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Get SPOTTED... with a Dream Chaser Dalmatian!

Is the Dalmatian the right dog for me?

We encourage everyone who is interested in purchasing a dalmatian puppy from us to either share their previous experience with the breed, or tell us about their lifestyle and why they are interested in one. We want to make sure that our buyers are making informed decisions, and that we are placing our puppies into homes with families who understand the breed, and ones who will provide great homes for their entire life. Following is some basic and historic information for your enjoyment. Call, email or text if you have any questions!

The Dalmatian is alert and active, possessing great endurance, speed and intelligence. Their working and sporting heritage makes them suitable as both a family pet or performance animal. They are often found in the show, obedience and agility rings, or galloping alongside a horse as a coach dog in "road trials." Their short coat is white with black or liver (brown) spots. They are a high energy breed, and require daily exercise.  The breed's short coat sheds almost year round, but regular brushing and good nutrition helps to minimize the shedding.

As the only truly spotted breed & the focal point of several well known Walt Disney productions, the dalmatian is very easily identified and often the center of attention.  It was in direct response to the popularity they gained immediately following the release and the subsequent re-release of these movies, that this ancient and noble breed was nearly ruined. At a time where everyone wanted a "Pongo" or "Perdita" in their home, many irresponsible "breeders" appeared, and bred and sold anything with spots, regardless of temperament or health. In addition, no one really cared if the people that wanted the puppies were knowledgable about the breed as long as they could afford the asking price. Because of this, the breed has been labled as stupid, stubborn, hard to train, and aggressive towards kids and other animals by those who have had bad experiences with poor quality dogs.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Spotted dogs have appeared and been revered throughout history in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and been credited with a dozen nationalities and as many native names. They have been found painted on walls of tombs running behind Egyptian chariots and mentioned in letters written in the mid-1500s by a poet named Jurij Dalmatin to a Bohemian duchess. A fresco in the Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy painted around 1360 shows a spotted dog of the Dalmatian type. The Dominican order of friars who support this church wear white habits with black overcapes. The church came to be represented symbolically in the art of the day by a black and white dog, particularly during the time of the Inquisition, which was overseen by the order of the Dominicans. Is it too much of a stretch to think that Dominican could become Dalmatian and thus the name of the dog?

Spotted dogs frequently accompanied bands of Romany people, or gypsies, as they wandered from India throughout Europe and on to England. Could that be how some Dalmatians acquired the talent for stealing and hiding treats and toys, still prevalent in some members of the breed to this day? Or was there another religious connection to the breed's name? Priests wear a vestment, a tunic-type garment with sleeves, which has come to be called a Dalmatic, because early ones were made of the wool from sheep from the mountains of Dalmatia. As the church's power increased in the world, the Dalmatic became more ornate and later ones from the time can be seen at the Vatican on display that are made of ermine - a white fur with black flecks or spots through it. All deacons and officiating bishops in the western Catholic church still wear the Dalmatic, as do the kings and queens of England upon their coronation. And it is the English that have given the breed a miriad of nicknames - the English Coach Dog, the Carriage Dog, the Plum Pudding Dog, the Fire House Dog, the Spotted Dick - though the breed has been credited with a dozen nationalities and as many native names.

The tasks the Dalmatian has performed are as varied as his reputed ancestors. As a dog of war, from a sentinel on the borders of Dalmatia and Coratia, through the world wars and vietnam. As a draft dog and as a shepherd, they were excellent chasing off rats and vermin. Now they are well-known for heroic performances as a fire-apparatus follower and as a firehouse mascot. As a sporting dog they have been trained for use as a bird dog, a trail hound, a retriever and in packs for boar and stag hunting. Their retentive memory has made them one of the most dependable performers in circuses and on the stage. Down through the years, intelligence and willingness to do what is asked has qualified them for virtually every role that useful dogs are called upon to perform.

But most important among the talents has been the sole status as the original, one and only coaching dog. There is no end of proof, centuries old, through out history that shows the Dalmatian, early ones with ears entirely cropped away and wearing padlocked or brass-studded collars, plying this trade as follower and guardian of the horse-drawn vehicle. Their affinity for horses remains a basic instinct to this day, and it is fascinating indeed to watch an adolescent fall in behind a horse and cart in perfect position or trot just beside the shoulder of a horse upon his initial introduction, as if he had been doing it all his life, which, of course, his ancestors have! They are physically fitted for road work; speed and endurance blended perfectly in this make-up. In running, the gait has beauty of motion. A combination of swiftness, strength, vitality and fortitude to keep going gaily until journey's end.

There is no dog more picturesques than this spotted fellow with a slick white coat sharply decorated with clearly defined round spots of jet black or deep brown (in the liver variety). They do not look like any other breed, for the markings are peculiarly their own.

The Dalmatian is first of all a gentleman, a quiet chap and the ideal guard dog, distinguishing nicely between barking for fun or with a purpose. Sensible, dependable and courteous toward strangers, but is not everyone's dog - he has a fine sense of distinction as to whom he belongs. Ready for sport or the show ring just as is requiring no cropping, docking, stripping of artifices of any sort. The flashy spottings are the culmination of ages of careful breeding. At birth, however, the pigment is only in the skin and the hair is pure white, the color having to grow into the hair and begins to appear at about two weeks of age.

The first Dalmatian was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1888 and the breed's parent club, the Dalmatian Club of America, was founded in 1905.

