Lemon Dalmatian 101 (Color, traits & price guide)

Dalmatians are recognizable by their jaw-dropping, and colored spots on a white background. These spots are unique to Dalmatians and do not occur in any other breed

Black and brown spots are typical and only recognized and accepted colors. However, Lemon Dalmatians with yellow spots, are rare and unrecognized. The shade of yellow can range from orange-spotted, a reddish yellow, to lemon-spotted, a brighter yellowish shade. Apart from the color of the spots, they do not differ from other Dalmatians.

Lemon, yellow, or orange Dalmatians are born pure white with no spots. The characteristic yellow spots begin to show up 2 to 4 weeks after birth. They start as paler spots that slowly intensify into adulthood and spread over the whole coat may also include the inside of their mouths.

The spots should be well-rounded, distinct, and evenly distributed with no large and dense patches. Interestingly enough, no two Dalmatians are the same and the precise location and size of the spots differ from dog to dog. The spots appear to be smaller on the face, legs, and tail than on the rest of the body.

It is desired that the spots do not intermingle and overlap to form larger color masses. Some may also have ticking marks/flecks in combination with the spots

The eyes can be hazel to dark brown with brown, bluish, or black noses. In the UK, lemon dals with brown noses are known as “Orange Dalmatians.”

To learn why this appealing color appears, keep scrolling.

Lemon Dalmatian genetics

The Dalmatian coloration has puzzled geneticists for a long time. But it is now known that the spots on a white background are caused by the interaction of extreme piebald, roaning, and flecking genes. For the spots to be lemon or orange, the dog needs the e/e gene combination at the E-locus.

  • Extreme piebald (SpSp)– This gene combination removes all color from the coat causing the white color. It blocks the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) from reaching the fur, skin, and other structures causing them to appear white. All Dalmatians have 2 copies of the piebald gene.
  • Roaning (RR or Rr)– This gene combination causes colored hairs to appear on the white coat affected by the white spotting gene, piebald. These hairs appear a few days after birth and become more prominent into adulthood dispersed evenly across the coat. This is an incomplete dominant gene and thus a dog with 2 copies (RR) will have more roaning one (Rr). All Dalmatians have at least one copy of roaning and will always have colored hair.
  • Non-Flecking (ff)– By interacting with piebald and roaning, non-flecking is believed to localize the distribution of colored pigment on the white coat into spots. Non-Flecking is recessive, thus all Dalmatians have 2 copies of the gene which consolidates colored hairs as spots. Other unknown modifying genes are believed to affect the location and size of the spots. The spots will be whatever color the dog would have been if he was not white, yellowish in this case.
  • Recessive red (e/e)– In its dominant form, the extension genes (E-locus) promote/extend the production of black color pigment (eumelanin). However, 2 copies of the recessive variant (e/e), restrict the production of black pigment promoting the synthesis of red pigment (phaeomelanin). Red is recessive and thus a dog with one copy of upper case E (E/e or E/E) will be black or brown. The red/yellow pigment can be modified by the intensity gene to various shades ranging from dark orange to pale yellow on the lemon spots. The presence of 2 copies of small e (e/e) is dominant over all other colors and will have no dark pigment.
Pale Yellow Dalmatian
A black and lemon Dalmatian with a black nose and dark brown eyes

Lemon Dalmatian price

A lemon-spotted Dalmatian will cost you between $1000 and $3000 depending on the location, the breeder, demand, and the line of puppies.

It is critical to take your time and research for a reputable and responsible breeder with high-quality pups.

But because this is a rarer coloration, it may be unrealistic to expect to find one in your local shelter. If you are one of the lucky ones, you can expect to spend about $200 on adoption fees.


Are lemon Dalmatians rare?

Lemon Dalmatians are relatively rare and not as common as black-spotted ones. This is because the lemon spots require the presence of 2 copies of a gene on the E-locus (e/e) making the areas yellowish instead of black.

Does AKC recognize lemon Dalmatians?

According to the breed standard, Lemon spots are considered a flaw that is penalized or disqualified in the show ring.

AKC does recognize the existence of yellow Dalmatian spots as an undesirable color. These dogs can be registered as orange or lemon and participate in agility and obedience events.

How long do lemon Dalmatians live?

Lemon Dalmatians have an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years like any other Dally.

The yellowish color is not associated with any health complications. However, the gene responsible for the white coat increases the risk of Deafness in all Dalmatians including the lemon-spotted varieties. Deafness is linked to the lack of pigment in the ear structures (cilia) that are critical for proper ear functions.

Is the Lemon Dalmatian a good dog?

There is no denying that Lemon Dals are incredibly stunning and appealing to the eye. The coat color does not affect the dog’s behavioral traits or any other traits.

If you so desire the Lemon Dally as a pet and companion and can find a healthy pup on sale, please go for it. This is unless you are planning to show the

But as with any other dog, you should be prepared to meet this dog’s needs which include grooming, a proper diet, training, and socialization.

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There you go, WOOF!