Breed of dog named after the Adriatic coastal region of Dalmatia, its first definite home. The time and place of the breed's origin are unknown. Though it has served as a guard dog, war dog, fire-department mascot, hunter, shepherd, and performer, it became best known as a coach or carriage dog, functioning as an escort and guard for horse-drawn vehicles. Sleek and short-haired, it is distinguished by its dark-spotted white coat. It stands 19–23 in. (48–58.5 cm) high and weighs 50–55 lbs (23–25 kg), and is generally even-tempered and friendly.
Dalmatian.—© Ron Kimball
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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