A long haired Dalmatian sounds like a new discovery, but they’ve been around since the breed first showed up. It’s only in the last few years dog lovers recognize the beauty and existence of these lovely Dalmatians.
Get to know more about the long coat Dalmatian through this helpful guide. You’ll learn what they look like, how to care for them, how they got their long coats and where to buy them.
What Is a Long Haired Dalmatian?
A long-haired Dalmatian is a breed variation of the short-coat version. They’re also known as long-coat or an “LC” Dalmatian. The long-coat gene is recessive, making a long haired Dalmatian unique.
When two Dalmatians with an LC recessive gene breed together, there’s a possibility they will produce a litter with long coat puppies. It’s believed LC Dalmatians once had a 50-50 distribution with the short coat variety.
Over time, the long-coat was “bred away” because they aren’t considered a breed standard by various kennel clubs and cannot compete in shows.
What Does a Long Haired Dalmatian Look Like?
If you’re used to seeing a short coat Dalmatian, seeing a long coat might make you think they’re not purebred. But they’re actually purebred and every bit a Dalmatian in terms of temperament and personality.
A long coat Dalmatian carries an alert and intelligent expression. They have moderately set, rounded eyes that are either dark to blue. Sometimes they do sport other eye shades. They have a defined and strong muzzle with the top part being level and parallel to the top of the skull.
They have a medium-sized body with a sleek, muscular built. A Dalmatian gait is sometimes its most distinctive trait because they have long, lean legs and a graceful body. Hence, they made such wonderful poster dogs for the fire department.
They have fairly long tails that curve upwards and have strong, smooth muscles on their forequarters and hindquarters. Dalmatians have round, compact and thick feet, both in the front and back.
They also have well-arched toes. However, please note that with a long coat, the contours of the body won’t be immediately apparent compared to those of a short coat.
Coat and Coat Colors
A long haired Dalmatian is born mostly with a pure white coat. They later develop their spots at 2-4 weeks old. Their coats are about 2-4 inches long, and they usually have feathering in the tail, legs, or ears.
They also develop spots like any Dalmatian. Usually, these spots are black or a liver (brown) shade. But other colors like brindle, lemon, or tricolor are also starting to show up.
Below are some sample photos of long haired Dalmatians:
This long hair Dalmatian has the typical black spots. Notice the feathering on the ears and chest. The body is still strong and muscular, just like a short coat.
This brown spotted LC Dalmatian has stunning brown or liver-colored spots all over the body and face. You can easily tell the difference between a short coat and a long coat just by looking at the difference in the length of hair around the ears.
Here’s another black-spotted Dalmatian with a long wispy coat.
Here’s a lemon-colored long coat Dalmatian. If you’re used to imagining a Dalmatian with a short coat and black spots, seeing an LC with lemon spots is quite unusual.
A cute long haired Dalmatian puppy. Most puppies have white coats when they are born and later develop their spots after several weeks.
Size and Weight
Like most breeds, male long haired Dalmatians are slightly taller and bigger than females. Male long haired Dalmatians stand at 21-23 inches while a female will be between 19-22 inches tall. They weigh the same though, between 45-60 pounds (20-27 kilograms).
Are Long Coat Dalmatians Rare?
In a way, yes they are. As mentioned earlier, it’s believed both short coat and long coat Dalmatians were evenly distributed back then.
However, only the short coat Dalmatians are recognized by kennel clubs and considered ideal. Hence the long coat variety was systematically “bred away” by breeders.
Scrupulous breeders even went as far as euthanizing LC Dalmatians, considering them to be “defective.” This was especially true among champion breeders who didn’t want to ruin their stock.
Luckily, things are changing and more breeders as well as dog owners are recognizing long coat Dalmatians.
Just several years ago, there were only about 100 or so long haired Dalmatians in the United States but this has changed dramatically over the years. They’re still far from the mainstream, but they are getting there.
Do Long Haired Dalmatians Shed?
If you’ve owned a Dalmatian before, you’ll know Dalmatians are notorious shedders. The same is true for long-coats as well. Long haired Dalmatians grow hair that’s about 2-4 inches long. And unlike other dogs that only shed during certain seasons, Dalmatians shed throughout the year.
Are Long Haired Dalmatians Hypoallergenic?
No, they’re not. It’s important to remember that when a dog is labeled “hypoallergenic,” it doesn’t mean it won’t trigger a reaction at all. Instead, they are only less likely to do it. All dogs contain a protein that is the number one cause of allergies in humans.
