Dalmatians are notoriously headstrong and stubborn, while also being sensitive and highly intelligent. While all of these are admirable traits and part of what makes Dalmatians so special, the combination of these traits can make training a Dalmatian a bit more challenging than say, a lab.
Dalmatians are not just black and white, as many would think. In fact, you will find Dalmatians in quite a few different colors. According to the AKC, only white with black spots or white with liver spots are recognized colors, but there are several other color variations that occasionally pop up.
The contrast of black and white are a big part of what makes Dalmatians so special. Despite our best efforts, that sparkling white coat will often come into contact with not so sparkling substances, especially if you live in the country. Nothing ruins a dog’s gleaming coat quicker than a fresh pile of cow manure, and I can say this with authority after washing many white dogs on the farm growing up.
In New Zealand, a fireworks celebration sparked multiple dog deaths as the poor panicked pooches fled headlong into the night. A Dalmatian cross dog managed to clear a 6-foot fence and rush out into traffic. His injuries were too severe to fix, and he died from chest injuries after a local veterinary team worked for over an hour to save his life.
Another dog was found later on the side of a road. He too had escaped after the fireworks scared him, and he was paralyzed after being hit by a car during his escape.
Being of a somewhat sensitive nature, I generally avoid reading about stories like this, but once I got sucked in I couldn’t stop reading until I was downright livid. I have never been a fan of using animals for research. For the most part, I think animals are of a higher moral capacity than their human counterparts, and this story of Queenie the Dalmatian mix is just another testament to the truth in that way of thinking.
Queenie was placed in an animal shelter that carries a contract with R & R Research, a company who has been the recipient of complaints for USDA regulation violations. The contract allows R & R Research to take unwanted animals for research in exchange for disposing of animal carcasses for the shelter.