Nothing has happened to Dalmatians if you pick a very good breeder and ask for their references. We are owners of our third Dalmatian and he is 15 years old, and looks like he is 6 or 7 years old.
What happened to Dalmatians for a period of time was that with the popularity of Disney's movie 101 Dalmatians, breeders were putting them out to guickly, and as a result breeding practices suffered. Our second had papers, but I never checked for references. He died at 5 years of age. His internal organs basically stopped all about the same time.
Michigan State University vet school did a study on him after he died, and as a result several brreders in that area changed their practices. Poor breeding will stop any breed if bad enough.
After the 101 Dalmatian movies lost popularity, people lost main interest in the breed, except for a select few. Plus, when the movies were released and everyone went out and purchased Dalmatians, they quickly realized that the breed just isn't for everyone, and there was a mad rush to animal shelters to drop off the pups and dogs that they just couldn't handle.
That's just what happens when movies come out with purebred dogs in them. Mad rush and popularity, filled shelters, and loss of popularity except for a select few.
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