You can minimize the possibility of an allergic reaction by brushing your dog’s hair outside every day. It also helps to wear a mask when cleaning and to vacuum daily with a HEPA filter to make sure there’s hardly any dog hair.
Long Haired Dalmatian Genetics: How Did a Dalmatian Get a Long Coat?
The Dalmatian long coat gene is actually a recessive gene. Just because one of your Dalmatians carries it and it is bred, it won’t mean the long coat trait will show up. It’s important that two carriers of the gene are bred together in order for the long coat to appear in the litter.
It’s important to remember a puppy born with a short coat won’t be able to grow a long coat even if it is a carrier of the LC gene.
Long Coat Dalmatian Temperament: Do They Make a Good Family Pet?
Yes, these dogs are fantastic family dogs. Long coat Dalmatians are friendly, loyal, gentle and protective animals. They’re an outgoing breed that usually gets along with different people and other animals when properly socialized at a young age.
However, this breed does get a bad reputation for having the tendency to be aggressive. This happens for a lot of reasons. They can be either untrained or unsocialized, or they don’t get enough attention or exercise which causes them to act out.
Other times they may be deaf or have hearing problems and startle easily, causing aggression from fear. Sometimes, they are simply paired with the wrong family who has no clue how the breed should be cared for. This will lead to them developing bad behavior and habits.
These dogs are patient with children, but like any dog, it’s still important to supervise them because they’re such an energetic breed and can be too much for young children to handle.
It can’t be overstated that training is important with long coat Dalmatian puppies. They need to learn how to behave properly while still puppies. If given the right environment for learning, coupled with affection, as well as good socialization, they can be one of the best family dogs around.
Here’s a video of an owner trying to train her 2-month-old long haired Dalmatian:
Common Health Issues of a Long Haired Dalmatian
Long haired Dalmatians are expected to live anywhere from 10 to 14 years. Because they’re a breed with several problematic genetic health dispositions, their lifespan is a bit shorter compared to other dogs.
RELATED: Dalmatian Lifespan: How Long Do Dalmatians Live?
However, there are exceptions and stories of Dalmatians who have lived longer. Like all dogs, LC Dalmatians are predisposed to certain health issues.
While there’s no guarantee they will suffer these problems, it is in their genes so the possibility is high. The two main genetic conditions you can expect are deafness and hyperuricemia.
About 30% of Dalmatian puppies are estimated to suffer from hearing loss. Sometimes the loss of hearing is partial but in extreme cases, it is complete. Usually, dog breeders subject the puppies to a test called BAER or Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response to check their hearing.
It’s important you also ask for this test or certificate before you buy or adopt any Dalmatian puppy. If you don’t mind a deaf puppy though and know how to handle them, then it won’t be a problem.
This is a condition where the animal ends up producing too much uric acid in their system. Too much uric acid means kidney stones, bladder stones, and even gout can develop. This condition is more common among male dogs as opposed to females.
All Dalmatians have a tendency to overeat. When they lead an active lifestyle – running, exercising outdoors daily – then it won’t be an issue, but if not, then they can become obese. They have a big appetite and if the dog is older, it can cause weight gain and eventually lead to health problems.
Long Haired Dalmatian Grooming Requirements
Having a long haired Dalmatian means being a little more consistent when it comes to grooming them. Regular short coat Dalmatians are already known for being shedders, and the same is true for those with long coats.
While it’s beautiful to look at and admire, a long coat requires a dedicated grooming routine. To help control their shedding, you can brush their hair daily and also vacuum your place at least 2 to 3 times a week. It’s also advisable to take time shaving or trimming the hair on their footpads.
If these hairs grow long, it will cause the dog to slip on tile or hardwood surfaces, injuring the animal. Just keep in mind long coat Dalmatians shed all year round unlike certain breeds so grooming will be a part of taking care of these special dogs.
Are Long Haired Dalmatians a Recognized Breed?
In general, Dalmatians are a recognized breed by various kennel clubs like the AKC and UKC, among others. But it is considered a violation of the breed standard when it comes to the long-haired Dalmatian. Technically, they are not allowed to compete in conformation shows because of their long coat.
There’s hope among long coat breeders for this ruling to change eventually since the long coat gene is a naturally occurring variation that has been around since the breed’s existence.
Are Long Haired Dalmatians Aggressive?
