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Diana Skibinski | Folklore Dalmatians

Diana Skibinski of Folklore Dalmatians


Interview with Diana Skibinski, Breeder of Folklore Dalmatians


Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?

Diana Skibinski: I live in Northwest Indiana. My husband, Robert, and I bought our first Dalmatian in 1978, which is 45 years. I bred my first litter in 1985, which is 38 years. I am an AKC Gold Breeder of Merit.


What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?

Diana Skibinski: Our kennel name is Folklore Dalmatians. My husband and I currently live with six Grand Champion/Champion Dalmatians. I co-own a few Dalmatians with select friends.

Diana Skibinski
Diana Skibinski – Folklore Dalmatians


Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?

Noteworthy winners include:

  • Our first homebred Bred-By Exhibitor dog, owner-handled to become Group First Winning/Multiple Best in Specialty CH Folklore & Firesprite’s Wm Tell Register of Merit Excellent;
  • Multiple Group First Winning CH Folklore’s Louis L’Amour ROM;
  • Top 20/Multiple Group First/Multiple Best in Specialty Winning CH Tuckaway Indian Run Register of Merit Excellent;
  • Best in Show/Best in Specialty Show GCH Folklore Celtic C&C All About Me ROMX;
  • Best in Show/Multiple Reserve Best in Show/Multiple Best in Specialty Show GCHG Folklore Celtic Crossfire Trail;
  • Owner-Handled Best in Show GCH Folklore Horizon & Liberty’s Spring Fair.

All of these winners had co-owners who helped each of them in some way to achieve these great levels of success.


Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Influential sires and dams include:

  • Group First Winning/Multiple Best in Specialty CH Folklore & Firesprite’s Wm Tell ROMX, sire of 27 champions;
  • Multiple Group First Winning CH Folklore’s Louis L’Amour ROM, sire of 18 champions;
  • Best in Show/Best in Specialty Show GCH Folklore Celtic C&C All About Me ROMX, dam of nine champions;
  • Top 20/Multiple Group First/Multiple Best in Specialty Winning CH Tuckaway Indian Run ROMX with 41 champions.

I have performed all OFA testing needed on all my Dals since Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) numbers were instituted. All of these influential sires and dam had co-owners who helped each of them in some way achieve these great levels of success.


Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?

Diana Skibinski: I have a lovely home on two acres in the country. My puppies are whelped in my home and are raised in the heart of my home where there is a lot of action and noise. I pay close attention to the needs of the dam, as well as the puppies. I use their instincts to help me keep the whelping box and pen area clean, plus introduce food, water, toys, and potty box as they grow. I love to have satisfied puppies that enjoy life.


What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?

Diana Skibinski: From the moment a puppy is born, I am looking at them closely, numerous times a day, with the American Kennel Club Breed Standard for the Dalmatian in mind. It’s almost a process of elimination. If they were born with a patch, they are eliminated, for it is a disqualification. Next, I am looking at eye and nose trim, for it is a major fault. Finally, as they get on their feet, I am looking at structure/balance and spotting pattern. Since we BAER Hearing Test our puppies, this also pays a part.

Any puppy selected as a show puppy or as a pet puppy would be a good Performance puppy, since balance and movement are important in the Dalmatian.


At what age do I place puppies in show homes? In Performance homes?

Diana Skibinski: We place show and Performance puppies at eight weeks.


Does my breed require any special preparation for competing in Conformance or Performance Events?

Diana Skibinski: Dalmatians need the right amount of exercise, food, and socialization for competing in any event. They are a wash-and-go dog that is willing to give anything a try.


Do I compete in Performance Events? If not, do these competitive arenas interest me?

Diana Skibinski: I have put a Companion Dog title, Canine Good Citizen title, and Novice Trick Dog title on dogs. I have also tried Fast CAT, with two dogs close to titling. I am interested in trying Rally, Obedience, and Scent Work in the future.


In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?

Diana Skibinski: I feel my breed is in good condition overall. We are fortunate to have many good breeders who enjoy exhibiting. I feel that breeders are putting Dalmatians in the Conformation show ring that are over-marked with too many spots that run together. We are the only spotted breed.


Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?

Diana Skibinski: Overall, the Dalmatian is a healthy breed. We do have high uric acid that could cause urate stones. Also, less common is Copper Storage Disease that appears to be showing up in many breeds. Dalmatians should be feed a low protein diet and given a lot of fresh water. Since I have a well, my Dals drink reverse osmosis (RO) water that removes all minerals.


Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?

Diana Skibinski: Yes, Dalmatians are great family dogs. They love a busy family. People who live a busy lifestyle and include their dogs in it are the best candidates to own a Dalmatian.


Is my breed a good choice as a Performance competitor? If so, in which events?

Diana Skibinski: OH MY, YES! Dalmatians succeed in ALL Performance Events! The Dalmatian Club of America National Specialty Show has nearly every AKC Performance event available, plus the Dalmatian Road Trial along with the Conformation events. It’s a busy show with many happy Dalmatians participating.


What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?

Diana Skibinski: People do not understand the Dalmatian history of being a road dog that was bred to run all day. They are active and not hyper. A little exercise and some playtime are all they need. Dalmatians are extremely intelligent and in tune with their owners. They love to spend quality time with you, doing whatever you like to do.


For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Non-Sporting Dog?

Diana Skibinski: Dalmatians never cease to amaze me with their intelligence and keen sense of smell. While this is not fun or amusing, I had one sniffing my abdomen constantly to the point of being terribly annoying. I came to find out she was smelling my enlarged lymph nodes. Since then, I have been treated and she no longer wants to sniff me. Who would ever think her annoying sniffing was so important?


If I could share one suggestion with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them about my breed?

Diana Skibinski: Please keep the first sentence of our Standard in mind. I feel it says it all:

The Dalmatian is a distinctively spotted dog; poised and alert; strong, muscular and active; free of shyness; intelligent in expression; symmetrical in outline; and without exaggeration or coarseness.



Are you looking for a Dalmatian puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Dalmatian dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Dalmatian Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the smart Dalmatian dog breed with articles and information in our Dalmatian Breed Magazine.


Dalmatian Breed Magazine - Showsight