The Dalmapoo, also known as the Dalmadoodle, the Dalmatiandoodle, and the Dalmatianpoo is, as his name may suggest, a cross between the purebred Poodle and the purebred Dalmatian. They are classified as a medium to large breed weighing on average between 40lbs and 75lbs and measuring between 15” and 24” at the shoulder.
The Dalmadoodle is from hardworking lines and as such will be at his happiest with a job to do. He is loyal and devoted to his master and will need lots of space and lots of exercise. Let’s delve into everything Dalmapoo from their parent’s history to how to take the best care of them.
DALMADOODLE QUICK FACTS
|Parent Breeds:||Poodle and Dalmatian|
|Height:||15” to 24”|
|Weight:||40lbs – 75lbs|
|Other names:||Dalmapoo, Dalmatiandoodle, Dalmatianpoo|
|Temperament:||Loyal, hardworking, energetic|
|Best suited to:||Active families, homes with a backyard|
Table of Contents
Dalmapoo Breed History
Whilst there is much debate as to whether the Poodle originated in Germany or France it is most likely that Germany was from where the Poodle first hailed. France is then responsible for developing them into the breed we know and love today.
It is widely believed that a series of water dogs were used in their development. The Russian, Hungarian, German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish Water Dog are all thought to have played their part in the growth of the Poodle. This would explain not only their love for water but the qualities that their coats have in enabling them to be good swimmers.
Bred originally as a retriever and hunter of ducks and other waterfowl they have also contributed to the development of many other breeds long before the Doodle revolution.
Their agility, low to non-shedding coat, and intelligence are just some of the desirable traits breeders wish to pass down to the next generation of hybrid pooches hence the Poodle being such a popular purebred to use.
Our epic Doodle guide will give further insight into the Poodle.
- Aero – Made famous through his Japanese figure skating owner Mao Asada, Aero is named after Nestle’s famous chocolate bar. Aero is a miniature red Poodle who has not only accompanied Mao on tours but appeared by her side in Japanese Chocolate commercials.
- Jinkee – With his own Insta page Jinkee, another red Miniature, has more than three times the number of followers as his owner, food, and travel journalist Sofia Levin.
- Sancho – Sancho was found by Henry Somerset, Lord Worcester at the grave of his French Master during the Peninsular War. Henry rescued Sancho, taking him back to London to recuperate. The pair are the subject of Richard Deighton’s famous 1817 painting “A View Taken in Hyde Park”
More famous Poodles can be found in our classic guide, Famous Poodles: If You Know, You Know
Probably the easiest breed of dog to ‘spot’, the Dalmatian was made famous by the Disney film 101 Dalmatians. Magnificent and majestic he will always display as white with black or liver spots.
FUN FACT: Dalmatians are not born spotty! Their coats are plain white as newborns although you may sometimes be able to see the markings on their skin. Their spots will begin to develop from around 10 days and continue right up until they are 18 months old.
Thought to originate from the Dalmatia region of Croatia and to be a historical cross between spotted Great Danes and Pointers, the Dalmatian has a varied working history. He is a credible hunter and has been employed to eradicate vermin infestations, hunt wild boar, retrieve game, and almost everything in-between. He can work hardily as a solo unit or effortlessly within a pack.
In 17th century England, anyone who was anyone in nobility circles would employ a Dalmatian as a carriage or coach dog. Their natural kinship with horses, coupled with their strength and agility made them perfect for the job! Merchant coaches would have this dignified and majestic canine run alongside them using their incredible watchdog skills to alert the crew to any potential trouble along the way.
They were also an early firefighter’s henchman, particularly in the US. Before the days of fire trucks, rigs were horse-drawn. To prevent the horses from being spooked at the fires the Dalmatian would stand guard, protecting his four-legged teammate. What a resume!
This history is what makes the Dalmatian protective and loyal to his master and will make an excellent watchdog alerting you to any danger, intruder, or visitor. He is playful and high-energy, needing lots of physical and mental input to keep him healthy and out of trouble.
He is considered to usually be a medium-sized dog and is svelte, muscular, and has the stamina of an ox. Once fully grown you can expect him to be up to 23” at the shoulder and both the AKC and the British KC will allow up to 24”. Males will most often be slightly taller than females, but both will weigh, on average, between 45lbs and 60lbs.
