Ever since I was a young child, I dreamed of owning a Dalmatian. I spent more than a decade researching the pros and cons associated with the breed. From that point forward I was determined to fulfill my childhood dream of owning my first Dalmatian.
My involvement with the breed isn’t just being a Dalmatian breeder in California. I am a member of AKC’s Bred with H.E.A.R.T Program, and our Dals compete in Conformation (showing), Fast CAT, Jumps and Weaves (Agility), Trick Dog and Road Dog Trials. Participating in events creates a unique bond with your dog that is immeasurable. I encourage everyone to try it at least once.
During my down time you can often find me expanding my knowledge reading articles, studies, and pedigrees.
The two leading health issues Dalmatians face are hyperuricosuria also known as High Uric Acid, and deafness.
All Dalmatians not part of the "Breedback Project" are venerable to uric stones. As for Deafness, it affects more than 30% of the population in at least one ear, and 8% in both ears.
It is my goal to better the breed with each generation by addressing these two health issues. I hope to achieve this by insuring that both parents have perfect bilateral hearing, and pairing dogs that have the ability of passing the LUA (Low Uric Acid) gene. Although the LUA gene is not a guarantee, I feel it is absolutely necessary to encourage it while protecting the integrity of the breed.
I’ve grown up with dogs of many different breeds, though usually hunting dogs. I love them all, but when looking for a new dog back in the 80s, my husband suggested getting the AKC book of dog breeds and shopping with an open mind and a list of desired characteristics, which we did. We had kids, so needed a dog with a good disposition for a family. I loved horses, so I needed a dog who would enjoy accompanying me on rides and horse camping in the mountains. We live in California where the summers are hot, and the foxtails and other stickers are numerous, so we needed a dog with a short coat.
The Dalmatian fit all these requirements, and was beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are horse dogs, and are associated with the fire house only because they got there with the horse teams that used to pull the fire wagons. When I discovered that there are competitions for Dalmatians where the owner or handler is on horseback or in a horse-drawn vehicle, that sparked my interest further. (See “Road Dog Trials”.) And contrary to their Non-Sporting Dogs classification, I have successfully hunted with my Dalmatians, who also excel at getting mice in the hay barn.
My family and I fell in love with Dalmatians, and we are on our fifth now. I am excited to have an LUA, and very much want to do my part to improve the health of this wonderful dog for future generations.