In 1907 H. Fred Lauer undertook to publish upon the origins of the Dalmatian breed, with what seems to have been way more confidence than information. And here I worry about publishing. Humph.
* * *
Very little is known of the origin of this dog or what country first gave him birth. (And yet this book goes on for 43 more pages - Curator) It is a mystery to the writer why it can’t be traced back, and yet I suppose he is too old a dog to go back several hundred years. This I persume (sic) has not and never will be found out.Some early writers inform us that the first came from Spain and Jardine, in his “Naturalist’s Library,” mentions a picture of a spotted dog, time the middle of the sixteenth century, from which he believes our modern Dalmatian must have been descended. Another writer informs us, that this dog came originally from Bengal, where his peculiar markings made him much admired by the wealthy and luxurious natives, whose establishments were not complete without several spotted dogs in the kennels or about the stable...
Again, we are informed that this dog was used in Denmark to draw carts and other conveyances utilized by the thrifty Dane and his wife to take their commodities from place to place. Moreover it was commonly supposed that the dogs had originally been obtained from a cross with a tiger. This I doubt very much (Me too - Curator), and leaving the above statement for what it is worth and coming to more modern instances, we have our common Dalmatian or "Coach” dog likened to a Pointer.
Dalziel thinks it reasonable to-assume its native home was Dalmatia, on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Venice, and a province in the southern part of Austria. Of whatever family or habitat, the badge of its tribe has always been the spotted coat....Who first mentioned the Dalmatian we have not found out and don’t think we ever will, therefore it is useless to write on this subject any further. (And yet the book goes on for 42 MORE PAGES! Granted, there's a lot of photos - Curator)
-- The Dalmatian, or (Coach Dog) - His Supposed Origin, H. Fred Lauer (Philadelphia: S.W. Groome, 1907) pp. 3-4 passim.