They are quite high shedders, but a weekly groom should be enough to keep their coat in tip-top condition. General drool shouldn’t be a problem, but those jowls may deposit a fair amount of extra residue over the kitchen floor after rehydration.
FUN FACT: If your Dalmatian has brown spots, he will have a brown nose. If his spots are black, then his nose will be too!
The Dalmatian is eager to please so is easily trainable providing you start early and are consistent. Early socialization and a reliable training regime will give you a personable, faithful, and loving dog. Whilst he is good with children and other animals, like the Poodle, he can be rather aloof around strangers.
- Pongo, Perdita, and their 99 puppies: Probably THE most famous Dalmatians, Pongo & Perdita’s adventures are a forever children’s favorite in the Disney film 101 Dalmatians. If you haven’t watched it, you should!
- Budweiser: Whilst not the name of the Dalmatian they are the mascots for the Budweiser Clydesdale horses. With their history as carriage dogs, they would tag along on deliveries both to protect the horses and the beer! Even today if you see Budweiser Clydesdale horses there will be a Dalmatian not very far behind.
The Dalmadoodle is spirited, enthusiastic, and attentive, drawing on traits from both his Poodle and Dalmatian parents. They love to spend time with their families and with early socialization and a robust training routine he will make a perfect fit into any family.
He is a bundle of energy and full of playfulness. Due to his working stock linage, he’s going to want to help out, so finding him a job to do will always be welcome. Praise will be appreciated and leave your pooch feeling proud and needed!
He is going to be suited to an active home. The Dalmadoodle is a bundle of energy and will be at his happiest joining you on long hikes, jogs, or even running alongside you on a bike ride.
Ultimately the Dalmadoodle is a loving and loyal breed. He will form strong bonds with his master and be a protective and competent watchdog. His main aim is to please you and he will love you with all that he has. Be prepared for affection and cuddles from this unique mix.
He will be great with children providing that you follow the basic start-up rules of suitable, early, and regular training and socialization, and remember, it’s not just your pooch who needs to learn how to behave appropriately. Children need to be aware of how to respect their dog’s space and they should never be left alone.
Training should be relatively stress-free given their intelligence but do watch out for the occasional Dalmatian stubborn streak. Your Dalmapoo may throw the sporadic curve ball and need a little extra encouragement to do as he is told. This should always be from the angle of positive reinforcement. Shouting or punishment will only risk anxiety in your pooch, calmness, and patience is key. Despite the potential occasional stubborn moment, treats (in moderation) and lots of approval will always go down well encouraging your pooch to strive for more.
Owing to the size of the Dalmatian, the best-fit Poodle for the Dalmadoodle cross is the Standard.
Whilst the Dalmadoodle falls into the medium-sized canine category he is no pipsqueak and those on the bigger end of the scale will cross over into the large category. This isn’t the pooch for apartment living.
The Standard Poodle is classified by the AKC as over 15” in height with a female weighing between 40lbs and 50lbs and the male between 60lbs and 70lbs.
Again, from the AKC, the Dalmatian’s statistics are between 19” and 24” in height and 45lbs to 70lbs in weight.
With such a complimentary match in terms of size and weight you can expect, on average, for your Dalmadoodle to fall within similar measurements with a height of between 15” and 24” and weighing between 40lbs and 75lbs.
However, with this being a cross breed there is the potential for quite an eclectic litter. Looking at mom and dad can give you some inkling as to how big your puppy may grow but this is far from an exact science. You will have Dalmadoodle’s who come in under the estimated figures and some that will be over, it’s just a waiting game to see where your pooch will end up.
Dalmadoodle Coat Type and Maintenance
Whilst the Poodle has a tight curly, low to non-shedding coat the Dalmatian, with his short, straight coat is the complete opposite.
Known for his excessive shedding, the Dalmatian needs a robust grooming routine to keep his coat healthy. Reducing the shed is potentially one reason why a breeder may have chosen to breed a Dalmapoo but there is nothing guaranteed, especially in a second-generation cross (F2).
Before a non-shedding Dalmadoodle can be guaranteed, there needs to be an established breeding program with the knowledge of non-shedding genes being present in all dogs on the plan.
