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Lemon Dalmatian: What Makes Them Special (+Photos)

Lemon Dalmatian: What Makes Them Special (+Photos)

Have you ever heard of the Lemon Dalmatian?

While that may sound like an ice-cream flavor to you, it actually isn’t. This adorable pup is actually a color variation of the standard Dalmatian, and no, they don’t have a lemon pattern.

In case you didn’t know, this dog breed got it’s name from a part of Croatia called Dalmatia that is known for it’s beautiful beaches and unlimited number of sunny days.

And when you look at the Lemon Dalmatian, you can’t help but think about summer and all of the beautiful rays of sunshine that are about to hit your skin.

You can make various jokes about this name, because yes, we do admit it’s a bit funny.

But this Dalmatian variation will blow you away with it’s pale yellow-spotted coat that comes in various shades of yellow. Also known as the “Lemon Dally,” this dog has to thank a rare genetic mutation for his unique and absolutely adorable coat. 

However, Lemon Dalmatians should not be confused with the light-liver or golden Dalmatians.

So, keep in mind that this is also not a separate Dalmatian breed and the lemon coat does not affect the dog’s behavior or temperament.

They will have the same fierce attitude of a classic Dalmatian, just with some added uniqueness to their coat.

So, why is this dog so interesting?

In this article we will go over all the things that make the Lemon Dally as special as he is.

Now, let’s start, shall we?

Lemon Dalmatian

Foto: Instagram (@gepunktet)

Dalmatian & Lemon Dalmatian characteristics

Dalmatians, including Lemon Dalmatians, share the same general breed characteristics:

  1. Size: Dalmatians are a medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 45 and 60 pounds, and standing 19 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder.
  2. Temperament: Dalmatians are known for their energetic and playful nature. They are intelligent, but can sometimes be stubborn. They can be reserved with strangers, but are generally friendly and outgoing with their family.
  3. Physical Characteristics: Dalmatians are muscular, built for endurance and speed. They have a distinct square-shaped build, with a length nearly equal to their height. Their eyes are round, and can be blue, brown, or a mix of both.
  4. Coat: The breed has a short, dense, and glossy coat. The spots are distinctive, with each one being unique. Spots start appearing when the puppies are about two weeks old. As for Lemon Dalmatians, they have lighter, yellow-colored spots instead of the traditional black or liver.
  5. Exercise Needs: Dalmatians have a high energy level and need lots of exercise. They were originally bred to run alongside horse-drawn carriages, so they have lots of stamina and need an outlet for their energy.
  6. Health: Dalmatians are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Deafness is relatively common in the breed, and they can also suffer from urinary stones due to a unique metabolic predisposition to excrete high levels of uric acid in their urine.
  7. Training: Dalmatians are intelligent and can learn quickly, but they can also be stubborn. Early socialization and obedience training is important.

What gives the Lemon Dalmatian his unique color? 

Dalmatians’ lemon hue is due to a genetic makeup that differs from that of black-and-white Dalmatians.

This color kind is due to a genetic mutation. The black spots of black-and-white Dalmatians are caused by a gene similar to melanin in humans.

It’s marked with the letter ‘E.’ Brown-and-white Dalmatians are likewise caused by the ‘E’ gene.

If you didn’t pay attention in biology class, this could become a bit confusing for you.

Remember how genes can be dominant or recessive?

Dominant genes are usually symbolized by a capital letter, while recessive ones aren’t. The black color gene in Dalmatians is marked by the letter “E”, while the recessive gene is marked by the letter “e”. If you have a dominant gene, he will suppress the effect of the recessive gene.

The effects of a recessive gene will only be visible if an individual has both recessive gene.

Therefore, for a Lemon Dalmatian to have yellow spots, he has to have both recessive “e” genes. In other words, black Dalmatians have an “Ee” or “EE” combination, while yellow ones have an “ee” combination. 

Despite appearances, the lemon Dally is not a separate breed and was not bred to be one. It is a kind that belongs to the Dalmatian breed as a whole.

