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 have recognized 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 look for 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 “LC” Dalmatians. With the long-coat gene being a recessive trait, the long-haired Dalmatian is unique and more difficult to produce than its short-coat counterpart.
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 were unable to compete in shows.
Long-Haired Dalmatian Appearance
If you’re used to seeing a short coat Dalmatian, seeing a long coat might make you think they’re not purebred.
That is not the case, though, since they’re actually purebred and every bit a Dalmatian. Further, aside from the coat, there is not much of a difference between these two variants.
To start, 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 also have a defined and strong muzzle, with the top part being level and parallel to the top of the skull.
Further, it has a medium-sized body with a sleek, muscular build. A Dalmatian gait is sometimes its most distinctive trait because it has long, lean legs and a graceful body.
Moving further down, they have round, compact, and thick front and back feet and well-arched toes.
They also have fairly long tails that curve upwards and strong, smooth muscles on their forequarters and hindquarters.
The coat length of fully-grown Dalmatians is about 2-4 inches long, and they usually have feathering in the tail, legs, or ears.
They would also have the trademark Dalmatian spots all over their bodies, just like in short-coat Dalmatians.
However, please note that with a long coat, the contours of its body won’t be immediately apparent compared to its short coat counterparts.
Long-Haired Dalmatian Spot Color Variations
A long-haired Dalmatian is born mostly with a pure white coat. They later develop their spots at 2-4 weeks old.
Usually, these spots are black or a liver (brown) shade. However, other colors like brindle, lemon, or tricolor are also starting to show up.
Below are some examples of the different spot colors in 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 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.
Long-Haired Dalmatian Size and Weight
Like most breeds, male long-haired Dalmatians are slightly taller and bigger than females. Male long-haired Dalmatians stand at 21 to 23 inches, while a female will be between 19 and 22 inches tall. Both genders weigh the same, which is between 45 and 60 pounds.
Are Long Coat Dalmatians Rare?
In a way, long-coat Dalmatians are considered rare. 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 to 4 inches long, and unlike other dogs that only shed during certain seasons, Dalmatians shed throughout the year.
As an experienced pet owner, I also used to have a long-haired Dalmatian. There is no denying that these dogs are really beautiful, and their long coats have a nice, silky feel.
However, I can also recall having hair all over our carpet, furniture, and every part of the house where our dog roams.
This shedding even becomes heavier during the fall and spring seasons. Hence, if you are interested in owning this Dalmatian variant, you must also be prepared for the responsibility of vacuuming and keeping your house free from loose hair.
Are Long-Haired Dalmatians Hypoallergenic?
Any variant of the Dalmatian is not considered hypoallergenic. It’s also important to remember that when a dog is labeled “hypoallergenic,” it doesn’t mean it won’t trigger a reaction at all. Instead, it is only less likely to do it. All dogs contain proteins that may cause 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 vacuum daily with a HEPA filter to ensure there’s hardly any dog hair.
Long-Haired Dalmatian Genetics
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.
Two carriers of the gene must be bred together in order for the long coat to appear in the litter.
It’s also important to remember that 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 and Personality
Dalmatians 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. However, 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 as young 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:
Long-Haired Dalmatian Lifespan and Health Issues
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.
However, also remember that a dog’s lifespan can also be greatly influenced by factors such as environment and health care given to the dog.
So, worry not since you can actually optimize your Dalmatian’s lifespan with the proper care and veterinary guidance.
In fact, there are some stories of Dalmatians who have lived longer than their average lifespans.
On the other hand, you also need to be familiar with the health issues that you need to watch out for in your long-haired Dalmatian. They are the following:
- Deafness: 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.
- Hyperuricemia: 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.
- Obesity: All Dalmatians have a tendency to overeat. When they lead an active lifestyle — running and 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 Needs
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. Taking time shaving or trimming the hair on their footpads is also advisable.
If this hair grows long, it will cause the dog to slip on tile or hardwood surfaces, injuring the animal.
