Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dalmatian Dog Breed

The FCI recognized Croatia as its country of origin, citing several historical sources.

The first documented descriptions of the Dalmatian trace back to early 18th century and the archives of the Archdiocese of Đakovo in Croatia. The dog was mentioned and described as Canis Dalmaticus in the church chronicles from 1719 by Bishop Petar Bakić and then again by church chronicles of Andreas Keczkeméty in 1739. Thomas Pennant also described the breed in his book Synopsis of Quadrupeds writing that the origin of the breed is from Dalmatia, he referred to it simply as Dalmatian. The book by Thomas Bewick A General History of Quadrupeds published in 1790 refers to the breed as Dalmatian or Coach Dog.

The breed had been developed and cultivated chiefly in England. The first unofficial standard for the breed was introduced by an Englishman Vero Shaw in 1882. In 1890 with the formation of the first Dalmatian Club in England the standard became official. When the dog with the distinctive markings was first shown in England in 1862, it was said to have been used as a guard dog and companion to the nomads of Dalmatia. The breed's unique coat became popular and widely distributed over the continent of Europe beginning in 1920. Its unusual markings were often mentioned by the old writers on cynology.

The Dalmatian is a mid-sized, well-defined, muscular dog with excellent endurance and stamina. When full grown, its weight normally ranges between 35 and 70 pounds (16 and 32 kg) and it stands from 19 to 24 inches (48 to 61 cm) tall, with males usually slightly larger than females.The body is as long from forechest to buttocks as it is tall at the withers, and the shoulders are laid back. The Dalmatian's feet are round with well-arched toes, and the nails are usually white or the same colour as the dog's spots. The thin ears taper towards the tip and are set fairly high and close to the head. Eye color varies between brown, amber, or blue, with some dogs having one blue eye and one brown eye, or other combinations.

Dalmatian puppies are born with plain white coats and their first spots usually appear within three weeks after birth. After about a month, they have most of their spots, although they continue to develop throughout life at a much slower rate. Spots usually range in size from 30 to 60 mm, and are most commonly black or brown (liver) on a white background. Other, more rare colors, include blue (a blue-grayish color), brindle, mosaic, tricolored (with tan spotting on the eyebrows, cheeks, legs, and chest), and orange or lemon (dark to pale yellow). Patches of color appear anywhere on the body, mostly on the head or ears, and usually consist of a solid color.

The Dalmatian coat is usually short, fine, and dense, although smooth-coated Dalmatians occasionally produce long-coated offspring, which shed less often. They shed considerably year-round. The short, stiff hairs often weave into carpet, clothing, upholstery and nearly any other kind of fabric and can be difficult to remove. Weekly grooming with a hound mitt or curry can lessen the amount of hair Dalmatians shed, although nothing can completely prevent shedding. Due to the minimal amount of oil in their coats, Dalmatians lack a "dog" smell and stay fairly clean.
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