The lemon tint solely affects the coat’s patches.

It has no bearing on the breed’s coat type, height, weight, health state, or personality. Expect the same from this Dalmatian as you would from other Dalmatian color variations.

The same can be said for any other color. Other elements such as the owner’s training and breeding quality define personality traits. As a result, the lemon Dally is just as protective as a regular Dalmatian.

Dalmatians are also dignified but playful, enjoy being seen, and get along well with children.

Lemon Dalmatian and Dalmatian

Foto: Instagram (@gepunktet)

Does the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognize Lemon Dalmatians?

If you consider to adopt a Yellow Dalmatian, know that you won’t be able to register him within the American Kennel Club.

The AKC looks at their lemon dots as a flaw, and therefore your Lemon Dally won’t be able to compete in dog shows.

However, this usually isn’t a worry for many dog owners.

Kennel Clubs consider the lemon hue to be out of the ordinary.

If you, however, want to take part in dog shows, go for a black & white or liver Dalmatian. 

Even though the AKC considers the yellow spots a flaw, for us it’s a unique touch to the already unique Dalmatian.

Dog shows shouldn’t be your main focus when adopting a dog, so you should be more than fine with the Lemon Dalmatian dog So if you are not looking for a show dog, you can freely go for a Lemon Spotted Dalmatian right now.

Is the Lemon Dalmatian the rarest Dalmatian type?

You might be thinking now:

“Wow, these adorable yellow dotted dogs must be incredibly rare!”

Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. They are definitely harder to find than a regular black & white or brown & white Dalmatian.

However, they are not the rarest type of Dalmatian out there.

There is one color variation that is much harder to find.

That doesn’t mean that you will see a Lemon Dally at every dog park in your town, they are still pretty rare, especially in the US. Genetic mutations can’t be predicted so finding a dalmatian with the “ee” gene combination isn’t that easy to find.

But there is one color variation that is so rare, that you want to make sure you take a picture if you ever see one. That is the Blue Dalmatian!

Yup, you heard that right – a Blue Dalmatian. And in this case, the “blue” does not mean a blue-ish gray color, but instead actually ink blue patches! Pretty cool, huh? 

Did you know that each Dalmatians’ coat patterns are as unique as their human counterparts’ fingerprints?

The spots on no two lemon-colored Dalmatians would be in the same place. And the same goes for any other Dal.

So if you remember the unique pattern of your dog’s coat, you would be able to recognize him in a room full of Dalmatians.

History of the Dalmatian, and how the Lemon Dalmatian came to be 

Just like with the “normal” Dal, the Lemon Dalmatian is also believed to have originated from an Croatian region known as Dalmatia.

Looking back at its history, in the 18th century, this dog was titled and listed as Dalmatian.

However, the Dally had appeared in different historical documentations from different countries before the listing.

Also, there’s a 1360 Italian painting that seems to display a white dog with spots similar to that of the Dalmatian.

So everything said previously, makes the origin of the Dally unclear. 

The genetic mutation that causes the yellow spots on the Dal is a natural one, and not the result of crossbreeding. That’s why lemon Dalmatians could be as old as regular Dalmatians are. 

The pale yellow spots don’t affect temperament or personality

You should know that yellow spots don’t have any effects on their temperament or personality.

Apart from this, they are also very intelligent, people-oriented, loyal, playful, and can also be occasionally dignified.

Dalmatians are a handful, so be prepared for their attitude before you decide to adopt one. They are highly intelligent dogs, but they require a lot of training.

Due to their high intelligence, they are also prone to becoming stubborn, so you have to teach them boundaries from an early age.

The Dalmatian is a high-energy dog with an infinite capacity for exercise, and sometimes it seems like he was born to run.

He enjoys being in the center of attention and has a strong desire to please, making him simple to train using positive reinforcement techniques like food rewards, praise, and play. They have a huge personality and you could be blown away with all the mischievs that they possibly come up with. 

