Why The Movie 101 Dalmatians Caused 101 Problems

Walt Disney made the original 101 Dalmatians as a feel-good cartoon series in 1961. It was kind of lame, but then most things on television were in the 1960’s. Later came the 101 Dalmatians movie in 1996. Not surprisingly, with a lead character called Cruella de Vil who wanted to make a coat out of Dalmatian fur, this movie caused 101 problems for Dalmatians and dog shelters.

The success of the movie caused a spike in demand for Dalmatians as family pets. There was over breeding of Dalmatians that led to serious health problems with the breed. Shelters were overrun with the breed as Dalmatians got abandoned.

The problem was that people who impulsively got a Dalmatian as a pet thought they were getting a cute and docile dog. The dog they had seen at the moview was a friendly and intelligent dog that appeared everybody’s best friend. The reality was a lot different.

Breed and Type

Photo: Dalmatian | Openverse

People who got Dalmatians without doing any research found they were difficult to train. They also went through serious episodes of shedding at different times of the year. Newbies got quickly tired of having to look after Dalmatians and abandoned them as quickly as they had go them.

The breed can be quite aggressive if not trained. A Dalmatian has a mind of its own and doesn’t naturally incline to companionship. With training and socialization, Dalmatians can make great family pets, but the work has to be done to train them at an early age.

Dalmatians have a white coat, usually with distinctive black spots. The spots may be feature some shades of brown as well. Some Dalmatians may have no spots, and this will count against them in show ring. The spots are irregular and may or may not completely cover the ears.

Originally A Car Alarm

A bunch of countries claim that they were the origin of the Dalmatian. They are either all right or all wrong. No one really knows where they came from. There was likely an ancient breed some centuries before the modern day Dalmatian, but that breed has disappeared into the mists of time.

The first documented evidence of the Dalmatian goes back to the 1800s when they were used as a sort of car alarm. When people rode in horse-drawn carts and wagons, Dalmatians walked alongside them for the journey. When the owner reached their destination, usually a busy city, the dog would then wait undeneath the conveyance for their owner to return. To be an effective car alarm, the Dalmatian had to be durable and tough and defend against thieves and horse-snatchers.

Photo: Openverse

For a modern Dalmatian, there is a requirement for a ton of exercise to mimic the kind of past life Dalmatians had as car alarms. If they are left alone, they will get destructive. They shouldn’t be left alone as they crave attention and will pine for the return of their owner. If their owner returns, and there’s no walk or play, then the dog may become frantic.

When impulsive people took on Dalmatians without knowing their true personality, an important fact emerged: Dalmatians never forget being mistreated. In fact, if they are abandoned or not cared for, they may never fully recover. Families who mistreated their Dalmatian found that their dog would suddenly not trust them and it would last forever. This is why families gave up their Dalmatians so quickly.

If a Dalmatian is treated well continuously, and properly trained, Dalmatians can be fabulous pets. The training has to be consistent and tailor-made for the breed. Not all people will want to spend the time necessary to train a Dalmatian. But for those that do, they will have a dog with unwavering loyalty and attentiveness.

dogken Team
dogken Team

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