The new FCI Dalmatian Standard published 13.10.2010:

Download The Standard

The old standard before 2010:

FCI-Standard No. 153

Translation: A.J.E. Beekes and Mrs. R. Binder

Origin: Dalmatia, Croatian Republic

Patronage: FCI

Utilization: Companion dog, family dog, suitable to be trained for various purposes.

Classification FCI: Group 6 Scent hounds and related breeds

Section 3 Related breeds

Without working trial

Short historical summary
The origin of the Dalmatian dog is still obscure and rests solely on suppositions. From depictions discovered in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs and corresponding to paintings from the 16th to the 18th century, it may be surmised that the Dalmatian has been in existence for some thousands of years. Church chronicles from the 14th century and from the year 1719 provide serious grounds for concluding that the breed originated in the Mediterranean region and especially in the neighborhood of the Dalmatian coast. The earliest indications are to be found in pictures by Italian painters of the 16th century and in a fresco in Zaostrog (Dalmatia) that can be dated approximately in the year 1710. A work of Thomas Bewick, published in 1792, contains a description and a drawing of the Dalmatian, which Bewick refers to as "the Dalmatian or Coach Dog". The first Dalmatian standard was drawn up in the year1882 by an Englishman named Vero Shaw. This standard was then incorporated in an official standard in 1890.

General appearance
The Dalmatian is a well balanced, distinctively spotted, strong, muscular and active dog. Symmetrical in outline, free from coarseness and lumber, and as a former "coach dog" capable of great endurance at a fair turn of speed.

Important proportions
Length of the body: height at the withers = 10:9
Length of skull: length of muzzle = 1:1

Outgoing and friendly, not shy or hesitant, free from nervousness and aggression.

Of fair length.

Cranial Region

Skull: Flat, fairly broad between the ears, temporal part well defined. Slight frontal furrow. Entirely free from wrinkle.

Stop: Moderately accentuated.

Facial region
Nose: Nose leather in the black spotted variety always black, in the liver spotted variety always brown.

Muzzle: Long, powerful, never snippy. Nasal bridge straight and parallel to the upper outline of the skull.

Lips: Clean, fitting the jaw closely, not pendulous. A complete pigmentation is desired.

Jaws/Teeth: Jaws strong with a perfect and regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Desirable is a complete set of 42 teeth (in accordance with the teeth formula). The teeth are well proportioned and white.

Eyes: Set moderately well apart, medium size, round, bright and sparkling with an intelligent and alert expression. Color dark brown in black spotted, light brown to amber in liver spotted dogs. Eye rims completely black in the black spotted, and completely liver brown in the liver spotted dogs. Eyelid close to the eyeball.

Ears: Set on rather high, moderate size, rather wide at base. Carried close to the head, gradually tapering to rounded point. Fine in texture, marking well broken up, preferably spotted.

Moderately long, nicely arched, tapering to the head, free from throatiness.

Withers: Well defined.

Back: Powerful, level.

Loins: Clean, muscular and slightly arched.

Croup: Very slightly sloping.

Chest: Not too broad, but deep and capacious. Brisket should reach to elbows. Fore chest well visible in profile. Ribs well proportioned, long, nicely sprung, never flat, barrel-shaped or malformed.

Flanks: Narrow.

Lower line: Belly tucked up towards the loin.

Reaching approximately to the hock. Strong at the base, tapering evenly towards the tip; free from coarseness. Inserted neither too low nor too high. At rest carried pendent with a slightly upward curve in the last third of the tail. When moving carried higher slightly above the topline, but never upright (gay) or curled. Preferably spotted.


perfectly straight, with strong round bone down to feet.

Shoulders: Moderately oblique, clean and muscular.

Elbows: Close to the body, neither turned in nor out.

Pastern joint: Strong, with slight spring.

Rounded, muscular, clean. Viewed from the rear hind legs vertical and parallel.

Stifle: Well bent.

Lower thigh: Strong.

Hock joint: Strong, well bent.

Feet: Round, compact with well arched toes (cat feet). Pads round, tough and elastic. Nails black or white in black spotted variety; in liver spotted brown or white.


Great freedom of movement. Smooth, powerful rhythmic action with long stride and good drive from hindquarters; viewed from the rear legs moving parallel, hind legs tracking the fore. A short stride and paddling action are incorrect.


Hair: Short, hard, dense, sleek and glossy.

Color: Ground color pure white. Black spotted variety with black spots, liver spotted variety with brown spots; not running together but round, well defined and as well distributed as possible. Size 2-3 cm in diameter. Spots on the head, tail and extremities smaller than those on the body.


Size and weight
Overall balance of prime importance.

Height at the withers for dogs 56-61 cm.

Height at the withers for bitches 54-59 cm.

Weight for dogs approximately 27-32 kg.

Weight for bitches approximately 24-29 kg.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Bronzing (transitory bronze-like discoloration of the black spots)

Eliminating faults
Definitely over- or undershot mouth
Ectropion, entropion; wall eye, eyes of different color (heterochromia).
Blue eyes.
Limited patching around eyes (monocle) or elsewhere.
Tricolor (black and brown spots on the same dog)
Lemon (lemon or orange spots).
Very timid or aggressive behavior.

NB: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

In order to reduce the incidence of deafness in Dalmatians (20-30%)
Bilaterally deaf Dalmatians and blue-eyed Dalmatians should be discarded from breeding, ideally unilaterally deaf dogs likewise.
Dogs with limited patching around eyes (monocle) or elsewhere
 should be accepted for breeding.
Dogs with pigmented scrotum should be preferred.


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