Breeds in fo­cus

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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

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