Dalmation Breed Standard

Updated 1st January 2024

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Standard of points

Head, Eyes & Ears Head to be of good size, bold and broad, with a gently curving profile. 15
Muzzle to be of good width and gently rounded at the nostrils.
Eyes to be large, bright and bold and set with good width between.
Ears to be large and drooping, and set with good width between.
Body Shape To have short, cobby body with good width across shoulders and body. 10
To be fit and of good substance, with plenty of firm flesh.
To have good size appropriate to age.
Markings 60
of which
Head Markings To have a white blaze with solid colour on either side, giving a well balanced appearance. 20
Spotting To have coloured spotting on a white body; spots to be clear, distinct and well-distributed all over the body including belly. 30
Feet Markings To have solid colour covering the feet. 10
Colour Colour to conform with ESCC, NACC or Argente Standards, as appropriate. 10
Eye colour also to conform to these standards, except for the Black whose eyes may have a ruby tint.
Coat To be soft, clean and groomed free of guard hairs. 5


Dalmations may be exhibited in any of the colours that are standardised for:

Selfs (with the obvious exception of White), Agoutis or Argentes.

Dalmations in Guide Standard Self or Ticked colours should also be regarded as having

Guide Standards, with colour / ticking features as for the relevant GS cavy.

Guidance notes

The Dalmation is, in appearance, a white cavy with coloured markings. The colour should be confined to the feet, head (with a central white blaze) and spotting, the latter to be evenly distributed throughout the body.

The distribution and clarity of spotting are of more importance than size, shape and quantity of spots. Spotting should be clear and distinct, with good demarcation between spots.

Large solid patches/areas of colour are undesirable other than on the head and feet.

Roaned areas (patches of intermingled white and coloured hairs) anywhere on the body are undesirable.

Intermittent white hairs on the head and/or feet do not constitute roaning but are still undesirable.

The head demarcation line (dividing the white body from the coloured head) should follow the line of the head behind the ears and be clean-cut.

The blaze should begin at the nostrils and end at a point between the ears with no break in between. A blaze that runs through the mouth or through the demarcation line at the top of the head should be penalised.

The width of the blaze is immaterial as long as it is centrally placed between the eyes ears and has a balanced shape.

White whiskers are not a fault.

Whilst the eye colour should generally conform to the relevant breed standard of the base colour, dark eyes with a ruby tint should not be penalised.

Some Dalmations with large eyes may have a blue/grey ring completely round the outer edge of the eye: this is not a fault.

Specific disqualifications

  • Solid head
  • Incomplete blaze (blaze to appear complete without disturbance of coat)
  • Nails and/or foot pads deviating from the appropriate Self, Agouti or Argente standards

Specific faults

The following faults are to be penalised according to extent:

  • Uneven Spotting
  • Roaning
  • Spinal Bar (a definite white line, lacking any form of spotting, and running the length of the spine from head to rump - usually found in more heavily marked exhibits)
  • Head Drag (solid colour running on from the head through the demarcation line into the body)
  • Uneven or Offset Blaze
  • White hairs in otherwise solid coloured areas on head and feet

Wash 2: Designed by Simon Neesam for the British Cavy Council © 2020