some of these Dalmatian health issues to keep an eye on are:
Similar to cancer for the Golden Retriever, the Dalmatian is prone to deafness, and it is genetic. This is one criterion you must put in mind while getting your Dalmatian puppy.
Deafness can’t be cured, and though a deaf Dalmatian can live a healthy life, there are risks involved.
A deaf Dal is harder to train and can get aggressive, especially when startled.
That’s why some experts recommend euthanasia, but many pet parents would rather take on the challenge of living with a deaf dog.
Hyperuricemia is caused by an influx of uric acid in the affected dog, which can lead to kidney stones and bladder stones.
This is due to the unique urinary system of the Dal, and you should take this as a serious condition. It is more common among male Dalmatians than females.
Both the short and long coat Dalmatians are susceptible to skin allergies, which are subdivided into three types: food-based, contact, and chemicals.
You should first know what allergy is affecting your breed and the required treatment for it.
Food & Diet
All Dals have the same feeding need, and it is unique compared to other breeds.
Because their urinary system is not the same as other dogs, they should be fed differently.
Dalmatians don’t need as much protein, and water should be kept close to their reach at all times. They should also have a spot to relieve themselves when need be.
The recommended amount of food for a Dalmatian is 1.5 to 2 cups of meal a day. This breed is prone to obesity, so free feeding is not an option.
Measure the ratio of your Dal’s meal and ensure it doesn’t start piling up pounds.
Long Haired Dalmatian Price: How Much is a Long Haired Dalmatian Puppy?
The long haired Dalmatian puppies costs between $600 and $1,200 from a breeder, which is surprisingly lower than the standard Dal.
Because it isn’t a standard coat type, breeders often prioritize the short-coated variant and are more willing to give out the long haired Dals at a lower price.
It isn’t a fixed price, however, as it varies from breeder to breeder. Some may want to bank more on its rare nature and give a higher price. However, the standard Dal costs more.
The first year is often the hardest, as you’d have to deal with the initial cost of caring for it. These include veterinary care, home prep, dog supplies, grooming tools, feeding bowl, etc.
The estimated initial cost is around $3,500 or more for the first year. It tends to reduce as the years go by.
You may not exclusively find many long haired Dalmatian breeders, but breeders selling standard Dals may have the LC variant in their litter.
Do not shop from a puppy mill or a backyard breeder as an ill-bred Dal will cause a host of problems, ranging from bad behaviors to aggression.
You would need medical certification that your LC Dal is free of genetic illness, especially deafness. A reputable breeder should also be willing to show you the environment the pups are bred and answer any questions you will have.
Adoption is another alternative, and the same idea applies when trying to find long haired Dalmatians for adoption. Rescue shelters with Dals may have an LC variant.
Are Long Coat Dalmatians Rare?
The long haired Dalmatian is considered rare because of two major reasons. The gene that makes the long coat possible is rare, and breeders don’t often breed this variant because it isn’t standard.
There are fewer LC Dals today compared to in the past, and who knows what the future will be like?
The rarity means that it would be hard for you to find one, and you should also ensure that no breeder tries to sell a Dalmatian mix as an LC Dalmatian.
Because breeders want to sell LC Dalmatians fast, you might be more at risk of getting an ill-bred one if you buy from a backyard breeder.
Where to Find a Long Haired Dalmatian for Sale or Adoption
Here are some online resources that could help you get to the right breeder for your LC Dal if you prefer to shop.
If you’re looking to find a long haired Dalmatian for adoption, these sites below are a good starting point.
Are Dalmatians aggressive?
Dalmatians, in general, are good family dogs, but they are known to be very aggressive when badly socialized or suffering from deafness.
It is considered among the top 10 most aggressive dog breeds, and that’s why they should be owned by someone who’s experienced enough to own one.
How long do Dalmatians live?
Dalmatians have a relatively long lifespan. Their life expectancy falls between 10 and 14 years, which is longer than bigger dogs but can be shortened because of illness.
Are long haired Dalmatians recognized?
The Dalmatian as a breed is recognized by all the major kennel clubs in the world, but the long haired Dalmatian is considered a flaw.
Therefore, these dogs can’t participate in shows and competitions. However, there’s hope that this may change in some years.
The long haired Dalmatian is as normal as Dals are, except for the coat difference. A loyal and friendly dog makes a good family dog and watchdog too.
Getting an LC Dal is a commitment, especially for grooming. Learn a lot about this breed before owning one to avoid frustration.
Featured Image: @dalmatian_of_gingerbreadvalley