Are Dalmatians Really Difficult to Train?

Dalmatians are loved by many around the world. From their distinctive spots to their playful and energetic nature, there is a lot which makes this breed popular and an option for a new furry friend! However, there is a common idea that this large breed is notoriously difficult to train. It is important to find the right breed to fit your situation and lifestyle and also important to remember that no matter what the generally believed characteristics of the breed as a whole, every individual dog is different!

If you want to know why people often think that this breed is difficult to train, keep reading for some of the key characteristics of Dalmatians!

Dalmatian Breed Characteristics

  • High intelligence- as many Dalmatian owners know, these dogs have impressive intelligence meaning they don’t always follow commands easily if they don’t want to!
  • Boisterous- Dalmatians are characteristically bouncy dogs and love to jump and spring about!
  • Very energetic- This breed does need a high level of exercise to keep them happy and stimulated.
  • Independent- With their intelligence comes with a high amount of independence which some would even call stubbornness! But this just means they like to think for themselves and sometimes have an opinion on what you’re asking them to do!

Why Have They Got this Reputation?

While every individual dog is different and are likely to vary in their ease or difficulty to train, we can still theorise at why the breed as a whole got this reputation. There are a number of traits common in many Dalmatians which could make them more difficult to train. These dogs are very intelligent which increases their independence and them being less likely to simply follow instructions if they don’t want to! 

Their high energy can also be an important contributor to them being more difficult to train than some other breeds, as some dogs can get destructive or too boisterous with people if they don’t get enough exercise to expel this energy! Make sure not to overexercise your dog, ask a vet how much exercise your dog should be getting.

Another important thing to remember is that the behaviour of the dog is also due to their upbringing and training when they are young!


A key characteristic of this breed is that they are highly intelligent. This means they need a lot of mental stimulation to prevent them from getting bored and to keep them happy!

In many breeds, high intelligence makes some dogs easier to train as they can pick up on new commands much quicker. However, high intelligence can also make some breeds highly independent where they often decide whether or not to follow any given instructions!

But does this mean that they cannot be trained at all? First of all, remember that every dog is different! This definitely may not apply for all pups. Secondly, putting the effort into training them when they are young can help to establish good behaviour throughout their lives. This can also make them easier to handle as they get even bigger!

Exercise Rewuirements

These large dogs are also extremely boisterous with bundles of energy! This means they need plenty of exercise to keep them happy and release all that energy. Without sufficient exercise, this breed can even become destructive or too boisterous around the house.

This means that plenty of walks and taking them to large spaces where they can safely run and let off all this energy could help to control this boisterous and energetic nature! There are also lots of games you can play with your dog or toys to keep them amused and use some of that energy in a fun way! These could be games like the classic fetch, hide and seek or agility courses (just be careful they don’t injure themselves).

Mental Stimulation

As with many breeds like the Dalmatian, intelligent dogs also have the tendency to get bored if they are not kept occupied! Therefore, mental stimulation is important to make sure that these dogs do not become destructive and restless when bored while you are at home or out during part of the day.

Certain games and toys are designed to keep your dog mentally stimulated and ensure they don’t get bored! These can range from treat dispensers (both complex and simple ones!), to games you can play with them yourself! These can be a great chance to bond with your pup and spend some quality time together while being great fun! These could include hide and seek to other homemade puzzle games or teaching them new tricks or names for their toys! These are all ideal for keeping breeds like the Dalmatian mentally stimulated and occupied!

Final Thoughts

Dalmatians are a breed that is loved by many but so many people are put off by the idea that these dogs are incredibly difficult to train. Here we’ve highlighted some of the main reasons that Dalmatians might have acquired this reputation! From their high intelligence to their energetic and boisterous nature, we can see why these dogs may be seen as a difficult breed to train. However, knowing why these dogs have gotten this label and all their positive traits as well can help you to decide if they are the breed for you!

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