The Dalmatian is a breed of medium-sized dog, noted for its unique white coat marked with black or brown-colored spots. Originating as a hunting dog, it was also used as a carriage dog in its early days. The origins of this breed can be traced back to present-day Croatia and its historical region of Dalmatia. It is thought that early ancestors of the breed were certain breeds of pointers and a spotted Great Dane. Today, it is a popular family pet and many dog enthusiasts enter Dalmatians into kennel club competitions.