He’s a clever dog with a wicked sense of humour who will go out of his way to make you laugh.

The Dalmatian is a great watchdog because he is always vigilant and interested in what is going on around him. They will bark at whatever and they will notice every rabbit or squirrel at the dog park.

If you wan’t to walk them off-leash, you will have to start the training from early puppyhood. 

When they’re young, the Dalmatian, like all dogs, need early socialization – exposure to a variety of people, sights, noises, and experiences. Socialization is important for your Dalmatian puppy to develop into a well-rounded dog.

If you have kids or other animals, make sure to start slow with the socialization. Dalmatian puppies are shy and cautious, so they will need some warming up.

Caring for a Lemon Dalmatian 

If socialized as a puppy with all types of pets and humans, Dalmatians will get along with other pets and children. Dalmatians make excellent energetic playmates for kids.

The dog and the child will have a great time exhausting one other thanks to the Dalmatian’s activity and eagerness for activities.

This powerful, lively, and strong dog could easily knock down children under the age of six.

Precautions should be taken and interactions between little children and Dalmatians should be supervised.

With your Dalmatian, you can participate in a variety of dog sports and activities.

With the right incentive and positive training, this coach dog willdo well in obedience competition. He’s also a great agility competitor, as the discipline is designed specifically for active dogs like the Dalmatian.

You should never scare of your dog on purpose since Lemon Dallies tend to become aggressive in those moments.

However, these dogs are not aggressive by nature but in a threatening situation, they act out of fear or bite.

For centuries, Dalamtians being next to horse carriages made them very energetic dogs.

On the one hand, this is an advantage for a dog. but on the other hand, this energy brings about a new problem for aspiring Lemon Dally owners.

Because of that, this canine friend is not suitable for apartment dwellers as his high energy can be too much for them.

Since they are a highly energetic dogs, with them you can do many activities such as running, jogging, hiking, playing fetch, and even swimming.

As we said already, Lemon Dals are very active and energetic dogs and proteins play a major role in providing the dog with energy, repair, and other processes.

Feed the dog with small amounts of proteins per meal and ensure that he has a constant supply of clean water.

Lemon Dalmatian - smile

Foto: Instagram (@gepunktet)

The Lemon Dalmatian is prone to deafness

Like we already explained, the yellow color of your Dal will not have an impact on his overall health or life expectancy.

However, you need to know that generally speaking, the Dalmatian breed is not the healthiest breed out there.

Based on the available statistics 15 to 30% of all Dalmatians are prone to deafness which means that the Lemon Dalmatian is not safe either.

Deafness is inherited as a polygenic trait, and it can be passed down via all Dalmatian bloodlines.

Approximately 8% of Dalmatians are born completely deaf, whereas 22–24% are born with hearing in only one ear.

The Dalmatian Club of America recommends for all deaf dogs to be euthanized, however, we believe that deaf dogs too deserve a chance at life!

However, it is true that deaf dogs are more difficult to teach and may bite if startled. Nonetheless, many people believe that deaf dogs can make just as good pets as hearing dogs if they are educated to respond to hand signals and vibrations rather than being frightened.

There are many programs available nowadays explaining how to train a deaf dog properly, and hiring a dog trainer specialized in that area is an option too. If you have the founds to pay for that, of course. 

If you’re thinking of adopting a deaf puppy or older adult dog, do your homework on the issue and the specific needs of living with a deaf dog before you go through the heartache of taking the dog in and not being able to properly care for him.

Urinary infections are common too

In addition to that, Dalmatians have a urinary system that is unique among dogs, and as a result, they have a few additional requirements to avoid medical difficulties.

Their diet should never be excessively high in protein, and they must have constant access to fresh water.

Dalmatians should also be able to relieve themselves on a regular basis to keep their urinary systems clean.

Your Dalmatian should have a long and healthy life if you follow these easy guidelines.

