Dalmatians are the only spotted dog breed. Their jet black or chocolate brown spots, which are called liver-colored, create a distinctive pattern against the dog's short white coats. They even have spots in their mouths. However, Dalmatians are usually born with pure white coats.
The Spot Timetable
Newborn Dalmatian puppies have white coats, but many of their spots are present as pigment in the skin. The color starts to grow into the hair when the pups are around 2 weeks old. When the puppies are 5 to 6 months, their spots become get darker and better defined. New spots typically continue to appear until Dalmatians are about 7 months old. The spots ideally are round, a dime to a half-dollar in size, and evenly spread over their body, preferably with smaller spots on the head and extremities.
Patches Not Spots
Some Dalmatian pups are born with a patch or patches of solid black or liver color. The patches are larger than normal spots with well-defined, smooth edges. This is different to when spots merge or overlap to form colored masses. They have uneven edges and/or white hairs showing in the color.
- The Dog Breed Bible; D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
- Dalmatians: Divine Dogs Online: 22; Mychelle Klose
- The Dalmatian Heritage Project: About the Project: A Dalmatian Study: The Genetic Correction Of Health Problems
- A New Owner's Guide to Dalmatians; Helen W. Shue
- Pet Owner's Guide to the Dalmatian; Geraldine Gregory
- American Kennel Club: Dalmatian Breed Standard