The Dalmation Dog Ancestry History and Development (1927) however, says it appears to me to be more of a Great Dane and a mastiff cross than the famed carriage dog. It is significant that this type of dog is rarely if ever shown in a hunting scene, suggesting that its main function was the guarding of property. Spotted dogs were known and remarked upon in classical times, for mention is made of them by Greek and Roman authors, but unfortunately with insufficient detail to allow us to feel with any certainty that the dog mentioned as spotted was a Dalmatian.
The discovery of a model of a dog of the period of Grecian history shows that at that time, 1600 years BC a dog with round black spots had been noticed or as desired. This model, in terra-cotta, has upright ears, the body is white, marked with black spots, and to some extent conforming with the standard description of the Dalmatian.
Ancestry Of Dalmatians
1253 A report of a Dutch visit to Dalmatia describes dogs found there. It does not mention color or suggests a spotted dog.
1480 There is no mention of a spotted dog in Dame Julliana Berners’ The Boke of St. Albans. 1560 “Recently (so fond are we all now of novelties), a new variety has been imported from France all white, with black spots; this is called the Gallican.” Dr. Johannes Caius, (Edward IV’s physician) De Canis Briton-nicus Libellus. This Latin treatise may be the first mention in print of a breed of spotted dogs.
1576 “There is also at this day among us a new kinde of dog brought out of France (for we Englishmen are marvelous greedy gaping gluttons after novelties and covetous cormorants of things that be seldome, rare, strange and hard to get). And they bespeckled all over with white marble blew, which beautifies their skins and afforded a seemly show of corn-linesse. These are called French dogs as is above declared already.” Of English Dogges translated from De Canis Britannicus Libellus by Abraham Fleming, a student. Fleming’s additions which may be inaccurate, certainly confuse and suggest a roan spaniel or a Belton setter. We do not know whether he actually saw a Gallican or was paid by the word like a scrivener and let his imagination have full play.
1587 Historiae Animalium assembled by Conrad Gesner included Dr. Caius’ description of British dogs along with the sentence on the Gallican.
1607 “In Italy they take the account of the spotted one, especially white and yellow for they are quicker nosed.” Edward Topsell, The Historic of Fourfooted Beasties
1637 Aldrovandus, an Italian naturalist, captions an illustration, “A sagacious spotted dog for taking quail.” Ash translates this differently, “Spotted sporting dog trained to catch game with English dog plant.”
1649-1660 Anti-papal tracts and leaflets in the British Museum published during the Cromwell period utilized spotted dogs as a symbol of Roman rule.
1772 A Dalmatian figure captioned “The Harrier of Bengal” in Natural History, Count de Buffon (translated from French by Barr) may be first printed use of this term in the English language.
1780 “The hound, the harrier the turnspit, the water-dog and even the spaniel, may be regarded as one dog. Their figure and instincts are nearly the same and they differ only in the length of their legs, and the size of their ears, which, however, in all of them are long, soft and pendulous. These dogs are natives of France; and I am uncertain whether the Dalmatian dog, or, as it is called, the harrier of Bengal, ought to be disjoined from them; for it differs from our harrier only in color.
I am convinced that this dog is not an original native of Bengal, or of any other part of India and that it is not, as has been pretended, the Indian dog mentioned by the ancients, and said to have been produced between a dog and a tiger for it has been known in Italy above 170 years ago, and not considered as a dog brought from India, but as a common Harrier.” Count de Buffon, Natural History, General and Particular, Vol. IV. Translated from French and published in Scotland. Maybe the first printed use in English of the term Dalmatian to designate a breed of dogs.
1780 Riedel shows a spotted dog marked English.
1790 “The Dalmatian, or coach dog has been erroneously called the Danish Dog, and, by Mr. Buffon, the Harrier of Bengal; but for what reason it is difficult to ascertain, as its incapacity for scenting is sufficient to destroy all affinity to any dog employed in pursuit of the hare.” Thomas Bewick, A General History of Quadrupeds. Possibly this was the first use of the term “Dalmatian” by a British writer to designate the breed. Bewick goes on to say, “It is very common in the country at present and is frequently kept in genteel houses, as an elegant attendant on a carriage, to which its attention seems to be solely directed. We do not, however, admire the cruel practice of depriving the poor animal of its ears, in order to increase its beauty.”
1800-1803 “The common Coach Dog is a humble attendant of the servants and horses.” Syndenham Edwards, Cynographia Britannica.
