Male vs. Female Dalmatian: Which Is Better?

Male and female Dalmatian resting outdoors

You may be eyeing the Dalmatian as your new pooch, but after choosing the breed comes another crucial part of dog ownership — deciding whether a male or female Dalmatian is more suitable for you.

Male Dalmatians are more affectionate and form a strong bond with their owners. However, they are aggressive towards fellow male dogs. On the flip side, female Dalmatians are calmer, more independent, and smarter. Given this, females are easier to train than males.

To help you decide which gender to choose, I comprehensively compared the male and female Dalmatians’ physical features, temperament, behavior, health, and other aspects in this guide. Tag along to learn more!

Physical Differences

Male and female Dalmatian near a lake

Male Dalmatians

While the Dalmatian, in general, has a lean and athletic build, this seems to be more apparent in males. They are more muscular, bulkier-looking, and have wider chests. Male Dalmatians also tend to be stronger than females.

As for their coat, they don’t differ much from the female Dalmatians. They may either have smooth or long coats that have black or brown spots.

An adult male Dalmatian is between 21 and 24 inches tall and weighs around 60 to 70 pounds. Like other breeds, males are larger than female Dalmatians. These qualities are what set males apart from females physically.

Male Dalmatians usually take longer to grow into full-grown sizes because they have greater mass development.

To illustrate, a 3-month-old male Dalmatian puppy weighs around 14 to 26 pounds, 25 to 49 pounds at 6 months, and 34 to 67 pounds at 12 months.

Female Dalmatians

A female Dalmatian has a smaller and slimmer body than a male Dalmatian. Its slenderness is more visible around the hip area.

Although females are fairly easier to handle, adults can be strong, too, so you should still be cautious in handling them.

Female Dalmatians grow faster than their male counterparts. Dalmatians typically reach their full size at 16 months. However, for females, it may come a bit sooner. They are smaller and lighter compared to males, but not by much.

A full-grown female Dalmatian has a height ranging from 22 to 23 inches at the withers and weighs between 45 and 60 pounds.

It will weigh from 14 to 21 pounds at 3 months, while at 6 months, it should weigh around 24 to 38 pounds.

In this video about the Dalmatian breed, you will observe both males and females in action. See if you can tell them apart:


Temperamental Differences

Male Dalmatians

Perhaps one of the major factors in choosing between a male or female Dalmatian is their temperamental differences.

To start this off, male Dalmatians are more affectionate than they are smart. They are sweet and protective of their owners.

Although attention-loving, they sometimes tend to be stubborn and ignore commands. With their stature and headstrong nature, male Dalmatians may not be compatible with first-time owners as they can be too much to handle.

Unsurprisingly, male Dalmatians may also display aggression towards same-sex dogs, a common trait that many male dogs possess. But like other undesirable traits, it could be mitigated with the help of early socialization.

Overall, a male Dalmatian is highly energetic, loyal, and eager to please. While they can be silly sometimes and mature slower than their female counterparts, male Dalmatians are known to be big softies.

Female Dalmatians

Male Dalmatians may be more affectionate pups, but females take the lead when it comes to intelligence. The female Dalmatian is cleverer, more independent, less dominant, and less stubborn than the male Dalmatian.

However, like male Dals, they could also be aggressive toward fellow female dogs. Since they go into heat twice a year, female Dalmatians may also experience mood swings. A breeder friend of mine who focuses on Dalmatians has mentioned that pregnant female Dalmatians are unbelievably moody.

This behavior becomes even more pronounced when they give birth. They become more territorial, especially since they have pups to protect. During this time, only my friend, who is also the dog’s handler, can go near it without it being overly reactive.

Spaying could help reduce these behavioral issues.

Along with being independent, they are self-reliant as well. However, they are not totally unwelcoming of affection. Females can be warm-hearted, too, but only when they initiate it and on their terms.

Since they have a combination of smaller, lighter bodies and good listening and quick learning skills, female Dals excel in training.

Behavior and Training

Male Dalmatian during training

Male Dalmatians

We have established in the previous section that male Dalmatians are quite stubborn dogs. They mature slower, and they are not as intelligent as female Dals.

Keeping them focused can be an issue you might deal with when training male Dalmatians. With their physical strength, build, and high energy combined, male Dals may be more challenging to train and tougher to handle.

Training struggles also include male Dalmatians’ mistrust toward strangers and same-gender aggression. These behaviors may be brought about by stress and anxiety. Hence, it is important to socialize them early on.

While it is not impossible to train male Dals, you surely need to pack a ton of patience along the way. After all, the breed is known to be eager to please.

Female Dalmatians

Between the two genders, female Dalmatians are easier to train. They are sharper, brighter, and more likely to listen than males.

