“THE DALMATIAN IS CAPABLE OF GREAT ENDURANCE, COMBINED WITH A FAIR AMOUNT OF SPEED.”
hindquarters, forequarters, proportion, feet and gait—the factors that contrib- ute to balanced movement—movement is actually the most important charac- teristic of the Dalmatian. “The Dalmatian is capable of great endurance, combined with a fair amount of speed.” Dalmatians are medium in size, usu- ally between nineteen and twenty-three inches when measured at the shoulder. “Any dog or bitch over 24" at the with- ers 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.“Males and females vary in weight, but the most common range is 40-60 pounds. Their bodies are athletic with short coats requiring little maintenance beyond the occasional bath and brushing.
Of both sporting and working heri- tage, Dalmatians are eager participants in a wide variety of different perfor- mance events: agility, rally, barn hunt, lure coursing, dock diving, road trials of up to 25 miles with horses, scent work, farm dog, and obedience. Some are cer- tified therapy dogs. And every single one of them is dependable and sensible enough to let you know when guests or the mailman arrives—even before the doorbell rings. The Dalmatian does it all! Dalmatians are good competitors in the Non Sporting Group historically placing 37% of the time in the group ring. Last year the breed finished 138 new AKC Champions and 93 Grand Champions. The breed enjoyed seven BIS wins, six RBIS wins, and 17 NOHS BIS wins in 2017. However, companion events are an ever-increasing endeavor for Dalmatian owners producing 831
new Obedience, Rally, Tracking or Agility titles last year. The Dalmatians themselves are delighted that so many of their owners are helping them dem- onstrate their versatility! Today, there are 28 active regional Dalmatian clubs that host a variety of competitions throughout the year and around the United States. The Dalma- tian Club of America has approximately 800 current members. The Dalmatian, as noted at the out- set, has been around for hundreds of years. It is a relatively healthy breed with few widespread life-threatening issues. However, all responsible breed- ers work toward genetic health for the breed, investigating potential sires and dams for sound temperaments, as well as testing hips, eyes, ears, and thyroid. Congenital deafness in one or both ears at birth is the most common health anomaly in the breed, and all
278 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2018
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