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Dotty about Dallies...

Cathy, my long suffering friend and mid week assistant, has volunteered to do this weeks 'why that breed' blog. Enjoy! xx

My love affair with Dalmatians started in 1995 with my first pup. My parents bred Dalmatians, but they were always their dogs, and I was away at university when they were pups. We had a litter of 9 pups, and Butch, the biggest, least confident and shyest, stole my heart. I was lucky to have him 14 years, and his deaf sister for a little longer. When they crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we had two small children, and replacing them with another dog was unbearable. So eight years later, and after work related illness led to taking a career break, I persuaded the long suffering husband to let me bring a dog into the home. He said yes, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to meet his criteria – a Dalmatian! A little research led me to find a 10 week old Dalmatian pup, Sophtspot in the Zone in Scotland. Three days later, and a long journey South and Mac joined us. An energetic, easily bored and highly independent breed, they can be quite challenging. They need mental stimulation, exercise and problem solving activities to keep them busy, as well as down time to recharge the extensive batteries!!! They have a great temperament, perfect for active families, especially when young. The children and dog tire each other out!!! Mac is the most affectionate dog you could imagine, with a high desire to please. He has been highly susceptible to positive reinforcement training, especially where good choices are rewarded and he has been enabled to work out expected behaviours rather than just being told. He can be an absolute loon, doing zoomies across a grass field, or chasing a certain smell, but he always has an eye on me. He adores my girls and school home times are one of his favourite times, the girls get thoroughly loved and washed! Boundaries are important, they do need to have clear expectations of acceptable behaviour, and like any toddler love to check out the consistency of both parents!! For me the Dalmatian’s great temperament, independence and loyalty make it an ideal dog for my family. And I happily laugh off the “where are the other 100?” jokes ... soon to be 99!! 

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