Breed Extension

The breed standard extension was written by the National Dalmatian Council and is used in conjunction with the standard to inform trainee judges on the correct Dalmatian conformation.

GENERAL APPEARANCE. A DISTINCTIVELY SPOTTED DOG, BALANCED, STRONG, MUSCULAR, ACTIVE DOG. SYMMETRICAL IN OUTLINE, FREE FROM COARSENESS AND LUMBER.
No dog is more normal in its make up than the Dalmatian. It is free from abnormalities and exaggeration. Other than its spotting, which will be discussed in detail later, no features are peculiar to this breed. Balanced in all proportions, it is an active, medium sized dog, displaying the stamina, strength and musculation needed to keep up with horses for long periods of time, In addition, the Dalmatian is elegant and graceful enough to enhance the appearance of any horse and carriage. BALANCE and proportions should satisfy the eye and give a sense of perfect harmony both in repose and action. STRONG; MUSCULAR, ACTIVE. The Dalmatian conveys the impression of substance combined with elegance and perfect balance, never overdone.

CHARACTERISTICS. A CARIAGE DOG OF GOOD DEMEANOUR, CAPABLE OF GREAT ENDURANCE AND A FAIR TUN OF SPEED.
The Dalmatian's purpose, that of a carriage dog, is obsolete, but the standard is written with this in mind. Stamina is a MUST for this breed and is achieved only with a combination of soundness, firm topline, correct rib cage, correct boning, good feet, correct angulation and sufficient excercise to produce good hard muscles. GOOD DEMEANOUR. An extrovert, and well known for its characteristic grin CAPABLE OF GREAT ENDURANCE. With its purpose as a carriage dog so important, the Dalmatian should have the ability to trot long distances alongside a coach. FAIR TURN OF SPEED. This is interpreted as meaning an ability to accelerate with a quick burst of speed when necessary. while it must have the stamina to go all day, it must also have an action that is economical in order to conserve energy.

TEMPERAMENT. OUTGOING AND FRIENDLY, NOT SHY OR HESITANT, FREE FROM NERVOUSNESS AND AGRESSION.
The Dalmatian is easy to get along with and loves people. It is intelligent, alert and always friendly.

HEAD AND SKULL. OF FAIR LENGTH, SKULL FLAT, REASONABLY BROAD BETWEEN EARS, MODERATELY WELL DEFINED IN FRONT OF EARS, MODERATE AMOUNT OF STOP. ENTIRELY FREE FROM WRINKLE MUZZLE LONG, POWERFUL, NEVER SNIPEY. LIPS CLEAN, FITTING JAW MODERATELY CLOSELY. NOSE IN BLACK SPOTTED VARIETY ALWAY BLACK, IN LIVER SPOTTED VARIETY ALWAYS BROWN.
The Dalmatian is not a head breed, but the head must be in proportion to the rest of the dog... clean looking,.smooth and free of wrinkle. The topskull and muzzle should be about the same length. The topskull is nearly as broad as it is long and it is almost flat with a slight centre groove starting at the occiput, coming down the top between the eyes and extending onto the muzzle to the nose leather. The stop is not pronounced but a subtle rise where the muzzle blends into the upper head. From the side, toplines of the skull and the muzzle appear approximately parallel. The muzzle in never weak nor pointed. The lips are clean and dry. There are no flews or dewlaps.

EYES. SET MODERATELY WELL APART, MEDIUM SIZE, ROUND, BRIGHT AND SPARKLING WITH INTELLIGENT EXPRESSION- COLOUR, DARK IN BLACK SPOTTED VARIETY, AMBER IN LIVER SPOTTED. EYERIMS PREFERABLY COMPLETELY BLACK IN BLACK SPOTTED AND LIVER BROWN IN LIVER SPOTTED.
Please remember that a Dalmatian's eyes are "round, bright and sparkling" A dog with a blue eye should not be shown.

