One is that this single coated breed not only sheds, but sheds a lot. One owner wrote, “Dalmatians have two shedding seasons: January to June, and July to December.” Another former owner added, “We have a chair that I recently sat in wearing black slacks, and when I got up, I had short white hairs all over it, and we haven’t had a Dalmatian in 17 years!”
Another anecdote: “Heather wrote: “I once pulled a clean, sealed *empty* Tupperware container out from under the cupboard and opened it for leftovers. It had a single Dalmatian hair in it. I also once had a 101 Dalmatians character wrist watch. Somehow, a single Dal hair wormed it’s way in between the crystal and the watch face… Dalmatians shed so much one wonders how they manage to keep enough hair on their bodies in the first place.” Shed hair that’s both black and white also means that the hair will stand out on just about any color one chooses to wear.
Dalmatian hair is tenacious! The shed hair has little barbs on the end that make it difficult to remove from fabric and upholstery short of tweezer surgery. Indeed, the barbs practically weave the hair into fabric, and worse, some owners report that the hair can stick into skin like a splinter particularly when it’s stepped on with bare feet!
Sadly, rescue groups report that for owners who don’t do their homework on the breed, the shedding comes as a surprise. We heard about an active duty Army officer and his wife who returned their Dalmatian to its foster home because the dog shed too much and the hair kept getting on the officer’s uniform. They hadn’t believed what they were told, choosing instead to believe the foster mom was just a bad housekeeper.
For the right owner who did their homework, the Dalmatian is the perfect breed: Intelligent, clean, highly affectionate, and very versatile. Brushing the coat misted with water minimizes the amount of loose dog hair, and everyone is happy.