Your dog will need a special diet 

Like we already warned you, if you decide to get a Dalmatian, you will  have to feed him a special diet. This canine is missing an enzyme that helps canines digest protein.

So while most other dog breeds thrive on a high-protein low-carb diet, your Dal won’t. A high amount of protein in his meals could actually seriously hurt his overall health. 

Protein that is not digested by the dog can produce difficulties in the form of kidney stones.

It should be noted that this is a problem that affects all Dalmatians, not only the lemon Dally. This isn’t to say that this dog won’t require any protein at all.

Proteins have an important part in giving energy, repair, and other functions to Lemon Dals, who are very active and energetic dogs.

The approach is to feed the dog tiny amounts of protein per meal and to make sure he has access to clean water at all times.

Water is extremely beneficial to the kidneys, and his very specific urinary system.

You should also avoid giving this dog any raw meat or other protein-rich raw foods.

In case you feel a bit overwhelmed with your Dalmatian’s diet and knowing what type of food you should and should not feed him, don’t shy away from asking your vet to help you out.

A medical professional will be able to give you good canine food recommendations and other tips.

Lemon Dalmatian Puppies

Lemon Dalmatians are priced differently based on the breeder, the puppy’s pedigree, and its age.

But don’t expect it to be cheap. Dalmatians are in high demand, which makes them costly.

You should expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for one.

And Lemon Dalmatians could be even more expensive, if they are rare to find in your area. 

Lemon spotted puppies may be available from breeders who offer ordinary Dalmatians.

The AKC Marketplace is an excellent place to look for one. They have a list of reputable breeders that are known to produce healthy and happy puppies.

Finding a good breeder is crucial, especially with such a famous breed. Another reason to be cautious about who you buy a puppy from are hereditary diseases.

All dogs are prone to certain health conditions due to their genetics, and a Dalmatian is no exception. But reputable breeders will do a number of health screenings to make sure your dog is as healthy as possible. 

Anyone you want to buy from must answer your inquiries, show you a clean environment.

But also show you proof of excellent health. However, if you don’t want to buy, but instead want to give a stray dog a new chance at life, adoption may be the right choice for you. 

You may easily adopt a lemon spotted Dally because many are discarded for various reasons.

One of them being their problematic health, so you have to be prepared for that as well. However, you have to understand that your dog will already be an adult and training may be more difficult. Look at your local shelters and Dalmatian rescue groups if they have a Lemon Dally.

Budget approximately $300 to get a Lemon Dal via adoption. 

Final Thoughts 

The Lemon-Spotted Dally is a great companion for active people living in the country.

They have a lot of energy as well and they will gladly go on hikes with their pet parents.

They thrive on human company and aren’t aggressive dogs like many believe they are. 

However, you should be aware that this dog can be stubborn, making him difficult to train, but with patience and perseverance, you will see long-term improvements. But owning a Dal comes with other responsibilities as well.

These dogs aren’t the healthiest dog breed out there, and they are prone to various medical conditions and health problems.

The three main concerns are deafness, hip dysplasia  and kidney stones.

The Lemon Dally is an adorable, unique and witty canine.

However, you have to understand how much of a responsibility owning a Dalmatian is.

You need to make sure they are eating a good diet, specifically designed for their breed, or else you are risking your dog’s health and well being. 

While these yellow-spotted canines aren’t as rare as Blue Dalmatians are, they will be a bit harder to find than black & white Dalmatians. So be aware that they may be a bit more expensive than what you are expecting.

In addition to that, you need to remember that these dogs need much exercise. They would be the best choice for active families. 

Dalmatians have been the unofficial mascot of America’s firefighters for centuries. If you’re looking for something special for the dog lover, don’t miss the custom challenge coins! Who wouldn’t love having their favorite pet printed on a challenge coin? Challenge coins featuring Dalmatians are a symbol of honor and love for firefighters and Dalmatians, and make a great gift for dog parents.

So, does everything the above said make this Dally a perfect pup for you?

If your answer is YES, then you should get one immediately.


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My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.