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In the golden days of the late ’90s and early 2000, when iPods and skirts over jeans roamed the earth, something was missing amongst the glitter and Christina Aguilera anthems.
Designer dog breeders were in curious search for a pup that had the soft nature and fur type of a poodle, yet the active drive, and awareness of a dalmatian. But how was this to be accomplished? Were they mad enough to concoct such an ambitious creature?
Well indeed they were; wagging into the loving dog world came man’s new best friend: the Dalmadoodle, a Dalmatian Poodle mix.
There are many poodle mixes hanging out and playing about in homes all over the world; in recent years I’m sure you’ve heard ‘doodle’ at the end of a lot of different breeds!
The Dalmadoodle is relatively new to the designer dog breed world, but that has no impact on its ability to be a fantastic and loveable companion.
Are you curious to see if a Dalmadoodle is the piece to your home’s puzzle you’ve been looking for? Let’s pack some treats and hit the avenue of information to learn more about the unique Dalmatian Poodle mix.
What is a Dalmadoodle?
Let’s cover some basics before we go jumping through hoops of details; as mentioned above, the Dalmadoodle comes from breeding a Dalmatian and Poodle together. We’ll get into their specific personality and care further along in this article, but let’s lay out a peek at their background.
Poodles are actually one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back to ancient times; perhaps this is why they are so intelligent, they’ve been exploring and learning for quite some time! These dogs are well known for their highly intelligent trainability and also their playful friendliness.
Dalmations were first recognized in the 1800s, and they were always engaging in some kind of task involving activity and intelligence. Everything from watching over and walking alongside horse-drawn carriages to performing in circuses! Talk about a wide variety.
Although their mixed breed’s history and origin aren’t super specific, these energetic smart cookies also go by the names Dalmapoo, Dalmatiandoodle, and Dalmatianpoo. Being a mixed breed, the Dalmadoodle isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club, but that doesn’t make them any less cute! Let’s learn about the Dalmadoodle’s appearance.
These cuties definitely deserve their own little Disney adventure movie, but as far as knowing precisely how each pup will turn out they are sort of a mixed black and white bag!
It’s fairly common that physically it will be about a medium-sized dog (possibly unless bred with a miniature or toy poodle) but in their facial appearance, they tend to either take after one parent or the other, not much of an in-between. But the consistency is in their coat colors, they come in all sorts of variations of beautiful classic looking black and white.
Some Dalmadoodles come out with coat-colored patterns like a typical dalmatian, other’s may come out mostly black or mostly white, the fun and exciting part is that each Damadoodle is unique!
We totally encourage you to look up #dalmadoodle on Instagram, be prepared for an overload of cuteness!
Coat care for a Dalmadoodle
When you hear of doodle mixes, one of the first things a person is prompted to say other than ‘Oh my gosh SO CUTE‘ is ‘They must be easy to take care of, they don’t shed that often‘.
This isn’t always the case when only one parent from the mix, in this case, it is the poodle, has the hypoallergenic gene. You’re kind of left in a toss-up if your dog will be shedding often or not, but with making a broad assumption we can say that this pooch runs a little more on the high-maintenance side of the grooming chart. In other words, grooming a Doodle is a lot of work.
The Dalmadoodle’s hair length is between medium and long, and it usually has a bit of a wave to it. As an owner, you can expect that your pup won’t shed to the extent of a dalmatian but do expect some along with lots of brushing.
Their coats should ideally be brushed every day, but at least 3 times a week. They will also most likely need monthly grooming, but on the bright side, you could make a fun routine of watching one of your favorite shows while brushing your dog and you may become friends with your dog’s groomer from seeing them often!
If often brushing and grooming do not sound fitting to your lifestyle, perhaps there are different breeds you can explore.
Height & Weight
As briefly mentioned before, the most common physical appearance of the Dalmadoodle is a medium-sized dog unless the poodle parent is a miniature or toy poodle. Here are the male and female averages for height and weight for a standard-sized poodle and dalmatian mix:
Average Male Dalmadoodle Size:
- Height: 21-23 inches
- Weight: 45-70 pounds
Average Female Dalmadoodle Size:
- Height: 20-22 inches
- Weight: 41-60 pounds
Typically these active pups should eat about 3 cups of dog food a day, if you want to ensure you’re getting the best food for your unique dog be sure to consult with your Vet to find the perfect fit!
