Baby Dalmatians are high-energy, intelligent and social dogs that usually make good playmates for children. Historically bred to run alongside carriages, Dalmatians can become destructive if they don't get enough active time, and they need to socialize with people and other animals.
Half of adopted Dalmatian puppies aren't kept past the first year because of their extreme energy levels and need for significant exercise, according to Dog Breed info Center. Successful training involves strong leadership to keep the puppies from becoming willful and disobedient. Owners who keep the puppies past their extremely active stage typically find that Dalmatians are social, loving and obedient pets. If Dalmatians aren't properly socialized or trained, they might get overly excited when children are around and play too roughly with them.
Dalmatians are good dogs for hiking and backpacking, and they enjoy sports and participating in obedience and agility competitions. They weigh about 55 pounds at maturity, and about 10 percent are born deaf. Dogs born without hearing should be spayed or neutered, but they can be successfully trained using hand signals. They aren't recommended for people living in apartments unless ample opportunities for exercise exist, and they don't do well living outdoors in cold weather. The life expectancy of Dalmations is about 10 to 12 years.