The Dalmatian

Breed Name: Dalmatian
Dog Group: Non-Sporting
Dog Size: Large
Origin: Croatia
Expected Life span: 12 to 14 years
General Description: Dalmatian is friendly, playful, active dog with plenty of stamina. Lately, these dogs have been used as companions, or as exhibition dogs. If trained properly they could be excellent gun dogs and they respond well to all other types of training.
Temperament: Active dog with high energy level.
Grooming Requirements: This dog needs only minimal care.
Exercise Requirements: The Dalmatian needs a lot of regular exercise and attention, much more than just short walk on leash. Because of high energy level, it makes excellent jogging companion. 
Ideal Living Conditions: Dalmatian can live outside in temperate or warm climates, but the best environment for this breed is inside house with owner, because most of all, this breed need companionship.
Common Health & Behavioral Problems: Dalmatians are prone to behaviour problems if not provided with enough mental stimulation and exercise.
Dog History: The earliest authorities agree that this breed was first introduced from Dalmatia (region of Croatia), and that he was brought into this country purely on account of his sporting proclivities. 
Note: The darker-spotted variety usually prevails in a cross between the two colours, the offspring very seldom having the liver-coloured markings. Those which are flesh-coloured in this particular should be discarded, however good they may be in other respects. The density and pureness of colour, in both blacks and browns, is of great importance, but should not be permitted to outweigh the evenness of the distribution of spots on the body; no black patches, or even mingling of the spots, should meet with favour, any more than a ring-tail or a clumsy-looking, heavy-shouldered dog should command attention.

General Breed Standard: 

GENERAL APPEARANCE - In appearance the Dalmatian should represent a strong, muscular, and active dog, symmetrical in outline, and free from coarseness and lumber, capable of great endurance combined with a fair amount of speed. The eyelids, or rather sears, should invariably be edged round with black or brown.

HEAD - The head should be of a fair length; the skull flat, rather broad between the ears, and moderately well defined at the temples (i.e. exhibiting a moderate amount of stop and not in one straight line from the nose to the occiput bone as required in a Bull-terrier). It should be entirely free from wrinkle. 

MUZZLE - The muzzle should be long and powerful; the lips clean, fitting the jaws moderately close. 

EYES - The eyes should be set moderately well apart, and of medium size, round, bright, and sparkling, with an intelligent expression, their colour greatly depending on the markings of the dog. In the black spotted variety the eyes should be dark (black or dark brown), in the liver-spotted variety they should be light (yellow or light brown). 

THE RIM ROUND THE EYES - In the black-spotted variety should be black, in the liver-spotted variety brown--never flesh-colour in either. 

EARS - The ears should be set on rather high, of moderate size, rather wide at the base, and gradually tapering to a round point. They should be carried close to the head, be thin and fine in texture, and always spotted--the more profusely the better.

NOSE - The nose in the black-spotted variety should always be black, in the liver-spotted variety always brown. 

NECK AND SHOULDERS - The neck should be fairly long, nicely arched, light and tapering, and entirely free from throatiness. The shoulders should be moderately oblique, clean, and muscular, denoting speed. 

BODY, BACK, CHEST, AND LOINS - The chest should not be too wide, but very deep and capacious, ribs moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel hoops (which would indicate want of speed), the back powerful, loin strong, muscular, and slightly arched. 

LEGS AND FEET - The legs and feet are of great importance. The fore-legs should be perfectly straight, strong, and heavy in bone; elbows close to the body; fore-feet round, compact with well-arched toes (cat-footed), and round, tough, elastic pads. In the hind-legs the muscles should be clean, though well-defined; the hocks well let down. 

NAILS - The nails in the black-spotted variety should be black and white in the liver-spotted variety brown and white. 

TAIL - The tail should not be too long, strong at the insertion, and gradually tapering towards the end, free from coarseness. It should not be inserted too low down, but carried with a slight curve upwards, and never curled. It should be spotted, the more profusely the better. 

COAT - The coat should be short, hard, dense and fine, sleek and glossy in appearance, but neither woolly nor silky. 

COLOUR AND MARKINGS - These are most important points. The ground colour in both varieties should be pure white, very decided, and not intermixed. The colour of the spots of the black-spotted variety should be black, the deeper and richer the black the better; in the liver-spotted variety they should be brown. The spots should not intermingle, but be as round and well-defined as possible, the more distinct the better; in size they should be from that of a sixpence to a florin. The spots on head, face, ears, legs, tail, and extremities to be smaller than those on the body. 

WEIGHT & HEIGHT - Dogs, 55 lbs. and 23" to 24" high; bitches, 50 lbs. 22" to 23" high


Dalmatian - History
Before the Kennel Club found it necessary to insist upon a precise definition of each breed, the Dalmatian was known as the Coach Dog, a name appropriately derived from his fondness for following a carriage, for living in and about the stable, and for accompanying his master's horses at exercise. As an adjunct to the carriage he was peculiarly suitable. In fine weather he did follow between the wheels for long distances without showing fatigue, keeping easy pace with the best horses, and he was a fond of being among horses. At the same time he was also guard dog for the coaches, used to protect travelers belongings at the stops along the route.
Did You Know?
Did you know that Dalmatian puppies are always born pure white. The clearer and whiter they are the better they are likely to be. There should not be the shadow of a mark or spot on them. When about a 2 weeks old, however, they generally develop a dark ridge on the belly, and the spots will then begin slowly to show themselves; first about the neck and ears, and afterwards along the back, until at about the sixteenth day the markings are distinct over the body, excepting only the tail, which frequently remains white for a few weeks longer.
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