Dalmadoodle temperament and personality
Every dog is unique with its personality, rather it’s goofy, quirky, or sleepy, but with mixed breeds like the Dalmadoodle, they get even more characteristic possibilities because each parent has their own set.
To have a better and complete understanding of this mix’s personality and temperament, we’ll take a look at both the poodle and dalmatian’s separately and circle back to the Dalmadoodle. Okay team, break!
Of course, poodles are very well-known for their intelligence; man these good boys and girls are just ready to learn new tricks, skills, and tasks, and they can’t wait to see how happy you are that they successfully accomplished your command and receive lots of positive reinforcement and treats!
There is the chance that due to their intelligent nature if they aren’t properly and lovingly trained they could pick up on some habits you’re not too fond of; so training is highly essential with the poodle, but rest assure they are extremely trainable.
When a poodle is given the proper lifestyle it needs, exercise, mental stimulation, love, and care, this dog will be a lovely addition to any family.
They are very loving, friendly, and playful with their family members and can be with strangers as well once they are acquainted with them.
Poodles can also get along with other dogs just as long as they are not used to being the only dog in the household, and if they receive a good amount of socialization as a pup.
But they are known to be a bit vocal and excitable when they see another dog; they like to use their bark to let you know if they need/want to do something, or if there is an alert you should be aware of. Poodles are protective over their humans, they love you lots!
Overall, poodles are friendly loving dogs that are eager to learn, train, play, and be a part of a loving family home.
Dalmatians are also highly intelligent dogs, they really love being around people and working with them, and their energy and endurance levels are also quite high. They can learn learn learn, and run run run for a long long time, and they would love to because dalmatians are incredibly loyal and protective.
Aggression has unfortunately been attached to this breed ever since Disney’s 101 Dalmations came out and after that, there was a huge growth in Dalmatian adoptions and people were baffled by the behavior they saw in some cases; unfriendly and aggressive. With any breed of dog, it’s essential to buy from a reputable breeder (or adopt at a shelter) otherwise, you may end up with an aggressive dog, as we saw in the 1990s with the explosion of breeders unethically breeding Dalmatians.
When bred properly, Dalmatians are friendly and loving dogs that can fit great into a family, but typically a family that has older children or no children.
When they are put in an environment that limits their daily exercise or surrounded by little children who may not have a full grasp on how to caringly interact with a dog yet, this can cause a lot of anxiety in the poor dog which is built up over time and expressed out in the aggression you may have heard about or seen.
If they are placed in the right home/atmosphere, given the recommended amount of physical and mental exercise they need, this is a playful, loving, smart, and loyal dog!
Let’s see how the combination of a poodle and dalmatian parent play out for the Dalmadoodle pup, the verdict is pretty outstanding! These dogs are terrifically affectionate, will adore their family, and truly thrive to see you satisfied and happy.
They will do well in a home with or without children, playtime is huge for them so they will make great playmates with the little ones!
But of course, with any new pet, be sure to monitor their times together before they are left alone, and teach both your children and dog how they should safely interact with one another.
Dalmadoodles are quite intelligent just like their parents, and therefore and very agreeable to training and absolutely love to be showered with praise after they have successfully accomplished their task or trick! They can be a little stubborn at times, they get that from their dalmatian parent.
Something to be cautious of is the way you train your little pal though, they can be highly sensitive to tones and mean words, creating anxiety and timid behavior. Provide your loving companion with patients, guidance, and positive loving reinforcement and you two will be in perfect shape.
Dalmadoodles are a loveable addition to a family, they will love to stick by your side, be involved in whatever you’re up to, be helpful with trained tasks, protect the household and its humans, and they also make one heck of an adventure buddy!
Exercise needed for a Dalmadoodle
The Dalmadoodle needs lots of exercise. Dalmadoodles enjoy having time in a fenced-in backyard where they can run and play around without a leash; either playing fetch or lounging around, they’ll really appreciate this time.
Make sure when the weather gets hot that your pup can cool off with water and or a shaded area, they can overheat easily. They also love going for walks, jogs, or even hikes with their human! A healthy amount of daily exercise of some kind that was said would be around 90 minutes.
It’s very vital that Dalmadoodles receive exercise and their minds are kept stimulated, this can be done with doggie toys and games, or meeting new pups at the dog park!
