You’ve probably seen dalmatian sporting a fire hat or lounging out by a firetruck at some point. But why do dalmatians seem so favored by fire departments across the nation? Do their spots serve a special purpose in extinguishing flames? Let’s dive into the history of Dalmatians as working dogs in the United States and find out where this association came from:
Man’s Best Friend Since Day 1
Since the 1700s, Dalmatians have been known as stable and carriage dogs, where they would stand guard to protect livestock and humans alike. These loyal, intelligent, and hard-working dogs have always had an affinity for helping humans or having a job of some sort.
Later, in the 1800s, when fire equipment was still drawn by horses, New York City’s Fire Department decided these experienced workers would make a great addition to their fire stations. The dogs would run alongside the wagons and move people out of the way for the horses. But since their addition to firehouses, Dalmatians have frequently been involved in teaching fire safety and emotional support for firefighters who experience trauma in their profession.
These loyal dogs are a wonderful example of what it means to really be man’s best friend, and doing it with such spotted style. To learn more about the history and ideals of Dalmatians, check out the Dalmatian Club of America website or AKC’s Dalmatian Informational Page.