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The Dalmatian outcross project took place in 1973 by Dr. Robert Schaible in an effort to to address and fix the defect in dalmatians that causes them to have high uric acid.
The goal Was to create a healthier line of dalmatians, who will not have the pain or struggles of dealing with high uric acid (HUA), and eventually eliminate the issue from the breed.
HUA Dals have a genetic defect that affects uric acid metabolism and that may lead to increased uric acid, urate crystals, urinary bladder aggravated formation, stones and urinary tract obstruction.
The project began in 1973 with the original outcross being a pointer ( CH Shandown’s Rapid Transit) who was bred to a akc Dalmatian (Lady’s Godiva). This produced puppies who carried one copy of LUA (Normal uric acid) and one copy of HUA. After this initial breeding, the offspring were then bred back to dalmatians, about 1/2 of these offspring were LUA, and the other half were HUA. Urine testing was done to determine which dogs were which, and only pups who were LUA were kept back to breed again to other dalmatians. Now there is a DNA test that breeders use to determine if a puppy is LUA.
The original outcross is now 14 generations back from most of the dalmatians who are LUA now. Leaving them at 99.98% Dalmatian and 0.02% pointer, for every generation that is bred back to a dalmatian That percentage of pointer cuts in half. Many believe that even if dna tested those 14 generations + after the outcross Will dna as purebred dalmatians.
The outcrossing continues, and is making such a huge positive impact on the breed, it’s safe to say that I believe Dr. Robert Schaible has really made a major health improvement in our breed.