FCI-Standard N° 153
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID STANDARD: 13.10.2010.
UTILIZATION: Hunting dog. Companion dog, family dog, suitable to be trained for various purposes.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds
Section 3 Related breeds.
Without working trials.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The origin of the Dalmatian
dog can be recognized in paintings and in church chronicles from the
16th to the 18th century. Dalmatians can be found on the altar
painting “Madonna with Jesus and Angels” in the church “Gospa od
andjela” in the town Veli Losinj, island Losinj in Croatia dating back
to 1600 – 1630 and also in a fresco in Zaostrog, Dalmatia, Croatia. It
suggests that the Dalmatian originates from the eastern
Mediterranean region, in particular the historic province Dalmatia.
The first descriptions of the Dalmatian were found in the diocese
Djakovo, in the Croatia, namely in the church chronicles of the
Bishop Petar Bakic from the year 1719 and the church chronicles of
Andreas Keczkemety from the year 1737. The dog was named with
the Latin name “Canis Dalmaticus” and the height of the dog
described with 4-5 “Spithamus”. Thomas Pennant described this
breed in his work “Synopsis of Quadrupeds” in the year 1771 as
very independent, named it “Dalmatian” and wrote the origin of this
breed to be Dalmatia. A work by Thomas Bewick, published in
1790, refers to this breed as “Dalmatian or Coach Dog”. The first
unofficial Dalmatian Standard was written by an Englishman named
Vero Shaw in the year 1882.
After the formation of the Dalmatian Club in England in the year
1890 this standard was transferred to the first official breed standard The FCI published the first Dalmatian standard on the 7th of April
1955 under the name of “Dalmatian Huntingdog”.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Mesocephalic. Head prismatic form
with hanging ears. The body is rectangular, strong, muscled and
distinctively spotted. The movement must be elegant. The sexual
difference must be visible.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: Length of the body: height at the
withers = 10 : 9. The height at the elbow joint: 50% of the height at
the withers. The height the hocks: 20-25% of the height at the
withers. Length of head: around 40% of the height at the withers.
Length of skull : length of muzzle = 1 : 1.
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT: Pleasant temperament,
friendly, not shy or hesitant, free from nervousness and aggression.
Lively kind, loyal, independent and easy to train. The Dalmatian
likes water and outdoor activities. It has a marked hound instinct.
HEAD: The head must be in proportion and harmony with the rest
of the body and not too wide in the skull area. The length from the
occipital protuberance to the stop and from the stop to the tip of the
nose equals 1:1, or the muzzle is slightly shorter. The upper line of
the skull and the upper line of the muzzle are slightly divergent. The
masseter muscle and the cheek bone must not be too developed. The
head must be entirely free from wrinkle.
- Skull: Flat, with a slight lateral rounding. Broadest between the ears
and well defined temples. Slight frontal furrow.
- Stop: Moderately defined.
- Nose: Large with wide open nostrils, it must be completely
pigmented. The colour must be in accordance to the colour of the
Muzzle: Well developed & strong jawbone, nasal bridge straight.
- Lips: Strong, must fit the jaw rather closely and not be pendulous, or
too thick; without the corner of the mouth too defined. A complete
pigmentation is desired.
- Jaws / Teeth: Scissor bite, i.e. the upper 6 incisors closely
overlapping the lower teeth, with all teeth set square to the jaw. A
complete set of teeth (42 teeth) is desired (in accordance with the
teeth formula). The teeth are evenly formed and white. A pincer bite
is tolerated in older dogs.
- Eyes: Oval, in a sub-frontal position placed at an angle of 10-15˚.
The eye colour is in accordance with the spotting. Eyelids are close
to the eyeball and not loose. Eye rims are completely pigmented in
accordance with the coat colour.
- Ears: Set on rather high, carried close to the lateral part of the head.
The length reaches to the inner corner of the eye or to the stop. The
tip is slightly rounded. The ears have the shape of an isosceles
triangle. They are fine in texture and soft to the touch. It is very
important that the ears are spotted, i.e. the ears must not be
completely black or brown but black or brown spotted etc. with the
spotting in accordance with the colour variety on the white base.
NECK: The neck should be strong and fairly long, tapering towards
the head and free from throatiness.
BODY: Rectangular, proportions of length of body to the height at
the withers is 10: 9.
- Withers: Well defined.
- Back: Powerful, level.
Loin: Short and muscular.
- Croup: Muscular, inclined less than 30°.
- Chest: Deep and capacious, not too broad or barrel-shaped. The
depth of the chest should be 45-50% of the height to the withers. The
height of the elbow is 50% of the height to the withers. The ribs are
Underline and belly: The belly is moderately tucked up but not
TAIL: Set on at the extension of the croup. Reaching approximately
to the hock or slightly longer. Strong at the base evenly tapering
towards the tip, not too thick but in proportion to the body. Carried
sabre-shaped. Preferably spotted.
- General appearance: The forelegs must be in proportion to the
- Shoulder: The shoulder angle is around 115-120˚
- Elbow: Close to the body.
- Forearm: The bones are developed in proportion to the body and
strong (round), forequarters placed straight and legs standing
- Metacarpus (Pastern): Strong, slightly sloping with a spring.
- Forefeet: The toes are compact, so called cat feet are typical. Pads
are tough and elastic. The nails should preferably be pigmented.
- General appearance: In proportion to the body. With strong well
developed muscles. Hindlegs are parallel.
- Thigh: Muscular and strong.
- Stifle (Knee): Strong and well developed. The stifle has an angle of
40 degree to the horizontal line.
- Hock joint: Strong.
- Metatarsus (Rear pasterns): The length of the hocks is around 20-
25% of the height to the withers. The angle of the hock is around
- Hind feet: The toes are compact, so called cat feet are typical. Pads
are tough and elastic. The nails should preferably be pigmented.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: Rhythmic action, elegant and smooth
movement. Stride and trot long with good reach and strong drive.
Viewed from the front the legs are parallel.
- Hair: Short, shiny, hard and dense all over the body.
- Colour: The ground colour is pure white. Black spotted variety with
black spots, liver spotted variety with brown spots. The spots should
be symmetrically placed all over the body, clearly defined and
without intermingling into the white ground colour. The size of the
spots should preferably be even, with a size of 2 – 3 cm in diameter.
In the brown variety the spots are a little smaller, around 2 cm. The
spots on the head and on the legs should be proportional smaller than
on the rest of the body. It is desirable the tail is spotted too, with
spots also proportional smaller that those on the body. Splashes on
the body are not desirable and should be penalised. The spots must
not intermingle, i.e. forming large patches. Patches and coloured
areas are not desirable. The spots on the ears should be especially
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
- Height at the withers: Males 56 – 62 cms. Females 54 – 60 cms.
Dogs with excellent type and balance should not be penalised if
above the upper limit.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a
fault and the seriousness with which fault should be regarded should
be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and
welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.
- Aggressive or overly shy.
- Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities
shall be disqualified.
- Converging head line.
- The lack of more than 6 premolars, the lack of M3 is not noted
and will not be considered as a fault.
- Entropion, ectropion, wall eye, eyes of different colours
- eyes, partially blue coloured iris.
- Lack of nose pigment.
- Curled tail.
- Monocle (patching around one or both eyes) or patching
- Tricolour (black and brown spots on the same dog), brindle
coloured spots, lemon coloured spots, orange coloured spots,
blue spots and pure white colour without spots.
- Wirehaired or longhaired
- Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
- Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation should be used for breeding.