Dalmatian is a highly energetic dog breed that is also intelligent and friendly. On the other hand, a pitbull can be gentle, clownish, and affectionate. When these two breeds are combined, you get an energetic, loyal, and affectionate breed known as the Pitmatian.
Pitbulls tend to have a notorious reputation in the public eye. This is why some breeders may also call their Pitmatians a Dalmatian Terrier mix.
In most cases, a Pitmatian is a Dalmatian and American Pitbull mix. But depending on the Pitbull breed the Dalmatian is mixed with, you get different results.
For example, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or an American Staffordshire Terrier mixed with a Dalmatian will result in Dalmatian Terrier puppies.
Today, though, we will focus on Pimatian, the Dalmatian and Pitbull mix, its basic characteristics, temperament, health, grooming, and exercise routine.
What is the History of the Dalmatian and Pitbull Mix?
With crossbreeds, it can be challenging to predict how the offspring will turn out. While Dalmatians are highly-energetic, Pitbulls can be gentle and caring.
Let us look at the history of the parent breeds better to understand the qualities and temperament of your Pitmatian.
History of Dalmatians
The Dalmatians have one of the most mysterious and interesting historical backgrounds among all dog breeds. According to AKC, this dog breed is genetically aligned with the Retriever group. Still, Dalmatians do not necessarily line up with the modern dog breeds we find today.
The breed has been depicted in paintings from 3700 BC in Egypt to 400 BC in Greek. There has been a lot of debate around the breed’s origin and contradictory opinions. Still, the researchers agree that the breed has remained unchanged through the centuries.
If we consider modern history, the breed was first spotted in the 16th century. Owing to the breed’s size and athletic body, the Englishmen used them as carriage dogs.
Dalmatians were considered all-rounders. They have been used to herd livestock, as guard dogs, and also as vermin control.
In the US, Dalmatians were used by firefighters to clear out the way with their barks as the men on horseback made their way to the fire site.
The classic Disney movie ‘101 Dalmatians’ made the breed popular among the masses.
So as you can see by the breed’s history, it is pretty athletic, intelligent, and adaptable. So it would be fair to assume your Pitmatian would inherit some of these qualities.
History of Pitbulls
The dog breed ‘Pitbull’ often invokes fear and suspicion among the general public. This is largely due to the breed’s history, original purpose, and negative media portrayal. But in reality, Pitbulls can be loving and caring members of society if you train them like any other breed.
Pitbulls can be traced back to the 1800s in the United Kingdom. People initially used them for the sport of ‘bull-baiting.’ The sport involved the dogs harassing a bull for hours until it got tired and gave up.
Once this sport was outlawed, Pitbulls were used for ‘ratting‘ and ‘dog fighting.’ As these sports required agility, the Bulldog was bred with Terriers, resulting in the Pitbull Terrier breed.
The dogs, though, did not hurt their human handlers. If such cases occurred, the dogs were culled.
Pitbulls came to the United States along with immigrants from the British Isles. Here the breed was called the American Pitbull Terrier. Like the Dalmatians, these dogs were used for several purposes, like herding, guarding, and hunting. Their gentle and loving behavior also made them popular among children.
As dogfighting re-emerged during the 1980s, these dogs bore the brunt of the cruel sport. Once looked at as a family dog, the breed was sought for illicit purposes. And the negative perception of the breed among the public began.
This perception, though, is changing with education and advocacy. If your Pitmatian is loving and caring, you can attribute its characteristics to its Pitbull parent.
What are Some Basic Facts About the Pitmatian?
So now we know what the parent breeds – Dalmatian and Pitbull are like and where they come from. Let us dive into the Pitmatians and understand what they look like and their grooming, diet, and exercise routines.
1. Physical Characteristics
|18 to 24 inches
|45 to 70 pounds
|11 to 13 years
|Medium to large
|Short and smooth
|White coat with black or liver spots
|Intelligent, affectionate, loyal
|Active families with older kids
The Dalmatians and Pitbulls can be similar in height and weight. For example, the Dalmatian can be 19 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 70 pounds. On the other hand, the American Pitbull can be 18 to 21 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 80 pounds.
So you can expect the Pitmatian to be 18 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 70 pounds.
Their coats can be short and smooth. Their coat color is typically a white base with black or liver spots on them. Additionally, Pitbulls tend to have different markings on their body in colors like brown, fawn, tan, or black. So these can also make an appearance on the Pitmatian’s coat.
As mentioned above, predicting how a crossbreed looks or behaves can be challenging. It depends on which parent’s dominant traits the puppy inherits.
