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Spotlight On Fire Dogs

October 1, 2021

Do you have a Dalmatian? Give your pooch a special treat. Today, October 1st, is National Fire Pup Day! Man’s Best Buddy has held many different jobs throughout history. Fido has been a shepherd, guardian, tracker, and guide, to name just a few. However, fire dogs definitely rank up there with the best and bravest of our canine companions. A vet shines the spotlight on fire dogs in this article.

The Dalmatian

As you probably know, the pup most often found in firehouses is the Dalmatian. This adorable spotted pup was initially a hunting dog from Dalmatia, which is part of what is now Croatia. Another fun fact about the Dalmatian? They are always born white! Those iconic spots don’t start appearing until the puppies are about two weeks old. Friendly, loyal, and intelligent, the Dalmatian is also known as the English Coach Dog, the Carriage Dog, and the Plum Pudding Dog. 


Fido first began working as a fire dog back in the 1700’s. The breed was already in common use as carriage dogs. Fido was a great fit for this job. As it turns out, Dalmatians have an unusual, natural affinity to horses. Because they formed such strong bonds with their hooved buddies, they were good at keeping them calm at fires. Dalmatians would run along the horse-drawn carriages, clearing a path and leading the horses to the fire. Sometimes they would even run under the carriage axles! These faithful pups were also excellent guard dogs, and could often be found protecting firehouses and horses.


Needless to say, Fido’s current role as a fire dog has evolved quite a bit. His original position, as horse-companion and guardian, is no longer needed. However, fire dogs do still serve as mascots. They’ve certainly become very recognizable and beloved cultural icons. They also provide moral support, comfort, and moral support for firefighters. 

Dalmatians In Media

One can’t properly discuss Dalmatians without mentioning the beloved Disney movies. The original cartoon classic 101 Dalmatians, was released in 1961. Since then, there have been a live-action version, a sequel, 102 Dalmatians, and, of course, the most recent addition, Cruella. One Dalmatian, Louie Dog, was the official doggy mascot of the rock band Sublime. Louie Dog appeared in several of their videos, and was often ‘spotted’ wandering around onstage with them during concerts. LIt seems Fido still gets along with horses, as Dalmatians are also often found accompanying the Budweiser Clydesdales. 

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