Why Is The Dalmatian The Fire Dog?

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For years Dalmatians have been iconic dogs. Representing the perfect firehouse companion. After the movie 101 Dalmatians came out in 1961, many scrambled to buy this loyal dog, but breeders have warned that the temperament of the Dalmatian may not be suitable for every family, no matter how adorable they are. If the Dalmatian has built a reputation of having a worse temperament than other dogs, why did they become the firehouse mascot?

The history

It is important to remember that each dog is its own individual. Just because the breed is known for being one way, it doesn’t mean everyone is. My sister has a dog that is part pit bull, but it doesn’t fall into any of the typical stereotypes of the breed. It lets her husband’s pet bird ride on it, is afraid of just about anything you could imagine, and loves everyone it meets.

Now back to Dalmatians. This dog may look slim and slender, but it is full of muscle. Most in this breed are able to run long distances without slowing down. As early as the 17th century, Dalmatians were trained to run alongside women’s carriages. They were seen as having a calming influence on the horses, and just about everyone else around.

Dalmatians were able to keep up with the horses drawing the carriages. Instead of chasing them, they would simply keep pace, scaring off any stray dogs that would run for the horses. It was during this time that horses were used as transportation for firefighters. It was only natural that the Dalmatian would also become associated with the firehouse.

The Dalmatian worked as a protector of the horses and equipment at the firehouse after hours. As soon as the alarm sounded, the dogs were ready to lead the way, helping to save the community. Even when the horses were no longer used, the firehouse dog stuck around.


Now the role of Dalmatians at the firehouse is less important, but still there. Usually the dog is used to guard the fire truck while at the scene. The firefighters are much more concerned with reducing fire damage than they are with their own belongings. The Dalmatians are used as a protector against those who would take advantage of the situation.

The Dalmatian has always been a breed full of energy. Because of this, they do perfect in the firehouse setting. There are always people around, and they get to accompany their owners on trips around town.

There are other dogs that could be used as firehouse companions, but none would fill the roll quite as well as the Dalmatian. Even though other dogs are physically capable, or even work well as guard dogs, none compare to how the Dalmatian takes care of the task. The Dalmatian has remained where it belongs, as a working dog alongside its firefighting companions.

Historically the firehouse dog has been the Dalmatian. This breed can also be a great family pet if treated right. They are a dog that needs ample exercise and attention. If you are not able to do this, pass this breed and let it remain a firehouse companion.


By <a href=” https://plus.google.com/110691738932601525395?rel=author”> +Cassie Costner</a >

Cassie writes on how animal breeds emerged, and what they were originally bred for. She writes specifically on the Dalmatian. Besides this, she also writes on how technology has evolved for fighting fires.

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Chris Chapman

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