Dalmatians in Great Britain have been more than four hundred years ago. While previously he had been referred to as the Coach dog, Carriage Dog., Spotted Dog. Plum Pudding Dog, “Spotted Dick.” Danish dog Harrier of Bengal, Braque de Bengale, Canis variegates or Little Danish dog, Bewick called him the Dalmatian.
By 1860 he was offered classes at a dog show in Birmingham. He arrived as a show dog in England more than one hundred years ago. Before that his job had varied. He was used as a gun dog, a badger and bull-baiting dog, a coach dog as a guard and companion for travelers and mail a promenade dog, a protection and attention-getting dog for elegant carriages, a “pack” or watchdog for farmers’ wives going to market, a music hall entertainer, a gypsy trick dog and as a heraldic symbol. He proved that in addition to being one of the best looking of all dogs. he had intelligence. versatility and charm, and was a good companion.
The British loved him defined his type and brought him closer to perfection. They drafted his standard which later became the foundation for the standards of all other countries. They organized clubs for his promotion and protection.
From England he was exported to most of the rest of the world where he was received with considerable enthusiasm. The British type was used to improve the breed on the continent and overseas. Imports from Great Britain have been the foundation stock for important kennels the world over.
Agitation in England for a Dalmatian club was started by Hugo Droesse Mr. Droesse had promoted twenty-one Dalmatian entries for the Crystal Palace Show in 1889. There had been none the year before. With the enthusiasm generated by this support, Mr. Droesse wrote to the dog papers, “At the last Crystal Palace show several exhibitors and gentlemen interested in Dalmatians expressed their willingness to support a special club for the breed, and urged on me to take the matter in hand, acting in the meantime.
As the proposal is a most welcome one to me and has my full approval and support. I shall be pleased to hear from anyone favorable to the object, and trust that not only lovers of the breed in Great Britain, but also those residing abroad, will communicate with me. At the same time I shall be glad to have any propositions and suggestions, in regard to the club to be formed, which are likely to be of value and good for the furtherance of the object.”
Kennel Club Dalmatian Dog Breed
As a result of this start The Dalmatian Club was founded in 1890 with W. B. Herman as secretary. A standard was formulated that same year. It was the fourth for the breed. Previous standards had been unofficial descriptions written by Vero Shaw in 1882. Stonehenge (John Henry Walsh) in 1886 and a translation from Der Hutule Span published in the Fanciers Gazette in 1889. When the North of England Dalmatian Club was formed in the Manchester area in 1903 it adopted the 1890 standard with only a change in the weight of bitches.
World War I almost annihilated the breed. To counteract government pressure to destroy all dogs, the Kennel Club of Great Britain stopped all registration for the duration. Added to the deprivations due to the war was a general muzzling order lasting until 1922 because of rabies brought in by imported dogs.
Without horses it seemed the coach dog was also losing friends. The Crystal Palace show in 1920 had only one Dalmatian. The single exhibitor, Mr. Fred Kemp, thought something should be done about it. In 1925 a group of enthusiasts met at Crufts and from that meeting, the Southem Dalmatian Club was formed. Mr. Kemp became and remained its president for twenty-two years. The Dalmatian’s fortunes began to change.
The Southern Dalmatian Club grew rapidly. It soon became national in scope. In 1930 it changed its name to the British Dalmatian Club. The All Ireland Dalmatian Club was formed in 1934.
World War II played hob with the entire dog fancy. Little breeding took place. • ‘Radius shows” were instituted by the Kennel Club. Only dogs living within 25 miles of the show site were permitted to enter. When peace was achieved dog activity began again. The three Dalmatian clubs and the British breeders made a fresh start. Apparently, the enthusiasm and know-how had survived because when the first post-war specialty show was held on October 2, 1945, by the British Dalmatian Club there were 263 entries.
By 1947 the British Dal Club was publishing Spots of News, a newsletter edited by Leighton Yeomans, to keep members informed. The Club engaged in many kinds of varied activities, educational and social. It developed a rescue service “dedicated to helping needy dogs to find kindly humans and happy homes.” Membership.in other countries grew. Spots of News from the start reported exported dogs becoming champions in many other countries. That same year the original Dalmatian Club phased out.
The British Dalmatian Club Handbooks which had been published from 1934 through 1938 were reinstated in 1949 and published every three years since. The Dalmatian kennel clubs continued to hold his own in Britain despite some economic ups and downs. The breed became better known and loved when Dodie Smith’s One Hundred and One Dabnanans was published in England in 1956. Five years later movies was charmed by Walt Disney’s version of the story as an animated cartoon in color.