The Dalmatian breed is considered among the top 10 aggressive dog breeds, but this same list also includes the Chihuahua. Long haired Dalmatians are intelligent, loyal dogs but when left untrained, unsocialized, or they simply go to the wrong homes, they can develop bad behavior.
Please understand any Dalmatian requires plenty of exercises and an outlet for their energy. If it’s paired with an owner who prefers to sit at home or whose idea of exercise is just walking around the block, they wouldn’t be a good fit.
These dogs were bred to run with coaches, so they have plenty of stamina and need to expend that; otherwise, they will be destructive and even display aggression.
What’s more, when the movie 101 Dalmatians came out, the breed became popular and a lot of people rushed out to get a Dalmatian of their own without considering whether the dog will be a good fit for their lifestyle or even understanding what the breed needs.
With the great demand, bad breeders jumped on board, resulting in a large batch of dogs born deaf or with defects due to inbreeding.
Deaf dogs startle easily; hence, there is a higher likelihood they would bite or become aggressive when faced with things unexpectedly like someone creeping up behind them.
Again, it boils down to training and leadership for the owner. When handled by an owner who fully understands the breed and has socialized the dog as puppies, a Dalmatian would be a rewarding dog to have.
How Much Does a Long Haired Dalmatian Cost? Puppy Price and Expenses
Long coat Dalmatian puppies have starting prices between $600 to $1,200, sometimes even higher, depending on the breeder. Some Dalmatian breeders who prefer only to have short coats for show purposes might try and get rid of their LC puppies for a lower price.
Usually, the cheapest they would sell is around $600 but this would be a rare find. On the other hand, there are also breeders who would price them higher.
When you buy your long haired Dalmatian puppy, also consider the other expenses that come with owning a new puppy. This would include the following:
- Veterinary care (getting the puppy spayed/neutered or checked) – estimated at $200-$500
- Home prep (getting the yard fenced, fixing spaces to ensure it is dog proof) – estimated at $500-$6,000 if you’re getting fencing)
- Buying dog/puppy supplies (getting a dog bed, kennels, toys, collars, shampoos, and more) – estimated at $300-$600
- Food, grooming, or enrolling in training classes – estimated at $500-900
All of these taken into consideration will cost approximately around $3,500 or more for the first year of owning a long haired Dalmatian puppy. The first year you own a puppy, expect to spend quite a bit. However, the costs are much lower in the next year and onward.
RELATED: How Much Do Dalmatians Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses
Long Haired Dalmatian Breeder and Rescue: Where to Buy or Adopt a Long Haired Dalmatian?
You can buy your long haired Dalmatian from a reputable breeder or adopt them from reliable rescue centers. Before anything, it’s important to do diligent research about the breeder you are planning to get your puppies from. A few quick things to remember:
- Ask the breeder for pedigree. They should be able to give you the answer without any runarounds.
- Ask how the puppies are handled and raised. For Dalmatians, it’s crucial their training starts at home, around people, or children.
- Inquire if a BAER test is done on the puppies, so they can be paired with the right home. Dalmatians are prone to suffering from deafness so a BAER test is important.
- Ask for temperament information. A good breeder who has spent time with the puppies will know this.
You can find long coat Dalmatian puppy breeders below:
- Country Nightz Ranch
- Paradise Spots Dalmatians LLC
- LC Dals
- American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace -Dalmatian Puppies for Sale
- Dalmatian Club of America – Breeder Referral List
If you prefer to rescue or adopt a long coat Dalmatian, that’s also possible. They do show up from time to time in the system for one reason or the other. Below are a few resources you can check out:
- Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida
- Dalmatian Rescue of Southern California
- Willing Hearts Dalmatian Rescue Inc.
- Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas
- Dal Rescue (Canada)
- Adopt-a-Spot Dal Rescue
- Dalmatian Club of America – Rescue
A long haired Dalmatian is like any regular Dalmatian. It is loyal, playful, energetic, and highly intelligent. What’s more, it is absolutely stunning with its distinctive spots and lovely long coat.
If you’re planning to have one of your own, I would suggest you learn everything you can about the breed first – what type of lifestyle they require and whether it would fit your lifestyle.
Dalmatians are a highly active breed and require a lot of attention and exercise to satisfy their energy requirements. This means a lot of running, hiking, or playing daily. They are not suitable as pets for apartment dwellers.
Owning a long haired Dalmatian is a commitment. It’s not a dog meant for everyone. If you are willing to care for this unique and charming breed by making sure they get everything they require, they will give you plenty of love and faithful service through the years to come.