Breed Information - Dalmations
Dalmatians still retain the characteristics
and talents they had in the past. They are strong, muscular, active,
intelligent, have good temperaments and are loyal and affectionate.
They also excel as guard dogs, hunters and ratters.
Description & History
The origin of this striking breed
is not known. In spite of its name, there are no facts to support
that it came from Dalmatia on the east coast of the Adriatic.
Evidence of the breed's existence from the seventeenth century
is seen in paintings and engravings by artists from different
countries - Holland, Italy and England.
One painting by the Dutch artist
Jan Fyt (1606 - 1661) depicts a hunting scene showing various
breeds - Greyhounds and Spaniels - but the dog in the foreground
of the painting is unmistakably a Dalmatian. Down the centuries
Dalmatians have had a close affinity with the horse. In Victorian
times they would accompany carriages often travelling long distances.
The reason for this was twofold. Firstly, they were decorative,
they looked very smart trotting beside or ahead of the horse or
even under the front axle. Secondly, they were extremely good
guard dogs. This attribute was needed especially when leaving
the towns and passing through the countryside which could be very
dangerous two or three hundred years ago.
As well as guard dogs they were
ratters and would sleep in the stables not only to protect the
coaches and horses but to keep vermin under control. Always a
popular dog, the breed reached new heights of popularity with
the release of the Walt Disney film 101 Dalmatians based on a
book by Dodie Smith.
The Dalmatian is also known
as either the Plum Pudding Dog or Spotted Dick! Down the centuries
Dalmatians have shown great endurance and todays dogs are no different.
Plenty of exercise is essential, with time allowed for plenty
of free galloping.