1804 “This particular race, of which so exact and beautiful a representation has been produced by the conjunctive efforts of the artists concerned, are by the earliest, and most respected writers, said to have been
originally natives of Dalmatia, a district in European Turkey, bounded on the west by the Gulf of Venice and from whence it is presumed, the breed was formerly transported to those countries, whereby their prolific increase, they are now more universally known. Numerous as they become, and truly ornamental as they prove in the department to which they are so fashionably appropriate, less has been said upon their origin and introduction than upon any other distinct breed of the canine race. ” William Taplin, The Sportsman’s Cabinet.
1820 “However he may have originated, he appears first to have been noticed in Dalmatia, a province of European Turkey, thence to have spread through Italy and the Southern parts, over most of the Continent of Europe, being generally esteemed a hound or hunting dog, notwithstanding his very universal different destination.” John Scott, The Sportsman’s Repository.
1829 “This dog has been erroneously called the Danish Dog by some authors, and Buffon and some other naturalists imagine him to be the Harrier of Bengal; but his native country is Dalmatia, a mountainous district of European Turkey. He has been domesticated in Italy for upwards of two centuries, and is the common Harrier of that Country.” Captain Thomas Brown, Biographical Sketches and Authentic Anecdotes of Dogs.
1837 “Showy and interesting as it is, little that is interesting can be said.” Thomas Bell, A History of British Quadrepeds. Pictured with a closed landaulette complete with Coachman.
1839-1840 Colonel Hamilton Smith commented on the possibility that the coach dog was derived from an Indian breed “with a white fur marked with black spots, small half-dejected ears and a Greyhound-like form.” A print from India is in his notes in Naturalists’ Library, Volume 10, Mammalia, edited by Sir William Jardine. It is captioned “The Parent of the Modern Coach Dog.” Another illustration, called “Dalmatian or Coach Dog,” is patched and carries its tail curved over the back.
1847 “The difference between these two breeds (The Great Danish Dog called also the Dalmatian or Spotted Dog) consists principally in size, the Dalmatian being much smaller than the Danish. The body is generally white marked with small round black or reddish-brown spots.
The Dalmatian is said to be used in his native country for the chance to be easily broken and stanch to his work. He has never been thus employed in England but is clearly distinguished by his fondness for horses and as being a frequent attendant on the carriages of the wealthy. To that office seems to be confined, for it rarely develops sufficient sense or sagacity to be useful in any of the ordinary offices of the dog.
1891 “The Dalmatian, or Coach Dog, came from the Province of Dalmatia, in the southern part of Austria, bordering on the northeast shore of the Adriatic Sea, and from this province it derives its name. It is known in France as the ‘Braque de Bengale,’ and is there supposed to be an Indian variety.” Major T. J. Woodcock, The American Book of the Dog (Edited by G. 0. Shields (“Coquina”).
1894 “There is little doubt that our modern ‘coach dog’ originally sprang from Dalmatia, a province in the southern part of Austria, hence his name, but from there he might have gone over to Spain, or perhaps, in the first instance some Spaniard might have sent him out to Dalmatia, where the enterprising inhabitants soon claimed him as their own. However it does not matter much what country first gave him birth.” Rawdon B. Lee, A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland (Non-Sporting Division).
1897 “Records of the sixteenth century describe such a dog as belonging to Spain. The latest authentic trace is to Denmark, where it was used for drawing carts.
1901 “probably indigenous to Dalmatia, a province of Austria, but records of the XVI century describe such a dog as belonging to Spain. The latest authentic trace is to Denmark, where it is used for drawing carts. It very much resembles the pointer in form.” H. W. Huntington, The Show Dog.
1903 “The origin of the Dalmatian is not quite as obscure as that of many other breeds. There appears to be no valid reason to reject the origin suggested by his name, and, with no arguments against it that bear investigation, and suggestions to the contrary appearing to be mere fancies unsupported by proof, it is reasonable to assume that he is a native of Dalmatia, on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Venice, where, we have been assured, by some of the older writers on dogs, this variety has been domesticated for at least two hundred years.” C. H. Lane, British Dogs (Edited by W. D. Drury).
1904 “As to the dog’s origin there seems to be no precise data or information, but there is little or no doubt that he comes from Dalmatia, on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Venice.” Theo Marples, Show Dogs.
1904 “A good deal of uncertainty as to the origin shrouds the undoubted antiquity of the Dalmatian dog. It has had attached to it in different countries and at different times such irreconcilable localization as the Danish dog and the Bengal Harrier! Buffon presumed it to be an offshoot of the French Matin, transported to the northern latitude of Denmark; Dalziel thinks it reasonable to assume its native home was Dalmatia, on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Venice Having thus drawn the track of the Dalmatian across