breed Dalmatian | Breed Details - HealthGene Toronto, ON
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Breed Details



The Dalmatian has a long history, full of legend, mystery and uncertainty. The breed is certainly old, but no one knows exactly how it was created or why. Given their distinctly spotted coats, it is easy to recognize these dogs in ancient paintings and sculptures from Europe, Asia and Africa, though the first documented modern appearance occurred in Dalmatia (a region of Yugoslavia) in the 18th century.

Dalmatians` roles have a facinating history. In the past these dogs were known to have traveled with nomadic gypsies, perhaps as guards or companions. During war times, they acted as guardians; in peace, they worked as shepherds, rodent- hunters and retrievers. As entertainers and companions, they have worked in circuses, theaters and firehouses.

Perhaps the best known, but least understood job was that of carriage guard. Dalmatians were known to travel alongside horse- drawn coaches, They may have been working to create open spaces, protect the people and property inside or perhaps to add class and color to the moving procession; this is still unknown.

Today, Dalmatians most often live as pets, companions and show dogs. They are distinguished by their unique coats, which are solid white at birth and develop dark spots with age. Well-bred dogs are calm, fit and quiet, showing deep loyalty to their homes and families.

Breed Standards

Size: Males and Females 19 to 23 inches (at the withers).
Appearance: Strong, lithe body with effortless, powerful motion.
Coat and Color: Short, thick, fine, shiny coat. White color with well-defined, rounded black or liver spots (mixed colors of the spots not permitted), ranging in size from about 1/2 inch to two inches across.
Head: Flat skull with a long, parallel muzzle; medium-sized, rounded, dark brown or blue eyes; tapered, rounded, high-set ears.
Tail: Long, tapered, slightly curved.

Canine Coat and Nose Color Test
DNA Parentage Test
Canadian Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
Dalmation Club of America
Dalmation Club of America