When the British Dalmatian Club leadership became concerned about a twenty percent drop in registrations in 1954 they could not anticipate the future effect of the efforts of Dodie Smith and Walt Disney. The delightful book and the animated feature-length movie had a considerable impact on the popularity of the breed around the world. Mrs. Smith’s book was first published serially in Woman’s Day magazine under the title, “The Great Dog Robbery”.
In commenting on this in 1977, Mrs. Cooper. editor of the British Dalmatian Club’s monthly newsletter, wrote “Obviously nobody at that time would have believed a time would come when the club was seriously asking members to try to restrict breeding, or that several hundred pounds a year would need to be spent in rescuing and rehabilitating dogs which were in need of homes.”
The British Dalmatian Club continued to grow. It’s Golden Jubilee Championship show in April 1975 pulled an entry of 99 dogs and 140 bitches. The total number of entries 464. By 1977 when the Queen’s Silver Jubilee was being celebrated the Club had 1079 members, 887 at home and 192 overseas. It had overseas representatives in seven countries: Australia. Canada. Hol-land, India, Sweden.
The United States of America and New Zealand. There were overseas members in twenty-one countries: Australia, Brazil, Belgium. Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Holland. Hungary, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand. Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain. Sweden, Switzer-land, United States, and Yugoslavia, Also read our previous article on Dalmatians in American Kennel Club.
Whether the official regulator), bodies of these far-flung nations were affiliated with the Kennel Club of Great Britain or more recently with the F. C. I. (Federacion Cynologique Internationale) founded in 1911, or independent of either, the British standard became the basis for judging the breed.
It has been translated into many languages. While the standard has been rewritten in some countries, particularly the United States and Canada, the Dalmatian dog remains remarkably the same around the world. This we have found to be true when judging in South Africa, Mexico, Canada, and South America. There are some discussions about size and length and blue eyes. but the friendly, dignified, beautifully spotted dog is universally loved as a companion and guard.
Dalmatian owners in many countries gather together to form clubs to further the breed and their own enjoyment of the world of dogs. One needs to list them to realize how many have grown up over a period of time in many parts of the world. Where known we have included the year of their origin.
Dalmatians in Great Britain
- The Dalmatian Club 1890-1947
- North of England Dalmatian Club, 1903
- Southern Dalmatian Club, 1925-1930
- British Dalmatian Club, 1930
- All Ireland Dalmatian Club, 1934
- Dalmatian Club of Scotland 1970
Dalmatians in UK
- French Dalmatian Club, 1951
- Dalmatien Club Luxembourgeois
- Nederlandsc Club Voor Dalmatische Honden, 1947
- Klubben for stone Selskapshundraser (Norway)
- Deutscher Dalmatiner Club, 1920
- Finnish Dalmatian Club Swedish Dalmatian Society, 1962
- Swiss Dalmatian Club
Dalmatians in Africa
- Dalmatian Club of South Africa, 1961
- Southern Cross Dalmatian Breeders Club
- Dalmatian Club of East Africa
Dalmatians in Asia
- Indonesia Dalmatian Club
- Dalmatian Club of Japan
Dalmatians in Australia and New Zealand
- Dalmatian Club in Australia. 1943
- Dalmatian Club of South Australia
- Dalmatian Club of Victoria
- Dalmatian Club of New Zealand
Dalmatians in North America
- Dalmatian Club of Canada, 1966
- Club Dalmata de Mexico, 1975
- Dalmatian Club of America. 1905
- Dalmatian Club of Quebec
Dalmatians in South America
- Dalmata Clube do Brasil
- Dalmatian Club of Trinidad and Tobago. 1958
Foreign registrations at the American Kennel Club indicate Dalmatians have been imported from eight other countries in the last ten years. While they were principally from the United Kingdom and Canada, there were also dogs from Germany. Australia. Italy. Ireland. Holland. and Sweden.
Dalmatians in Sweden
One of the European countries where Dalmatians are a popular breed is Sweden. The Dalmatian Club there was founded in 1962 and has about 500 members. The breed has grown from practically no dogs at all to a fairly large segment of the dog population.
In the early part of the century there were a few Dalmatians in Sweden, mostly of German and English stock. These seem to have died out.
In the early thirties, two dogs were imported from England. They were Marjo of Elk Isle and Dotty of Elk Isle. A few years later a bitch named Princess Polly and a dog named Duff were brought in from England. These four were used for breeding and all the DaIs in Sweden descended from them. The breed went into a sad state as all the dogs were inbred without any infusion of new blood to help the situation.
