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How To Train A Dalmatian At Home | Complete Dalmatians Puppy Training Guide



The Dalmation has had the knack of improving without changing. While he has lost the opportunity and joy of running with the carriage, the coach and four, the tally-ho and the fire engines, he still has the desire. He is still built to run hard for long distances. He may be the only true coach dog.

At any rate he is the only dog that was traditionally bred and trained to run with the horse-drawn vehicles. When he has the chance he is still delighted to go with the horses. He may hock with a mounted horse, lead or follow a vehicle, or run under an axle. Historically, he is under the front axle, the closer to the horses’ heels, the better.

Traning has been the Dal’s accepted role for more than three hundred years. In his Dogs in Britain (1948) Clifford Hubbard says, “Not until about 1665 does any evidence appear of it being used in its now traditional role of coach-dog. By 1670 it was certainly used in France as an accessory to travel by coach, and was invaluable as a guard against highwaymen.” That the Dalmatian considers guarding his owner’s property part of the job of coaching is made clear in Major T. J. Woodcock’s article in 1891.

“A good Coach Dog has often saved his owner much valuable property by watching the carriage. It is a trick of thieves who work in pairs for one to engage the coachman in conversation while the other sneaks around in the rear and steals whatever robes and other valuables he can lay his hands on. I never lost an article while the dogs were in charge, but was continually losing when the coachman was in charge.”

A research team from Harvard University in 1940 found that the tendency to run under a vehicle or to follow a horse was inherited but that it differed from dog to dog as to the exact position preferred if the dog had a choice. In their study of the inheritance of position preference in coach dogs, Clyde E. Keeler and Harry C. Trimble worked with a large kennel of Dalmatians which for more than 25 years had trained Dais to follow horses and run undercarriages.

They reported, “This training usually began shortly after the dogs were six months old. In the beginning, a pup would be taken out with its collar fastened to that of a trained dog and the pair led behind the carriage at gradually increased rates of speed. In most instances, the leash could be omitted in a short time and the neophytes then were permitted to seek the particular position which suited them best.

It has been observed through-out this long period that dogs did have individual preferences for particular positions and that they always sought those same places. ‘Dogs of the Dalmatian breed have definite differences with respect to the eagerness with which they follow horses and carriages. Since approximately 70 percent of the animals tested chose those positions which entitled them to be rated as ‘good’ coaching dogs, it is evident that this trait is well entrenched in the breed.

How To Train A Dalmatian Puppy At Home ?

Woodcock also tells us, “In training for the carriage, it is usually found necessary to tie a young dog in the proper position on dalmatian puppy training, under the fore axles, for seven or eight drives before he will go as required. Some bright puppies, however, require little or no training, especially if they can be allowed to run with an old dog that is already trained.”

“Two of the dogs in the colony which was classed as failures from the coaching standpoint were also described as ‘man-shy.’ This description suggests the possibility of some relationship between natural timidity and poor coaching ability.” The study reached three conclusions.

First, Dalmatian dogs trained for running beneath carriages have individual preferences for the distance behind the horses. Second. something connected with these preferences appears to be inherited. Third, it is possible that the “bad” coach following may be an expression of general timidity for better understand of this breed you can check the Origin of dalmatians full information.

The last maybe one of the reasons shyness is considered a major fault in the Dalmatian standard. In “Teaching a Dalmatian to ‘Coach’ “, an article in Country Life in America (1911), Eleanor Walton Yates quotes a DCA member who has driven with Dalmatians both here and in England.

He says “Hind the most practical, as well as the best English custom, is for the dog or dogs to run directly under the front axle near the horses, but always clear of the horses’ heels. Running between two horses and under the pole, the dog takes many chances and does not look as well as under the axle, when the trap is high enough to allow it. The dog must follow the pace of the horse and stick there.

Training Dalmatians Dog

  • SIT
  • DOWN
  • STAY

He must stay under  until his master or the groom alights unless he is trained to jump in the trap and keep watch over the robes, whip, etc.” The article continues, “Mr. J. Sergeant Price, the pioneer of the training dalmation puppies interest in this country, gives about the same version and he has used these dogs under single, double, and four-in-hand traps.

