BEFORE the Kennel Club found it necessary to insist upon a precise definition of each breed, the Dalmatian was known as the Coach Dog, a name appropriately derived from his fondness for following a carriage, for living in and about the stable, and for accompanying his master's horses at exercise. As an adjunct to the carriage he is peculiarly suitable, for in fine weather he will follow between the wheels for long distances without showing fatigue, keeping easy pace with the best horses. He appears almost to prefer equine to human companionship, and he is as fond of being among horses as the Collie is of being in the midst of sheep. Yet he is of friendly disposition, and it must be insisted that he is by no means so destitute of intelligence as he is often represented to be. On the contrary, he is capable of being trained into remarkable cleverness, as circus proprietors have discovered.
The earliest authorities agree that this breed was first introduced from Dalmatia, and that he was brought into this country purely on account of his sporting proclivities. Of late years, however, these dogs have so far degenerated as to be looked upon simply as companions, or as exhibition dogs, for only very occasionally can it be found that any pains have been taken to train them systematically for gun-work.
The first of the variety which appeared in the show ring was Mr. James Fawdry's Captain, in 1873. At that period they were looked upon as a novelty, and, though the generosity and influence of a few admirers ensured separate classes being provided for the breed at the leading shows, it did not necessitate the production of such perfect specimens as those which