EARS. SET ON RATHER HIGH, MODERATE SIZE, RATHER WIDE AT BASE, GRADUALLY TAPERING TO A ROUNDED POINT. FINE IN TEXTURE, CARRIED CLOSE TO HEAD MARKING WELL BROKEN UP, PREFERABLY SPOTTED.
The ears should be set on rather high. When alert the base of the ear is level with the top of the skull. They should be of moderate size, rather wide at the base, gradually tapering to a rounded point. The ears should be fine to the touch, carried close to the head. There should be white breaking up the colour of the ears - sometimes seen as marbling- though spotted ears are preferred.

MOUTH. JAWS STRONG, WITH A PERFECT, REGULAR AND COMPLETE SCISSOR BITE i.e. UPPER TEETH CLOSELY OVERLAPPING LOWER TEETH AND SET SQUARE TO THE JAWS.
Any bite other than scissor bite in incorrect.

NECK. FAIRLY LONG, NICELY ARCHED, LIGHT AND TAPERING. ENTIRELY FREE FROM THROATINESS.
A Dalmatian requires fairly long cervical vertebrae to give it that graceful arched neck which is desirable. It should have a good flow of neck into the shoulder to assist in forming the symmetrical outline. While many Dalmatians have been trained to hold the head high in the ring, when trotting freely the head is thrust forward to achieve kinetic balance and is only slightly higher than the topline.


FOREQUARTERS. SHOULDERS MODERATELY OBLIQUE, CLEAN AND MUSCULAR, ELBOWS CLOSE TO BODY. FORELEGS PERFECTLY STRAIGHT WITH STRONG ROUND BONE DOWN TO FEET, WITH SLIGHT SPRING AT PASTERN JOINT.
The standard requires a moderately oblique shoulder. The angle between the scapula and humerus is slightly more that 90 degrees, shoulders should be well laid back and also of good length for muscles and tendons to function properly. With correct angulation the scapula, together with the humerus act as shock absorbers The two combined lift the leg, giving the rhythmic stride called for in the standard. Length of scapula and humerus should be equal. Front legs should be perfectly straight right down to the foot, vith a slight spring.of pastern. They should be about the width of two legs apart and should be evenly boned the entire length.

BODY. CHEST NOT TOO WIDE, BUT DEEP AND CAPACIOUS WITH PLENTY OF LUNG AND HEART ROOM. RIBS WELL SPRUNG, WELL DEFINED WITHERS, POWERFUL LEVEL BACK, LOIN STRONG, CLEAN MUSCULAR AND SLIGHTLY ARCHED.
The chest should be viewed from three angles. From the front, it is deeper than it is wide and it is well filled. From above, it is wider at the shoulder than at the loin. From the side the pro-sternum is only slightly visable in front of the forelegs, but the lower portion of the chest extends to the dog's elbow. A chest with a long rib cage is described as "well ribbed back" which give plenty of room for the lungs to expand, which is necessary for endurance. The underline of the chest gradually slopes upward from middway alog the rib cage to the end of the ribs, The Dalmatian has only a moderate "tuck up". The back should be level in motion and in natural stance. In a properly constructed dog with good muscle development the topline from the withers to the onset of tail remains level whether the dog is standing or moving. There should be well defined withers, But with no interruption to the flow of neck into the shoulders and back. The loin should neither be excessively long nor short. If anything, the Dalmatian is slightly longer than high from point of shoulder to point of buttock, withers to ground. The extra length should come from length of ribcage, not loin. The arching of the loins should not be exaggerated and comes from strong musculation.

HINDQUARTERS. ROUNDED, MUSCLES CLEAN WITH WELL DEVELOPED SECOND THIGH.GOOD TURN OF STIFLE, HOCKS WELL DEFINED.
Correct hindquarters on a dalmatian are also important as it is a dog who must be able to gait for many kilometres up and down hills. It is a "moderate" dog with a normal front angulation, and therefore requires a stifle which is moderately well bent. The Dalmatian should convey endurance and a fair turn of speed. If it had excessive angulation it would tire itelf and without angulation, would not cover the ground. The hindquarters should be strong. The outline of well developed muscles should clearly seen on the buttocks, legs and second thigh. The pelvic slope should be approximately 30 degrees. The thigh and second thigh should be long and the hock to the ground short. Muscles should be well developed in inner and outer thighs as well as the second thigh (calf muscle). The hock should be vertical to the ground when standing. Hocks should be well let down to give good endurance.

