The Dalmatian is a breed of large dog, noted for its unique black or liver spotted coat and mainly used as a carriage dog in its early days. Its roots trace back to Croatia and its historical region of Dalmatia. Today, it is a popular family pet, and many dog enthusiasts enter Dalmatians into kennel club competitions.
Dalmatian puppies are born with plain white coats and their first spots usually appear within 3 to 4 weeks after birth. After about a month, they have most of their spots, although they continue to develop throughout life at a much slower rate. Spots usually range in size from 30 to 60 mm, and are most commonly black or brown (liver) on a white background. Other, more rare colors, include blue (a blue-grayish color), brindle, mosaic, tricolored (with tan spotting on the eyebrows, cheeks, legs, and chest), and orange or lemon (dark to pale yellow). Patches of color appear anywhere on the body, mostly on the head or ears, and usually consist of a solid color.
The Dalmatian is often used as a rescue dog, guardian, athletic partner, most often an active family member, and can be used as a fire dog
Dalmatians usually have litters of 9 to 13 pups, but they have been known to have larger litters on occasion, such as a massive eighteen puppy brood born in January 2009 (all were healthy).