In short, Dalmadoodles should be kept mentally stimulated with toys, tasks, or games, love to interact with other friendly dogs and humans, and need at least 90 minutes of exercise a day.
Dalmadoodle puppies can be anywhere from $800 to over $1,000, it highly depends on not only the breeder but particularly the type of coat the puppy has when it’s born.
Pups with the iconic dalmatian spots are a little more on the expensive side. Some families breed Dalmadoodles in a loving and safe environment, but please be extra sure to do your research to ensure you are adopting a puppy from a humane place.
Another option would be to call around to different shelters and see if there is a Dalmadoodle you could rescue or go through our list of Doodle-dog rescues to find one near you.
Health problems and lifespan
With any dog, there are potential health concerns to be aware of, here is a brief rundown of the major concerns a Dalmadoodle could have:
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is ommon amongst larger dog breeds, this is when the hip socket and bone do not develop properly, and grinding over time causes damage and potentially a loss of ability with that joint.
- Addison’s Disease: This disease indicates that a dog’s adrenal gland is not producing hormones that are extremely important for them. Their job is to regulate the dog’s organs and without these hormones, there can be bad consequences. Thankfully, Addison’s Disease can be treated with the help of a Vet.
- Cushing’s Disease: Cushing’s Disease is caused when a dog is producing too much of a hormone called cortisol which is used to handle stress. A tumor is usually found after this diagnosis, it can be treated with surgery or medicine but treatment can be a bit costly.
- Urinary Stones: As we know them in human conditions as kidney stones, these crystallizations in the urine can occur from dietary reasons but it isn’t completely specified.
- Skin allergies: Skin allergies can be caused by things outdoors (like grass or plants) or by certain types of food (like chicken). You can talk to your vet to help you identify what your Dalmadoodle is allergic too.
I’m sure after reading those you may feel a little shaken up, no one wants to think of a good boy or girl suffering or feeling ill, but take comfort in knowing that any living thing may go through trials the important thing is to do what you can in the present to stay healthy and take the best care of that living creature.
You can do this for a Dalmadoodle by making sure they eat and drink a healthy amount, get proper exercise, and have regular visits with their Vet. The average lifespan for most Dalmadoodles is between 11-14 years!
Why you shouldn’t get a Dalmadoodle
Although the Dalmadoodle sounds like the perfect dog, there are definitely reasons why a Dalmadoodle might not be the right dog for you.
Since Dalmatians and Poodles are both high-energy dogs, you’ll be in for a surprise if you get the Dalmadoodle and are hoping for a chill dog.
This dog will want to romp, play, and run at all times! And coming from two intelligent parent breeds, the Dalmadoodle needs proper training and mental stimulation to be happy. Without, they can become aggressive and destructive. You’ll need to make sure to tire your Dalmadoodle out both physically AND mentally.
Second, being that the Dalmadoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Dalmation, there’s a lot of grooming involved. Dalmadoodle dogs require daily brushing and frequent trips to the groomers.
Dalmadoodles are so cute, smart, and wonderful!
Indeed they are! While we’re wrapping up here, let’s hit some main points surrounding the Dalmadoodle to paint the picture if this is the right breed for you.
- These sporty pups need at least 90 minutes of physical activity per day
- Their coats require almost daily brushing and monthly grooming
- Expect to have them right by your side, ready for love, attention, playtime, adventuring, and learning
- Patients is key with training, highly sensitive to negative tones and words
With the right loving and active family, a Dalmadoodle will thrive and be one super duper happy pup!
Dalmadoodles are not recognized by the AKC. Currently, the AKC only recognizes purebred dogs and not does recognize designer dogs like the Dalmadoodle.
Dalmadoodles are not recognized by the AKC. Currently, the AKC only recognizes purebred dogs and not does recognize designer dogs like the Dalmadoodle.
Like their parent breeds (the Poodle and the Dalmatian) Dalmadoodles are smart, loyal, and protective. They need lots of exercise and are active dogs.
You will need to brush your Dalmadoodle daily and take them to the groomers every 6-8 weeks to keep their coat healthy and tangle-free.
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About the Author:
Mira is a dog-lover and writer. She and her two dogs (Bren and Nala) can be found hiking during all four seasons, camping and exploring new places together.