The Dalmatian is a distinctively spotted dog;
poised and alert; strong, muscular and active; free of shyness;
intelligent in expression; symmetrical in outline; and without
exaggeration or coarseness. The Dalmatian is capable of great endurance,
combined with fair amount of speed. Deviations from the described ideal
should be penalized in direct proportion to the degree of the
Size, Proportion, Substance
Desirable height at the
withers is between 19 and 23 inches. Undersize or oversize is a fault.
Any dog or bitch over 24 inches at the withers is disqualified.
overall length of the body from the forechest to the buttocks is
approximately equal to the height at the withers.
The Dalmatian has
good substance and is strong and sturdy in bone, but never coarse.
The head is in balance with the overall dog. It is of fair length
and is free of loose skin. The Dalmatian's expression is alert and
intelligent, indicating a stable and outgoing temperament.
are set moderately well apart, are medium sized and somewhat rounded in
appearance, and are set well into the skull. Eye color is brown or blue,
or any combination thereof; the darker the better and usually darker in
black-spotted than in liver-spotted dogs.
Abnormal position of the
eyelids or eyelashes (ectropion, entropion, trichiasis) is a major
Incomplete pigmentation of the eye rims is a major fault.
ears are of moderate size, proportionately wide at the base and
gradually tapering to a rounded tip. They are set rather high, and are
carried close to the head, and are thin and fine in texture. When the
Dalmatian is alert, the top of the ear is level with the top of the
skull and the tip of the ear reaches to the bottom line of the cheek.
top of the skull is flat with a slight vertical furrow and is
approximately as wide as it is long. The stop is moderately well
defined. The cheeks blend smoothly into a powerful muzzle , the top of
which is level and parallel to the top of the skull. The muzzle and the
top of the skull are about equal in length.
The nose is completely
pigmented on the leather, black in black-spotted dogs and brown in
liver-spotted dogs. Incomplete nose pigmentation is a major fault.
lips are clean and close fitting. The teeth meet in a scissors bite .
Overshot or undershot bites are disqualifications.
The neck is nicely arched, fairly long, free
from throatiness, and blends smoothly into the shoulders.
topline is smooth.
The chest is deep, capacious and of moderate
width, having good spring of rib without being barrel shaped. The
brisket reaches to the elbow. The underline of the rib cage curves
gradually into a moderate tuck-up.
The back is level and strong. The
loin is short, muscular and slightly arched. The flanks narrow through
the loin. The croup is nearly level with the back.
The tail is a
natural extension of the topline. It is not inserted too low down. It is
strong at the insertion and tapers to the tip, which reaches to the
hock. It is never docked. The tail is carried with a slight upward curve
but should never curl over the back. Ring tails and low-set tails are
The shoulders are
smoothly muscled and well laid back. The upper arm is approximately
equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an angle
sufficient to insure that the foot falls under the shoulder. The elbows
are close to the body. The legs are straight, strong and sturdy in bone.
There is a slight angle at the pastern denoting flexibility.
The hindquarters are powerful, having smooth, yet well
defined muscles. The stifle is well bent. The hocks are well let down.
When the Dalmatian is standing, the hind legs, viewed from the rear, are
parallel to each other from the point of the hock to the heel of the
pad. Cowhocks are a major fault.
are very important. Both front and rear feet are round and compact with
thick, elastic pads and well arched toes. Flat feet are a major fault.
Toenails are black and/or white in black- spotted dogs and brown and/or
white in liver- spotted dogs. Dewclaws may be removed.
The coat is short, dense, fine and close fitting. It is neither
woolly nor silky. It is sleek, glossy and healthy in appearance.
Color and markings and their overall
appearance are very important points to be evaluated.
color is pure white. In black-spotted dogs the spots are dense black. In
liver-spotted dogs the spots are liver brown. Any color markings other
than black or liver are disqualified.
Spots are round and
well-defined, the more distinct the better. They vary from the size of a
dime to the size of a half-dollar. They are pleasingly and evenly
distributed. The less the spots intermingle the better. Spots are
usually smaller on the head, legs and tail than on the body. Ears are
Tri-color (which occurs rarely in this breed) is
a disqualification. It consists of tan markings found on the head,
neck, chest, leg or tail of a black- or liver-spotted dog. Bronzing of
black spots, and fading and/or darkening of liver spots due to
environmental conditions or normal processes of coat change are not
Patches are a disqualification. A patch is a solid
mass of black or liver hair containing no white hair. It is appreciably
larger than a normal sized spot. Patches are a dense, brilliant color
with sharply defined, smooth edges. Patches are present at birth. Large
color masses formed by intermingled or overlapping spots are not
patches. Such masses should indicate individual spots by uneven edges
and/or white hairs scattered throughout the mass.
In keeping with the Dalmatian's historical use as a coach dog, gait
and endurance are of great importance. Movement is steady and
effortless. Balanced angulation fore and aft combined with powerful
muscles and good condition produce smooth, efficient action. There is a
powerful drive from the rear coordinated with extended reach in the
front. The topline remains level. Elbows, hocks and feet turn neither in
nor out. As the speed of the trot increases, there is a tendency to
stable and outgoing, yet dignified. Shyness is a major fault.
General Appearance 5
Neck, topline, body 10
Color and markings 25
or bitch over 24 inches at the withers
Overshot or undershot bite.
color markings other than black or liver.
July 11, 1989
Effective September 6, 1989