Skip to Content
The Puppy Mag is an Amazon associate and earns a commission for qualifying purchases. Affiliate Disclosure

Why Are Dalmatians Not Popular? (What Really Happened)

Are Dalmatians becoming rarer each year? Many people seem to think they are with fewer Dals being seen as time goes on.

This article explains everything and provides an answer as to why Dalmatians aren’t as popular you may think.

The main reason why Dalmatians aren’t so popular anymore is because they are a fairly high maintenance dog and they don’t have the best of reputations. I’ll explain everything below.


Dalmatians lost a huge chunk of their popularity shortly after owners realized how tough they can be to raise.

These spotted pups received huge global recognition from the famous Disney movie, 101 Dalmatians, which lead to a spike in their numbers and popularity.

Sadly, when these hasty owners realized how much work goes into raising a sensible Dal, many were abandoned, and ultimately their popularity rapidly declined. To this day, dalmatians are still somewhat unpopular, despite rising in yearly registrations.

Why Are Dalmatians So Rare?

Dalmatian numbers have been quite low for a while now, and although they are technically moving up the ranks in a positive direction, they are still an uncommon breed to own and see.

Dalmatian rankings over the last 7 years: (AKC Data)

YearAKC Rank

Despite gaining some popularity since 2014, ranking 49 in 2021 does suggest the breed isn’t all too common anyway. So are Dalmatians actually rare? Or are they just not all that popular to begin with?

Why Aren’t Dalmatians Popular?

The reason this is such a common question is that Dalmatians used to be a popular breed, and are a household name.

Around the 1950s and certainly after 1961 (101 dalmatian release date) Dalmatian ownership saw a huge spike and they shortly became one of America’s most popular breeds.

But as soon as inexperienced owners realized that this breed actually requires a lot of work, many of them were sent off to shelters or abandoned.

Ultimately, the Dal’s popularity plummeted a few years after when owners found out the reality of such a demanding breed. Yet the breed (due to the movie) is still well-known today.

Psst. A quick update on Dalmatian training! Brain Training For Dogs could be the best training approach we’ve seen for Dal pups. Results show improvement in obedience and behavior quicker than we thought possible! Check it out.

Why You Don’t See Many Dalmatians…

Hopefully, by now the answer is fairly straightforward… The reason Dalmatians are rarely seen is simply that there aren’t that many of them out there.

Of course, the breed is far from extinct, but compared to many other breeds, they are extremely low in numbers.

While we couldn’t find the data for the USA, we found some for the UK. Dalmatian registrations in the UK in 2020 was 1126. Compare this to the forever-popular labrador, which had almost 40,000 registrations. That’s a pretty substantial difference,

In the USA, this difference is likely to be even greater.

Do Dalmatians Deserve To Be More Popular?

When raised correctly, a Dalmatian is a wonderful dog that fits in well with families. So we here at The Puppy Mag are certainly fans of this beautiful breed.

Considering how well-known Dalmatians are, compared to how few are registered each year, it’s quite a gap. So it would be nice to see this breed gain some popularity and rise up the charts, but whether that will happen remains questionable.

Unfortunately, since the Dalmatian popularity took a big hit following its spike 50-60 years ago, the public perception of Dals also declined with it… Meaning many people still today tend not to have a very good view of Dalmatians (even if they’ve never interacted with one). Full article about that here

So this only adds to the unlikeliness that Dalmatians will ever gain significant popularity again (apart from every time a new movie is released… sigh)

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out more Dalmatian articles

Trending Dalmatian articles:
When Do Dalmatians Stop Growing & How Big Do They Get?
Do Dalmatians Go Blind or Deaf? The Full Answer + FAQs


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.