1. Describe the breed in three words. MH: Spotted, elegant and athletic.
intelligent expression. This is a trotting breed and must be done efficiently. I prefer dark eye color in both the liver and black. However, all things considered, I will reward a single or double blue eye. Note that I haven’t mentioned spotting—to me, that’s icing on the cake. A Dalmatian doesn’t gait on its spots. Yes, like everyone else I like a well-spotted dog, but will take conformation and correct movement over a well-spotted dog. Also, I don’t mind if spotting runs together. PS: Good temperament is the indispensable first trait, but after that, balance and good running gear are mandatory. Beauty and spotting are vital, too, but if you don’t have a sound, balanced, good moving dog, spotting—no matter how perfect—won’t save it. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? MH: I find that a lot of people confuse running like mad and reach and drive. You can have reach and drive at an easy trot. The Dalmatian drops his head; the front feet hit the ground under his nose. The rear matches the front. You don’t need a kick; fast, choppy little legs aren’t reach and drive. JL: Rear angulation: the Dalmatian is a square dog (the over- all length of the body from the forechest to the buttocks is approximately equal to the height at the withers). He should be symmetrical in outline, without exaggeration. Although not specifically described in the standard as such, the rear toes are to be slightly behind the point of the rump. MM: Fronts too far forward, lack of forechest, sloping toplines, lack of angulation and correct turn of stifle. JEM: As a breeder I believe spotting is becoming a major problem. I agree that a clear white background on a beautifully hand painted spotted dog is a thing of beauty. Spotting is 25% of our written standard. continued on page 260 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6-: t
JL: Dotted, athletic and loyal. MM: Spotted, active and sound.
JEM: Three words that come to mind when describing the Dalmatian are movement (trotting), soundness and sym- metry. Why, one may ask? A Dalmatian was bred to be a coaching dog, so correct movement is necessary. Sound- ness is because if a Dalmatian isn’t built properly, then they will not be able to follow a coach or carriage for the many miles required. Picture a Smooth Fox Terrier with their straight fronts. How long before they break down? Symmetry to me means angles both fore and aft that will, or should be, equally balanced. A well-balanced dog will have a steady and effortless cadence trot with a powerful drive coordinated with an extended reach in front. As the Dal begins to trot, the head drops slightly to facilitate an easy stride. There is a tendency to single track as the speed increases and can be evaluated on the down and back. PS: Moderate, balanced and athletic (wrapped in a spotted package). 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? MH: I look for the profile. If they have the correct profile, then they will move correctly. Spots are the icing on the cake; spotting is a part of breed type, but so are profile and movement. JL: Balance, soundness in body and in mind and a pleasing spotting pattern. MM: Breed type, soundness, pleasantly marked, correct size, balanced and good temperament. JEM: What I look for when judging a Dalmatian is one that is strong, muscular, good shoulder lay back, strong level topline (both standing and moving), one that looks capable of great endurance (not speed) and an
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