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Friday, August 21, 2009

Myth: Dalmatians Aren't Good With Kids...

I've had three Dalmatians so far in my life-time and have been asked all kinds of questions about the breed.

My three top favorites:
  1. After asking what type of dog I have and being informed I have Dalmatians, Border Collies & Labs, the general public will almost ALWAYS say "Dalmatians...I heard they're hyper..." My usual response is "Have you SEEN a Border Collie???" Disclaimer: BC's BEG to work whereas Dalmatians make great couch potatoes.
  2. "I heard Dalmatians aren't good with kids..." To which I nicely explain that just like humans, if you're not used to kids, they can be overwhelming. With that said, after shooting the first picture in today's blog, I can share that Rouge does not look the least bit overwhelmed by her new found playmate. This adorable young lady came up to play with Rouge and they immediately hit it off. Isn't that a wonderful shot?
  3. Now this is my personal favorite. Rouge is a liver (brown) spotted Dalmatian. I've been asked no less than two dozen times "When will her spots turn black?" Now if you're not into the breed, believing there are only black spotted Dals is a fact so I've had to turn this little surprise question into a very brief education on the hidden gem in the Dal color world.
Onto another topic...

Today was Day 1 of the Puget Sound Dalmatian Club Specialty.

Conformation is a bit of a blessing and a curse for me. A blessing because without it, we'd have garbage structure in the Dalmatian breed. It's a curse because they tend to like their dogs heavier in weight and larger boned.

The preferences in the breed ring are NOT in line with the trim and athletic dog that I personally prefer to keep. The challenge then becomes that each time Rouge goes in the ring, she looks like a tiny, tiny girl. To also make matters a tad bit more difficult, she was the only Dalmatian with chiseled muscle tone showing.

The Dal height range is 19-24" at the withers and Rouge stands around 20.25 - 20.50 which is over an inch into the standard. However, the dogs that often win are topping the range and coming in at the 24" marker. Now don't get me wrong, they are beautiful dogs who are worthy of their winnings and titles, I'm just saying it's a challenge that we will continue to face in the breed ring.

In response, I'm going to have to eventually plump up my girl as she matures so she looks more substantial. On the bright side, she is an incredible mover and can free-stack like a champ, as seen in the second picture. For the record, I was hiding behind a chair wwwaaaayyyy at the other end of the ring and using a very nice telephoto lens to get this shot.

Gotta love technology!

1 comment:

  1. Darn -- I reckon there's about a 30Lb delta between USA labrador "show weight" and "agility weight". No can do -- we gave up conformation and did agility... !! ;-)

    On the bright side, agility indeed preserves the best in working breeds -- structure, temperament and health... Plus fun pictures to capture your dog's enthusiasm!!