About us and our Dalmatians
Humans and Dalmatians at Caprilli
We have two adult sons who are called Tim and Phillip. Our current four legged team consists of the Dalmatian, “Holly”, and our English Cocker Spaniel, “Lucy”. The two of them are our pets first and foremost. Lucy was only ever a companion (we also call her the Dalmatian terrorist) and Holly enjoys her retirement with us after a successful show career and securing future Generations of Caprilli Dalmatians.
Both Paul and I have grown up with horses and dogs as well as some other pets along the line. Paul still enjoys his life with dogs but does not get involved with breeding Dalmatians or showing Dalmatians. Instead he enjoys a good sail in the Bay. We still discuss the topic of Dalmatian breeding among us though since our previous life with horses has equipped us with a lot of professional knowledge about breeding Dalmatians and general Dalmatian management.
About the Dalmatian puppies bred at Caprilli
This knowledge has enabled me to establish a great string of Dalmatian dogs that are equally suited for a like-minded breeder of Dalmatians, the Dalmatian exhibitor and most importantly the family that is seeking a fun loving and healthy pet Dalmatia,n. Some of our Caprilli Dalmatians also work as Hunting or Service dogs. Others enjoy a good run with horses or in the Agility ring.
When planning or raising a litter of Dalmatian puppies, the constant exchange of knowledge among like-minded Dalmatian people and the successful placement of just the right Dalmatian dog with the right family is my true passion. We hope that you will enjoy your visit to our homepage and please feel free to contact us if we have left any questions unanswered about the Dalmatian breed.
Our journey to becoming responsible breeders of Dalmatians
The whole thought process about breeding Dalmatians began in 1997 with the tragic loss of our six year old English Springer Spaniel, Sam. Sam was a working type English Springer Spaniel, full of beans and the friendliest dog alive. It was heart-breaking when we had to put him to sleep due to severe elbow and hip dysplasia – both diseases that could have been prevented easily by health screening his ancestors.
There were two separate thoughts that made me decide on my own breeding program; the first one was a truly sentimental thought. We wanted a dog that was healthy enough to be bred so when we eventually lost the dog there would be offspring that displayed similar behavior. The second line of thinking was the fact that both Paul and I have been very fortunate to work with some of the best when it came to animal management and breeding, and I wanted to put this knowledge to a good cause.
Caprilli Dalmatians explained
At the time we lived in Germany, and I applied for my first kennel name – “Caprilli”. Federico Caprilli was responsible for inventing today’s modern show jumping position that went with the horse’s motion and not against it, like the old English Hunting position did. We wanted a name that displayed a connection to our building blocks and also made it clear that we wanted to try our best to improve our chosen breed.
The name Caprilli was denied in Germany and therefore our second choice, “Millviews”, was registered with the German Kennel Club and the FCI (the European Umbrella for all KC’s apart from the British KC). Millviews came from our Farm that displayed beautiful views to an old Mill building. Shortly after breeding our first Millviews Litter we moved to the UK, the only non FCI country in Europe, and the name Millviews was denied. Therefore Caprilli was now in business until we returned to Germany from 2008 – 2012 where one more Millviews Litter was born.
Breeding Dalmatians is a responsibility
There are many dogs out in this world that need a home and therefore we came to the conclusion that it is only ever OK to breed a litter of Dalmatian puppies when we need offspring to secure the future of the line as well as the betterment of the breed as a whole. For this we utilize our knowledge gathered over a lifetime to select the very best that we have bred or have been able to find world-wide.
We show our Dalmatians to maintain a great network with breeders across the world, which in turn assures that we are always up-to-date with information on individual lines. We also show our Dalmatians to advertise them to other breeders that are like-minded and may find that a Caprilli Dalmatian can help their breeding program in the future. Without the show world, we would soon be out of touch and the constant comparison and questioning of our own breeding program would not be there.
We do not breed a litter of Dalmatian puppies in the hope that we will produce a single superstar, but instead we try and build pedigrees that will give each puppy born the best chances of being sound in both body and mind. This was also a vital part of deciding on the Dalmatian breed. Their standard calls for a dog that is balanced and not a single feature (apart from the coat color) demands for any exaggeration that is merely there to make the dogs appearance more “pretty”. Our background of working with competition horses has laid the solid foundation of breeding for a purpose and “fit for function”.
