You would be hard pressed to find any child that has not seen Disney's 101 Dalmatians. It's the story of two Dalmatian parents and their brood of 99 puppies. The film was based on a book originally called The Hundred and One Dalmatians, by English author Dodie Smith. More than 300 artists worked on the movie which included a team who were hired solely for drawing all the spots on the dogs (which totals 6,469,052, if you count them all).
Both children and adults can't help but fall instantly in love with these unusual looking black and white dogs. It's no surprise then, that the sale of Dalmatian's goes up exponentially every time the Disney film is seen. Along with that, Dalmatian stuffed animals also become big time sellers. Despite their unique, polka-dotted bodies, however, this is not a breed for everyone; many of the puppies purchased after seeing the film, are unfortunately, returned to animal shelters.
There is an idea that the Dalmatian breed originated in Dalmatia. Yugoslavia is now known to be wrong, but the name has stuck. The Dalmatian is a very old European breed, its exact origins are obscure, but the Pointer was certainly amongst its ancestors. Known as the firehouse, dog, in the 19th century, Dalmatian's became a fashionable carriage dog, which would race along, beside, or even in between, the huge wheels. This included fire engines which were pulled by horses. Dalmatian's would often guide the horses through city streets, clear a path, and even help to control the equines when necessary. The breed was also used to help guard firehouses so as to prevent vandalism and theft. Dalmatians today, are still kept as pets in some modern firehouses.
While Dalmatian's are considered family dogs and are known to be good with children, due to their very lively nature, they may not do so well around toddlers. In addition, because they are such a high energy breed, this is not a dog for the Sunday stroller; in its carriage days, the Dalmatian ran up to 30 miles a day so they require plenty of exercise. Unless your child is capable of taking care of the real thing, all of its daily exercise will fall to you, thus opting for a Dalmatian stuffed animal instead, would be a much better idea.
A Dalmatian stuffed animal is covered in black (or brown spots) just like the real thing, but amazingly, the breed is born completely white; their spots grow as they age. And, no two Dalmatian's have identical spots, which further adds to their uniqueness. Some online shops have a stunning 2.5 foot Dalmatian stuffed animal that looks so authentic, you won't be able to tell the difference between it and the real thing.
For any child that has seen 101 Dalmatian's and insists on having that breed of dog as their own, a Dalmatian stuffed animal would be a much better (and cheaper) alternative. Unless properly raised, they can be a very hyper active canine which is something most children will not be able to handle. In addition, a Dalmatian stuffed animal will never require the veterinary care and grooming that this, or any breed of dog actively requires. In addition, with a Dalmatian stuffed animal, both you and your child would be able to take the necessary steps to learn fully about the breed and then make an informed decision as to whether you're both ready for the real deal.