The last few years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership soar – and demand for puppies remains high.
But, with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Dalmatian – a breed with range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
1. A furry fingerprint
No two Dalmatians have the same number or sizes of spots, meaning that they create a pattern unique to the dog, much like a human fingerprint. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. What's in a name?
The Dalmatian gets its name from the historical region of Dalmatia, in modern day Croatia, where the breed originated,. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Spotless pups
Dalmatian puppies don’t have the breed's unique spots when they’re born. They start life pure white, developing the trademark spots by the time they are around four weeks old. They then continue to develop spots throughout their life. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Problematic genes
Dalmatians are genetically predisposed to suffering from deafness - with around 8 per cent of the breed affected by the problem. It is thought that the deafness gene is connected to the gene for blue eyes - meaning only brown eyed Dalmatians are now bred in the UK. Photo: Canva/Getty Images