Prof Ronny R Noor: Dalmatian Dog Becomes the Pet of the King of Ancient Egypt

Hearing the name Dalmatian, of course, we will imagine a dog with an athletic stature and a very unique color, namely white with black spots or red hearts. The popularity of the Dalmatian dog peaked when Walt Disney released the film 101 Dalmatians in 1985 with a dramatic adventure storyline spice.

According to Prof. Ronny Rachman Noor, MRur.Sc, Professor of the Faculty of Animal Science at IPB University, if you trace its origin, it turns out that the Dalmatian dog is an ancient dog breed. In the year 3,700 BC or about 5,721 years ago, the ancient Egyptian king named Cheops, known as the king of the pyramid builders, allegedly owned a Dalmatian dog. History also records that the ancient Greek king had a Dalmatian dog with black and brown spots that was used to hunt wild boars.

“In the modern era, namely the 16th century, there is a poem from Serbia that describes the existence of the Dalmatian dog. In this century, Dalmatian dogs are used as guards for horses and their owners because of their very athletic posture and extraordinary endurance,” continued Prof. Ronny.

The origin of the name Dalmatian is still widely debated, but many agree that this name comes from one of the provinces in Croatia, namely Dalmatia. The Dalmatian's very unique color patterns have long attracted geneticists to unravel the mystery of how these colors and patterns of color can be passed on to their offspring.

"The mystery of color inheritance gradually began to be revealed when geneticists discovered that this Dalmatian color pattern was produced by three main genes, namely Piebald, Ticking and Flecking, which interacted with each other," said Prof Ronny.

Prof. Ronny added that based on the results of the study, the TYRP1 locus located on chromosome 11 was actually responsible for the appearance of black or red dot color variations, which are characteristic of the Dalmatian dog color pattern. The TYRP1 locus functions to control the production of eumelanin which in a dominant state will produce black eumelanin and in a recessive state it will produce a brown eumelanin color.

"Another gene that is also involved in determining the color of Dalmatian dogs is the MC1R gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) which when interacting with the Agouti locus will produce phaeomelanin or eumelanin which produces a red heart," added Prof Ronny.

On the other hand, Prof Ronny revealed that Dalmatian dogs are prone to deafness. Data shows that about 17.8 percent of these dogs are deaf. The occurrence of deafness in Dalmatian dogs can occur in only one ear or occur in both ears.

Despite these weaknesses, he continued, Dalmatian dogs are known as very energetic, playful and sensitive dogs, and are very loyal to their owners and very friendly with children. This type of dog is also known to be intelligent, so it can be trained well and becomes a good guard dog.

“Dalmatian dogs are also known to have a very strong memory so that if they are treated badly they will be remembered for decades. With the hope that it will reach 12-14 years of age, the uniqueness of this Dalmatian dog is increasingly attracting the hearts of many people to keep it," concluded Prof Ronny. (Isni/Zul)

Published Date : 21-Dec-2021

Resource Person : Prof Ronny R Noor

Keyword : Dalmatian Dog, Professor of IPB University, Faculty of Animal Science