Notable not just for their spots, the Dalmatian is a breed in possession of impressive intelligence, endurance, and speed. They are a versatile breed, stemming from their sporting and working heritage, and are equally at home as a family pet or performing in the show ring, agility, or any other canine activity that engages their bright, enthusiastic minds. The Dalmatian we know today has known many occupations throughout its history: dog of war, draft dog, shepherd, ratter, fire-apparatus follower, firehouse mascot, bird dog, trail hound, and retriever. They have a natural affinity with horses and are instinctively skilled at following and guarding horse-drawn vehicles. Dalmatians are highly adapted to living closely with humans and thrive in a family environment. Regular vigorous exercise is a must as they are a very active breed that seeks entertainment and excitement. They do shed year round but regular brushing of their short coat will keep the stray hairs at bay.