Female Dals also learn commands faster because they mature earlier than the other gender.

Despite their smaller sizes and physiques, female Dalmatians are still incredibly strong and energetic. In fact, their size gains them an advantage over male Dals since it makes them easier to handle — mentally and physically.

Surprisingly, the mood swings of female Dals when they are in heat do not seem to affect their training performance. Given they are independent dogs, female Dalmatians will also require consistent and firm handling.

Health Differences

Male Dalmatians

Two major health issues in Dals are urinary stones and deafness. While the breed generally has issues breaking down uric acid, bladder stones are more prevalent in males. It affects around a third of the male Dal population.

Male Dalmatians are more likely to develop bladder stones as they have longer and narrower urinary tracts than females. These bladder stones can cause obstruction, leading to bladder rupturing. In most cases, surgery is necessary.

Hip dysplasia is an uncommon condition in Dalmatians, but males are still slightly likely to develop it because they are larger and more muscular than females.

Neutering is extremely beneficial for the male Dalmatian as it reduces the risk of potential health problems. Intact male Dals are prone to testicular and prostate cancer, as well as perianal fistula.

The recommended age for neutering a male Dalmatian is between 15 and 18 months when their urinary systems are fully mature.

Female Dalmatians

Like male Dals, females are also prone to developing bladder stones. Although their shorter and wider urinary tracts can flush out bladder stones using non-surgical treatments, some might also need to undergo surgery.

Still, it is worth noting that the chances of females forming bladder stones are much slimmer than males.

Deafness is a condition that is prevalent among female Dalmatians. While Dals with more white in their coats and blue eyes are regarded as high-risk dogs for deafness, females are observed to be more prone to this condition than males.

Much like neutering, spaying will also improve the quality and lengthen the lifespan of female Dalmatians.

Unspayed female Dals are likely to develop pyometra, a serious uterus infection. They could also be susceptible to mammary tumors.

Spaying reduces the risk of developing health issues that typically occur in the ovaries and uterus and helps lessen behavioral problems female Dalmatians tend to exhibit.

Female Dalmatians can already be spayed once they reach their 15th to 18th months. Nonetheless, this procedure is more complicated than neutering. It is also more expensive and takes a longer recovery time.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male Dalmatian sitting by the beach with other dog breeds

Male Dalmatians

Same-sex aggression will be an issue with male Dals. They also tend to be more dominant and territorial, exhibiting wariness in the presence of other animals.

They must be socialized early on to help them get along with other dogs of the same gender. They do, nonetheless, get along just fine with other female dogs.

As with any other pets in your home, male Dals should be introduced to other male dogs early on if you want them to get along well. With consistent training and socialization, nothing is impossible.

Neutering a male Dalmatian is an excellent option to manage its aggressive tendencies. It may also appease, if not eliminate, any temperamental issues and undesirable behaviors it may have.

Female Dalmatians

Although female Dalmatians are not as prone to aggression as males, it is still possible for them to display aggression towards other female dogs. You still need to keep an eye on this significant concern with female Dals.

Introducing your female Dalmatians to other female dogs from puppyhood is essential if you plan on raising them together. This should be pretty easy for female Dals since they are quick to grasp commands and easier to discipline.

Furthermore, female Dalmatians are generally friendlier with other dogs and pets than males. Undesirable behaviors may only surface due to a lack of attention and inconsistent socialization.

With Children

Male Dalmatians

Given their size and energy, male Dals will need supervision around children. The sheer size of a male Dalmatian can easily knock over children. They also often tend to play-bite when they are young pups.

However, this is not to say they are not good with children. Males have a playful, clingy, sweet, and protective nature. These traits make them great dogs for families with children.

All it takes for a male Dalmatian to be good with children is consistent training.

A well-trained male Dal will always know how to behave around children without you having to worry about them getting into trouble constantly.

Female Dalmatians

Quite the opposite of males, female Dalmatians are less likely to have play-biting habits. They are also not as affectionate as males, meaning fewer accidents due to over-excitement may occur.

Female Dals are independent and self-reliant. They prefer to receive affection and have fun on their terms. Although they may still play with children, females are more reserved and calm around them than males.

However, whether male or female, adult supervision is a must whenever Dals are around children. You can create a safe home where kids and Dalmatians can live harmoniously with ample training.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Dalmatians

Male and female Dalmatian smiling

Male Dalmatians

The main advantage of owning a male Dal is getting to have an affectionate dog. Male Dalmatians are loyal and love spending time with their owners. Described as big softies, they also form strong bonds with their families.

