Dalmatian.—© Ron Kimball

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.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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