Nevertheless, both Dalmatians and Pitbulls are strong and muscular. So if the puppy takes after the Dalmatian parent, it can have a leaner body. But if it takes after the Pitbull parent, it can have a stocky body.
One characteristic trait could be the triangle and floppy ears close to its head. Their muzzles, though, could be broad like the Pitbulls.
A Dalmatian’s life expectancy is 11 – 13 years, whereas a Pitbull’s life expectancy is also 11 to 13 years. So, you can expect the Pitmatian pet to have a similar life expectancy. You, of course, must keep up with the dog’s diet and exercise routine and visit the vet regularly to catch and treat health issues early on.
As mentioned above, a Pitmatian’s coat can be short and smooth. So giving their coat a good brush once a week should be enough.
Regular bathing is necessary to maintain the coat health of the dog. But the bathing routine depends on the lifestyle of the dog.
For example, if your dog has an active lifestyle, and spends most of its time outdoors running around and playing in the dirt, then a weekly bath should do. On the other hand, a bath every four to six weeks should be done if it has a conservative lifestyle.
Ensure you trim your dog’s nails at least once monthly.
The one thing that you should be wary of is shedding. The dog’s Dalmatian parent can shed a lot. As a result, you may find hair everywhere around you. Thus, weekly brushing is necessary to get rid of dead pieces of hair.
As these dogs have floppy years, ensure you clean them regularly with dog-safe cleaning products. You should also check their condition routinely, as dogs with floppy ears are prone to developing ear infections.
Dalmatians and Pitbulls are high-energy and active breeds that need a good amount of exercise daily. Therefore, a daily exercise session of 45 minutes to an hour minimum would be ideal. However, if the dog tends to take after the Dalmatian parent, the daily exercise duration can easily range from 90 to 120 minutes.
Apart from physical exercise, you must keep both these breeds engaged with fun, interactive and productive activities.
Walking and running are the basic exercises you can indulge in daily. It is up to you how you get in an hour of exercise from your Pitmatian. For example, you can have an hour-long jogging session in the morning if you have the time. Or, if you have a busy schedule, you can have two 30-minute jogging sessions daily.
You can also consider swimming as a fun exercise. Dalmatians tend to love the water and are naturally good swimmers. On the other hand, Pitbulls may like to spend time in the water, but they are not the best swimmers. So, if you take your Pitmatian swimming, it would be best to do it in a controlled environment where you can intervene if required.
It would be best if you also kept the dog mentally stimulated. You can do this by giving it interactive toys and puzzles. You can also spend time with it, playing games like fetch and tug of war or using toys like the flirt pole. This will help the Pitmatian be mentally stimulated and also help its socialization skills.
Also, spend time house and obedience training your Pitmatian. The dog can be adaptable, obedient, and eager to please. Use these traits to your advantage.
6. Food and Nutrition
The Dalmatian and Pitbull mix can be a relatively large dog. A high-calorie diet would suit its health as these dogs typically have an active lifestyle. However, be careful not to overfeed the dog, which could lead to health issues like obesity.
2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food, depending on your dog’s age, divided into two to three meals a day would be ideal. Generally, puppies need more food while growing up, and senior dogs show a decreased appetite as they age.
Please consult with the vet if you are unsure what and how much to feed your Pitmatian. They can help you develop a personalized diet plan suited to your pet’s health and lifestyle.
How is the Temperament of the Pitmatian?
If we look at some common temperament traits between the Dalmatian and Pitbull, they would be friendly, playful, and intelligent.
Some of the other positive traits you can see in the Dalmatians are outgoing, sensitive, and affectionate. On the other hand, Pitbulls can be gentle, clownish, obedient, affectionate, and courageous.
So overall, you can expect the Pitmatian to be loyal, friendly, affectionate, and intelligent. Its parents show traits like being strong-willed and stubborn. But one can manage these traits with obedience training and socialization.
The Pitmatian can be good around its human family, but the same cannot be said for other animals. Pitbulls may not gel well with other animals or also show hints of aggression due to their background. Dalmatians are decent around other animals.
So, in either case, you should always monitor your Pitmatian’s interactions with other animals.
Is the Pitmatian Good With Children?
The Pitmatian can be affectionate and caring towards their human family. The dog can have a sense of loyalty and obedience to them. So, it is natural for your Pitmatian to be gentle and protective towards children in the family.
But this good behavior may be limited to the children of its immediate family. Pitmatians may not take to strangers easily. Thus it would be better to socialize the Pitmatian during its early years. This can help it be decent around other children it interacts with.
Is the Pitmatian Easy to Train?
As we have seen above, Pitmatians are loyal, obedient, and eager to please. Moreover, as both their parents were employed for various activities like herding, guarding, hunting, and fetching, the Pitmatian can also be naturally adaptable.