“In judging, dogs are allowed 75 points for the ability to keep with the trap, 25 points counting toward their trueness to standard. “Running underneath the vehicle, or ‘coaching’ as it is called, seems to be a characteristic formed by heredity in a Dalmatian, as most of them take to this place themselves.

Even puppies when only a few months old will go under the trap with little training and being kept with the horses all the time and going with the team, will soon find their way up behind the horses heels where one would think it impossible that the horses would not strike them on the head with their hoof every step they take.

Dalmatians Training Ability

They delight to go fast faster the pace the better they seem to enjoy it. While most Dalmatians take to coaching themselves, others are like black sheep in a flock and will never learn.”  One of the rules compiled by the DCA Road Trial Committee of 1912 stated, • ‘That a four-wheel, one-horse trap should be used and that the dog should travel with her shoulders under the front axle.”

This was an interesting development since pictures of the results of 1910 and 1911 road trials show Dalmatians running under a two-horse single axle trap. At the close of World War II people were anxious to resume their normal activities and these included dog shows.

However, the clubs which sponsored the shows were not all ready to rush into the business of giving shows and so there were not quite as many for the first several years of peace. They were hard to get to, many people have dalmatian puppy training disposed of their automobiles, and it was an expensive hobby just at first, comparatively speaking.

Some Dal fanciers wanted to get back in the swim of competition and so revived the Road Trials which had been held in the past using driving horses and vehicles for the dogs to coach with. Now the trials were planned without vehicles. Mrs. Alfred Barrett and Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Reeves revived the sport in the New England area. Mr. Reeves rewrote the road trial rules to be used on horseback instead of in a riding vehicle and the trials were held.

Mr. and Mrs. Meistrell held a Road Trial on Long Island. While both trials seemed to be most successful they were not continued probably because of the great expense. Conditioning of the dogs and horses was time-consuming and expensive for the exhibitor who either had to hire a horse at hourly rates for training and on the day of the show or transport his own mount to the show site and condition both horse and dog for the trial.

In order to have a successful trial the judges and the stewards needed two horses each since they were riding thirty miles in following the exhibitors and moving along at a brisk pace most of the way. At the trial on Long Island. held at Rice Farms in Huntington, the course was ten miles, circular.

Starting and finishing at Rice Farms polo field foot judge checked dogs at the start and finish, a mounted judge and steward rode along with each entrant. These last two alternated so that the horses could be rested in between. Along the course were signs marked with the pace at which the rider was to go.

The requirements included the walk, trot, canter, hand gallop, with the dogs off the lead. at the horses’ heels throughout. The course went through sections of wood, high grass. open fields, across the main highway. The cost of the horses, the rental of a van to transport the horses, various and sundry other expenses was borne by the Great Neck Dog Training Center. No entry fee was charged at this trial as it was an experiment.

Many people today talk about reviving road trials. Mrs. Barrett points out that it is almost impossible to find an area for this activity which doesn’t cross many roads and which, then, would require numerous stewards to watch for the normal automobile traffic on these roads and so direct the dogs and riders.

The cost becomes prohibitive. Anyone wishing to try these trials can get all sorts of advice from Mrs. Barrett and Mrs. Meistrell, both well-experienced in riding and in training dalmatians. The Road Trials in New England following the war were conducted along lines which had been set before the outbreak of hostilities. These road trials were designed to award points and a Road Trial Championship of Record would be awarded to a dog which acquired 10 points. The championship stakes would count whether the stakes were open or member stakes. The distance of the trials was set for

1 Day – 2-mile puppy trial
2 Day – 3-mile trial
3 Day – 5-mile all age trial

There were two judges on foot and one mounted judge. The mounted judge started riding with the first handler. Handlers were staggered at 10-minute intervals. The mounted judge rode for about ten minutes with each handler. The foot judges were posted at the most difficult sections on the trial so they could observe the dogs under the hardest working conditions. When

The last dog passed the unmounted judges they were picked up by automobile and taken ahead to another point of the trail where the first handler was about to pass. Much of the outline of the road trial rules were based on foxhound trials and information was available from a prominent MFH in the area. The trials were run in Dover, MA, one time but abandoned because of the obvious disadvantages outlined before. We can always hope that some brave soul will revive the road trials and manage to overcome the obstacles of space, traffic, and expense.

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