5 Ways of Looking at a Dalmatian: The Dalmatian in History and Culture

Anna Katherine Nicholas wrote of the Dalmatian, ““He holds the distinction of being the world’s only true coach dog, substantiated by the early engravings and drawings depicting the spotted dogs accompanying Egyptian chariots.”

1. “He holds the distinction of being the world’s only true coach dog, substantiated by the early engravings and drawings depicting the spotted dogs accompanying Egyptian chariots.” —Anna Katherine Nicholas

2. “Authoritative writers place him first as a positive entry in Dalmatia, a region in west Yugoslavia. Though he has been credited with a dozen nationalities and has many native names … it is from his first proved home that he takes his correct name, the Dalmatian.” —The Complete Dog Book

3. “One of the Dalmatian’s most auspicious appearances in the realm of myth was in a celebrated dream that came to the mother of St. Dominic, the man who founded the Dominican order.

“The dream in which the dog appeared showed him carrying a torch with which to set the world on fire. The teachings of Dominic were thus symbolized by the dog dream, and the Order itself depicted the Dalmatian in many different kinds of church art.

“The black and white coat of the dog turned into the colors used by the Order—white robe, white hood, and a black cloak thrown over these. The Dominicans were thus known as Domini canes: that is, the ‘dogs of God’ …”

—Gerald and Loretta Hausman, The Mythology of Dogs

4. Cruella De Vil: Be sure to let me know when the blessed event occurs.

Anita: I’m not due for another eight months.

Cruella De Vil: The puppies, darling. I have no use for babies. —101 Dalmatians (1996)

5. “They are much more sensible than any other breed of dog I know—and I’ve known many breeds. Dalmatians are not only superior to other dogs, they are like all dogs, infinitely less stupid than men.” —Eugene O’Neill

—From “Times Past,” AKC Gazette