FEET, ROUND, COMPACT, WITH WELL ARCHED TOES, CAT LIKE, ROUND TOUGH ELASTIC PADS. NAILS BLACK OR WHITE IN THE BLACK SPOTTED VARIETY. IN LIVER SPOTTED VARIETY, BROWN OR WHITE.
Good legs and 'cat feet' are very important. Strong feet and thick tough pads are a must for an endurance dog.Feet should turn neither in nor out.

TAIL. LENGTH REACHING APPROXIMATELY TO HOCK, STRONG AT INSERTION GRADUALLY TAPERING TOWARD END, NEVER INSERTED TOO LOW OR TOO HIGH. FREE FROM COARSENSS AND CARRIED WITH A SLIGHT UPWARD CURVE, NEVER CURLED. PREFERABLY SPOTTED.
It is a moderate tail set. the tail is an extension of the top line, flowing with the back line after taking into consideration the slightly arched loin. At rest the Dalmatian may carry the tail low, but on the move or when alert it is carried with a slight upward curve. A traditional sabre carriage.

GAIT/MOVEMENT GREAT FEEDOM OF MOVEMENT, SMOOTH,POWERFUL, RYTHMN ACTION WITH LONG STRIDE. VIEWED FROM BEHIND LEGS MOVE IN PARALLEL, HINDLEGS TRACKING THE FORE. A SHORT STRIDE AND PADDLING ACTION INCORRECT.
Movement tells us much about the Dalmatian's structure, which is not always revealed when it is standing still, for it reflects its phyical co-ordination, balance for the bady and soundness. The dog seeming to exert a minimum of effort to cover the ground. When judging the Dalmatian in the ring, the length of stride should be in proportion to the dog, steady in rhythm of 1,2,3,4, Front legs should not paddle, nor should there be a straddling appearance. Hind legs should neither cross nor weave. Judges should be able to see each leg move with no interference from another leg. Drive and reach are most desirable, When a dog moves away from the judge in a straight line, the hind legs conceal the fore. the hind foot covering the spot the fore foot has just left, not overreaching.

COAT. SHORT, HARD, DENSE, SLEEK AND GLOSSY IN APPEARANCE.
The coat should be of uniform texture with hair on the ears and head shorter and softer. It is a single coated dog.