 

Dalmatian Breed Standard

Non-Sporting Group

General Appearance
The Dalmatian is a distinctively spotted dog; poised and alert; strong, muscular and active; free of shyness; intelligent in expression; symmetrical in outline; and without exaggeration or coarseness. The Dalmatian is capable of great endurance, combined with fair amount of speed. Deviations from the described ideal should be penalized in direct proportion to the degree of the deviation.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Desirable height at the withers is between 19 and 23 inches. Undersize or oversize is a fault. Any dog or bitch over 24 inches at the withers is disqualified. The overall length of the body from the forechest to the buttocks is approximately equal to the height at the withers. The Dalmatian has good substance and is strong and sturdy in bone, but never coarse.

Head
The head is in balance with the overall dog. It is of fair length and is free of loose skin. The Dalmatian's expression is alert and intelligent, indicating a stable and outgoing temperament. The eyes are set moderately well apart, are medium sized and somewhat rounded in appearance, and are set well into the skull. Eye color is brown or blue, or any combination thereof; the darker the better and usually darker in black-spotted than in liver-spotted dogs. Abnormal position of the eyelids or eyelashes (ectropion, entropion, trichiasis) is a major fault. Incomplete pigmentation of the eye rims is a major fault. The ears are of moderate size, proportionately wide at the base and gradually tapering to a rounded tip. They are set rather high, and are carried close to the head, and are thin and fine in texture. When the Dalmatian is alert, the top of the ear is level with the top of the skull and the tip of the ear reaches to the bottom line of the cheek. The top of the skull is flat with a slight vertical furrow and is approximately as wide as it is long. The stop is moderately well defined. The cheeks blend smoothly into a powerful muzzle, the top of which is level and parallel to the top of the skull. The muzzle and the top of the skull are about equal in length. The nose is completely pigmented on the leather, black in black-spotted dogs and brown in liver-spotted dogs. Incomplete nose pigmentation is a major fault. The lips are clean and close fitting. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. Overshot or undershot bites are disqualifications.

Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is nicely arched, fairly long, free from throatiness, and blends smoothly into the shoulders. The topline is smooth. The chest is deep, capacious and of moderate width, having good spring of rib without being barrel shaped. The brisket reaches to the elbow. The underline of the rib cage curves gradually into a moderate tuck-up. The back is level and strong. The loin is short, muscular and slightly arched. The flanks narrow through the loin. The croup is nearly level with the back. The tail is a natural extension of the topline. It is not inserted too low down. It is strong at the insertion and tapers to the tip, which reaches to the hock. It is never docked. The tail is carried with a slight upward curve but should never curl over the back. Ring tails and low-set tails are faults.

Forequarters
The shoulders are smoothly muscled and well laid back. The upper arm is approximately equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an angle sufficient to insure that the foot falls under the shoulder. The elbows are close to the body. The legs are straight, strong and sturdy in bone. There is a slight angle at the pastern denoting flexibility.

Hindquarters
The hindquarters are powerful, having smooth, yet well defined muscles. The stifle is well bent. The hocks are well let down. When the Dalmatian is standing, the hind legs, viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other from the point of the hock to the heel of the pad. Cowhocks are a major fault.

Feet
Feet are very important. Both front and rear feet are round and compact with thick, elastic pads and well arched toes. Flat feet are a major fault. Toenails are black and/or white in black- spotted dogs and brown and/or white in liver- spotted dogs. Dewclaws may be removed.

Coat
The coat is short, dense, fine and close fitting. It is neither woolly nor silky. It is sleek, glossy and healthy in appearance.

Color and Markings
Color and markings and their overall appearance are very important points to be evaluated. The ground color is pure white. In black-spotted dogs the spots are dense black. In liver-spotted dogs the spots are liver brown. Any color markings other than black or liver are disqualified. Spots are round and well-defined, the more distinct the better. They vary from the size of a dime to the size of a half-dollar. They are pleasingly and evenly distributed. The less the spots intermingle the better. Spots are usually smaller on the head, legs and tail than on the body. Ears are preferably spotted. Tri-color(which occurs rarely in this breed) is a disqualification. It consists of tan markings found on the head, neck, chest, leg or tail of a black- or liver-spotted dog. Bronzing of black spots, and fading and/or darkening of liver spots due to environmental conditions or normal processes of coat change are not tri-coloration. Patches are a disqualification. A patch is a solid mass of black or liver hair containing no white hair. It is appreciably larger than a normal sized spot. Patches are a dense, brilliant color with sharply defined, smooth edges. Patches are present at birth. Large color masses formed by intermingled or overlapping spots are not patches. Such masses should indicate individual spots by uneven edges and/or white hairs scattered throughout the mass.

Gait
In keeping with the Dalmatian's historical use as a coach dog, gait and endurance are of great importance. Movement is steady and effortless. Balanced angulation fore and aft combined with powerful muscles and good condition produce smooth, efficient action. There is a powerful drive from the rear coordinated with extended reach in the front. The topline remains level. Elbows, hocks and feet turn neither in nor out. As the speed of the trot increases, there is a tendency to single track.

Temperament
Temperament is stable and outgoing, yet dignified. Shyness is a major fault.

Scale of Points

General Appearance
5
Size, proportion, substance
10
Head
10
Neck, topline, body
10
Forequarters
5
Hindquarters
5
Feet
5
Coat
5
Color and markings
25
Gait
10
Temperament
10
Total
100

Disqualifications
Any dog or bitch over 24 inches at the withers
Overshot or undershot bite.
Any color markings other than black or liver.
Tri-color
Patches

Approved July 11, 1989
Effective September 6, 1989

 

 

 

 

 

 

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