A male Dal is a playful goofball with an energy to match. Hence, if you are an active person who loves walking and working out, the male Dalmatian might be the right dog for you.

Male Dalmatians are loyal and protective. Add these to their powerful size and build; you can count on them to protect you and your home anytime-anywhere.

However, their protectiveness can also be seen as a disadvantage. Their aggressive tendencies are often attributed to their protective streak. They may display aggression in the presence of strangers and other male dogs.

Another downside of male Dalmatians is their stubborn personality. Since they reach maturity slower and are hard-headed, they can be challenging to train. They also lack focus and are known to be not as intelligent as females.

Lastly, male Dals can be too clingy. Being clingy becomes an issue when it causes them to develop separation anxiety. They may be sweet dogs but resort to destructive behaviors when not given ample attention.

Loyal, loving, and affectionateProne to aggression
Suitable for active individuals or familiesStubborn and difficult to train
Playful and fun to be withCan be too clingy
Protective of their ownersProne to separation anxiety

Female Dalmatians

Two of the strongest assets of female Dalmatians are their independence and intelligence. They are self-reliant and tend to enjoy affection on their terms.

On top of that, they are also generally calmer than males.

Since they are sharp and smart, female Dalmatians are effortless in training and learn commands quicker. You might also find female Dalmatians far easier to handle training-wise, given their smaller and lighter build.

Perhaps the previous pros of owning a female Dal come from the fact that they mature earlier than males.

On the flip side, the biggest downside of female Dals is their susceptibility to deafness. This condition is primarily observed in female Dalmatians than males.

Independence is their strength, but it can also be their weakness. Female Dalmatians can be too independent that they tend to be standoffish.

Like male Dalmatians, females are also likely to be aggressive toward other female dogs. However, they get along well with other dogs from the opposite gender. For this reason, females are better suited for homes with male dogs.

Independent and intelligentNot too affectionate
Easily trainableHighly susceptible to deafness
Quick to matureCan be standoffish
Suitable for homes with male dogsAggressive towards other female dogs

Should You Get a Male or Female Dalmatian?

Given the Dalmatian’s expensive price when bought from reputable breeders, deciding on a gender that can provide you with great companionship is crucial.

Hopefully, you have already determined which gender is compatible for you now that we have covered the differences between the two Dalmatians.

If you are active, live with teenagers, own a female dog, and like affectionate and goofy companions, the male Dalmatian might be the right dog for you.

Given its size, the male Dalmatian will probably have athletic strength combined with high energy. However, they may be challenging to handle and train as they also have a stubborn streak.

You could be dealing with aggression issues as well. But apart from these, male Dalmatians are generally big softies who also do well in protecting their owners.

Maybe you are looking for a calmer, independent, and highly trainable pup. Perhaps you want a Dal, but you have a small child and a male dog in your household. If this is the case, then the female Dalmatian is your best bet. 

Female Dals can be just as strong, although they are slightly smaller. They are also easier to handle than their male counterparts.

With their maturity peaking earlier, females can quickly grasp instructions with a few repetitions.

Then again, females may tend to be standoffish due to their independent disposition. They could also be unpredictable during heat cycles. The female Dal is an intelligent gender that’s easy to discipline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Dalmatian sitting on the grass

Are Male or Female Dalmatians Calmer?

Female Dalmatians are calmer than their male counterparts. Although the Dalmatian, in general, is a playful and high-energy breed, females tend to be better listeners and more obedient, making them easier to calm down.

As a result, females can be less aggressive and easier to handle. Given their calmer demeanor, female Dals are well-suited for quieter homes with smaller children. 

Are Male or Female Dalmatians More Affectionate?

Between the two genders, male Dalmatians are considered to be more affectionate. They love getting attention from their owners and are eager to please them.

However, they can also be stubborn and dominant, hence tougher to discipline.

While female Dalmatians can also be affectionate, they will likely seek it on their terms. Female Dals are less-clingy, more independent, and self-reliant.

Are Male or Female Dalmatians Easier to Train?

When it comes to ease in training, female Dalmatians win. They are sharper, cleverer, and better listeners than males. They are also physically easier to handle because they have smaller and lighter bodies.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that female Dals are also strong dogs despite being smaller and leaner. Although they can be moody pups, this won’t significantly affect their excellence in training.

Final Thoughts

Every male or female Dalmatian has good traits and quirks the right owner would love and embrace. After all, owning a Dalmatian is also about accepting the challenge and responsibilities it entails.

Keep in mind, though, that the traits we have discussed may or may not be present in all male or female Dals. Regardless of gender, you should also note that training and socialization are essential in raising dogs.

Do you own a male or a female Dalmatian? Which gender do you think is better to own? Share your experience in the comments below!

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