The breed history is very uncertain. Some say it originated in Dalmatia, hence the name, in modern day Croatia as they were used as dogs of war, guarding the borders of Dalmatia. Other theories are that it is related to the spotted dogs of Africa and carvings in Egyptian and Hellenistic relief's show dogs similar to the Dalmatian. It has even been linked to the Bengal Pointer in UK from around the 1700's.
It is known that the dalmatian was used as guard dogs during the 19th century to guard and protect their masters whether they were on foot, horseback or even in a carriage. The Dalmatae were able to keep up with their long and strong legs.
The breed is a friendly and loyal dog ready to protect their owners and property. Because of their colouration and intelligence they have been used in circuses but they are best known for their roles within fire departments as escorts and mascots in the US. Dalmatians are commonly referred to as 'Firehouse Dogs'.
Deafness is a common problem for Dalmatians and it is known that the absence of mature melanocytes in the inner ear is responsible. Dalmatian pups that are born deaf are euthanised and blue eyed Dalmatians it is thought have a higher risk of becoming deaf, although this is yet to be proven.