So these are good traits that can come in handy when training the dog.
Early socialization can be helpful with this breed. Dalmatians can be sensitive, whereas Pitbulls can be stubborn. If you introduce the puppy to new scenarios at an early age, it will learn how to deal with situations rather than being fearful of them.
Consistent training is a must, as with any other dog breed. The dog’s Pitbull ancestry may worry some pet owners. But there is nothing to be afraid of. Pitbulls, like other dogs, can adjust pretty well with consistent, patient training methods and a little love.
Reward-based training may work best with Pitmatians. Dalmatians can be sensitive, and Pitbulls may not respond well to shouting or other forms of punishment. You can use small quantities of treats as a reward for a job well done.
How Does the Pitmatian Do Health-Wise?
To understand how Pitmatian fares, let us look at some of the health concerns that trouble the parent breeds.
Here are some health issues that a Dalmatian can suffer from:
Deafness in Dalmatians is a significant health concern. According to a study, 8% of these dogs are bilaterally deaf, whereas 22% of them are unilateral deaf. This condition is usually inherited, but it is difficult to predict the responsible gene at this point.
Deaf dogs are at a greater risk of getting injured or being caught in an accident. For example, if they are on the road, they will not hear a car coming. You can use sign language for communication, but dogs should be kept on a leash when outside. They will also need constant monitoring.
2. Urinary Stones
Dalmatians are prone to developing uric acid stones. Depending on their size and number, these stones can partially or entirely block the dog’s urinary tract. Dogs with urinary stones can show symptoms like straining to urinate, blood in urine, or peeing accidents inside the house.
Treatment is typically surgery. The dog must be on medication to prevent the issue from recurring.
3. Iris Sphincter Dysplasia
Iris sphincter dysplasia (ISD) is a congenital condition usually found in Dalmatians. In this condition, the iris tissue of the dog develops a full-thickness defect.
Dogs with ISD may squint when exposed to bright light. They may not be able to see clearly in low-light situations or at night. This can, again, make them prone to injuries.
Here are some health issues that a Pitbull can suffer from:
This is a common health issue seen in Pitbulls. The dog’s hip does not develop normally during the growth stages. Continuous wear and tear can aggravate the condition, leading to pain.
Dogs with hip dysplasia can show signs like difficulty running or climbing stairs, change in gait, or limping. If left as is, the condition can lead to arthritis and muscle atrophy. Medication, nutritional supplements, and hip braces can help manage the condition. In severe cases, surgery is an option.
Due to their short coat, Pitbulls are susceptible to a range of skin problems like allergies, infections, mange, and skin cancer. They are also prone to sunburn.
It would help if you groomed the Pitbull regularly, checked it for any infections, used dog-safe insect repellents, and provided it with shade.
This is an inherited condition that is seen in 1 in 400 Pitbulls. Dogs with cerebellar ataxia often show poor muscle coordination and balance issues. Other symptoms include body tremors, limping, hyperreactivity, and improper gait.
The condition can be managed with the help of supportive equipment and medication.
It is not necessary that your Pitmatian will suffer from these health conditions. But it would help if you were prepared and committed to taking care of your pet.
Does the Pitmatian Make a Good Family Pet?
As we have seen above, Pitmatians can be good-natured pets. They can be loving, caring, and protective towards their human family. Early socialization can help them be good pets around children and other animals.
If they make a good family pet, the answer depends on your lifestyle. For example, if you are an active family with time on your hand, then Pitmatians can be good companions. In the early stages, they will need consistent training and, later on, regular exercise and play sessions.
If you cannot commit to spending an hour or two taking exclusive care of the pet, then the Pitmatian may not be a good fit.
This breed also falls under the medium to large-sized category. So this means it will need plenty of space to move, lounge, and play around. Small apartments may not be a suitable habitat from a safety point of view.
Are you looking to get a Dalmatian and Pitbull mix home? A Pitmatian can inherit qualities from both its parents and grow up 18 to 24 inches tall and weigh 45 to 70 pounds. It can have a lifespan of 11 to 13 years.
By nature, a Pitmatian can be friendly, gentle, affectionate, and protective. It can also be strong-willed and stubborn. It can also be loyal, obedient, and eager to please, making it a good candidate for training.
It can be a highly energetic dog breed requiring 45 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. It will also need a high-calorie diet to keep up with its active lifestyle.
Pitmatians can be prone to health issues like hip dysplasia, skin allergies, deafness, and urinary stones. Keep with regular grooming, bathing routine, and vet visits to proactively take care of any health concerns.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.