Just keep in mind the long coat Dalmatians shed all year round, unlike certain breeds, so grooming will be a part of taking care of these special dogs.
How Much Does a Long-Haired Dalmatian Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses
Long-coat Dalmatian puppies have starting prices between $600 and $1,200, sometimes even higher, depending on the breeder.
Some Dalmatian breeders who prefer only to have short coats for show purposes might try to rehome their LC puppies for a lower price.
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:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$80 – $150
|$15 – $40
|$30 – $100
|$50 – $300
|Collars and Leashes
|$15 – $50
|Crates and Carriers
|$60 – $500
|$50 – $250
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $500
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$50 – $300
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$40 – $300
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$40 – $60
|$10 – $20
|$30 – $80
|Total Initial Cost
|$620 – $3,150
All of these, taken into consideration, will cost approximately around $3,150 or more for the first year of owning a long-haired Dalmatian puppy.
The first year you own a puppy, expect to spend a lot. However, the costs are much lower in the next year and onward.
Places to Find Long-Haired Dalmatian Puppies for Sale and Adoption
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 plan to get your puppies from.
Here are some questions you may want to ask your breeder:
- Ask the breeder for a pedigree.
- Ask how the puppies are handled and raised.
- Inquire if a BAER test is done on the puppies.
- Ask for the dog’s temperament
You can find reputable long-coat Dalmatian puppy breeders below:
- American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace – The AKC Marketplace ensures you are only dealing with the most reputable breeders of the Dalmatian, who uphold ethical breeding practices. Aside from answering all your questions about the puppy, they can also provide you with health records and guarantees.
- Dalmatian Club of America – Breeder Referral List – As the national parent club of the AKC for the Dalmatian breed, you can be assured that you are only dealing with breeders who comply with high standards of breeding.
- Good Dog – Good Dog is a trusted website where you can acquire your long-coated Dalmatian. They implement a high standard for breeders posting on their site. In fact, these breeders undergo intensive screening to be accepted into the program.
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 rescue organizations you can check out:
- Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida – Though it was established in Florida, Dalmatian Rescue has been successful in creating partnerships with other rescues nationwide in an effort to rescue, protect, and rehome Dalmatians in need. They even have programs that cater to the needs of deaf Dalmatians.
- Dalmatian Rescue of Southern California – This non-profit organization relies on volunteers and donations to rescue Dalmatians in need in the Southern California area. They also advocate responsible Dalmatian ownership, especially the importance of spaying or neutering, training, diet, and exercise.
- Willing Hearts Dalmatian Rescue Inc. – This rescue organization relies on fosters who take care of the veterinary needs and the spaying or neutering of their rescued dogs until it finds a permanent loving home for them. They are also focused on educating the public about caring for Dalmatians, including long-haired ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Long-Haired Dalmatians a Recognized Breed?
However, it is considered a violation of the breed standard for the long-haired Dalmatian. Technically, they are not allowed to compete in conformation shows because of their long coat.
Are Long-Haired Dalmatians Aggressive?
The Dalmatian breed is among the top 10 aggressive dog breeds. In reality, though, Long-haired Dalmatians are intelligent, loyal dogs.
However, they can develop bad behavior when left untrained, unsocialized, or simply going to the wrong homes.
Please understand any Dalmatian requires plenty of exercise 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.
A long-haired Dalmatian is like any regular Dalmatian. It is loyal, playful, energetic, and highly intelligent. Moreover, it is absolutely stunning with its distinctive spots and lovely long coat.
Owning a long-haired Dalmatian is a commitment, even in grooming. If you are willing to care for this unique and charming breed by ensuring they get everything they require, they will give you plenty of love and faithful service in the years to come.
If you’re planning to have one of your own, it is best that you learn everything you can about the breed first – what type of lifestyle they require and whether it would fit your lifestyle.
We would be glad to hear your thoughts about the long-haired Dalmatian by leaving us a comment below!