Mrs. Anna Hammarlund had a good Dal puppy from this original line. She called this dog Kicf. He was an International, Norwegian and Scandinavian champion. She then imported some English bitches and established a great stock of Dais in Sweden. Kief was about the last Dal from the original stock established in the thirties.
Mrs. Hammurlund also imported a male from America, Ch. Fleetwood Nu Boot of Dalmatia a son of the famous Boot Blackout Fleetwood Farms China Doll. With this infusion of blood from the States and the English imports, the Dalmatian in Sweden is now well established. Pictures of the Swedish dogs show them to be sound. well-boned, and well-marked animals.
Mrs. Hammarlund is the author of a book on Dalmatians published a few years ago. She deals mostly with breeding the possible genetic combinations, and how to handle puppies. The book, a fascinating one. is written in Swedish, of course. Natalie Fleger of Colonial Coach met Mrs. Hammarlund when she visited the States a few years ago. Mrs. Hammarlund gave her a copy of the book. Several breeders were able to find someone to make a translation of it. We have enjoyed reading about Swedish dogs.
Dalmatians in Mexico
In Mexico, until recently Dalmatian breeding has been done pretty much on a hit and miss basis. At one time, however, for a brief period, there was a major kennel known as Dalmex and owned by Dr. Phillip Chancellor. He purchased a number of top winning dogs and bitches in both England and the United States in order to produce good Dais. At one time he had at least 80 dogs and produced about 14 liners each year, all well-thought-out breedings.
One of his dogs which had won an all-breed Best in Show in the States was declared ineligible by the AKC to win this award. This triggered a disastrous reaction in Dr. Chancellor’s kennel. He discontinued all Dalmatian activity, dispersed his kennel, and the careful breeding disappeared into mediocrity.
A number of other breeders were known to be producing some Dalmatians in Mexico. Among them was Manual Avila Camacho, president of Mexico from 1940 to 1946; the Beteta family, Ramon and his nephew, Mario Ramon, both of whom were Ministers of Finance under different presidents; the Rivera Torres family; Manuel Buch, a Senor Jaurequi; and Luis Garcia Maurino.
Dr. Chancellor’s dog CAMP. Dalmex Chicharrin won an all-breed Best in Show in Mexico in 1961. The only other all-breed Best in Show win for Dalmatians was in Mexicali in 1976 when an American bred liver Dal. Am. Mex. Ch. Little Slam’s Jack of Hearts, won the honor. In 1975 the Club Dalmata de Mexico A.C was incorporated.
It is the official club for the breed in Mexico and presently has as members most of the serious breeders and exhibitors of Dalmatians in Mexico. It has held four specialty shows. The first show in April 1976 was judged by Ing. Robin Hernandez. The second assignment for the specialty in November 1976 was given to Dr. David Doane of the U.S.
Mrs. Evelyn Nelson White judged the third specialty in November 1977 and Alfred E. Treen passed on the dogs at the fourth specialty in 1978. Mrs. Marjorie Doane has been tapped to judge the fifth specialty show for the breed.
The Mexican Kennel Club (Asociacion Canofila Mexicana AC) is affiliated with FCI and so all the standards used in Mexico arc approved by that body.
The Mexican Dalmatians are certainly under greater influence of the Dalmatians from the United States than from those in England, Germany, Sweden, Luxembourg. and other European countries. It is logical that the Mexican standard would resemble that of the Dalmatian Club of America. The point of contention is. of course. the blue cyc, perfectly acceptable in the U.S. and Mexico. frowned on in European countries.
The original officers of the Dalmatian Club of Mexico were Raymond F. Fitzsimmons, president; Emilio Barajas, vice president; Rodolfo Saldana, secretary; and John Hogan, treasurer. Enrique Castillo was a director. Current officers of the club are Raymond Fitzsimmons, president; Enrique Castillo, vice president; Rodolfo Saldana. secretary, and John Hogan, treasurer. Lic. Jaime E. Gallestegui, MVZ Ezequiel Galindo E: Sra Isabelle Miranda. Lic. Alejandro Gonzales and Ernesto Macip serve as members of the board.
Mr. Fitzsimmons has been a leader in the Dalmatian community for a number of years. The National Breeders Association named him the Distinguished Breeder of the Year in 1976, a highly coveted honor.
Early in the decade, there was little or no usable stock in Mexico. The La Mancha line (Fitzsimmons and Gonzales) went to the U.S. to improve the quality and provide a reasonably acceptable gene pool available for serious breeders. The La Mancha line has accounted for 13 champions so far and about 10 more dogs which are in the process of attaining championship status. All three of De La Mancha’s imported dogs have achieved Mexican championships.
