Showsight Presents the Dalmatian

A SPOTTY POINTER OR A DALMATIAN?

di ff erent than that of the Dalmatian. He must move smoothly through the fields, with agility and grace. His head is car- ried high and proudly, scenting out his game. When it is discovered, he freezes on point. Th e tail moves side to side rhythmically with the pace. Ideally it is carried level with his back. Th e Pointer gives the impression of a well-balanced, strongly built hunting dog capable of top speed combined with great stamina. He has a muscular body representing staying power of his point. Th ese are the charac- teristics of type that have been written into the Pointer standard, presenting an individual breed unlike the Dalmatian. Knowing that the Dalmatian originat- ed from dogs of sporting dog type, such as the “Spanish Pointer”, there are definite Pointer characters of type that we must avoid in judging and breed the definite. Th e Dalmatian must be of his own breed type. Some of the early standards describ- ing the Dalmatian actually compare him to the Pointer. Such as, “ Th e head very much resembles that of a Pointer, but is neither quite so deep nor so broad in muzzle,” and another, “ Th e neck should be arched like the Pointer.” In today’s standards of the Dalmatian and Pointer, the di ff erence is described very distinctly to separate both breeds. Th ere is a distinct di ff erence of toplines. Th e Dalmatian’s back is powerful with a strong, muscular, slightly arched loin. Th e pointer’s back should also be strong, by WENDELL SAMMET

O ne cannot judge or breed intelligently if he does not recognize breed type. Breed type is the written standard based on the function that particular breed had to fulfill. Each standard is describe to create each breed as an indi- vidual specimen. Th ese reflect the original purpose of the breeds, the Dalmatian’s ability to cover long miles on the road and Pointer’s ability to quarter the fields to locate and mark the bird. We realize that most breeds of today are not used for their original function. But, does that mean that the breed’s type should be erased and changed? No! Th e purpose for writing the standards in the creation of a breed is to set the characteristics of type. To understand these characteristics of type you must study the breed’s history. What was its function? And what di ff erent breeds were introduced to create the individual breed? Although an individual breed may have been derived from several other breeds, the standard describes it to distinguish that breed from all others, presenting an individual animal with its own unique breed type. All breeds, large and small, have the same total number of bones that make up their conformation. Th ese bones, long and short, narrow or wide, but arranged di ff erently according to its breed func- tion, help establish that breed’s type. For example, there are the same number

of vertebrae in the spinal column of the Greyhound, Point and Dalmatian, but each of their standards describes a di ff er- ent type of topline, characteristic of its own breed type. An animal is not typical of the breed if any of its components are exaggerated. Th e exaggerated animal’s faults and virtues are much more noticeable than the functional and well-balanced dog. Th e balanced dog is smoother in outline and his parts are proper to him. True type, because it is functional, is always in balance. Th e Dalmatian is quite often referred to as a “coach dog” because of his abil- ity to run with his master’s coach for long hours. Th is is his function, which created his breed type. He should be the proper size, appear strong, muscular and active. When in motion, he must have an even gait with reach and drive, showing his great endurance. His side movement should picture him with this head carried up and slightly thrust out, but not high in the air, and carrying the proper topline; neither slanting towards the withers or roached. His tail, which is an extension of the spine, is carried with a slightly curve and never curled and never over the back. Either black and white or live and white, his markings should be definite, round and of proper size, not intermingled. Th is is what makes the Dalmatian a unique specimen of its breed type. Th e Pointer is primarily bred for sport in the field which is his function,

“THE DALMATIAN IS QUITE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS A ‘COACH DOG’

BECAUSE OF HIS ABILITY TO RUN WITH HIS MASTER’S COACH FOR LONG HOURS.”

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2014 • 217

Powered by