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Spotlight On Fire Dogs

October 1 2021

Today is National Fire Pup Day! Man’s Best Friend has held many different jobs throughout the thousands of years he’s been at our sides. Fido has been a shepherd, guardian, tracker, and guide, to name just a few. Fire dogs definitely rank up there with the best and bravest of our canine companions. As you probably know, the Dalmatian is the breed most often found in firehouses. In this article, a veterinarian shines the spotlight on fire dogs.


The Dalmatian

Friendly, loyal, and intelligent, the Dalmatian is also referred to as the English Coach Dog, the Carriage Dog, and the Plum Pudding Dog. No matter what you call him, the Dalmatian has some interesting traits. Although the exact lineage of these cute spotted pups is unknown, we do know they were initially hunting dogs from Dalmatia, which is part of what is now Croatia. Another fun fact about Dalmatians? They’re always born white! Their iconic spots start appearing when they are about two weeks old. 


History

Fido first began working as a fire dog back in the 1700’s. Dalmatians were already in common use as carriage dogs, in part because they had an unusual, natural affinity to horses. Because these lovable canines formed such strong bonds with their hooved buddies, they proved to be very helpful at keeping horses calm at fires. Dalmatians would run along the horse-drawn carriages, clearing the way and leading the horses to the fire. Some dogs would even run under the carriage axles! These faithful pups were also excellent watchdogs, and could often be found protecting firehouses and horses while their humans were away or occupied.


Today

Needless to say, Fido’s original position, as horse-companion and guardian, is no longer needed. However, fire dogs do still serve in many fire houses as mascots. They are also very recognizable and beloved cultural icons. One thing that hasn’t changed? They still provide moral support, comfort, and companionship for firefighters. 


Dalmatians In Media

One really can’t discuss Dalmatians without mentioning the beloved Disney movies. In addition to the original animated classic 101 Dalmatians, there have been a live-action adaptation, a sequel, 102 Dalmatians, and the most recent addition, Cruella. One particularly famous Dalmatian, Louie Dog, was the mascot of the rock band Sublime. Louie Dog appeared in several of their videos, and was often ‘spotted’ wandering around onstage with them as they played concerts. Last but not least, Dalmatians are also often found accompanying the beloved Budweiser Clydesdales. 


Do you have questions about Dalmatian care? Contact us today!


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