Welcome to the British Carriage Dog Society

Dillington House in Somerset was the setting for the Wessex Regional Trials in May 2017. Here Liesel Thorner's dogs Molly and Marcy are part of the grand view.

The Society exists to help preserve this working heritage of the Dalmatian as a coaching dog. In past centuries Dalmatians would often accompany horses and carriages on their travels. They acted as guards and decoration, protected the passengers, reassured the horses and killed vermin in the stables each night. The Dalmatian is an endurance dog and its efficient trot enables it to cover long distances without tiring.

The Society runs the annual national Carriage Dog Trials. The trials test and demonstrate the Dalmatian's traditional role as a companion to ridden and driven horses. The trials demand both control and fitness, as dogs are judged on their obedience and capacity for endurance. Our principal trials sponsor is Fenix Carriages and we are immensely grateful for their continued support.

Follow the Society on Facebook here

Why not join the Society and support our work - just £9 per annum - click Membership

If you'd like to get started with your Dalmatian please contact us.



Find out about some of the years events by visiting the Diary page. Why not volunteer to steward at one of them, if you're not ready to participate and would just like to watch how things work?

No horse?! Do you walk, run, cycle with your Dalmatian. Join the new DaliMiles Facebook page and work towards the special BCDS DaliMIles awards here


Hayley Schuart with Lily.
Valerie Blissett with Uno
Mike Cleland with Dixie.
Liesel Thorner with Molly and Marcy.

DaliMiles was introduced in 2009. Click here for more information.

Paul Tester has a site with many photos from the Nationals and numerous other BCDS events - you can see more of his pictures [here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dotty_dalmations/]

Some pics of carriage dogs at work over the years. Lots more on the events pages!

Colin Healey with his 11 month puppy Shula being walked behind the cariage by Ann having her try out with a carriage in front of Brook Church in Kent. Diana Burford drove Juno just the half mile to the Honest Miller pub!
Maura Reade in Ireland driving Aonghus with her young dog Rupert alongside and Levi behind!
Alison Burgess drives Jacko in her Fenix vehicle on a local drive in Spring 2013 on the lovely woodlined lanes in Ripe, East Sussex with Jordan Humble grooming and Tally working behind.
Paul Tester drives Widget with Celia Gilbert grooming and her rescue dog Harley after completing an eight mile drive with the Weald Harness Club in Kent in 2013.
Domino and Levi display behind Maura Reade's Widget at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare in Ireland, one of Europe's largest agricultural shows.
Carriage Dogs Skittle, Fenris and Munin all took to the Working Horse Trust at the end of July 2011 to do a display of the working carriage dog with working draft horses. The WHT is a charity dedicated to preserving and promoting the heavy horse breeds of this country and Europe. Here is Fenris working with Nobel. Download a video of Fenris working with Nobel here
In the Cotswolds Felicity Mee took out hunter Bruce with her Dalmatian Lucky and friend Chris Carruthers on Chester to be part of the 2011 1001 ride and raise funds for Dalmatian Welfare.
Julie Swindells' three Dalmatians trotting behind l-r Clover, Fern, Rolex, with Merlin (right) owned by the carriage driver Roy Pennington. What a fabulous wedding photo for the happy couple Diane and James married in May 2011 in Thelkeld near Keswick in Cumbria.

2013 Carriage Dog Champion - Splash - waits patiently behind her owner Miranda Purves' Park Drag awaiting its passengers." Full story click here
The Dashing Dalmatians line up in one of the routines to music from Abba at Paws in the Park in 2009.
Avril Pluck drives Louis with three times Carriage Dog Champion Spinner behind demonstrating whip handling at the Hand equestrian display in Somerset in 2009.
Competitors and friends relaxing at Kilkea Lodge farm after the 2011 Irish Trials.

Tally owned by Alison Burgess in the speed exercise at the SE Trials in 2009.
Couldn't resist including this lovely picture of Pippa Ellen's Mini Shetland pair Pumpkin (foreground) and Annie, who tackled the 2011 SE Trials endurance course in style and in time!
Best Condition Dog 2011 Silver Road Dog Dynamite owned by Kelly Evans riding Jonas.

Spin owned by Avril Pluck displaying her 1st place rosette from the Carriage Dog class at the BDS North Wales Spring Show 2011.

Splash behind Miranda Purves' Bennington carriage passing Fenris and Freya (left) with Anne Dickens driving Parker at the Paws in the Park carriage dog display 2009.
Ron and Maggie Gallop's Mr Darcy trots behind his carriage at the BDS' Concours D'Attelage de Tradition at Helmingham Hall in Suffolk. Read more about this event [here]

The Western gang: Benson with Sue, Ollie with Smudge and Fay, Buttons with Lester and Denise, Ruby with John, Holly with Karen, Daisy-Mae with Susan, Cato with Neil and Pat, Molly with Marianne, Neo with The Smith Family, Kobi with Michael, Smudge with Jane, Misty and Amber (the Lab) with Peter.

1900 Jane Friend with Gold Carriage Dog Merlot in attendance drives Rosie in her governess cart at the Hand Carriage Driving Extravaganza in 2009.
John Wilmot with his young dog Ruby show us all how to get around properly in the snow! John is grooming for his son Maurice who is driving pony Dinky - they were all enjoying the snow at Tatton Park Knutsford, Cheshire. Ruby is a very versatile carriage, sledge and dancing dog.
Gold Carriage Dog Fenris with Anne Dickens as passenger on Donna Simmons Phaeton with her Dales Axle in front at the London Harness Horse Parade at the South of England Show Ground, Sussex.

Parker and Polo, driven by Anne Dickens and with Gold Carriage Dog Fenris in attendance, reprise their roles as reindeer in a charity delivery on Christmas Day morning delivering presents to children in the local village in return for a donation to Driving for the Disabled group. The team raised £300 for the group which, thanks to Dalmatian owner Celia Gilbert, will be doubled by Barclays bank. Polo and Parker with Brian King (Father Xmas), Crosbie (the helpful elf!) and Fenris waiting for the off.

What fun it would be to enter a carriage dog trials driving a zebra or two as the spots and stripes team!
Anne Dickens had a lesson in logging from Kitty, a lovely young Ardennes mare at the Working Horse Trust. Munin and Fenris decided they were working logging dogs; as Anne drove Kitty up and down the paths in the woods moving whole tree trunks, they followed dutifully behind.