Dalmatian reached the peak of its popularity in the days when a coach-and-four was necessary for really fashionable living.
The dogs ran along with the coach to give added smartness to the turnout, plus a measure of protection for the horses.
The presence of a sizeable Dalmatian kept strays from following too closely.
From about 1935, Dalmatians had a meteoric rise in public esteem and became one of our strongest show breeds. High-class specimens were brought out and many top-notch specimens were bred from them.
Although officially defined as a non-sporting dog, the Dalmatian is a real sportsman and seems to have a close affinity for horses.
This is probably due to his early duty as a coach dog, and even today odd ones are used for bringing in horses.
Dalmatians are used quite, a bit for gun work and several enthusiasts tried to introduce them into the Pointer and Setter trials.
They are the most attractive dogs and make decorative companions in the home.
Their clear white body, liberally spotted with either black or liver, commands attention and has earned them the name of the “plum pudding” dogs.
Naturally athletic, Dalmatians require lots of exercises to keep in good form.
Their long, supple muscles show clearly through the fine coat and must be kept in condition if the dog is to look right.
Some breeds can get away with being too fat, but a Dalmatian in this condition is an abomination.
Although the carriage days are long past, the original purpose of the breed is kept in mind when judging, and the dog must be sound and fit enough to gallop for many miles on any sort of roadway.
Dalmatians are quite good watchdogs, are not quarrelsome as a rule, and are popular as pets with those who like a medium sized, active dog about the home.
In recent years, they have fallen off in numbers at shows, but the general quality is probably better today than at any stage of the breed’s history in the U.S.
They are now much more uniform in type and spotting is clearer and more distinct than formerly.
The symmetry of the outline is highly desirable. The dog stands about 23 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 55 pounds.
The head is of fail length, rather broad between the ears with a flat skull and long, powerful jaws.
Coarseness and wrinkles are most undesirable.
The ears are medium in size and drop forward close to the cheek and the eyes are bright and full of intelligence.
The eye rims should be colored to match the dog and broken patches of color here are frowned upon severely today.
The neck is long, muscular and well arched, setting into fine sloping shoulders.
The legs are of medium length, straight and well boned right through to the deep, well-cushioned, cat-like feet.
The body is compact, but capable of maintaining good speed, which necessitates powerful hindquarters, with well let-down hocks and nicely-turned stifles.
The coat is short and smooth and well spotted from tip to tip.
Spots vary in size from that of a sixpence on the head to the size of a florin on the body.
The spots should be well distributed, circular in shape and should not run into one another.
Patches are most undesirable. Spotting should not be too profuse or too scanty.
A badly marked dog is “out” in the show ring, no matter how good he is in other points.