COLOUR. GROUND COLOUR PURE ·WHITE. BLACK SPOTTED, DENSE BLACK SPOTS AND LIVER SPOTTED, LIVER BROWN SPOTS, NOT RUNNING TOGETHER BUT ROUND AND WELL DEFINED. IN SIZE ONE PENCE TO FIFTY PENCE, SPOTS ON EXTREMITIES SMALLER THAN THOSE ON THE BODY, PATCHES, TRI-COLOURS AND LEMONS SPOTS HIGHLY UNDESIRABLE. BRONZING ON SPOTS UNDESIRABLE IN ADULTS.
Spotting is the one unique feature of the Dalmatian and is an essential part of the breed type, although conformation should not be sacrificed to spotting alone. However the significance of good spotting must not be denigrated or this unique and identifying feature of the breed could be.lost, Perfect markings have never been achieved and it is safe to say they never will be. GROUND COLOUR PURE WHITE, BLACK SPOTTED, DENSE BLACK SPOTS AND LIVER SPOTTED, LIVER BROWN SPOTS. In both varieties the colour of the spots should be dense and have a sheen, The black should be a shiny jet black. There is no definite description laid down as far as the liver colour is concerned, but it should be a rich liver brown. The ideal is a colour which cannot be mistaken for black in average light at a reasonable distance (e.g. across a show ring·) Variations of liver colour on the one dog or greyish markings on a black spotted specimen are undesirable. SPOTS NOT RUNNING TOGETHER BUT ROUND AND WELL DEFINED . Balance of markings is a feature. Most dogs have groups of spots close together. A few spots that join are acceptable, provided they can be seen to be spots. They should not form a conglomeration of ugly proportions. Clear definition of spots is important. The edges should ot blend into the ground colour so as to appear grey or have a dark halo. SPOTS - IN SIZE ONE PENCE TO FIFTY PEN·CE PIECE. In our currency "Five cents to a twenty cents piece". Spots on the body are larger than those on the head, legs and tail. The ears should be spotted, but this is not essential just as spots on the tail are not essential. For some reason many liver dogs have smaller spots than blacks. The standard makes no mention of this, only that size should be between five cents and twenty cents. Tick marks, or flecks are not spots and are undesirable. Tick marks are smaller than a one cent piece and are rather more like flecks appearing on the coat. SPOTS AS WELL DISTRIBUTED AS POSSIBLE. Optical illusion can be created by uneven spotting regarding conformation and gaiting. PATCHES, TRI-COLOURS AND LEMON SPOTS HIGHLY UNDESIRABLE. PATCHES. Dalmatian pups are born pure white, although shadows of spots may be seen on the skin at birth. A patch is clearly visible at birth and usually found on the ear or face. A patch is an area of solid colour,a rich deep black or liver, usually with a velvety texture. It is sharply defined with an absence of white hairs. To determine between a solidly marked ear and a patch, turn the ear over to see if there are any white hairs. The presence of white hair, no matter how small an amount, would indicate a soldily marked ear. TRI COLOURS. A black spotted tri-colour is a dog with black spots and tan/brown spots. A liver spotted tri-colour has liver brown spots and light orange or lemon spots, The tri-colour spots generally appear on the front of the neck, chest,inside legs or around the vent. LEMON/ORANGE SPOTTIG. Dalmatians may have incorrect lemon or orange spotting. Lemons have black nose and eyerim pigment, where oranges have brown nose and eyerim pigment. Black and liver spotting are the only acceptable colours. DALMATIANS WITH PATCHES, TRI-COLOURS OR HAVING LEMON OR ORANGE SPOTTING SHOULD NOT BE EXHIBITED, BRONZING ON SPOTS UNDESIRABLE. Bronzing can occur during a "coating out" period. On the black spotted variety it is seen as a bronze tinge around the edges of the spots and/or on the surface of spots. Livers are affected similarly, the spots tending to develop a halo of gingery colour. Bronzing must be assessed in relation to the rest of the dog and should be considered similar to a coated breed being out of coat or havig dropped coat temporarily.

SIZE. OVERALL BALANCE OF PRIME IMPORTANCE. IDEAL HEIGHT 58.4 to 61 cm (23 to 24 ins.) Bitches 55.9 to 58.4 cm.22 to 23 ins.)
Balance is of prime importance and should not be sacrificed to size alone. Dogs slighly larger or smaller than the ideal standard should not be excluded from placings if they present a balanced picture. The belief that the dogs only ran under the axle is incorrect The Dlmatian was equally at home alongside, in front of,or behind the coach. Remember, overall balance.

FAULTS. ANY DEPARTURE FROM THE FOREGOING POINTS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A FAULT AND THE SERIOUSNESS WITH WHICH THE FAULT SOULD BE REGARDED SHOULD BE IN EXACT PROPORTION TO ITS DEGREE.

NOTE MALE ANIMALS SHOULD HAVE TWO APPARENTLY NORMAL TESTICLES FULLY DESCENDED INTO THE SCROTUM.

CONCLUSION - JUDGING THE DALMATIAN
A good Dalmatian must of good breed type, balanced, sound in movement, well spotted and of good temperament. One of these things on its own is not enough. Remember the Standard describes a dog free of exaggerations and abnormalities. Please judge the breed to leave it that way.