© Spot Shots
be overly muscled and robust in appearance like some of the breeds who depend on pure strength to accomplish their purpose. Shoulders should be well-laid back
to permit appropriate reach while rears should be adequately angled to provide proper thrust, serving to balance both front and rear action. Feet should be rounded and cat-like in appearance, serving to cushion the ongoing, repetitive stress endured by their feet and legs as they go about their duties.
However, more is not better and a Dal should never present exaggeration in any of its physi- cal features. Accordingly, the word “moder- ate” is used multiple times within the breed standard in describing the ideal aspects of the Dalmatian. Spotting, as described in the breed standard, is equally as important. With a pure white ground color, the spots— acceptable in only two colors: black and liver—define the essence of the breed and should range in size from that of a dime to a half-dollar. They should also be pleasingly and evenly distributed over the body so that the pattern presents a balanced appearance. A cluster of overlapping spots should never be considered a disqualifying patch, which typi- cally has a smooth, defined edge and lacks the white hairs scattered throughout the area that you will see when spots converge. It is indeed a fine line to be walked when evalu- ating a Dalmatian. They should be so much more than just another pretty face and should absolutely
have the ability to perform their historical duties. However, their spotting is truly the very hallmark of the breed and cannot and should not be considered any less than their physicality and their long-distance abilities. Temperament, as noted above, is often reserved and dignified in this breed but they can also be known for their fun-loving antics. Very often clownish in nature, most Dalmatians love a good romp and they play with great gusto and enthusiasm. While as marathoners, they do have a high-energy level; this should never to be confused with or considered “hyper,” which is more of a mental attitude—an inability to focus and perform, much like ADHD in humans. While built to be “on the go,” a Dalmatian can also embrace its inner couch potato and can often be found sharing quiet times with its human. Their primary focus and desire is to simply “be” with their people and supersedes most of their other wants. A Dalmatian’s loyalty and devotion to its family is total and unrivaled by any other breed of dog and a life spent with a Dalmatian is a life well spent.
272 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2017
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