Poodles carry two curl genes (CC) and Dalmatians carry two non-curl genes (NN). As puppies inherit one gene from each parent, they will most probably display a wavy coat. This is most likely in the first generation (F1) Dalmadoodle. Should you breed a second-generation Dalmadoodle (F2) you could end up with straight coats (NN), wavy coats (NC), and curly coats (CC) as each F1 parent will carry both an N gene and a C gene.
Grooming will entirely depend on the coat they display and the particular cut that you prefer. Your Dalmapoo may require daily brushing to keep his coat healthy or he may only need a weekly brush.
Coat color is all about genetics. The Dalmatian is what is described as parti which is where more than 50% of the coat is white and the rest another color, in this case, brown or black. The Dalmatian is unusual in that his secondary color is displayed in the form of spots.
For your Dalmapoo to also be parti the Poodle must carry the parti gene. However, this is still unlikely to produce a spotty puppy and they will be more ‘traditionally’ parti. If the Poodle doesn’t carry parti then your puppy will most likely be what is described as abstract. This would be brown or black with some white patches.
Once we move into F2 territory, because secondary Poodle genes are being introduced there is potential for a more diverse color pool and you may have puppies of solid color, part, or abstract.
The maintenance of the coat will be dependent on its type. The curlier the coat the more it will need to be brushed. Curlier-coated Dalmapoos are less likely to shed because as they lose the hair it gets caught up in the curls rather than falling onto your living room floor! However, if you don’t brush these out, they will cause matting which then becomes painful for your dog.
A looser wave is more likely to shed and will need a couple of brushes a week. This will go somewhere to reduce the amount of hair that your pooch will shed.
In addition to brushing your Dalmadoodle at home, he will need a regular grooming session to keep his hair from becoming unruly. You can have this done at a professional salon or you can learn to do it yourself at home.
After the initial outlay of the grooming tools that you will require the latter will be the cheaper of the two options. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube so you can teach yourself how to do it safely and effectively.
Be sure to pay close attention to your Dalmapoo’s furnishings should he have them. These are his eyebrows, beard, and mustache, all of which can cause their own issues if not kept trim. Eyebrows that are too long can limit his sight, potentially causing a multitude of accidents.
Beards and mustaches may not be the cause of any mishaps but they can certainly be the source of mess and smells when water and food get caught up in there!
If you are using a doggy grooming salon for your pooch you may not need to bathe them unless they have had an unfortunate encounter with fox poop or the like. However, bathing should be introduced early in order to make this as normal as possible and reduce any anxieties. Take a look at our article on how often should you bathe a Cavapoo and learn all about how to bathe your Dalmadoodle safely and competently.
Keep a check on their ears to make sure that their hair doesn’t get too long and cause any blockages. Whilst it’s not advisable to be digging about in the ear cavity, should they become dirty inside a quick clean with a damp towel would be sensible. If they go for a swim or you have bathed them, do ensure that their ears are dried once they are out of the water.
Don’t forget their nails and teeth. If your Dalmadoodle does a lot of walking on the sidewalk or if your backyard is paved, their nails may naturally stay short. However, if they are predominantly exercised on grass then they will require regular cutting. Like grooming, this is something you can either do yourself or let your groomer do it. Your vet should also be able to trim nails.
Teeth need brushing from the get-go. Not just to keep them healthy but to normalize the procedure. Whilst you can buy canine toothbrushes and fabulous liver-flavored toothpaste certain food and treats will also help to keep a dog’s teeth in tip-top condition. Chew toys, high-quality kibble, and raw bones are just some ways to naturally look after your canine’s canines!
Dalmadoodle Exercise Needs
It is important that their exercise needs, which are high, are looked after otherwise, you are likely to be left with an anxious and quite possible destructive pooch. An unfulfilled Dalmadoodle, as with any dog, can act out in the short term and over time it can, unfortunately, lead to aggression.
The Dalmadoodle is very energetic, so this is worth noting before committing to welcoming this breed into your home and family. Ask yourself, are you active enough to keep his physical needs met? You will need a secure yard so that he has the freedom of the outdoors alongside daily walks and/or rambles.
He will always be ready to go ‘walkies’ or even ‘runnies’ and ‘swimmies” due to his liveliness and advice would be to aim for at least two exercise sessions per day. If you or your family, feel that this is beyond your own exercise routines then the Dalmapoo is likely not the breed for you.
Dalmadoodles are clever and clever dogs need as much mental activity as they do physical. Lack of mental stimulation can lead to excessive barking, anxiety, and chewing/digging in the home.