Breeding perfect Dalmatian Puppies?
A horse rider’s attitude will always demand that education is ongoing and never complete. Each step of the way we will continue to question our actions. We will carry on educating ourselves by attending seminars, researching, and interaction with professionals such as Zoologists, Geneticists, long time breeders of all breeds, exhibitors, and friends.
Does this mean that we can breed perfect Dalmatians? No, it does not. There are 62 dogs on each 5 Generation pedigree and nature forbids that all of these 62 dogs are of perfect health, perfect temperament or perfect build. Therefore breeding will always be about balance and the knowledge of each hereditary path so the chances of breeding a “bad” dog are narrowed as much as possible.
The definition of a responsible Breeder of Dalmatians
It is a breeder’s responsibility to create the best possibilities for each Dalmatian puppy bred. This knowledge is also the reason why we do not agree with Dalmatian pet owners who “just want to breed one litter”. Gathering the necessary knowledge on how to breed Dalmatians is not something that one can obtain in a few months’ time! A responsible breeder of Dalmatians will always assure that all their puppies are safe at all times and will never be responsible for overfilled shelters. Therefore, part of our puppy sales contract is that all Caprilli bred Dalmatian puppies which have a need for a new home are to be returned to the Caprilli premises so we can find them a new, suitable home. Again our wide Network assures that puppies bred by us, living in countries that we left can also count on our support.
All of our years with animals have provided us with a lot of combined experience and whatever we do not know ourselves, will be provided by the wide network that is surrounding us. This means that if you adopt a Caprilli Dalmatian, you and your Dalmatian will also benefit from this support.
My journey to becoming a conformation judge for the Dalmatian breed
If you have read through the other pages of the “About Us” section than you know by now that we are obsessed with reading, learning and researching everything we can to optimize our breeding program. Going through the long process of becoming a Dalmatian Specialist Judge was just one of the steps that I took.
The journey began whilst we were living in the UK, which is under the jurisdiction of the British Kennel Club. I attended many breed seminars and assessments and had to obtain the support of the British Dalmatian Club in order to be able to proceed through the ranks. As an aspiring Judge, I judged my first British Open show and also a number of Match Nights that are held all over Britain. The latter included dogs of all KC registered breeds, not just Dalmatians.
Unfortunately, we moved to Germany before I could gain the full qualification of an A-List Judge. Moving to Germany meant that I left the Jurisdiction of the British KC, since the German VDH belongs to the FCI countries. This in turn also meant that I had to start all over again.
The training process on becoming a Dalmatian judge in Germany consists of:
1. The support of your Breed Specific Club that has to suggest you as an aspiring Judge to the VDH.
2. An entry examination that assures the knowledge needed on conformation, movement, genetics and rules of a dog show.
3. Co-Judging six dog shows of your chosen breed under six different Judges, writing a report on each dog examined, and having the Judge either pass or fail you on each occasion.
4. Passing a final theoretical exam on the subjects of the entry exam in more detail.
5. Passing a practical exam where a panel of three Judges will fail or pass you on judging ten dogs of your chosen breed.
6. After passing all of the above, my name was added to the FCI Judges list in 2011, shortly before our move to the US.
The US is neither under the jurisdiction of the British KC, nor the FCI but the AKC. My FCI license does entitle me to judge on eight separate occasions in the US before I would need to pass my US judging Exams.
I was able to remain on the FCI list of Judges after my move to the US, which provided me with the possibility of returning to Germany to judge Dalmatians on a number of separate occasions. My most exiting appointment to date was in May 2014 when I was invited to judge the Europasieger Show in Dortmund, Germany. Now that we are back in Europe, I have been able to add a Number of shows judged, both in Germany and other European countries.
What do I love most about judging Dalmatians?
The fact that I can get my hands on as many different Dalmatians from different breeding lines as possible. Stepping inside the ring and being able to fully concentrate on each individual dog has given me an opportunity that I would have never had if I would have remained "just a breeder". It has also started a whole new thought process and even more opportunities to pick some more brains that belong to Judges from many different breeds and all walks of life. Isn't life all about creating opportunities?