DALMATIAN DESCRIPTION

Formerly a carriage dog, circus artist, watch dog and hunter, the Dalmatian arrives with a history rich in fascinating abilities: it is as unique as its spots. 
 
The Dalmatian stands out for its peculiar spotted coat, with black or liver colored very a white background. The spots should be round and well defined, varying in size. Height varies from 48 to 58 cm to the withers; this limit variation is penalized, especially in excess height on females. The outer outline in the male is almost square. The head is lengthy, without loose skin. The eyes are medium sized, and well separated, rounded, brown or blue colored (only for the AKC), preferably dark. The ears, moderately sized and very highly inserted; lips, clean and well adjusted; scissor bite is demanded; the nose, completely pigmented. The neck is elegantly arched and pretty long: the upper outline soft; the chest is deep and spicy; the back, straight; the lumbar area, short and slightly arched; the tail is carried in a light upward curve; the elbows, well close to the body; good back angulations. The cow hocks are a serious flaw. The feet are round, compact and with good padding. The hair is short, thick and shiny, never woolly or silky. The spots can only be black or liver; tricolor is very rare, and disqualifies; oversized spots (that are not joined small spots) disqualify for exposition.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR
There are 101 Dalmatians in every apartment floor in the US! Growing in popularity, this easy to spot breed is more frequent in pictures and movies than in real life. The Dalmatian in real life is a large dog, with a lot of energy, even hyperactive, although adaptable enough for life in the city or at the country, if educated and disciplined correctly. It is not a dog that can live outdoors all the time, since it needs attention. Be firm in education, since the dog easily turns into a very strong youngster, and bad habits are easy to acquire, but difficult to correct. Usually it is a soft tempered dog, easy to train. It is terribly affectionate and a delightful clown. Be careful, since the Dalmatian has a hunting instinct, and loves to run, jump, and climb. Although it is recommended to teach it to be clean with the help of a cage, never leave the Dalmatian locked up for more than a couple of hours, since it can cause it bladder/kidney complications.
The Dalmatian is born white with pigment spots visible on the skin. At two weeks the spots begin to surface on the skin in the form pigmented hairs.
 
DEVELOPMENT             
The newborn Dalmatian weighs between 310 and 425 g, and usually litters  are numerous. At eight weeks it should weigh between 3 and 5 kg.
Choose a calm and confident Dalmatian; observe the mother, who shouldn’t be hyperactive or shy upon approach.
Physical maturity is reached between 18 and 24 months. The buyer should select a well socialized specimen and with a good temperament. The Dalmatian should be extrovert and kind (and its ear should be checked). The adolescent needs a firm discipline and plenty of exercise. It is known that the Dalmatian tests its owner, and especially the male has a tendency to be dominant. Abundant gnawing material should be provided, since in the Dalmatian teething can last for a few years.
 
HEALTH
The owner of a company specimen does not choose it for the spot distribution or the color of the eyes: good character and the puppy can hear is above anything else. Don’t accept a deaf puppy.
 
As charming as the Dalmatian puppy is, remember it will grow and it will be more dog than it seems. It is not recommendable as a first dog, since the Dalmatian begins to test its owners at adolescence (and can continue to do it if not corrected immediately). 
 
Deafness, especially bilateral, is the breeder’s largest concern. Responsible breeding has reduced the problem, but it is not eliminated. There is also a lack of pigmentation in the eyelids and nose, which many times is related with deafness. Pigmentation lack usually worsens with age, due to pigment migration. Patches, instead of well defined spots, are frequent. Blue eyes are accepted, although not desirable in the US, in England they are not accepted, nor in Europe. A particular anomaly known as the urolitiasis/dermatitis is a serious complication in the Dalmatian, but it can be controlled through diet. Kidney stones are frequent in the breed, for which the dog should not be locked up for long (having to hold urination makes the problem more serious). It is not recommendable to provide vitamin C supplements. There are cases of epilepsy, and although it can be controlled with preventive medication, affected specimens should be sterilized, since the disease is related to hormones. Dalmatian breeding is difficult and genetically complicated – do not attempt it -. Longevity is between 10 and 12 years.