“The only breed of dog with spots, the Dalmatian has been known throughout Europe since the Middle Ages, as evidenced in paintings. But theories of the breed’s origins are not well defined. He takes his name from Dalmatia, now a part of the Republic of Croatia. The Dalmatian once enjoyed life as a carriage dog and protected the travellers from thieves but when first introduced to the United States, the breed became a natural choice as a firehouse mascot due to their affinity for horses. This was in the days of the horse-drawn fire engines and the Dal often helped locate and rescue fire victims. A versatile breed, the Dal also been used for herding, drafting, ratting and performing as a circus dog.
The Dal is stable, outgoing and dignified. A true gentleman, he is quiet and courteous. However, his protective nature is well developed and he is a dependable watchdog.
This breed has the capacity to travel great distances at a steady pace, being strong, muscular and active. He requires lots of safe running room and regular outdoor exercise.
The ideal height for the Dalmatian is 21-23 in (53-58 cm) for females and 22-24 in (56-61 cm) for males.
The coat should be short, dense and fine with a slight gloss.
There are two acceptable colours in the breed – white with black spots or white with liver spots. The distinctive spots should not intermingle but be as round and well defined as possible, ranging from a dime to a half-dollar in size.
A vigorous rubdown takes care of the Dal’s grooming needs. The breed is shown in its natural state.