There are lots of ways to keep your Dalmapoo entertained. Treat games are available online and in the pet store and he will love using his gray matter to work out how to get the reward. If you are on a budget, you can improvise by hiding treats yourself around the house and yard.
Learning new tricks is also a great way to keep their brains ticking over. Remember to show them lots of praise and encouragement.
An obstacle course in the backyard will keep both his mind and his body active. As will a good old walk with plenty of opportunities to sniff and explore.
There is an argument to say that crossing to purebred dogs will go some way to reduce common ailments in both breeds. This is called hybrid vigor. This is not a failsafe plan to eliminate predisposed conditions, but it can reduce the risk.
Hybrid vigor will reduce with each generation of crossbreed with an F1 benefitting the most and multigenerational (F3 and beyond) hardly benefitting at all.
Your vet is always the best person to speak to with regard to your Dalmapoo’s health.
To ascertain what issues you may meet with your Dalmadoodle you need to take a look at the Poodle and the Dalmatian health history.
Common Poodle Health Issues
Overall, the Poodle is a healthy dog with few problems. His life expectancy is somewhere between 12 and 15 years. The few health problems which are prevalent in the Poodle are:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Addison’s Disease
- Thyroid Issues
Common Dalmatian Health Issues
The life expectancy of the Dalmatian is still a respectable 10 to 15 years although there are unconfirmed reports of some living to be 17 years old.
FUN FACT: Scootie, a Dalmatian from South Carolina was 20 years old before died. You can read his story here.
The health issue to look out for which are prevalent in the Dalmatian are:
- Atopy (allergies to dust mites)
- Bladder Stones
However, there are also some health issues that cross over both breeds. Epilepsy and Hip Dysplasia are two of these. Hybrid Vigor will not come into play in these scenarios and you should always make sure that both parents have been health tested before you purchase a puppy.
What to Feed your Dalmadoodle
You will feed your Dalmapoo differently at different periods in their life. For example, when they are a puppy, they will need little and often. Once they have passed babyhood it’s most likely that they will eat twice, or even once a day.
Different food is marketed to different life stages. For example, you can buy both puppy and senior specific foodstuff. This should mean that your dog is getting the correct nutrients at the correct stage. Do be mindful though of what you buy and read the ingredient lists carefully. Food should be nutrient-dense and not made up of fillers.
Always buy the best quality food that you can afford for your dog. You may choose kibble (dry pellets), canned (wet food), or raw (completes or DIY) and ultimately it will be what is the best fit for you and your dog.
How much you feed them will largely be based on their size, activity level, and appetite. Always speak to your vet or a canine dietician to get the best advice.
Is the Dalmadoodle the Right Dog for me?
Ultimately only you can answer this question. Hopefully, we have armed you with enough knowledge to make the decision.
The questions you should be asking yourselves to come to conclusion are:
- Are we active enough? – Remember, the Dalmdoodle is a lively lad!
- Do we have enough space? – Apartment or small space living is not for this breed.
- Can I afford it? – Look at the all-around cost. Food bills, insurance, etc.
Once you can answer all these questions you should know whether the Dalmadoodle is the right dog for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Dalmadoodles Hypoallergenic?
No dog is truly hypoallergenic, and it will largely depend on what your individual allergy is as to whether a Dalmadoodle is for you. If it is the saliva or urine, you are allergic to then unfortunately, there is no amount of careful genetic breeding that will help you find a dog that won’t trigger your allergies.
However, a cautious and vigorous breeding program to ensure that the non-shedding gene is dominant in both parents can produce puppies who can live happily alongside those who have allergies to dog hair without causing any problems. Without genetic testing, it really is just the luck of the draw.
What is an F1b Dalmadoodle?
An F1 Dalmadoodle is a purebred Poodle crossed with a purebred Dalmatian. The ‘b’ in F1b stands for backcross. Most often an F1 Dalmadoodle will be crossed with another Poodle to produce an F1b Dalmadoodle. These puppies will be 75% Poodle and 25% Dalmatian and are more likely to result in low shedders.
However, sometimes the F1 Dalmadoodle will be backcrossed with a Dalmatian. This cross is known as an F1b reverse.
Check out our featured Dalmadoodle Aurora’s Instagram account for more cute photos!