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The Dalmatian standard

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Publicist Angel Neychev   
Thursday, 30 November 2006
Toot's Zee Devil
Toot's Zee Devil
It never stops to surprise me!  How is it that almost any dalmatian can get a top price at a show, and even a title as time goes by?
It is hard to believe that the breed has a standard and you doubt whether the judges have bothered to read it.
I do accept that we can prefer different types of dalmatians, but even so the standard tells you that the dogs should give you an overall impression of harmony (well balanced). This seems to be totally lacking in some specimens. They have over angulated hind quarters while  no angulations  in front, or heavy fronts with weak hindquarters. They do not have a strong and level back, apart from when they are nicely arranged, standing still in front of the judge .Movements so important in a dalmatian  are very often given less importance than it should.  And most important of all, they do not have  the rectangular look of 10:9=length:hight
Everybody believes that I only accept the strongly built dalmatian.This is not true, but I very rarely see a slender type with the right proportions ,with all four feet planted firmly on the ground ,and with a strong and effortless stride, during which they do not loose their harmonious looks by curving their backs and carrying their tails too high
It does not matter if a private owner gets a prize or two for a dog that is far from being  according to the standard. It is much more serious when a well known breeder shows  dogs that do not comply with this. Some breeders show their dogs almost every week end, and very often their dogs are among the topwinning dalmatians, whether the dogs deserve it or not .These breeders should feel a great responsibility towards the breed, and only show dogs of good quality. But what do many of them do?
They will enter the ring with any dog as long as it is bred at their own kennel ,and in this way not only confuse the judges, but also the new breeders. I have voiced these opinions many times to experienced breeders, and so have earned the reputation for being envious of their great success in the shows.
Honestly my concern is the breed!
How can the newcomers and future breeders get a picture of a good dalmatian  when so many dogs of poor quality are taken into the ring by top winning breeders?
These breeders have a great love for competitions and  many of their dogs are of the highest quality ,so why not stick to showing these, and leave those of poor quality to be shown by their owners, if these are indeed interested in showing them? I trust an experienced breeder to know the difference between a quality dog and one lacking in type.
This problem is growing worse and worse in our country as our club arranges lots of so called “top winning lists.” Here you get points for every new dog introduced in the ring, if the dogs earns ONE C.K .which most of them do for one judge or another. This results in breeders fetching their homebred dogs from near and far to show them in the ring, and hopefully, sooner or later gain a C.K. to earn a few more points on the clubs  top winning list.  Then we have the top winning individuals given points according to their six best placings.
Finally the kennel`s breeding classes(4 dogs from  the same kennel) also earn points if they get a good critic, and most judges give them just that, often being completely ignorant of which qualities to look for in such a class, as they come from countries where this competition does not exist.
I am afraid that all these competitions are here to stay as so many top breeders enjoy them. Therefore I implore you to read the standard over and over again, giving you knowledge as to what to look for  when you see a dalmatian in the ring ,asking yourself if  this dog is according to the standard or not ,when it comes to important issues like overall impression and harmony and, not to forget ,strong and way winning movements.
I have long ago understood that many judges cannot be trusted to see the best dalmatian in the ring, and when well known breeders take advantage of this fact and shows dogs of poor quality, the result is to say the least, very confusing.
I am not the one you should trust when it comes to judging dalmatians.The standard should be your only guideline .You will never find a dalmatian that is 100% correct according to the standard, but you will at least get a picture in your head about which qualities such a dog should possess ,and so get less confused when you are watching the placings some judges make in the show ring.
If you want to start breeding dalmatians ,or have only had a litter or two I offer you the following advise
Form your own opinion as to which dogs you find most correct in accordance to the breed standard, and forget show placings and  the opinions of more experienced breeders. The latter often being prone to recommend  their own dogs ,and not taking into consideration which dog will be the best dog for your bitch.
Without forming you own opinion about which qualities goes to make a  good dalmatian, you  will  keep on being confused as to which dog to choose for your breeding and consequently have little success as a breeder.

Обновено на ( Wednesday, 30 May 2007 )


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