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The Dalmatian Club of NSW Inc History

The section below contains extracts from The Dalmatian Club of NSW Inc 1993 Handbook produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club. The book traces the history of the Club since its foundation in 1943 and includes information about Dalmatians in Australia since 1899.


Dalmatians were bred in Australia as far back as 1899. They were exhibited at the Sydney Royal Easter Show up to 1911. They then disappeared from the show scene. The main breeder of this period was a Mr Arrowsmith, about whom there is no information apart from his entries at the Royal Shows.

Dalmatians were not again recorded in NSW until 1930 when Mr and Mrs Hirst imported Ch Quintus of Caefel and Florenza to establish their Springmead Kennels. In 1934 Mrs Olive Macdougall arrived back from England with Dauntless Dal and Adratic Queen.

The breed grew in numbers and at the Kennel Club Show held in aid of the Legacy Club War Orphans Appeal on Saturday 5th December 1942, an informal discussion took place among exhibitors regarding creating a club. The idea met with unanimous approval and a meeting was called.

The Dalmatian Club of Australia was formed on Australia Day (January 26th) 1943 at a meeting held at the YMCA in Pitt Street, Sydney.

The first Championship Show was held in April 17th 1943 in a park in Werona Avenue opposite Gordon Railway Station in Sydney. An entry of 163 exhibits were judged by Mr W Bruce.

By the end of 1947 the Dalmatian Club of Australia had 128 members from all states of Australia, from England and Singapore. The Dalmatian Club of Australia is one of the oldest breed clubs in Australia. The Club was the first specialist club in Australia to produce a Year and Stud Book.

In the 1950's the Club went through a difficulat time, membership dropped and the Club only survived through a core of dedicated members who often filled multiple committee postitions.

The 1960's saw the Club celebrate its 25th (Silver) anniversary. Obedience training came to the fore and a display of up to 10 dogs became a regular site at shopping centres around Sydney raising money for various charities. In October 1967, Joan Cudd, Ascotheath Dalmatians, UK, became the first overseas Dalmatian specialist to judge our Club Show.

The 1970's were marked by enthusiasm to promote the breed and the welfare of Dalmatians. Membership increased dramatically and the Club participated in 3 Sydney Waratah Festival Parades. The giant Dalmatians, Spot and Blot, made an appearance. A dalathon was held in Centennial Park in 1977 with 60 Dallies and owners taking part and raised $4726 for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

In 1972 the Club dropped the words "of Australia" from its name, in accordance with a ruling from the ANKC, and became The Dalmatian Club.

The National Dalmatian Council (Australia) was formed in 1985.

The Club hosted the 3rd National Specialty at Easter 1988.  

This was the first time we had held a show indoors and it turned out to be an excellent decision as the weather was atrocious. The entry was 164 and the Judge was Dick Smith, Hansom Dalmatians, UK. 18 Dalmatians were entered in the Obedience Trial.  

The 1980's saw the emergence of Dalmatians as major winners in the show and obedience rings.

The Club became incorporated on 30th July 1991, and became The Dalmatian Club Inc.

On January 26th 1993 (Australia Day) The Dalmatian Club Inc celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a party at the site of the Club's 1st Championship Show. 80 past and present members enjoyed the opportunity to talk of times past and Dalmatians. The number present included 3 foundation members, Olive Macdougall, Thelma Bowers and Chas Copeland.

The 3rd change to the Club's name took place in August 1996, following a request from the ANKC that all breed clubs include their state in their name, and so the Club became The Dalmatian Club of NSW Inc.

The Club held the 8th National Specialty Championship and Obedience Trial and Agility Trial on Easter Monday 24th April 2000 with an excellent entry of 286.

Another landmark was passed when The Dalmatian Club of NSW Inc. celebrated its 60th Anniversary with an Anniversary Specialty Show and Obedience Trial on Saturday 19th April 2003.

In 2010 the Club hosted the 13th National Specialty Championship Show.

2018 saw the Club host not only the 75th Anniversary Show but the 16th Dalmatian National, both of which were a great success.