Showsight Presents the Dalmatian

the color and markings of the Dalmatian as giving it a distinct character and are properly very highly valued. He says the body must be pure white, single black hairs, running through the ground col- or giving a grayish hue are considered a very serious fault. Th e purer and bright the white, the better the black and liver spots look by contrast. Th e color of the spots should be pure black, blue-black or rich reddish liver. He mentions that the handsomest dogs are the tri-colors, with black spots on the body and bright, back or the rear legs, inside the front of the thighs and sometimes under and on the sides of the jaws. Of course, these tri-col- ors and blue-blacks are a disqualification under today’s standard. Dalziel men- tions that some of the earlier winners had distinctly tanned faces, but those and black patches were even then (1889) objectionable, “although less so than the dark ridge of conglomerated spots that often runs down the back.” Th e more distinct and clearly defined spots at this time were the best. Th e size of the spots desired then was the same as today, and the rounder the better. He mentioned that the larger ones generally ran into each other and when too small they gave a freckled (ticking) appearance. Dalziel, in speaking of colors of the Pointer, says that there is no preference, just whatever is in fashion. “A predomi- nance of white has been thought to be best because it assists the sportsman in detecting the whereabouts of his dog in high cover.” Walsh in 1867 and Dalziel in 1879 have similar descriptions of the Dalmatian. Th ey both mention that the Dalmatian head is similar to the head of the Pointer, but without the Pointer exaggeration. Th e Dalmatian’s head is of fair length, flat skull, proportionally broad between the eyes and moderately defined at the

temples. Th e markings on the head should be smaller than the body markings. Patches on the head, or anywhere else, are disqualifications. Th e Pointer skull is of medium width, approximately as wide as the length of the muzzle, giving the impression of length rather than width. Th e Dalmatian standard mentions nothing about the stop, but states the head should not be a straight line from the occiput to the nose as required in the Bull Terrier. At one time, it was believed that the Bull Terrier was introduced into the breed of the early Dalmatian. Th e desired characteristic of type in the Bull Terrier is undesirable in the Dalmatian head, once again placing emphasis on making the Dalmatian an individual breed on its own. Th e Pointer should have cheeks that are cleanly chiseled and should have a slightly furrow between the eyes with a pronounced stop. From the stop forward, the muzzle should be good length with the nasal bone so formed that the nose is slightly higher than where the muzzle meets the stop. Th is describes a “dish face.” Th e dish face is desirable in the Pointer, but not in the Dalmatian. Par- allel planes of the muzzle and skull are also desirable. In the Pointer, the muzzle should be deep without excessive flews. Th e Dalmatian’s eyes are set moder- ately wide apart, round and medium in size. Th ey should be sparkling with an intelligent expression. Th e color of the eyes depends upon the color of the dog. Th e black-spotted should be black, brown or blue. Th e liver-spotted should be gold- en, light brown or blue. Lack of pigment around the eyes is a major fault. Th e Pointer’s eyes are of ample size, rounded and intense. Eye color should be dark in contrast with the color or the markings, the dark the better.

Th e Dalmatian’s ears are set rather high, but not at the top of the head; wide at the base and tapering to a rounded point; carried close to the head, thin and fine in texture. Th ey should not be set low, long or folding. Th e markings on the ears must be smaller than the body mark- ings. A patch on the ear is a disqualifi- cation. Spotted ears are desired, but very di ffi cult to get. Th ey generally go with a lightly marked dog. The desired Pointer ear is set on at eye level. When hanging naturally, the tip should reach just below the lower jaw and close to the head, with little or no folding. They should be pointed at the tip, not rounded, and thin and soft in texture. Th e Dalmatian’s nose must always be self-colored, never butterfly or flesh-col- ored, which is a major fault. In the darker-colored Pointers, the nose should be black or brown; in the lighter colors, it may be lighter or flesh colored. So we see that many of the desirable colors and markings in the Dalmatian are permissible in the Pointer, such as lemons, patches of color and tickings. Once again, the Dalmatian is distinct in his markings, which are a very important characteristic of the breed. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Wendell Sammet © AKC

is arguably one of the most respected breeders, exhibitors, and dog men in the history of our sport,

with impact spanning numerous breeds and with a list of fans and friends that is long and impressive. Wendell is co-author of “ Th e Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog” (Howell Book House) and was named AKC Breeder of the Year in 2002.



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