Breeds in focus
Not all historians agree on the history of the Dalmatian, but it is believed that this distinctive spotty dog originates from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. It has been known in Britain for more than 200 years, and it was here that it developed. In Regency times it was highly valued as a carriage dog. To have a pair of Dalmatians trotting behind your carriage was fashionable and chic. The Dalmatians were 60 • SHOOTING TIMES & COUNTRY MAGAZINE not just decorative, but would protect the horses from impromptu fetlocknipping attacks from stray dogs. As a carriage dog, the Dalmatian had to have great endurance. The modern Dalmatian retains the compact, athletic build of its forebears, and it appears little changed in appearance from the dogs depicted in paintings at the time of King George III.
Sadly, modern Dalmatians do suffer from various genetic problems, including inherited deafness and kidney stones.
As a carriage dog, the Dalmatian was useful as well as chic