All three are International Champions and one of them has won an American championship. The third imported dog was a liver male, CAMP Coachkeeper Prince de La Mancha, sired by Ch. Storm King of Quaker’s Acre ex Ch. Cinderella’s Coach Keeper, and litter brother to the Best in Show Ch. Coachkeeper’s Blizzard of Quaker’s Acre. This dog was involved in a serious car accident which eliminated any further showing.
The outlook for Dalmatians in Mexico is quite rosy at this time. More people are joining the Dalmatian Club there and more and more of the Mexican judges are studying the breed to learn what is expected in a good Dal. Educational programs are presented by both the Mexican Dal Club and the ACM.
Dalmatians in South Africa
The South African Club was formed of December in 1961 by the leading Dalmatian breeders in the Transvaal, namely Mesdames Bell, Hoggard, Peacock, Popham and Roseveare, and Messrs. Aronson, Bell and Peacock. Mr. Aronson was transferred overseas shortly after the forming of the club but the other members built the organization into a fine group of fanciers.
Mrs. Pcacock remembers the days when only 3 or 4 Dals would be entered at a show. The British Dalmatian Club offered a silver spoon to be awarded to the first Dal to win Best of Breed over an entry of at least six dogs. After a four year struggle, the target number was reached and the spoon was awarded to Mrs. Peacock’s Ch. Judith of Yumbani.
The Club held its first specialty show in October 1976. It was judged by Captain E. E. Adams, a Boxer breeder and a judge of a number of breeds under the Kennel Union of South Africa aegis. Chairman of the specialty show was C. E. McDonald. Serving with him were Mrs. McCallum, Mrs. J. Davies, Mrs. S. McDonald, and Miss McCallum, Mr. E. Davies, and Miss J. Maltman.
The Southern Cross group were originally an off-shoot of the Dalmatian Club but whatever caused the divergence has been lost in the limbos of the past. Now the membership of the two groups overlaps and each club supports the efforts of the other.
At the Goldtield’s Kennel Club Show in 1977, there were nearly sixty Dalmatians entered and the two clubs banded together to host a delightful dinner party for the American judges at that show.
Dalmatians in Canada
Although the membership of the Dalmatian Club of Canada is not large numerically it is large in enthusiasm all the way across the Dominion. The Club publishes a monthly newsletter, realist-animals and is in the process of preparing a hook on the breed.
Founded in 1966, the organization has held two specialty shows, one in 1978 and the other in 1979. The first was judged by the late Joseph Faigel, an American all-rounder. The second assignment was handled by Mrs. Phyllis M. Piper Kent England. Mrs. Piper is widely known for her Greenmount Dalmatians.
The Club has published an informational booklet on the breed and the dub with a cleverly arranged title. All the As in the word Dalmatian have been dropped to the line below to emphasize its correct spelling. The spots decorating the cover am in two fields, one liver and one black, emphasizing the two possible colors of the breed.
The booklet mentions Catherine Blink°, Jean Hallett. Hannah Pentland. Joan Pollard, Don Simpson. Vivian Sterne and Joan Waterfield as staunch supporters of the Club. We would add to that list of distinguished people John and Monica Brooks. Jackie Hastings and Linda Cyopik.
Dalmatian Club of Canada members is well acquainted with many members of DCA as so many of our members exhibit in Canada and so many Canadians exhibit in the States. There is a feeling of mutual respect.
Dalmatians in Luxembourg
Although the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in area, the Luxembourg Dalmatian Club is not. It is a very active group” of people working hard to promote Dalmatian all over Europe. The guiding light of the group is Barbara Kacens who act as the secretary and the responsible” editor of the Sported. News monthly publication sent out by this club. It contains information from all over the world concerning the breed and lists the coming shows and the results of important ones.
This club is in the process of publishing Dalmatians in the World. an informational book concerning all the clubs and countries in which there is any activity in Dalmatians. The Club has also published a Dalmatian Handbook for 1978.
The Dalmatian Club, however has submitted a different standard which is being discussed by a committee of FCI. The Mexican Kennel Club has accepted the standard and is championing the cause of the Dal Club with the FCI. The former president of FCI is Mrs. Thelma Von Thaden who is also a past president of the Mexican Kennel Club. She is still the representative of Asociacion Canofila A.C. to Federation Cynologyquc Internationale. It is hoped that she will be able to help in this matter.