You’ve done all your research regarding the breed. You weighed the pros and cons of getting a Dalmatian and decided that this breed is right for you. Now it’s time find one, but where do you look? What is the best place to get a Dalmatian? Is there anything a first time Dalmatian owner should know before he brings a puppy? Yes! There is a lot that you need to know.
Breeding dogs is a business, and that can sometimes attract the wrong type of people – the kind you should avoid. Hopefuly I’m going to teach you a few ways to sniff them out and in the process show you what you need to look for in a breeder to ensure you get a healthy and well-tempered Dalmatian. We will also discuss the benefits of adopting from a rescue.
Breeders to Avoid
Although Dalmatian overbreeding is not as big of a problem as it once was, after the popularity of the Disney films, it still happens. There are still plenty of puppy mills and backyard breeders making money at the cost of well-being of their dogs. And this problem is not Dalmatian exclusive. Almost all dog breeds with some sort of popularity are dealing with this issue. Learn more about puppy mills.
Puppy mills and back yard breeders (breeders who don’t know what they’re doing) don’t care for their dogs as they should. Often they are neglected, malnourished and as result suffer from both physical and mental health problems. Because of these type of breeders, and owners who had no clue on how to raise or train their Dalmatians, this breed received a bad rep.
Signs that you’re dealing with a Puppy Mill/Back Yard Breeder
- They have puppies available year round – that’s a huge red flag. Reputable breeders do not do that. Instead a lot of them even have long waiting lists before the puppies are even born. And if the breeder offers more than one or two popular breeds, it’s almost certainly a puppy mill.
- They don’t show any concern about their puppies – Breeders who care about their dogs will without a doubt have some questions for you regarding their pup’s future homes. They wouldn’t want to send him to someone who isn’t prepared for one because that will turn into a bad outcome.
- They don’t offer any paperwork – Getting an AKC registration is not a guarantee that the puppy was born in a loving environment, but they do conduct inspection of certain locations so it’s better than nothing.
- They will sell puppies younger than 12 weeks old – that’s the minimum amount of time a puppy should stay with his mom and siblings. If the breeder is trying to sell you a younger puppy, walk away.
- They won’t let you see the location – Most breeders don’t have a problem showing you where the puppies are raised. It gives you a better idea of where the puppies are raised and what type of interaction they have with the breeder. If the breeder won’t let you take a look then they probably are hiding something.
If you see any one of those signs then you are better off looking for another breeder. Learn more about puppy mills, Paws.org put up a really good article that you can check out here.
Well pet stores can’t be that bad right? Can I get my Dalmatian at a pet store? No and you shouldn’t. Pet stores are not different from puppy mills because most of the time they get their pups from them. I know it’s easy to fall in love with a cute little puppy at a pet store, but please don’t give them your money. If no one buys their puppies, they will have to stop.
Getting a Dalmatian from a Reputable Breeder
If you made up your mind on getting a puppy and don’t want to adopt, your best bet is to get your Dalmatian from a reputable breeder. You want someone who understands the breed and actually cares about their puppies. And there are breeders like that out there, you just have to find them. They don’t overbreed their dogs and they do all the necessary testing to ensure that puppies are born as healthy as possible. These are the type of people who don’t do it for the money but instead do it because they appreciate and love the Dalmatian breed and they want to share that love with others.
When you find a breeder like that, expect to wait a little before you get yourself a pup. A lot of them will put you on a waiting list before they even have puppies available. That’s to make sure that every single puppy has a loving and caring home ready for them. Also keep in mind that good breeder will have a few questions for you. Since they care about the wellbeing of their pups, they will want to make sure you’re someone who can handle a Dallie.
If you’re willing to do a bit of research and have the patience to wait for a puppy, I suggest you read this article: Finding a Reputable Dalmatian Breeder. But before you do I would also ask you to consider to rescue a Dalmatian instead – it could possibly be the better option for you.
Rescue a Dalmatian, Adopt Instead
If you want to do some good in this world and also want a Dalmatian, rescue one! There are a couple of good reasons to adopting versus buying a puppy, but before we get to that let me clear up some confusion around animal rescue shelters:
- They DO have purebred Dalmatians for adoption
- They DO have puppies for adoption
- Their dogs are NOT anyway worse than any other dogs
Majority of the dogs there are not there because of something they did wrong. It’s usually the owners fault. Don’t be worried about adopting from a shelter. If you do your research and are willing to wait, just like you would if you were buying from a breeder, you can find the companion that you always wanted.
The staff there can even help you pick the right dog for you – as long as you’re honest about what you want. They want to find permanent homes for their dogs. They wouldn’t want you to return the dog back.
- You save a dog from a shelter – the dog will appreciate it
- You clear room up for another dog – shelters are understaffed and underfunded as is
- You save some money – This is a minor point, but I think it should be made anyway. The cost of buying a puppy from a breeder can start as high as $500. Adopting from a shelter can cost as little as $50. And that little that you do pay will go towards helping another dog in need of help.
- You will see the Dalmatians temperament – it’s not always easy to predict how a puppy will turn out once he’s older. By seeing them in their adult stage, you will have a much better idea of what the dog will be like and what you can expect from him.
Again, expect to be asked questions. They want to make sure they’re handing their dogs over to responsible people who did their research. Hopefully you will have some questions of your own as well. To get you started, here are some of the things you should ask Some of the questions you should ask:
- Why is he here? – you want to learn as much about the Dalmatians history as you can. It will help you get a better idea about the dog.
- Has the had any prior training? – If this is your first dog then you probably should find one that has had at least a little bit of training so that you don’t get overwhelmed. However, if you don’t mind training the Dalmatian yourself, it shouldn’t be a big deal but it’s still something that’s good to know ahead of time.
- Was the dog spayed/neutered? If so, when? – if you don’t know the importance of spaying neutering and the effects it can have on a dog, check out this article here. Neutering/Spaying Impact on Dalmatians.
- Has the dog ever been aggressive – If so find out towards who the dog showed aggression and why.
- Does he get along with other pets? – do you have a cat or another dog at home? Then you better find out if he knows how to play with others.
And of course don’t be scared to ask any other questions that might concern you. Since you’re not dealing with someone who wants to sell you a dog, you can expect pretty honest answers.
Whether you decide to purchase a puppy or rescue your Dalmatian from a shelter, I wish you and your future pal best of luck. Taking care of a dog isn’t easy, especially if it’s a Dallie. The best thing to do is get prepared, and hopefully everything will turn out great.
To learn more about what it takes to own a Dalmatian, I highly recommend you check out the Dalmatian Owners Guide. It’s the most complete guide on raising, training and caring for a Dalmatian that covers everything you need to know – from choosing a puppy all the way to old age.
Continue Reading: Do Dalmatians Make Good Pets