Thanks to the well-known Disney movie, nearly every child on the planet recognizes a typical Dalmatian on sight. The black spots, brown eyes, short coat, and wagging tail are hard to miss.
Even the slightest variation in this classic picture, however, produces confusion for many people, including those who volunteer in shelters and attempt to identify dog breeds. Blue eyes? Must be a husky mix. Patches over the ears? Must be some pointer in there somewhere. Brown spots? Maybe a German shorthaired cross. A long, fluffy coat? English setter, surely, what else could it be.
The truth of the matter is that purebred Dalmatians may indeed have blue eyes, patches, brown spots, and long coats!
Dalmatians may have two brown eyes, two blue eyes, or one of each.
Occasionally one eye shows both colors.
Dalmatians may have areas of solid color, called patches, that appear typically over the ears. One ear or both may have patches.
Spots may be black, brown (sometimes called “liver”), or even a lighter, lemon color. The spots are generally separate and distinct.
Although they are rare, some Dalmatians have long, fluffy coats!
All the Dalmatians in these photographs were rescued by Dalmatian Rescue of Illinois and have been adopted.